Category Archives: News

Parish Directory by Lifetouch

This year we will be updating our parish directory and sign-ups are now open.  Please visit select the link below to select a day and time the is most convenient for you and your family.  For participating each individual or family will receive a complimentary 8×10 photograph and a copy of the directory. The photography dates are July 11-14, August 1-3, and August 8-11. More information is available at https://booknow-lifetouch.appointment-plus.com/yd24y14x/

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.

Adult Faith Formation

Tuesdays, February 6, 13, 20, 27,Bible Study Gospel of Matthew  , March 6, 13, 20 Deacon Scott Parker, 9:30 – 11 am

Tuesdays, February 6, 13, 20, 27  Lenten Bible Study The Passion Narrative in Faith and in Art.   7 – 8:30 pm         Presented by Deacon Swope and Carol Toole.

Tuesday, February 20      10 CHALLENGES FACING BLENDED FAMILIES    7 – 9 pm     Vince and Monica Frese

Natural Disaster Aid

NATURAL DISASTER AID
When a natural disaster occurs in the United States, such as the unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, 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

 

Adult Faith Formation Anywhere, Anytime

ADULT FAITH FORMATION ANYWHERE ANYTIME  – FORMED.ORG
The parish has purchased a one year subscription for everyone in the parish.  Follow the link below and use the Parish Passcode to setup your own account.  Please use the parish code first to ensure you have full access to the entire library of movies, books and audio.  If you have a mobile device of any sort, you can log in and learn more about your faith.  Great for those of you who travel and can never get to a bible study. You will find some wonderful studies on this site.  Can’t sleep, need a good book to read, you’ll find great books on this site. Want a good movie…date night….family movie night…you’ll find great Catholic movies on the site,  www.formed.org.  Parish Pass Code is 2Z8MZQ

 

Who is my Neighbor?

Who is my Neighbor?

A Reflection on the Parable of the Good Samaritan
in Light of the Shootings this Week

July 10, 2016

Gospel Lk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The scholar of the law in today’s gospel asks, “Who is my neighbor?”  As we reflect on the events of the past week, we would do well to consider this question also.  Who is my neighbor?  Who is important to me?  Who do I care about? Or who is the foreigner?  Who is less important?  Who can I safely ignore?  Who is not worthy of my love, my compassion, or even my attention?

Is my neighbor:

  • the black victims of the police shooting?
  • the protesters who peacefully exercised their first amendment rights?
  • the police officers who defended and protected the demonstrators?
  • or the sniper and the inexperienced patrolmen who killed?

Jesus says yes!  Yes to all of them.  In every conflict there are heroes and villains.  Those we agree with and those we disagree with.  We like to think that we are the heroes in our own stories.  In our lives, too, we all have friends and enemies, and even those people we just can’t stand.  Jesus says love them anyway.  Pray for those who persecute you, stand up for the rights of the marginalized and abused.

Bigotry is not a new concept.  This gospel passage challenges the bigotry of Jesus’ time as well.  Between 740 and 722 BC, Assyria conquered and sent into exile the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  During the exile, the Israelites began to marry and have children with the Assyrians, so within a few generations there were no longer “pure-blood” Israelites.  Then, 200 years later, from 598 to 586 BC, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was conquered by Babylon, and also led into exile.  The Judahites, however, remained separate from the Babylonians, so their descendants were rightly called Jews (from Judah).  When the exiles ended, the descendants of the Northern Kingdom returned to the area known as Samaria, and the Jews returned to Judea.  Thus was bigotry born: the Jews saw the Samaritans as inferior, and the Samaritans resented them for it.  It was not much different than what we experience today.

Because of this, 500 years later, when Jesus used a Samaritan as the hero of the story, it shocked his Jewish listeners.  Furthermore, to show the priest and the Levite as the “bad guys” was also shocking.  They were supposed to be holy, blessed by God.  There is some justification for their avoidance of the dying man; as we know, dead bodies carry disease that can be transferred from person to person, and religious leaders were especially careful to not contaminate themselves, so that they didn’t accidentally start a plague or pestilence in the community.  However, they didn’t even bother to check to see if the injured man was dead or alive!  They were too concerned about their own “purity” to exercise a small amount of compassion for a fellow traveler.

How many times do we make selfish choices?  How often do we think, “That’s someone else’s problem”?  Are we the ones who say, “That’s a job for Congress, the Police Chief, or even the Pastor”?  How many people have to die, or be pushed aside, until we speak out?  Where is the line between the people I am willing to defend and the people I am willing to sacrifice?  It shouldn’t matter if they are Republicans or Democrats, white, black, or brown, rich or poor.  As baptized Christians, Jesus calls US to speak for those who have no voice; he calls US to defend the weak; he calls US to strive for change in our families, in our communities, and in the world.

There are too many voices in the world pointing out differences and deepening divisions in our society.  What we need is more people striving for healing and unity.  “Who is my neighbor?”  Victim or perpetrator, everyone in the world has a right to life, justice, and dignity, and each of us has a responsibility to provide them.

Christmas 2015 Midnight Mass Homily

A Charlie Brown Christmas?

Fifty years ago, a little boy named Charlie Brown asked, “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”  In December of 1965, The United States was embroiled in a war that she couldn’t win; a new pope had recently challenged the status quo for the Catholic Church, bringing freshness and hope; and the latest toy crazes were more important than the other people in the stores.  Doesn’t sound too different from today, does it?

The fact is, life doesn’t change that much.  We are still complaining about the government, our paychecks, and, if you’re older “the state of the world today” or, if you’re younger, “my parents don’t understand me.”  We are still asking, like Charlie Brown, “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”  Is racking up debt for gifts, enduring endless hours of cooking for 15 minutes of eating, and embarrassing ourselves because of too much eggnog all there is?  Or is there something more?

Where do we get an answer?  From Lucy and her nickel’s worth of psychiatric advice?  Therapy is a good tool, but it doesn’t have all the answers and it certainly can’t solve our problem in 2 minutes of platitudes.  Does the answer come in the form of innovative and increasingly bizarre ways to interpret tradition, so that “naturally curly hair” can take over the spotlight, or each player on the stage is dancing to his own drumbeat, with no coordination or theme?  No!

The answer, not surprisingly, comes from Charlie’s best friend, Linus Van Pelt.  A personal friend is more effective than any screaming on the internet, or even a homily at Midnight Mass.  Linus reminds Charlie, and each of us, that the true meaning of Christmas is “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward men,” quoting the same Gospel passage we read tonight.

As a matter of fact, Christmas is all about friendship, and about relationships.  Scientists and theologians are always asking the question, “What if?”  Several theologians throughout history have asked, “What if Adam and Eve had never sinned?  Would the Eternal Son of God have taken on our humanity?”  Their conclusion, surprisingly, is “yes.”  The Son of God was not content to help us from heaven; he wants to experience what we experience.  He took on our human nature so that he could understand us better and so he could live like we do, sharing our joys and sorrows, our strength and weakness.  In short, he wants to be our friend.

Jesus Christ took on everything it means to be a human person, except sin.  He is a divine being, with both a divine and human nature.  He shared our joys and our sorrows, our triumphs and our defeats.  Although Linus says, “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you are the Charlie Browniest,” we could say, “Of all the humans in the world, Jesus Christ is the human-est.”