St. Philip Neri Catholic Parish
1325 KLINERD ROAD, PENNSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA 18073
DEVOTIONS & SERVICES
We Remember Mass
Adoration in St. Anne's Chapel
We Remember Mass
Blessing of the Animals
We pray for, and are united with our families and friends who have died during the past year. We are united with them through the Communion of Saints. We remember them. We remember with them. A special Remembrance Mass is celebrated annually during the month of November. All are welcome to come and celebrate the lives of our deceased in this Mass of Remembrance. A reception follows in the Parish Hall.
We Remember Mass at St. Philip Neri
We will never forget.
Blessing of the Animals
The Blessing of the Animals is celebrated each year in October.
Our Lord continues to call young men to minister
at His holy altar. We, as individuals and
as families, can help them. Through our devotion
we can support those who are called,
praying that they may acknowledge
God's voice and have the courage to answer
"Here I am, Lord."
To this end, St. Philip Neri Parish has adopted the Traveling Chalice program. Please consider signing up to take this beautiful symbol home and to follow the program for one week.
We hope you will sign up to participate in this program to pray for vocations to the priesthood as a family and to promote vocations within the family. Each week one family can take home the chalice for that week. A binder on a stand is placed in the vestibule for you to choose the week they would prefer. The chalice in a wooden holder with instructions for the receiving, handling and care of the chalice as well as prayers to be said for each day, is encased in the grey suitcase in front of the stand.
If you have any questions, contact Sue DiMarco at 215-679-7193.
Divine Mercy Sunday is the first Sunday after Easter and people all over the world will celebrate this Feast of Mercy. It is a day chosen by Christ as a day of extraordinary graces, a complete outpouring of His mercy upon all who approach Him with great trust and faith. It is a time where we will come to appreciate the immense gift which God offers us on the Feast of Mercy and through the devotion to His Divine Mercy. Let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things.
In preparation for the Feast of The Divine Mercy, our Lord asked St. Faustina to make a novena of prayer from Good Friday to the following Saturday. For each of these nine days, our Lord gave St. Faustina a different intention. Jesus told St. Faustina “I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My Mercy.” (Diary, 1209).
The message and devotion of the Divine Mercy is based on the apparitions of Jesus to Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska beginning in 1931. Our Lord chose Sr. Faustina as the Apostle and Secretary of His mercy so that she could tell the world of His great message, which she recorded in a diary she titled Divine Mercy in my Soul. The message that Jesus gave to Sr. Faustina is one of complete love and mercy…. He says "My mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the entire world."
Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland. She was the third of ten children. Her parents were very poor, but also very religious. She was baptized with the name of Helena. From her childhood she distinguished herself by her piety, love of prayer, industriousness and obedience as well as by her great sensitivity to human misery. At only seven years old she sensed in her soul the call to embrace the religious life. Since her parents were against her entering a convent, Helen tried to stifle this divine call within her. She was encouraged to pursue the religious life when she had a vision of the suffering Christ and His words of reproach. On August 1, 1925, she crossed the threshold of the cloister in the convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw, Poland. She wrote in her diary "It seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving." (Diary, 17).
St. Faustina's entire life was concentrated on constant striving for an even fuller union with God and on self-sacrificing cooperation with Jesus in the work of saving souls.
It is her Diary that reveals to us the depths of her spiritual life. An attentive reading of these records offers a picture of the high degree of her soul's union with God -- the great extent of God's company keeping with her soul, as well as her efforts and struggles on the way to Christian perfection.
The Lord endowed her with great graces -- with the gift of contemplation, with a deep knowledge of the mystery of the mercy of God, with visions, revelations, the hidden stigmata, with the gift of prophecy and of reading into human souls, and also with the rare gift of mystical espousals. As lavishly gifted as she was, this is what she wrote: "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God…My sanctity and perfection is based upon the close union of my will with the will of God". (Diary, 1107)
St. Faustina was physically ravaged, but fully mature spiritually; she died in the opinion of sanctity, and mystically united with God, on October 5, 1938, 33 years old, having been a religious for 13 years. Her mortal remains were laid to rest in the common tomb in the convent's cemetery in Cracow-Lagiewniki. In 1966, during the informative process towards Sister Faustina's beatification, they were transferred to the convent chapel.
To this simple, uneducated, but courageous woman religious, who trusted Him without limit, Our Lord Jesus consigned the great mission to proclaim His message of mercy directed to the whole world: "Today," He told her, "I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My merciful Heart" (Diary, 1588). You are the secretary of My mercy; I have chosen you for that office in this and the next life" (Diary, 1605)… "to make known to souls the great mercy that I have for them, and to exhort them to trust in the bottomless depth of My Mercy" (Diary, 1567)
St. Faustina's mission consists in reminding us of the immemorial, but seemingly forgotten, truths of our faith about God's merciful love for all of us, and in conveying to us new forms of devotion to The Divine Mercy, the practice of which is to lead to the revival of the spiritual life in the spirit of Christian trust and mercy.
St. Faustina's Diary , which Jesus Christ instructed her to keep during the last four years of her life, is a kind of journal in which the author recorded current or retrospective events related primarily to the 'encounters' of her soul with God. A rigorous, scholarly analysis of her notebooks was necessary to extract from them everything which is considered essential to her mission.
The image of the Divine Mercy pattern was revealed in the vision St. Faustina had on February 22, 1931, In the evening, she recorded in the Diary, "I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside from at breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. After a while, Jesus said to me, 'Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: "Jesus, I trust in You"' (Diary, 47). "I want this image … to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy" (Diary, 49).
For this reason, the content of this image is closely related to the liturgy of that Sunday. On this day, the church reads the Gospel according to John about the risen Christ appearing in the Upper Room and about the institution of the Sacrament of Penance (Jn 20:19-29). …this image represents the Savior risen from the dead who brings peace to people by means of the forgiveness of sins at the price of His passion and death on the cross.
The rays of blood and water that flow from the Heart that was pierced by a spear (not visible on the image) and the scars caused by the wounds of crucifixion call to mind the events of Good Friday (Jn19:17-18; 33-37). The Image of the Merciful savior, therefore, combines the two gospel events that best bespeak the fullness of God's love for mankind.
The two rays are a distinctive feature of this image of Christ. The Lord, Jesus, when asked about their meaning, explained: "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the blood which is the life of souls … Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter" (Diary, 299). The sacraments of Baptism and Penance purify the soul, and the Eucharist most abundantly nourishes it. Thus, the two rays signify the Holy Sacraments and all the graces of the Holy Spirit, whose biblical symbol is water, as well as the new covenant of God with men in the Blood of Christ.
The image of the Merciful Jesus is often called the "Image of the Divine Mercy", which is appropriate, since it is precisely in Christ's Paschal Mystery that God's love for humankind was most explicitly revealed.
The image not only represents The Divine Mercy, but also serves as a sign that is to recall the Christian obligation of trust in God and of active love toward neighbor. By Christ's will the image bears a signature comprised of these words:
"Jesus, I trust in You." "This image," Jesus also declared, "is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works". (Diary 742)
To the veneration of the image understood in this way, as relying upon the Christian attitude of trust and mercy, Our Lord attached special promises, namely, of eternal salvation, of great progress in the way of Christian perfection, of the grace of a happy death, and of all other possible graces which people will ask of Him with trust. "By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it". (Diary, 570)
The Feast of The Divine Mercy. It ranks highest among all the elements of The Divine Mercy devotion revealed to [St.] Faustina. Its institution was requested by the Lord Jesus for the first time in Plock, in 1931, while He was communicating His will regarding the painting of the Image: "I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy" (Diary, 49)
The choice of the first Sunday after Easter for the Feast of Mercy has a very deep theological significance, which points to the close relationship between the Paschal Mystery of the Redemption and the mystery of The Divine Mercy. The integral relationship is further emphasized by the Novena of Chaplets to The Divine Mercy which begins on Good Friday as a preparation for the Feast.
This feast is not only a day in particular for worshipping God in His mystery of mercy, but also a time of grace for all people. The Lord Jesus said: "I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners" (Diary, 699). "Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, recourse to My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity" (cf. Diary, 965, 998).
The greatness of this feast is measured by the measure of extraordinary promises that the Lord attached to this feast: Jesus said: "…whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment" (Diary, 300), and also, "On this day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. …Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet." (Diary, 699).
To profit from those great gifts we must fulfill the conditions of the Divine Mercy devotion (trust in God's goodness and active love toward neighbor), be in the state of sanctifying grace -- having gone to Holy Confession, and worthily receive Holy Communion. Jesus explained: No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My mercy; and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy, and on that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy" (Diary, 570).
On Sunday, April 3, 2016 we will celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy. During that celebration we will recite the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
This chaplet was dictated to Sr. Faustina by the Lord Jesus himself in Vilnius on September 13-14, 1935, as a prayer of atonement and for the appeasement of God's wrath (Diary, 474-476).
Those who recite this Chaplet offer to God the Father "the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity", of Jesus Christ in atonement for their sins, the sins of their loved ones, and those of the entire world. By uniting themselves with the sacrifice of Jesus, they appeal to the great love that our Heavenly Father has for His Son and, in Him, for all humanity.
By means of this prayer, the petitioners request "'mercy on us and on the whole world", and by so doing, they perform a work of mercy. If the faithful add to this the foundation of trust and fulfill the conditions regarding every good prayer (humility, perseverance, matters in conformity with God's will), they can expect the fulfillment of Christ's promises which are particularly related to the hour of death: the grace of conversion and a peaceful death.
The Hour of Mercy. In October, 1937, in Cracow, under circumstances that are not fully described by St. Faustina, the Lord Jesus recommended that she honor the hour of His death: "…as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul" (Diary 1572)
The Lord Jesus also determined the prayers that are appropriate for this form of the Divine Mercy devotion : "…try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant". (Diary 1572).
The Lord Jesus promised: "In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world -- mercy triumphed over justice" (Diary, 1572).
Spreading the honor of The Divine Mercy. In discussing the essential elements of the Divine Mercy devotion, Rev. Rozycki also mentions the spreading of the honor of The Divine Mercy as one of them since certain promises of Christ are related to this as well: "Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior" (Diary, 1075).
The essence of The Divine Mercy devotion is found in the Christian attitude of trust in God and of an active love toward neighbor. The Lord Jesus said: "I desire trust from My creatures"" (Diary, 1059), and He expects them to exercise mercy through deeds, words, and prayers. And further; "You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it" (Diary, 742). Christ wants those who worship Him to perform at least one act of love of neighbor in the course of each day.
The spreading of the honor of The Divine Mercy does not require many words, but always the Christian attitude of faith, of trust in God and of becoming ever more merciful. In her life time St. Faustina gave the example of just such apostolic work.
The Divine Mercy devotion aims at the renewal of religious life in the Church in the spirit of Christian trust and mercy. It is in this context that the idea of the "new congregation" of which we read in the Diary's pages should be considered. This desire of Christ matured gradually in Sr. Faustina's own thinking, and underwent a certain evolution -- from a strictly contemplative order all the way to a movement which is made up also of active congregation (male and female) and of lay people.
This great supranational community of people is one family, which is being united, first of all, by God in the mystery of His mercy, and secondly, by people's longing, both, to reflect that mercy in their own hearts and works, and for God's glory to be reflected in all souls. It is a community of people who in different ways, depending upon their state in life and vocation (priestly, religious, lay), live by the Gospel ideal of trust and mercy, proclaim the incomprehensible mystery of God's mercy by their life and words, and obtain Divine Mercy for the world with their entreaties.
Sr. Faustina's mission finds deep justification in Holy Scripture and documents of the Church; it superbly corresponds especially with the encyclical Dives in misericordia (Rich in mercy) of the Holy Father, John Paul II.
Next month begins the Chronology of Events
Contact Person: Dawn Ellis 215-679-2160
Saturday Vigil: 5:00 PM* (*Sat. Vigil Mass will change to 4:00 PM starting on Nov. 28th)
Sunday: 7:30 AM and 10:00 AM
Tuesday - Friday at 8:00 AM (First Fridays Mass is at 9 AM)
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"Saint of a Joyful Heart."