Pastor's Corner

2022 11-27  Join us for the Saint Brigid Parish Mission with Fr. Martin Connor. LLC

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday begins the Season of Advent.  It is a special time in the Church year as we prepare for the coming of the Lord.  Advent holds out the hope and desires to see the light of Christ shine through the darkness of our world.   As reported in a major Catholic publication, Our Holy Father Pope Francis focused on the importance of hope during Advent.   He stated, “I invite everyone to renewed Hope, for hope speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning.   Hope speaks to us as a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfillment.”   He called on us to “live in hope” during Advent.

As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, and as we begin our Advent Season, we are pleased to sponsor an Advent Parish Mission presented by Fr. Martin Connor, an experienced mission leader and spiritual director with the Legionairies of Christ.   A Parish Mission can be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual reflection and conversion.   It also can provide an opportunity to change hearts and transform lives as we renew and strengthen our relationship with Our Lord.

At this special time, we are urged to remain watchful and vigilant as we wait in joyful anticipation for the coming of the Lord.   This Christmas we are invited to give the Lord the gift of a pure heart by being spiritually prepared for His coming.   During the Mission, Fr. Martin will speak about more fully understanding and appreciating the Mass, and the joy we experience as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.   He will also focus on the hope-filled meaning of Advent.

There will be time for prayer and reflection.  The message of Father Martin should resonate with all people of goodwill including families, young adults, and teens.

We invite you to come to this Mission.   Please invite your friends, especially those Catholics who may have been away from the Church for some time and for some reason.   Through God’s grace, you may be instrumental in getting your friends to return to the precious faith we love and cherish.

The Advent Mission will take place this Tuesday, November 29th, and Wednesday, November 30th.   There will be both morning and evening sessions for your convenience.   Details concerning the Mission can be obtained from the Parish bulletin and website as well as from the Parish office.

We invite you to participate in the Parish Mission and avail yourself of this special time of grace

2022 11-20   Give Thanks for the Many Blessing the Lord has Bestowed on Us
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2022 11-20   Give Thanks for the Many Blessing the Lord has Bestowed on Us

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe as we approach the end of the liturgical year of our Church.  We remember in a special way what Christ means to us, what Christ did for us, and that we are called to serve the King of Kings.

This coming Thursday, we also celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and we are encouraged to give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us.  As in the past, we pray that Thanksgiving Day will not be commercialized, but rather will truly be a time for reflection and thanksgiving.  It is so easy to get caught up in shopping frenzies, travel plans, and other situations that can distract us from the truly important significance of this day.

The word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks” and we are invited to attend Mass on Thanksgiving Day. If possible, we are also encouraged to share a meal with loved ones.  As we attend Mass and as we enjoy a meal together, we can reflect on our blessings and thank God for the gifts of our life, our health, our family, our friends, and our vocations. We can also give thanks for the gift of our precious faith, and for the opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need at this time of the year.

The following “Thanksgiving Day Prayer” provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reflects the significance of the day:

Lord, we thank You for the goodness of our people and for the spirit of justice that fills our nation.

We thank You for the beauty and fullness of the land and the challenge of the cities.

We thank You for our work and our rest, for one another, and for our homes.

We thank You, Lord: accept our thanksgiving on this day.

We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ, our Lord.   Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, our bishops suggest that beginning Monday, the days before Thanksgiving be set aside for deeds of charity, for penance, and for prayers for economic justice. Our bishops are painfully aware that many people are marginalized in some way and continue to suffer in these difficult and uncertain times.  e can also pray that Thanksgiving Day will truly be a time to thank God for prayers answered and blessings received.

On behalf of the priests, deacons, and staff at Saint Brigid, I give thanks for our Saint Brigid faith community and I pray that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed one.

 

2022 11-27  Join us for the Saint Brigid Parish Mission with Fr. Martin Connor. LLC
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2022 11-13  Sealed with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Strengthened to Bear Witness to Christ in our World.”
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2022 11-13  Sealed with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Strengthened to Bear Witness to Christ in our World.”

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Saturday Bishop Shlesinger will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Saint Brigid to approximately 150 of our teens.  Confirmation along with Baptism and the Holy Eucharist comprise the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.

Our Catechism reminds the faithful of the need for proper preparation for the Sacrament.  It states, “Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a livelier familiarity with the Holy Spirit – His actions, His gifts, and responsibilities of the Christian life.  To this end, catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community.”

Those who will receive this Sacrament have spent much time in instruction, reflection, and prayer.  Their preparation also included time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and for a spiritual retreat.  As part of their preparation, candidates for Confirmation are asked to select the name of a saint as their Confirmation name.  The saint can serve as an example of Christian living.  Candidates also receive the spiritual guidance and dedicated support of a sponsor who walks with them on their Christian journey.

Pope Francis has noted the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spiritual growth in the life of a Christian.  He reflected on Confirmation at one of his General Audiences and stated: “The rite of Confirmation recalls and renews the promises made at Baptism and invokes a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  Just as Jesus received the outpouring of the Spirit at His baptism in order to carry out His messianic mission, the Church prays that we too may receive the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that enable us to help the Body of Christ grow in unity and missionary zeal.”  He also noted that, “

The following “Confirmation Prayer” from the media outlet, “Prayerist” asks the Lord to open the hearts of candidates for Confirmation to the Holy Spirit:

Lord, You send out Your Spirit to touch the hearts of all people, so they may believe in You and in Jesus whom You sent.  Look kindly on all candidates for Confirmation as they listen to Your voice.  Open their hearts to Your Spirit and bring to fulfillment the good work that You have begun in them.
As we prepare these children for Confirmation, make us an instrument of Your love.  Teach us to appreciate what is holy in others, and to be patient with what we do not understand.  Deepen our faith in the Gospel and help us to pass it on by our example.  We pray that You will continue to guide us and sustain us.  Through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

As we reflect on this prayer, and on the words of Pope Francis, and as we get ready to celebrate this great Sacrament, we are encouraged, as a community of faith, to continue to pray for our Confirmation candidates, their coordinators, and sponsors.                                                                                             

2022 11-20   Give Thanks for the Many Blessing the Lord has Bestowed on Us
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2022 10-22  World Mission Sunday
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2022 10-22  World Mission Sunday

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday is World Mission Sunday.  Pope Francis, in his message for this day, stated, “Christ was the first to be sent, as a ‘missionary’ of the Father, and as such, He is the Father’s ‘faithful witness.  In a similar way, every Christian is called to be a missionary and witness to Christ.  And the Church, the community of Christ’s disciples, has no other mission than that of bringing the Gospel to the entire world by bearing witness to Christ.  To evangelize is the very identity of the Church.”

Our Holy Father, embracing the words of Jesus, focused on what he called the three foundations of the life and mission of every disciple: “You shall be my witnesses”, “to the ends of the earth”, and “you shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Pope Francis reminded us that, “The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection, and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in His Church.”

As Catholics, we are to personally identify ourselves as disciples of Christ.  We are challenged to see the face of Christ in others and to reach out to those in need.  As previously noted, we can spread Christian awareness through our involvement with the Saint Vincent DePaul Society, Catholic Charities, and other organizations which encourage Christian outreach.  In addition, we can spread the Gospel message by encouraging our civil leaders to enact laws that promote Catholic social teaching, especially in areas concerning the unborn, marriage, and the family.

The following “Prayer for World Mission Sunday” from the media outlet, “Prayerist” reflects the spirit of this day:

Heavenly Father, when Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He commissioned His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, and You remind us that through Baptism we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.
Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world.
Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit.   One God, forever and ever.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, on the profound words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, we are challenged to be witnesses to Christ as we strive to truly embrace the missionary spirit of our precious faith.

 

2022 11-13  Sealed with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Strengthened to Bear Witness to Christ in our World.”
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2022   10-30 All Saint Day and All Souls
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2022   10-30 All Saint Day and All Souls

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This coming Tuesday,  November 1st,  we celebrate All Saints Day.  The Catholic Church recognizes this day as a Holy Day of Obligation.  Speaking on the significance of this day, as reported by the media outlet, “Catholic News Service”, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that Christian joy is a sign of holiness that bears witness to God’s love.  He stated, “The saints, even amid tribulations, have experienced this joy and have borne witness to it.”

As we reflect on these words of Pope Francis, we remember in a very special way on this day the many saints who came before us, holy men and women marked with the sign of faith.  They set such good examples for us. and we can strive to model our behavior after them and follow their holy way of life.  We are challenged to learn from them and to learn more about them.  Many of them were ordinary people who were guided by the Lord to do extraordinary things.  We are encouraged to seek the intercession of our saints as we pray for wisdom and guidance and continue on our journey of faith.

Then on Wednesday, November 2nd, we commemorate All Souls Day.  It is a day to honor and pray for all souls.  We especially pray for our deceased relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners, co-workers, and all who shared their lives with us.  Our Holy Father encouraged us to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist on this day, noting that it is the best spiritual help that we can give to the souls who have gone before us.

In addition, on Wednesday, November 2nd, at 7 p.m., we will celebrate a Mass of Remembrance.  As in the past, we will honor the memory of those loved ones who have died, including those who have died recently.  A litany of names and an offering of roses with appropriate lighting candles will mark this special occasion.

As Catholics, we are encouraged, especially during this first week of November, to visit grave sites as we strive to honor our dead and to bring spiritual peace and consolation to families who mourn for their loved ones.

We can also give thanks to all those who give of their time to participate in our bereavement and grief-sharing ministries, and who do so much to assist families in their time of mourning and grief.  They provide these families with much comfort and guidance.

We are invited to honor our deceased loved ones and our great saints by participating in our Church liturgies on these very special days.

All Saints and All Souls Day – Saint Brigid Catholic Church

2022 10-22  World Mission Sunday
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2022 10-16   Interested in Becoming Catholic, or Being in Full Communion in the Church? It Is Never Too Late.
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2022 10-16   Interested in Becoming Catholic, or Being in Full Communion in the Church? It Is Never Too Late.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As we know, various surveys have shown that many Catholics, unfortunately, do not practice their faith on a regular basis.  They appear to take their faith for granted.  However, the Catholic Church is blessed to have many converts who have embraced the faith and truly appreciate it.  They go through a process of inquiry, understanding, and catechesis prior to conversion.

Our faith community has vibrant programs for those adults and children interested in becoming Catholic, and for those baptized Catholics who have not yet received the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation.  The programs are the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC).  Adults and children are invited to learn about the Catholic Church, and they make the free choice to embrace Catholic teaching and become members of the Church.

Many who have participated in past programs have commented on how enriching the programs were as they grew in their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith.  They appreciated the great support provided by program coordinators, instructors, and sponsors.  Many have become active members of our faith community.

As explained in the publication, Our Sunday Visitor (OSV), as previously noted, “Catholic parishes offer inquiry sessions that allow seekers to examine the Catholic faith more closely.  During these sessions, participants ask questions, explore Catholic teachings, and discover what it means to be a Catholic Christian.  These sessions are designed to offer accurate information about the Catholic Church – with no strings attached.  If participants feel the desire to become Catholic, they may move into a deeper level of faith formation that focuses on prayer, sharing, community, and reflection, called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.”

The steps in the RCIA process, as explained in OSV are as follows:

* The Precatechumenate, or period of inquiry, welcomes newcomers to ask questions as they begin to learn more about the Church.

* The Catechumenate is a time of serious formation, often with others who are inquiring about the faith.

* The Period of Purification and Enlightenment, “which coincides with Lent, is a period of continued instruction coupled with more intensive preparation and prayer.  This period culminates with the Sacraments of Initiation (baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist), bringing the candidates and catechumens into the full communion of the Catholic Church, usually at the Easter Vigil.  (A candidate is a baptized Christian; a catechumen is an unbaptized candidate.)”
* The Mystagogy is the time “after the newly initiated has been fully received into the Church; it lasts from Easter to Pentecost.

All of these stages are marked by distinct liturgical rites.  The process is similar, but more simplified, for children participating in the RCIC program.

Our parish RCIA and RCIC programs for the year have begun, but it is not too late to participate.  We expect that many in the programs will receive the appropriate sacraments at the Easter Vigil next year.   If you know of someone who may be interested in the programs, please contact our parish office or any of our clergy.

 

 

2022   10-30 All Saint Day and All Souls
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2022 10-09   “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth.” St. Therese of Lisieux
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2022 10-09   “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth.” St. Therese of Lisieux

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

The month of October, in our faith tradition, is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary.  During this month, on October 7th,  we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and we honored our Mother Mary who has encouraged the faithful to pray the Rosary.

Pope Benedict XVI has a great appreciation for Mary and the Rosary.  During his papacy, as reported in the media outlet, “Catholic Culture”, in an address at the Basilica of St. Mary Major where he prayed the Rosary with the faithful, he stated that the Rosary “helps to put Christ at the center, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said.  When reciting the Rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived.  The various steps of Christ’s mission are traced.  With Mary, the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus.  Christ is put at the center of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and mediation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow, and glory.”

St. Therese of Lisieux, a great mystic, also urged the faithful to pray the Rosary.  She stated, “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth.  One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands of the Holy Virgin. The Rosary prayer rises like incense to the feet of the Almighty.”

The following prayer to Mary reflects one’s desire to truly appreciate the importance of the Rosary:

Queen of the Holy Rosary, you have deigned to come to Fatima and Medjugorje to reveal to the three shepherd children and six visionaries, the treasures of grace hidden in the Rosary.
Inspire my heart with a sincere love of this devotion, in order that by meditating on the mysteries of our Redemption which are recalled in it, I may obtain peace for the world, the conversion of sinners, and the favors which I ask of you in this Rosary.
I ask it for the greater glory of God, for Your own honor, and for the good of souls, especially my own.  Amen.

 

As we reflect on this prayer, and the words of Pope Benedict and St. Therese, we are reminded that at Saint Brigid, we have various Rosary ministries and Marian devotions in which our parishioners actively participate.  For example, many parishioners pray the Rosary before the 9 am daily Mass.  Others pray the Rosary online on Tuesday evenings.  Still, others participate in a Living Rosary on various Marian feast days, where the Rosary is brought to life with individuals representing each bead of the Rosary.

As Catholics, we are encouraged to pray the Rosary, especially, if possible, as a family, as we continue on our journey of faith in these difficult and uncertain times.

2022 10-16   Interested in Becoming Catholic, or Being in Full Communion in the Church? It Is Never Too Late.
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2022 10-02   Respect Life Sunday – National Life Chain
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2022 10-02   Respect Life Sunday – National Life Chain

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate Respect Life Sunday.  As Catholics, we are encouraged to promote the dignity of all human life from conception until natural death.  Archbishop Hartmayer has encouraged us to promote the Gospel of Life, and protect and cherish the lives of the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged, and the unborn.  He recently stated, “Laws alone cannot establish a culture of life in our nation.  Catholics and people of goodwill must dedicate themselves to this work.  All human life is sacred.  No civil law can counter this truth.”  He also noted, “…we will never stop working to protect women and their babies.”

The following “Respect for Life Prayer” provided by “Catholics Online” asks St. Francis to help us truly embrace a reverence for life:

Gentle St. Francis, you were devoted to the humanity of Christ. 

Your heart burst with appreciation toward God for taking on human life.  You saw beauty and goodness in all living things – in birds that sing, the fish that fill our waters, and all that lives in nature.

 Help us to imitate your reverence for life wherever it may be.   Especially, humble Francis of Assisi, help us to help others to see the worth of every living, unborn baby sheltered in its mother’s womb.  

May all mankind have the grace to understand that these tiny, budding lives have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer and on the profound words of Archbishop Hartmayer, this Sunday we are invited to reaffirm our appreciation for the precious gift of life.  There will be a series of “Life Chains” which will be conducted throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  We are invited to participate in the “Life Chain” that will be held between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Old Alabama Road in an area which will include the space in front of our Church.  The “Life Chain” will be a peaceful, public, and prayerful witness concerning the dignity of all life, especially the lives of the unborn.  We will pray for our nation and its people and we will be exercising our responsibility to speak out on behalf of the value of life.

Our bishops have encouraged us to be voices for the voiceless, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  We are challenged to commit ourselves publicly to the protection of all human life as we strive to enhance the moral integrity of our great nation.   If we cannot be at the “Life Chain” in Johns Creek this Sunday, we are invited to speak for the most vulnerable through prayer in the silence of our hearts.

May God continue to bless you and your families for all you do to embrace and promote a culture of life.

 

2022 10-09   “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth.” St. Therese of Lisieux
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2022 09-25   Priesthood Sunday
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2022 09-25   Priesthood Sunday

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday in the United States we celebrate Priesthood Sunday.  It is a special day set aside to honor the priesthood and is traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in September.  The day is coordinated by the USA Council of Serra International.  It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church as we strive to raise vocation awareness in a special way.

In a recent address, as reported by the media outlet, Catholic News Service, Pope Francis stated the priest should embrace a “style of closeness, a style of compassion, a style of tenderness.”  Our Holy Father noted that priests must be close to God in prayer, close to their bishop, close to one another, and close to their people.
The following “Prayer for Priests” from St. Therese of the Child Jesus, asks Our Lord to continue to guide and protect all priests in the midst of the trials and temptations of this world.

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Your priests within the shelter of Your Most Sacred Heart, where none can touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips daily tinged with Your Precious blood.
Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.
Let Your Holy Love surround and protect them from the world’s contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here, and their everlasting crown in the hereafter. Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, as previously noted, we are reminded that Jesus has called His priests to serve not to be served.  He said in John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.  The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  As priests, we are challenged to go forth with a renewed appreciation for Jesus and His ministry. We are called to be truly willing to serve Our Lord, the Church, and its people.  As we celebrate this day, I am reminded that it is a great privilege and responsibility to be a priest, and I thank God each day for the gift of my vocation.
As a faith community, we are encouraged to pray for holy, happy, and healthy priests to serve the Church of tomorrow.  On behalf of Fr. Darragh and Fr. Bill, and all the priests who assist us in some way at Saint Brigid, I thank you for your continued prayers and support.

2022 10-02   Respect Life Sunday – National Life Chain
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2022 09-17   Catechetical Sunday 2022 , “This is My Body Given For You”
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2022 09-17   Catechetical Sunday 2022 , “This is My Body Given For You”

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday, the Catholic Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday.  The theme this year is: “This is My Body Given for You.”  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated, “Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.”

We have been blessed at Saint Brigid with many dedicated catechists who teach our faith to children and adults.  They generously give their time and talent to serve the needs of our people.  Their enthusiasm and passion are greatly appreciated.  They truly help others grow in their knowledge and understanding of the faith.  Some catechists teach at various times of the week and to a variety of groups of the faithful.  Many of our catechists face unique challenges in teaching, due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has a great appreciation for catechists.  As reported by the media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, reporter Courtney Mares noted that Pope Francis stated:

“Catechists have the vital responsibility of leading others to a personal encounter with Jesus through prayer, the Sacraments, and Scripture…. and a catechist is a Christian who remembers that the important thing is to talk about God, about His love and fidelity.”

Pope Francis has also recently instituted a formal ministry for catechists which enhances the importance and credibility of their role in teaching the faith.

The following prayer called “A PRAYER FOR CATECHISTS”, from Loyola Press expresses thanksgiving for the privilege to serve as a catechist:

Loving God, Creator of all things, You call us to be in relationship with You and others.
Thank You for calling me to be a catechist, for the opportunity to share with others what You have given to me.
May all those with whom I share the gift of faith discover how You are present in all things.
May they come to know You, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.  May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide my heart and lips so that I may remain constant in loving and praising You.
May I be a witness to the Gospel and a minister of Your truth.  May all my words and actions reflect Your love.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to thank those catechists, with whom we interact, for all they do to build up the Kingdom of God.

 

2022 09-25   Priesthood Sunday
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2022 09-11  Remember Those who Suffered on that Fateful Day of September 11, 2001,
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2022 09-11  Remember Those who Suffered on that Fateful Day of September 11, 2001,

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday marks the twenty-first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Many paused recently to focus on the events of that day.  We as a nation recall the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  We also acknowledge the dangers and violence in our unstable world that continue to confront us.  Evidence of the dangers and violence can be seen in our news media on a regular basis.

Commenting on the tragedy commonly referred to as “9/11”, as previously noted, the United States Catholic Bishops stated, “After September 11, we are a wounded people.  We share loss and pain, anger and fear, shock and determination in the face of these attacks on our nation and our humanity.  We also honor the selflessness of firefighters, police, chaplains, and other brave individuals who gave their lives in the service of others.  They are true heroes and heroines.”

As Catholics, we are challenged to respond in faith to the pressing concerns of our brothers and sisters in need and to remember in a special way all those who suffered in some way on that fateful day of September 11, 2001, and in its aftermath.  We are also provided with the opportunity to explain to some of our young people, who were not with us at that time, about the dedication and sacrifices of so many.

The following “9/11 PRAYER” asks Our Heavenly Father to guide and bless us as we continue to cope with the impact of that horrific day:

Father of mercy and compassion,

On this 21st anniversary of 9/11, we ask You to bless all who still grieve the losses of that horrific day and all who continue to struggle with issues of health and wellness in the aftermath.  While we can rebuild buildings that are damaged, only You, dear Lord, can restore hearts that are broken.

Strengthen our faith, dear Lord, so that we may continue to believe that death is not the last word.  Strengthen our hope, dear Father, that we shall all someday stand together in the glory of Your Kingdom. 

Deepen our love, dear Lord, that we may never allow evil or terrorism to bring darkness to our hearts; sustain us in our efforts to conquer all evil with acts of loving goodness.

We ask all of this in the name of Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.   Amen.  

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to continue to ask for the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, as we pray for peace in our world, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.

 

2022 09-17   Catechetical Sunday 2022 , “This is My Body Given For You”
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2022 09-04   The Dignity of the Human Remembered On Labor Day
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2022 09-04   The Dignity of the Human Remembered On Labor Day

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As a nation, we celebrate Labor Day. On this day we honor all those who labor for a living. We are encouraged to thank them for their service to their families, and for their service to all those who benefit from their efforts. In addition, we can remember and pray for all those who are now retired after many years of labor, and for the unemployed and underemployed. We can also pray for those laborers impacted by the COVID-19 Virus in these difficult and uncertain times.

The Catholic Church focuses on the dignity of the human person, and the dignity of labor since labor is clearly important to the human experience. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2427, 2428) states:

“Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation.”

“Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him.”

“In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author, and its beneficiary.”

“Everyone should draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.”

The following excerpt from the “PRAYER FOR LABOR DAY” provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reflects the spirit of this day.

God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the worker.  Make a place in our hearts for compassion for the men and women who labor tirelessly for basic necessities.  Ensure a place for the men and women who are struggling to find work.

Grant us your wisdom to greet and care for those who are unable to work due to illness or circumstances that prevent their participation.  Be with the children who are not able to run and play, but instead must put in a hard day’s work to help their family afford to eat, to live.  Be with us all, Christ Jesus, as we go about the busyness of our work.

Hold us accountable not only for our actions but most importantly to each of our neighbors.  May we continue to work together to bring about your reign!  We ask this in your holy name, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

2022 09-11  Remember Those who Suffered on that Fateful Day of September 11, 2001,
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2022 08-28   Communal Anointing of the Sick
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2022 08-28   Communal Anointing of the Sick

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

One of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church is the Anointing of the Sick.  As reported by the media outlet, The National Catholic Register, Pope Francis indicated that the purpose of the sacrament is to bring Christ close to the recipient.  He stated, “Every time we celebrate this sacrament, the Lord Jesus, in the person of the priest, comes close to those who suffer and are gravely ill or elderly.”

Many of us know family members or other loved ones who have been ill, and who have availed themselves of this great sacrament.  It has been a source of comfort for many people.  As described in “Pastoral Care of the Sick”, as previously noted, our Church teaches that the Sacrament of Anointing is the proper sacrament for those Christians whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.  It may be celebrated in the home, in a medical facility, or in Church.  The priest ministers the sacrament on behalf of the whole community.  The sacrament should be celebrated with members of the family and other representatives of the Christian community whenever this is possible.  The person to be anointed should also join in prayer if physically able.  The sick person is strengthened to fight against the physically and spiritually debilitating effects of illness.

The following “Prayer for the Sick”, from Catholic Online, encourages us to pray for those in our faith community who may be struggling with illness:

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all those who are in need.
Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in Your healing presence.
Show Your mercy as You close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole, and free downcast spirits.
May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking You for all Your gifts.
We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed.   Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that the Church also allows for the Communal Anointing of the Sick.  This communal anointing should take place in a Church, chapel, or another appropriate place where the elderly and others can easily gather with proper distance and health precautions.  After a temporary pause due to the impact of the COVID-19 Virus, we once again offer the Communal Anointing of the Sick” at Saint Brigid on the third Sunday of the month at 2:00 PM. 

We also offer individual anointing as needed primarily at the Church or in a medical facility.  We advise our parishioners and their loved ones to participate in this wonderful sacrament of healing when appropriate and avail themselves of the power of Our Lord’s saving grace.

 

2022 09-04   The Dignity of the Human Remembered On Labor Day
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2022 08-21 “Announce with Joy the Beauty of Being a Family”
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2022 08-21 “Announce with Joy the Beauty of Being a Family”

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Many families in our Saint Brigid faith community, in recent weeks, have returned from summer vacations.  Many of their children have enjoyed summer camps and other leisure activities, and have started another school year.  As families settle into a routine, this may be a good time to remind families of the need for daily prayer in the midst of their busy lives.   They can pray in many ways, such as praying before meals, praying the rosary, or praying to ask God to bless their daily activities.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has challenged families to pray together as a true sign of Christian witness.  He has often repeated the refrain: “The family that prays together, stays together.”  Pope Francis spoke of the Christian family as an institution that prays, keeps the faith, and experiences joy.  He reflected on the joy of living in a Christian family.  At the recent World Meeting of Families, as reported in the media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, he stated, “Announce with joy the beauty of being a family!  Announce to children and young people the grace of Christian marriage.  Give hope to those who have none.”  He also stated, “Be the seed of a more fraternal world!  Be families with big hearts!  Be the welcoming face of the Church!  And please pray, always pray!”

The following prayer, composed by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, called “A Family Prayer”, reflects the desire of Our Holy Father for family unity and fidelity.  (www.kofc.org)

As we reflect on this prayer, and the profound words of Our Holy Father, and as our children adapt to the rigors and discipline of school, we are invited to make time to pray daily as a family as we seek to get closer to the Lord who loves us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family.

Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully in this vocation to love.

In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father,                                     eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit.

Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live.

  May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness, and joy.

Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family,

and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path to holiness as a family.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.  Amen.

 

2022 08-28   Communal Anointing of the Sick
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2022 08-14  The Assumption of the Blessed Mary – August 15th
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2022 08-14  The Assumption of the Blessed Mary – August 15th

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Monday, August 15th, we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary.  It is not a holy day of obligation this year in the United States, but it still provides us with an opportunity to honor the Virgin Mary.   Mary is the mother of Jesus, the mother of our Church, and our mother.  She is a model of faithful discipleship.

Our Catechism states that “…the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.  The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.”

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics to attend Mass, visit a Marian shrine or pray before a statue of Mary, or acknowledge her in some special way on the feast of the Assumption.  Commenting on this feast, as reported by the media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, Pope Francis focused on the humility of Mary.  He stated, “Mary’s secret is humility.  It is beautiful to think that the humblest and loftiest creature in history, the first to win heaven with her entire being, in soul and body, lived out her life for the most part within the domestic walls, she lived out her life in the ordinary, in humility.”

The following “Prayer for the Assumption of Mary” from “Catholic Online” encourages us to follow the example of Mary:

Father in Heaven, all creation rightly gives You praise,

for all life and all holiness come from you.  In the plan of Your wisdom,

she who bore the Christ in her womb was raised body and soul in glory to be with Him in heaven. 

May we follow her example in reflecting Your holiness

and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.

  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that we will have Masses at convenient times on Monday.  Please check the Church bulletin or website for details.

Encouraged by the Assumption of Mary, we are challenged by Our Holy Father to keep our focus on humbly loving and serving Jesus as we continue on our journey of faith.

Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, intercede for us.

Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.


 

These special Mass celebrations are at 6:30 AM, 9:00 AM, and 12:00 Noon in the Sanctuary.    

 

 

2022 08-21 “Announce with Joy the Beauty of Being a Family”
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2022 08-07 Honoring Couples for their Endearing and Steadfast Love
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2022 08-07 Honoring Couples for their Endearing and Steadfast Love

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Saturday, Archbishop Hartmayer will celebrate a special Mass at Saint Brigid honoring those couples in the Archdiocese of Atlanta celebrating the 50th or 60th anniversary of their marriage.  The goals of a Catholic marriage are the procreation and education of children, and the mutual love of a couple, in a union that is permanent and indissoluble.  These couples have committed themselves in a sacramental way to the Lord, and one another.  They have strived to live up to the goals of Catholic marriage.  Their love and their marriage have endured challenges and difficulties.

In our Church tradition, as previously noted, a man and woman are not only joined to each other in marriage but they are also joined to Christ.  As the sign of God’s presence in the world, Christ is the foundation of their union.  The couple then joins Christ as an outward sign of God’s love.  They are able to open themselves to each other in love because God has first loved them.  Marriage requires real openness to give and to receive.  This openness requires trust in each other and trust in the Lord.  In marriage, couples strive to reflect the total giving of self by Christ on the cross.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has a great appreciation for couples who have embraced the vocation of marriage.  In a recent address to married couples, he encouraged them to rely on Christ.  As reported by the media outlet, Catholic News Agency, he stated, “Christ dwells in your marriage and He is always waiting for you to open your hearts to Him, so that He can sustain you, as He did the disciples in the boat, by the power of His love.  Our human love is weak; it needs the strength of Jesus’ faithful love.  With Him, you can truly build your house on rock.”

The following “50th Wedding Anniversary Prayer” asks God to continue to bless married couples who have celebrated this anniversary:

May God, who has given you fifty years together, of his infinite goodness and mercy continue to bless you and your union.

May the Father who created you, the Son who redeems you, and the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you, preserve and keep you all your days. 

The Lord with His favour look upon you, and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that you may so please Him in this life, that in the world to come you may have life everlasting.      Amen. 

As we reflect on this prayer, and the words of Our Holy Father, and as we honor these couples, we can thank them for the endearing and steadfast love which they have experienced.  They set a wonderful example for younger couples who have embraced the vocation of marriage.

2022 08-14  The Assumption of the Blessed Mary – August 15th
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2022 07-31 We Thank the Many Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons Serving Us at Saint Brigid.
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2022 07-31 We Thank the Many Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons Serving Us at Saint Brigid.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

The Catholic Church is blessed to have men serve as Permanent Deacons.  Those men who are called to the Permanent Deaconate can be married, and they are ordained usually after a rigorous period of five years of training and formation.  Many Permanent Deacons have secular jobs to support their families and strive to balance family, Church, work, and other responsibilities.

In an address to Permanent Deacons in Rome, as reported in the media outlet, Exaudi Catholic News, Pope Francis challenged the Deacons to be men of holiness and service.  In addition to being humble servants, Our Holy Father stated, “I expect you to be good spouses and good fathers.  And good grandparents.  This will give hope and consolation to couples who are going through difficult times and who will find in your genuine simplicity an outstretched hand.”  Our Holy Father also reminded the Deacons “to help the Christian community to recognize Jesus in the poor, and distant, as He knocks on our doors through them.”

As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we should appreciate that Permanent Deacons serve the Church in many ways.  As previously noted, they assist the priest at Mass, preside at baptisms, teach in our faith formation programs, visit the sick and the homebound, prepare couples for marriage, and counsel couples who may be struggling in their marriages, preside at Benediction and Holy Hours and participate in many of our Church ministries and activities.

The following “Prayer for Deacons” asks the Lord to guide Deacons in their ministry:

O God, Father of us all, look with favor on those whom You have called to the sacred and ancient ministry of the diaconate.
Through the intercession of St. Stephen, grant grace to your deacons as they minister in charity to the poor, proclaim the Holy Gospel at Mass and assist Your priest at the Altar.
Keep close to Your heart Lord, the wives, and children of permanent Deacons, and grant that the witness of their husbands and fathers may bring about holiness and virtue in each family member.
We ask this through Jesus Christ who is Lord, forever and ever.  Amen
.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that we have many faithful, dedicated, and holy Deacons serving us at Saint Brigid.  Please avail yourself of an opportunity to thank them for their service and continue to wish them well in their ministry.  Please also continue to pray for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.

 

2022 08-07 Honoring Couples for their Endearing and Steadfast Love
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2022 07-22   Our Contributions Support the Spiritual, Educational, and Temporal Needs of our Parishes and Our People.
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2022 07-22   Our Contributions Support the Spiritual, Educational, and Temporal Needs of our Parishes and Our People.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

At this time, we are in the midst of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal for 2022.  The theme of the Appeal is “Transformed in Christ.”  The Archdiocese has recently sent reminder notices urging parishioners to support the Appeal.  Catholics are invited to make a significant pledge so we can meet the spiritual, educational, and temporal needs of our parishes and our people.

Our contributions to the Appeal provide funds that are applied to the training and support of future happy, holy, and healthy priests needed to serve the Church of tomorrow.  Through your generosity, our Saint Brigid faith community has benefited directly from the Appeal.  Just last year, parishioner Robbie Cotta was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  The Appeal also supports our diaconate program, Catholic Charities, and many other Archdiocesan pastoral outreach, education, and formation programs that serve our parish as well as our larger Church family.  In addition, the Appeal also provides needed financial support for our priests in retirement who have served the people of this Archdiocese so faithfully over the years.

A substantial portion of the Appeal provides for funding for our Archdiocese Vocation program.  At Saint Brigid, we strive as a community to assist seminarians as they discern a vocation to the priesthood and as they continue their training and formation.  Seminarian Bryan Roberts was assigned to parish ministry at Saint Brigid this summer.  He assisted primarily at our liturgies and also with our Adult Education, Youth, and Confirmation programs.  Bryan gained valuable experience in parish ministry, and he truly enjoyed this opportunity to interact with the faith community of Saint Brigid.

As we can see, our prayers and financial support for the Annual Appeal are clearly bearing fruit.  We ask for your continued support.  If you have already given via the mail or online, we thank you.  If you have not yet given to the Annual Appeal, we ask you to prayerfully consider doing so.  Additional information about the Appeal can be obtained from the parish office or the parish website.

Archbishop Hartmayer has asked us to generously and sacrificially support the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.  We clearly realize that there may be limitations to your generosity in these difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the impact of the Covid-19 virus, and the reality of recent economic challenges, but we ask you to assist us to the extent possible.

Thank you for all you do to enhance the spiritual vitality of our faith community.

 

2022 07-31 We Thank the Many Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons Serving Us at Saint Brigid.
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2022 07-17   Synod on Synodality Meetings. Enhancing the Spiritual Vitality of our Faith Community at Saint Brigid.
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2022 07-17   Synod on Synodality Meetings. Enhancing the Spiritual Vitality of our Faith Community at Saint Brigid.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

We are currently in the midst of a process called a synod.  Archbishop Hartmayer has encouraged us to actively participate in this process. As previously noted, he stated in a pastoral letter, “Pope Francis opened a two-year process called the Synod on Synodality (For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission) that will uniquely engage not only Catholics but God’s people all over the world.  I want to personally encourage you, your family, and all those who are dear to you to join with me and our brothers and sisters in the north and central Georgia on this extraordinary journey of faith.”   He also stated, “A synod is a ‘journeying together’- a shared journey of prayer, listening, and discernment.

When we engage in this process, we go back to the very roots of what it means to be Christians as a pilgrim Church together on the way, following Jesus who is the way.  What’s more, this synod aims to reframe our journey forward.”  He advised us to “Look for opportunities to participate in a listening session or contribute to a survey and to join us in prayer, study, and reflection as we journey together.  As we continue our Eucharistic Renewal, I invite each of you to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, praying that this Synod with bear abundant fruit.”

In connection with the Synod, we conducted many listening sessions. Some of these sessions were open to the entire parish.  Others sessions were directed toward specific ministries and programs.  The sessions, approximately one and a half to two hours in length, included an opportunity to participate in small group discussions and make appropriate comments.  The sessions also provided us with an opportunity to discuss how we can more effectively embrace and share our precious Catholic faith.

The format of our sessions focused on our Parish Vision Statement and our Parish Mission Statement.  In addition, all parishioners, especially those who could not attend one of the conferences, were invited to participate in an online Archdiocesan survey on the Synod.
We have scheduled two “recap” sessions for Wednesday, July 20th at 6:30 pm and Saturday, July 23rd at 10:00 am
to discuss recommendations that focus specifically on enhancing the spiritual vitality of our faith community at Saint Brigid.

All are invited to attend either or both of the sessions.  Our approach to this Synod continues to be coordinated by Deacon Henry Hein. He is assisted by Rosemarie Scully and other staff members and volunteers.  Please contact the parish at synod@saintbrigid.org if you have any questions or require additional information.

Please prayerfully consider participating to the extent possible in this special time of grace.

2022 07-22   Our Contributions Support the Spiritual, Educational, and Temporal Needs of our Parishes and Our People.
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2022 07-10   Let us Welcome and Pray for Seminarian Bryan Roberts
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2022 07-10   Let us Welcome and Pray for Seminarian Bryan Roberts

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has called on the Church community to foster and nurture vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. He noted that vocations grow within the Church, and stated, “Candidates gratefully contemplate the mediation of the community as an essential element for their future. They learn to know and to love their brothers and sisters who pursue paths different from their own, and these bonds strengthen in everyone the communion which they share.”

At Saint Brigid, we strive as a community to assist seminarians as they discern a vocation to the priesthood and as they continue their training and formation. Last year, with the assistance of our prayers and support, one of our Saint Brigid parishioners, Robbie Cotta, was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

This summer we welcomed Bryan Roberts as he paused in his seminary studies to gain some additional experience in parish ministry. He is currently studying for the Archdiocese of Atlanta at Saint Vincent de Paul Seminary in Florida. Bryan was a parishioner at Saint Brigid during his high school years and received the Sacrament of Confirmation here. He later moved with his parents to Florida.

Bryan is in the midst of his summer assignment at Saint Brigid. In addition to assisting at our liturgies, Bryan has also assisted in our Vacation Bible School, Confirmation conferences, and in many of our youth activities, including our youth service trip to Tennessee. He is currently participating in various aspects of our adult faith formation programs. He will be with us until late July and then return to his seminary studies in August.

We are invited to reflect on the following “Prayer for Seminarians” provided by Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Louisiana:

Oh God, hear our prayer for the men you have chosen to follow in your footsteps.
Teach them humility and fidelity to unselfishly help others.
May their devotion to Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Vocations increase, enabling them to do your will.
Strengthen their prayer life so that they may grow spiritually without worldly distractions.
Give them courage and perseverance in their studies.
May the Holy Spirit lighten their struggles with their vocations, until they know the joy of being a priest.
We ask this through Christ your Son. Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to pray for Bryan and all seminarians as they continue on their journey of faith.

 

Bryan with The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS)

2022 07-17   Synod on Synodality Meetings. Enhancing the Spiritual Vitality of our Faith Community at Saint Brigid.
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2022 07-03   God Bless America
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2022 07-03   God Bless America

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Monday we celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  On this day, we celebrate the birth of our nation, and we are encouraged to cherish in a very special way the many freedoms we enjoy in this country.  These freedoms should never be taken for granted.  As we know, we live in difficult and uncertain times, and there is much division and conflict in our nation.  Much of this division and conflict is reported in our various media outlets.  We also live in a society that over the years, unfortunately, has become more secular in its orientation.

There are those in our society who are attempting to undermine our trust and belief in God, and in the process are distorting our precious freedoms.  As previously noted, on our money bills we proclaim “In God We Trust.”  As disciples, and as citizens, we are invited to pray that this trust in God may be restored in our nation by our leaders.  Our bishops remind us that there is a need to strengthen the moral foundation of our country, a moral foundation based on faith and trust in the Lord.  There is also a need to reaffirm our commitment to truly make our country “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The following Prayer for Independence Day by Christine Sine (https://godspacelight.com/ )  asks God to bestow His blessings upon us.

God bless America and all nations of the earth.
Bless us with freedom, that none may be oppressed or unjustly treated.
Bless us with prosperity, that all peoples might share abundantly from the produce of the earth.
Bless us with responsibility, that we may share your good creation.
Bless us with generosity, that the barriers between the haves and have-nots may be broken down.
Bless us with caring, that we might reach out with love and compassion to neighbors everywhere.
Bless us with faith, that we might believe you are creating a new heaven and a new earth, where you will once more dwell in our midst, wiping away our tears, overcoming death and sorrow and pain.
Bless us with eternal life of your kingdom, where together with all the peoples of the earth, we will dwell together in peace and harmony and love.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, and as we celebrate Independence Day, we are encouraged to take time to truly appreciate our faith and freedoms and to be thankful for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us and on our nation.

2022 07-10   Let us Welcome and Pray for Seminarian Bryan Roberts
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2022 06-26   A Prayer for National Healing
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2022 06-26   A Prayer for National Healing

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Violent attacks and shootings occur all too often in our nation, causing great pain, grief, anguish, and death. As a faith community, our bishops have asked us to seek healing in the aftermath of the recent school shootings in Uvalde, Texas.

The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement:
“There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, as we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and (their archbishop) Gustavo Garcia-Siller. As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action.”

The need for healing is reflected in the following prayer. The substance of this prayer has been composed by Texas Pastor Max Tyner, who addressed the pain and conflict which existed in our nation at a prior time. It has been adapted and slightly modified to more closely reflect the recent tragic events in our nation.

A PRAYER FOR NATIONAL HEALING

Gracious and loving God,
we come as Your children with sorrow in our hearts, and lives that are confused and disturbed.
Recent weeks have brought death, anguish, and distress to so many people.
We pray, O Lord, that you will heal this nation.
Give peace and comfort to those who are in sorrow.
Give healing and strength to those who have suffered injury and hurt at this time.
Be with those who are working under such difficult circumstances.
Give wisdom and guidance to the president of this nation and be with the political leaders
as they make grave decisions necessary at this time.
We ask, Lord, that you heal us, as a people,
that we may join hands and work together for the good of all.
>
Grant us the wisdom and faith to see that only in You are true love and joy ever found.
Where we have wandered from Your will, put us back on the path You would have us follow.
May we rise up as a nation committed to Your teachings and Your will and a light to the world.
This we ask in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Amen.

2022 07-03   God Bless America
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2022 06-19   Celebrating Corpus Christi with the Atlanta Eucharistic Congress and Father’s Day
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2022 06-19   Celebrating Corpus Christi with the Atlanta Eucharistic Congress and Father’s Day

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate the great solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body, and Blood of Christ.  We focus especially on this day on the devotion to the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, a faith rooted in community.  And as a faith community, the Archdiocese of Atlanta celebrated its Eucharistic Congress this weekend, with parishioners participating from parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

This Sunday we also celebrate Father’s Day and we remember in a special way all that dads mean to their children.  We are reminded that many of our parishioners are also fathers.  Being a father is a great privilege and also a great responsibility.  Catholic fathers especially are challenged to set a good example for their children, to help them grow in wisdom and knowledge, and to help prepare them for lives as Catholic men and women.  We must remember that we are called to honor our fathers.  Our love for our fathers and our other family members should reflect the love that God has for us.

As we know, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis and focus on fatherhood.  As noted in a recent publication “5 Wise Pieces of Advice from Pope Francis to Fathers”, prepared by Chloe Langr, Pope Francis stated, “A father needs to be close to the children when they are playing and when they are working on a task; when they are carefree and when they are troubled.”  He also stated, “Fathers are the irreplaceable guardians and mediators of faith in the justice, and the protection of God, like Saint Joseph.”  In addition, he noted that “the Church, our mother, is committed to supporting the good and generous presence of fathers in the families.”

The following “Father’s Day Prayer” from an unknown author asks the Lord to bless and guide all fathers.  As we reflect on this prayer, and on the profound words of Pope Francis, we are encouraged to take time to express our love and appreciation for our fathers and thank them for all that they do for us and for all that they mean to us.

Dear God, I give thanks to fathers.

I recognize the dedication and patience it takes to be a source of compassion and understanding when helping to shape a young life.

Bless all fathers,

especially those who are now in this sacred role.

I pray they feel Your presence with them.

May they know that Your strength and wisdom are with them,

providing all they need to guide and support their children with kindness and love.  Amen.

2022 06-26   A Prayer for National Healing
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2022 06-12   Join Us in a Grassroots Revival of Devotion and Living Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
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2022 06-12   Join Us in a Grassroots Revival of Devotion and Living Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Friday, June 17th, and Saturday, June 18th, the Archdiocese of Atlanta will sponsor its 2022 Eucharistic Congress at the Georgia International Convention Center.

The theme of the Congress this year will be, “Come to Me.”  As in past years, the Congress begins on Friday evening with Mass and a healing service.  It continues Saturday morning with a procession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  A Benediction service will follow.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharistic Adoration will be available throughout most of the day.  Various dynamic speakers will be present to give powerful witness to their faith journey.  The Congress will conclude Saturday evening with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Hartmayer.

At the Congress, we acknowledge in a special way the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and we reaffirm His presence by going forth as witnesses of His gospel message to the world around us.  Admission to the Congress is free, and food and beverage concessions will be available at the event.  A shuttle bus will be provided without cost on Saturday for those in need of transportation and will leave from the Church parking lot at times reflected on the Parish website and in the parish bulletin.  Those who cannot attend the Congress are invited to pray for our fellow parishioners and friends who will be in attendance as they do their part in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In addition to the Eucharistic Congress, Archbishop Hartmayer has recently announced a new Eucharistic initiative.  He stated, “Our archdiocese will join the Church in the United States in a three-year, grassroots revival of devotion and living faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  Taking its theme from the Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel, ‘My flesh for the life of the world,’ the National Eucharistic Revival is a call to every Catholic across the United States to rekindle the fire of love for the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. It is an invitation for every Catholic family, parish, school, movement, apostolate, and so forth, to renew and foster a Eucharistic culture.  It is a movement of Catholics healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent out in mission.”

Next year, in 2023, Eucharistic devotion will be focused at the parish level, and then the National Eucharistic Congress will take place in July 2024.  The Archbishop also indicated, “There are many hopes for this Eucharistic Revival.  These include a renewed encounter with the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist and an experience of the good news of the Gospel (kerygma), renewed Eucharistic devotion and adoration throughout the archdiocese, and a revival of faithful celebration (the Ars Celebrandi) and participation in the liturgy.”

 

Please check the Parish website or the Sunday bulletin for more details concerning these upcoming events.  Bus Times from Saint Brigid are on the home page.  We are strongly encouraged to prayerfully consider participating actively in this eucharistic endeavor, as we grow in our love for the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith.

congress.archatl.com

  Confessions is not scheduled for Saturday morning, June 18  at Saint Brigid due to the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress, BUT the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available at the Congress in English and Spanish in both the East and South Ballroom Lobbies from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

 

2022 06-19   Celebrating Corpus Christi with the Atlanta Eucharistic Congress and Father’s Day
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2022 06-05   Come Holy Spirit, Come!
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2022 06-05   Come Holy Spirit, Come!

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we see the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit upon his Apostles as we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost. These frightened men who abandoned Jesus at his Passion will be transformed by the Holy Spirit into bold witnesses who clearly show that they not only understand the teaching of Jesus but also are willing to put his teaching into practice. They will endure persecution, suffering, ridicule, and other forms of trial as they preach his Good News. They will heed the call of Jesus to go forth and make disciples of all nations.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has invited us to follow the example of the Apostles and truly embrace the Holy Spirit in our lives. As previously mentioned, in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), he stated, “There is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead of letting him enlighten, guide, and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful.”

The following “Pentecost Sunday Sequence” prayer, which is obligatory at Masses on Pentecost Sunday, asks for the guidance and support of the Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thoughts,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.

As we reflect on this prayer, and on these profound words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, we continue to deal with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, and attacks on the sanctity of life, especially the lives of the unborn. We are therefore encouraged to allow the Holy Spirit to come into our minds, into our lives, and into our hearts as we strive to cope spiritually in these difficult and uncertain times.

2022 06-12   Join Us in a Grassroots Revival of Devotion and Living Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
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2022 05-29  We are Reminded to Truly Appreciate Our Precious Faith and Freedom, that We Should Never Take For Granted
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2022 05-29  We are Reminded to Truly Appreciate Our Precious Faith and Freedom, that We Should Never Take For Granted

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

We celebrate Memorial Day as a nation this Monday.  On this day, we remember in a special way those men and women in the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation.  We pray for the repose of their souls, and for all those who mourn their passing from this world.  They sacrificed their lives and their freedom and helped make it possible for us to enjoy our lives and our freedom.  They were prematurely separated from family members and friends, and a grateful nation pays them homage and respect.

The following prayer by Debbie McDaniel, provided by the media outlet “Christianity.com”. implores our Heavenly Father for guidance and protection on this special day.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded to truly appreciate our precious faith and freedom which we should never take for granted.  This is especially important in these difficult and uncertain times when we have witnessed a dramatic change in the fabric of our society over the last two years due primarily to the devastating impact of the    Covid-19 virus.  This change has caused us to view our faith and our freedom in a different light and made us more acutely aware of the reality that some events and circumstances are beyond our control.

As we celebrate this day and take time for relaxation and recreation, our bishops have encouraged us to also take time for prayer, truly remembering the sacrifices made by so many for us and our nation.

Dear God, we thank You for the freedom You have given us,
and for the price that was paid by Christ so that we could live free.
We remember today.  The cost of it all.  The great sacrifice for freedom,
covering and blessing over them and their families.
We pray that You would be gracious and encircle them with Your peace.
We pray for Your great favor and goodness to be evident in their lives.
Please be with all those who wear the uniform, who serve our communities and nation every single day.
We ask that You provide your protection,
that you would be their guiding force who leads the way,
and their rearguard who keeps them safe from behind.
We ask that You would draw them to Yourself amidst the dangers they face in a dark world,
for You are the Truth, You are the Way, You are the Light.  Amen.

2022 06-05   Come Holy Spirit, Come!
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2022 05-22   Bless our Graduates with Love, Protection, Mercy, Strength and Wisdom
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2022 05-22   Bless our Graduates with Love, Protection, Mercy, Strength and Wisdom

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Especially at this time of the year, we remember our loved ones and friends who are graduating from various levels of education.  They have persevered through many years of study, and difficult and challenging times.  Since the health environment has been gradually improving, most graduation exercises can take place in person.  However, for some graduates, there is still some form of online graduation exercises due primarily to the sustained impact of the Covid-19 virus.

Bishop David O’Connell of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey recently provided the following advice to local Catholic High School graduating students:

“You are beginning a new chapter in your life.  Soon you will be heading off to college, or work, or some new thing.  You will face new challenges, new opportunities, new struggles, and new happy, joy-filled moments; new friendships, new experiences.  Go with God always my young sisters and brothers, with the Lord Jesus as branches on the vine.  Look for Him in all your new experiences.  And if you cannot see Him at first, know that He is there loving you, leading you, calling you.”

As we reflect on these profound words, we realize that our young students face many temptations that can lead them astray.  There is also very often peer pressure to conform to ideas and activities in our culture which are contrary to our Catholic teaching and formation.  Our students truly need our prayers, our support, and our good example to assist them in sustaining a spiritual foundation.

The following “A Prayer for Graduation(author unknown) asks Our Heavenly Father to guide and bless those who are graduating. We encourage the families and friends of our graduates to take this prayer to heart.   On behalf of our priests, deacons, and staff, we congratulate all our graduates at this special time of the year and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Heavenly Father,
Give grace and courage to the ones who have worked hard and now greet this special time of graduation.
We thank you for protecting and guiding them to this point.  All praise and glory to You!
Inspire the graduates to put to good use all the knowledge, skills, and life lessons gained through their education.
Most importantly, as they face unknown challenges moving on, help them to keep dear the greatest wisdom of all
–  that of knowing Jesus and the power of the Cross!
A chapter has closed and another eagerly awaits.  Pave their road with opportunities and inspire them to live with hope in this incredible journey called life.
Continue to bless the graduates with love, protection, mercy, strength, and wisdom.
May they live passionately to honor and glorify Your name.
In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

  

 

2022 05-29  We are Reminded to Truly Appreciate Our Precious Faith and Freedom, that We Should Never Take For Granted
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2022 05-15   Mary, Queen of Peace and Queen of the Rosary
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2022 05-15   Mary, Queen of Peace and Queen of the Rosary

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

May is the month of Mary, and this month we honor her in a special way.  We call her Queen of Peace and Queen of the Rosary and bestow on her many other titles.  Mary is worthy of these titles because she said “Yes” to God in so many ways in the midst of the joys and sorrows of everyday life.  Just this past Friday, we honored Mary as Our Lady of Fatima.

The following “Prayer for Our Lady of Fatima” provided by the media outlet “Catholic Online” calls on Mary to inspire us as we grow in our appreciation of the Rosary:

O most Holy Virgin Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,
You were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima and reveal a glorious message.
We implore you, to inspire in our homes a fervent love for the recitation of the rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption that are recalled therein,
may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,
through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.
Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that, as previously mentioned, Pope Francis also invited us to look to Mary for inspiration.  Addressing the role of Mary, he stated that Mary “…helps us grow as human beings and in the faith, to be strong and never to fall into the temptation of being human beings and Christians in a superficial way, but to live responsibly, to strive even higher.”  He also encouraged the people by reminding them that Mary “…is close to us, so that we may never lose courage before the adversities of life”, and “…might feel her support in facing and overcoming the difficulties of our human and Christian journey.”

The Church presents Mary as a model of love in its fullness.  The love she had for Jesus and Joseph is not reserved for them alone.  It is the same precious love that she has for us, the same precious love she shares with us, an unselfish love that we should not take for granted.  Mary is not only the Mother of Jesus but also the Mother of our Church.  The Second Vatican Council teaches that “…By her motherly love, she cares for her Son’s sisters and brothers who still journey the earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties until they are led into their blessed home.”

As we especially honor the Blessed Virgin Mary this month, we are challenged to follow Mary’s model of living and her model of loving as we continue on our journey of faith during this glorious season of Easter,

Mary our Queen, intercede for us.  Mary, our Mother, pray for us.

 

2022 05-22   Bless our Graduates with Love, Protection, Mercy, Strength and Wisdom
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2022 05-08   We Give Thanks to Our Mothers
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2022 05-08   We Give Thanks to Our Mothers

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day.  In the United States, Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the early part of the twentieth century.  On this day we remember in a special way how much moms do for their families and the many sacrifices they make on behalf of their spouses and children.

Pope Francis has great respect for the vocation of motherhood.  During an address in Rome, as reported in the publication “For Your Marriage”, he noted that mothers fulfill a vital role by helping children “look realistically at life’s problems” without getting “lost in them.”  He stated that “A life without challenges doesn’t exist” and that a mother helps her children face these challenges.  A mother helps her children deal with the problems they inevitably confront, assisting them as they hopefully grow in wisdom and knowledge.  Many Catholic mothers also play a key role in passing our precious faith to their children primarily through their teaching and example.

The following prayer called “A Prayer for Mothers” reflects the spirit of this day:

All loving God, we give You thanks and praise for mothers young and old.
We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes, and tend to our every need; may they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.
We pray for our mothers, who have nurtured and cared for us; may they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.
We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; may they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.
We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.
We remember mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited to give thanks to our mothers for the many sacrifices they make on behalf of their families, especially in these difficult and uncertain times.   We can thank them for all that they do, and for the example they set for us.  We can honor them primarily by obeying them in our younger years, and by graciously taking care of them in their advancing years.  In addition, we can also remember those mothers who have died, but still have a special place in our hearts.

On behalf of the clergy, staff, and parishioners of Saint Brigid, we wish all mothers a happy, healthy, and holy Mother’s Day.  We hope they enjoy their special day.        

 

2022 05-15   Mary, Queen of Peace and Queen of the Rosary
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2022 05-01   Thank the Lord for the Great Gift of the Eucharist
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2022 05-01   Thank the Lord for the Great Gift of the Eucharist

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Saturday, many of the children in our faith community will make their First Holy Communion at Saint Brigid.  Hopefully, their parents and other loved ones will present them to share with us in the fullness of the Lord’s Supper for the first time and watch proudly as these children, with great devotion, take this important step on their journey of faith.

As we reflect on these words of Pope Francis, and as we celebrate the First Holy Communion of these children, we are reminded that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  We are invited to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life in the Eucharist, and then by going forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need.

This prayer called “On Your First Holy Communion” asks the Lord to guide and bless these children:

May Jesus come to bless you on your First Holy Communion day.

May you feel His loving presence in a very special way.

And as you strive to follow in His footsteps,

may He bless your life with many graces and lasting happiness.  Amen.

 As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that the word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks.”  And on this very special day of First Holy Communion, we can once again thank the Lord for the great gift of the Eucharist, for our wonderful children, and our vibrant faith community of Saint Brigid.

 

2022 05-08   We Give Thanks to Our Mothers
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2022 04-25   The Sunday of Divine Mercy & Holy Hour
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