Category Archives: News

Advent Concert

The St. Mary Magdalene choir and orchestra will present What a Beautiful Name, an Advent Concert on Sunday, December 16, at 7 pm. Come celebrate the advent season through music as we celebrate the names of Jesus in a powerful presentation of lessons and carols.

 

Advent Penance Services

Come celebrate the Lord’s mercy and experience his forgiveness as we celebrate our Advent Penance Service on Thursday, December 13, at 7 pm at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. We will welcome several area priests who will hear your individual confessions. Come with your family and together let us seek the Lord’s pardon and peace.

Additional Penance Services in the area include:
All services start at 7:00 pm except where noted.

Monday, December 3 St. Theresa, Douglasville
Monday, December 3 Holy Trinity, Peachtree City @ 6:30 pm
Tuesday, December 4 St. Matthew, Tyrone
Wednesday, December 5 St. Vincent de Paul, Dallas
Thursday, December 6 Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Carrollton
Monday, December 10 St. George, Newnan
Thursday, December 13 Sacred Heart, Griffin
Monday, December 17 St. Bernadette, Cedartown
Tuesday, December 18 St. Peter, LaGrange
Tuesday, December 18 St. John Vianney, Lithia Springs

 

 

 

 

Natural Disaster Relief

When a natural disaster occurs in the United States electronic donations may be directed to Catholic Charities USA. They and their member agencies respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long-term need to rebuild and recover after widespread destruction. They also assist the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church. Their address information follows:

Catholic Charities USA
Online: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org

Mail: Catholic Charities USA
P.O. Box 17066
Baltimore MD 21297-1066
Phone: 800.919.9338

When a disaster happens in another country, such as the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, collections and individual donations should be directed to Catholic Relief Services (CRS):

Catholic Relief Services
Online:    www.crs.org

Mail: Catholic Relief Services,
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21297-0303
(Please write the specific incident in the memo line)
Phone: Call 877.Help.CRS

 

Statements about Pennsylvania Grand Jury Findings

Father Terry and Deacon Steve Swope spoke at the Masses the weekend of September 1 and 2 about the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Findings.  Here are the audio recordings:

Deacon Steve Swope

Father Terry Crone

Here is his written statement:

As you know, a couple of weeks ago the news broke that over 300 priests in the 8 dioceses of Pennsylvania were named as pedophiles by at least 1000 persons, spanning a time period of 70 years.  The most upsetting, to me, aspect of this case, is that the bishops, then and now, did not call them to task for their crimes, and, in some cases, those priests are still serving in parishes around children and vulnerable adults.

First and foremost, my heart goes out to those individuals and families devastated by this offense against the moral and civil laws.  I pray that they can find healing from within the Church, and in spite of the Church from friends and professional counselors.  There is no good reason to keep the offenders working in parishes where they can do more harm.

Secondly, these priests have provoked anger and resentment in the rest of us who, while still sinners, are shocked and concerned that the public will paint all of us with the same brush.  All have fallen short of the glory of God, but for most of us, our sins have not caused so much trauma and scandal in the Church.

The Jewish scripture scholar, Abraham Heschel, said that the message of the prophet is, “Few may be guilty, but all are responsible.”  As a priest standing before you among the brotherhood of priests, I tell you, “I am sorry.”  I am sorry that these sins and crimes have occurred, and I am sorry that those directly responsible have not been taken to task for their actions.

Thirdly, I am also sorry that all of us have to revisit these tragedies after 16 years of knowing about them.  The scandal out of Boston in 2002 forced the bishops to start moving in the right direction to implement policies designed for the protection of our people, but it appears that those same bishops have not taken ownership of the Church’s sin and pledged to root out the rot within her branches.  Scripture says that all that is hidden will come to light. Why are the bishops hiding in the darkness waiting for the press or the criminal courts to come along with a flashlight?

This week I was at the Provincial Assembly of priests in Charleston, SC, and it was attended by all 7 bishops and over 125 priests from Georgia, North and South Carolina.  As archbishop, it fell to Archbishop Gregory to address the group and he said, that, although words are important, the time has come and is past that we need actions, not just words.  He said that he had written a letter to the Holy Father asking for stricter penalties for perpetrators of the crimes and for the bishops who covered them up.  What he did not say is what his plan is to release our own files from Central and North Georgia to the public.  This week, I will write to him asking, “Archbishop, when are you going to release the records of suspected criminal activity among our priests and parishes?”

All of us are still disheartened and still furious with the goings on among fallen priests and political bishops, but we cannot lose hope.  We are Christians, founded not on good advice, but on the blood of Christ crucified.  When Jesus willingly took up the cross and died for our sins, he could see today.  He could see the weakness of priest-pedophiles, and the weakness of bishops who turned a blind eye.  Even Judas, his betrayer, was not exempt from his sacrifice of love.

Although we may have good reason to turn away from his Church, Christ asks us to remain faithful.  In today’s gospel, Christ asks us alongside St. Peter, “Do you also want to leave?”  Do not let a few bad actors ruin the blessings of the true Church of Christ.  We must have the courage to answer with Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”

Truly the time for just words has passed and what is needed now is action.  For many of us, it seems that our hands are tied: “What can I do to affect this issue?”  Pope Francis has given us part of an answer: Fast and Pray.  It may not seem like much, but prayer and fasting can change the world.  Prayer and fasting transformed the greatest tragedy, the Crucifixion of the Son of God into the world’s greatest triumph, the power of life over death in his Resurrection.

It seems that few Catholics today know that the directives of the Church still encourage abstaining from meat on every Friday of the year.  Although we are allowed to substitute other acts of charity in the place of abstinence, I am asking our parish faithful to avoid eating any meat every Friday and pray for everyone affected: the survivors and their families, the perpetrators, and the bishops who ignored the problem and put more children in danger.  I am asking we continue these acts of penance until the bishops in the U.S. turn over their records to the public.  This may take a long time, but the spiritual benefits to ourselves and to the world will be immense.  Only God can make good things out of evil actions, so let us beg him to transform our world through the sacrifices we make.

Safe Environment

The Archdiocese of Atlanta and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church are committed to the protection of our children and vulnerable individuals.  St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church complies with archdiocesan safe environment policies and procedures in accordance with the U.S. Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Safe Environment programs are in place to assist parents and children – and those whose duties involve contact with minors – in preventing harm to young people and other vulnerable individuals.

St. Mary Magdalene implements the Safe Environment training materials offered by the Archdiocese of Atlanta, VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children, a training program for adults and children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.

You can read Archbishop Gregory’s letter about adopting the VIRTUS program here.

Please check out the Archdiocese of Atlanta pages about the VIRTUS program:

https://archatl.com/ministries-services/safe-environment/policies-and-procedures/

https://archatl.com/ministries-services/safe-environment/virtus-protecting-gods-children/

The Archdiocese of Atlanta and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church require that all adult volunteers working with children, youth, and/or vulnerable individuals must complete the Safe Environment training (VIRTUS) and undergo a background screening before they start volunteering.

In addition, volunteers must be familiar with the Reporting Child Abuse Guidelines.  To view these guidelines, Click Here.

Scam Alert!

Churches across the United States are being hit with an unprecedented number of email scams.  Several of our parishioners have reported that they have received requests from our clergy asking for money or gift cards for various reasons.  These scammers are exploiting the generosity and good will of people of faith.
We hope that you will recognize that these emails are phishing scams and delete them. 
In most cases, if you pay close attention to the e-mail address of the sender you may discover a slight misspelling.
Any requests by clergy for donations or financial gifts will be in the bulletin or by direct mail.  You should never transmit personal financial information (validation codes, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc) via email.  St. Mary Magdalene  receives donations: 1) in the offertory basket, 2) online giving which can be reached from the parish website, or 3) in the parish office, in person or by USPS mail.  NEVER VIA EMAIL.
If you ever have suspicions or questions, please contact the parish office at 770-309-4584..

Fr. Terry Answers a Parishioner Question

We received this question from a parishioner: Why don’t we add additional names to each Mass rather than one person per Mass? It would bring in additional revenue while parishioners get the date they want.

Canon Law (the law of the entire Catholic Church) states:

Canon 947: Any appearance of trafficking or trading is to be excluded entirely from the offering for Masses.

Canon 948: Separate Masses are to be applied for the intentions of those for whom a single offering, although small, has been given and accepted.

These two items in the law mean that only one person (or family) may request an intention for each Mass (c. 948), and using Masses as a “fundraiser” is explicitly forbidden (c. 947). We realize that the delay between requesting a Mass and the Mass offered is often quite long, but the priority of the Church is that Mass be a spiritual endeavor, not a financial one. Certainly each of us can pray for whomever we wish at every Mass we attend, but the priest celebrant can only offer one intention for which he receives a donation.