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Sacraments of Confirmation, First Communion and First Reconciliation

If you attend St. Philip or St. Clare parish, reside in Richmond proper or if your child goes to St Philip Catholic School of Richmond Public School in Richmond, we welcome Catholic students to register for the sacraments of Confirmation, First Reconciliation and First Communion.  Parents and students should plan now to attend our one and only Registration Night:  Wednesday September 25th.   We have set out our calendar of dates early, and we present it to you in the attached link. We have done this so that you may plan ahead to ensure that you and your child are available for all the dates – including the Registration Night, the Enrollment Mass, the preparation workshop and the date of the celebration of the Sacrament.   Students need to attend all the preparation dates in order to be well prepared for these sacraments. Please click on these links for more information and dates to hold:

Confirmation (Grade 6 in Sept 2019)

First Communion and First Reconciliation (Grade 2 in Sept 2019)

Fr. Bob Writes – June 30, 2019

Every journey has a measure of the unknown.  This was true of Christ as he moved toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51- gospel for this Sunday).  It is true of every Christian who accepts the radical call and who, as Paul states, makes his journey as the “Spirit walk”.  Every day of our life presents new challenges, new problems of faith, new moral choices.  There is great force in Luke’s statement about Jesus: “he set his face” for Jerusalem.  One thinks of a finely chiseled face of stone, with head erect, and steely eyes looking directly forward.  It all speaks one word: commitment.

In the face of the unknown, Christ never wavered. Our age has many difficulties with commitment. Great hesitation surrounds any life commitment.  Those which are made are regularly broken.  Judging the situation of others is not ours to do.  But it is a regrettable fact of our times.  True love does not shrink from commitment.  To opt for God in our life is a very important choice.  How reassuring it is when we know people who remain strong and firm in that Christian decision throughout life.  If there is one thing we need today, it is a witness of stability.  And when we find it, it is a great inspiration.

Feast of Corpus Christi

Enjoy these two brief articles on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ:

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is also known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which translates from Latin to “Body of Christ.” This feast originated in France in the midthirteenth century and was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. This feast is celebrated on the Thursday following the Trinity Sunday or, as in the USA, on the Sunday following that feast.

This feast calls us to focus on two manifestations of the Body of Christ, the Holy Eucharist and the Church. The primary purpose of this feast is to focus our attention on the Eucharist. The opening prayer at Mass calls our attention to Jesus’ suffering and death and our worship of Him, especially in the Eucharist.

At every Mass our attention is called to the Eucharist and the Real Presence of Christ in it. The secondary focus of this feast is upon the Body of Christ as it is present in the Church. The Church is called the Body of Christ because of the intimate communion which Jesus shares with his disciples. He expresses this in the gospels by using the metaphor of a body in which He is the head. This image helps keep in focus both the unity and the diversity of the Church.

The Feast of Corpus Christi is commonly used as an opportunity for public Eucharistic processions, which serves as a sign of common faith and adoration. Our worship of Jesus in His Body and Blood calls us to offer to God our Father a pledge of undivided love and an offering of ourselves to the service of others.

From:  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint/solemnity-of-the-most-holy-body-and-blood-of-christ-270

The feast of Corpus Christi is one time when our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is exposed not just to faithful Catholics but to all the world. This is a time when Catholics can show their love for Christ in the Real Presence by honoring Him in a very public way. It is also a wonderful way in which we can show our love for our neighbors by bringing Our Lord and Savior closer to them. So many conversions are a result of Eucharistic Adoration experienced from inside the Church. How many more there would be if we could reach those who only drive by the church in worldly pursuits.

From: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/pea/cchristi.htm

Fr. Bob Writes – June 16, 2019

“Since we are justified by faith …”   These words are taken from the opening of our second reading this Sunday, the feast of the Holy Trinity.  The come from the fifth chapter of St Paul’s letter to the Romans.

To be “justified” means, literally, to be in line with a guiding standard.  When you do a word document on the computer, for example, you can set it up so that the letters on the left and/or the right will be justified according to the standard of the margin you have set.  When it comes to life, the question about justification is what will be the standard according to which we strive to align our lives.

Paul compares two such standards, the first being the Mosaic Law, the second being faith in the person of Jesus Christ.  Being justified in relation to the Mosaic Law means being in line with or obeying the dictates of the major and minor commands and precepts of that Law.  Paul proposed a different standard, that of faith, according to which one is justified by striving to live a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Attempting to be justified by the Law may encourage good moral conduct, but such a focus has some major drawbacks.  No one is able to be successful at following the law 100% of the time.  When one estimates that he or she is doing well by this standard, there is a tendency to be prideful for one’s personal accomplishments and judgmental towards others who do not observe the Law as perfectly. 

Justification by faith recognizes personal dependence on God, seeks God’s guidance, and humbly counts on God’s forgiveness when we fail.  It still challenges us to strive for perfection in moral life, but not as a mark of personal achievement but rather as part of one’s response in relationship to Jesus Christ.   What does having faith and a personal relationship with Jesus mean to you?