SacOfRecon Upcoming Events:

Times for the sacrament of reconciliation during the holy season of Lent

Sunday mornings between the end of the 9 am Mass and the beginning of the 11 am Mass in Church (through Palm Sunday) This is NEW!;

Saturdays from 8:30 – 9 am and from 4 -4:45 pm in Church

Any mutually convenient time arranged with a priest in the Parish Center.

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Coming Soon on WPVI (Channel 6, an ABC affiliate):

“The Francis Effect”

Through a special partnership with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission and ABC Television Network in the USA, Archbishop Chaput has encouraged pastors to communicate that to announce that the 2014 documentary “The Francis Effect” will begin airing on close to 250 ABC affiliates beginning on February 8, 2015.  A special 58-minute version of the original 75-minute production was edited for television broadcast on ABC Television Network.

The documentary will have a broadcast window of six weeks. Those interested in watching the documentary should consult their local TV guides to determine broadcast times in your area during the broadcast period. The documentary is very timely as it coincides with the second anniversary of the historic transition in the papacy of 2013 that culminated in the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Bishop of Rome on March 13, 2013.

Brief Synopsis of Documentary

What has happened in the Church, and how can it be that a 77-year-old, retirement-bound archbishop from Buenos Aires has captivated the world? Is this all the work of a public relations company or clever media strategists hired by the Vatican and frantically working behind the scenes to re-brand its image? Or is there some- thing else at work?

On March 13, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio received the call in the Sistine Chapel to go, rebuild, repair, renew and heal the Church. There are those who delight in describing the new Pope as a bold, brazen revolutionary sent to rock the boat. Others think he has come to cause a massive shipwreck. But the only revolution that Pope Francis has inaugurated is a revolution of tenderness, the very words he used in his major letter, The Joy of the Gospel. (Evangelii Gaudium, 88)

It wasn’t long into the pontificate of Pope Francis before we knew this one was going to be different. The spontaneity of his words and actions and his down-to-earth style generated unprecedented and overwhelmingly positive global attention.

The Francis Effect takes a critical and in-depth look at how the Catholic Church is rapidly changing under the leadership and vision of Pope Francis. The film begins by situating the pontificate of Francis in a wider historical context, referencing an essay written by the German theologian Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ—one of the most influential Catholic thinkers of the 20th century. Rahner proposed that the Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s was the beginning of a fundamental transformation of the Catholic Church into a fully world religion. The person and ministry of Pope Francis are seen as part of the continuing realization of that transformation.

The body of the film is divided into six chapters representing the major themes of Francis’ first year as pope. By analyzing these themes both individually and collectively, a more complete picture of the Francis effect emerges, namely, the realization of the Second Vatican Council and a concrete expression of how to preach the Gospel in today’s world. The film concludes by raising the essential question: what happens now? Will those who are inspired by Pope Francis transform their communities, and society as a whole, by living and sharing the Gospel of mercy and love?

Pope Francis has not come to overturn doctrine and age-old beliefs that are the bedrock of our Catholic Christian faith! He wants to make those teachings understandable and part of our lives. He opens doors to a faith that offers attractive, compelling answers to questions deep in the hearts of all men and women. There is something incredibly appealing here not only to Catholics, but to Christians and to all men and women of good will. Is it any wonder then, why the world is listening to him?

Francis, Bishop of Rome, reminds us each day of the words of his predecessor Saint John XXIII over 50 years ago at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council: “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way it is presented is another.” With Pope Francis, it’s the same story we have heard for ages, but the packaging has indeed changed!

Please check your TV guides to find the broadcast times of this excellent documentary on Pope Francis.  For more information, call WPVI at (215) 878-9700.


Moriah, Tabor, Calvary: Darkness Can Be Radiant

A reflection on the Scriptures for the Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – March 1, 2015 by Fr. Thomas Rosica:

transfigurationofJesusMoriah. Sinai. Nebo. Carmel. Horeb. Gilboa. Gerizim. Mount of Beatitudes. Tabor. Hermon. Zion. Mount of Olives. Calvary. Golgotha. Mountains are often used in the Bible as the stages of important encounters between God and his people. Though we may have never visited the lands of the Bible, we are all familiar with these biblical mountains and the great events of our salvation history that took place there.

Today’s Old Testament and Gospel reading take place on two important biblical mountains– Mount Moriah and Mount Tabor. Both readings give us profound insights into our God and his Son, Jesus, who is our Savior. First let us consider the story of the sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham as portrayed in Genesis 22:1-19. The story is called the Akedah in Hebrew (Anglicization of the Aramaic word for “binding”) and it easily provokes scandal for the modern mind: What sort of God is this who can command a father to kill his own son?

How many pagan voices were assailing Abraham at this moment? What would a contemporary father do if he were to be called on to sacrifice his only son to God? He would be thought mad if he even considered it — and unfaithful to God as well. What a poignant story indeed! “Take your son, your only son Isaac whom you love … and offer him as a burnt offering. … So Abraham rose early in the morning.” Because Abraham listened to the Lord’s messenger, his only son’s life was spared. The binding of Isaac, then, is a symbol of life, not death, for Abraham is forbidden to sacrifice his son.

What happens on Mount Moriah finds an echo in what happens atop Mount Tabor and Mount Calvary in the New Testament: The mounts Moriah, Tabor and Calvary are significant places of vision in the Bible. For on these peaks, we see a God who never abandons us in our deepest despair, terror and death. God is with us through thick and thin, through day and night.

These mountains teach us that it is only when we are willing to let go of what we love most and cherish most in this life, to offer it back to God, the giver of all good gifts, that we can ever hope to receive it back in ways we never dreamed of or imagined. Only then will we experience resurrection, healing, consoling light and new life.

We can only speculate on what lies behind the story of the Transfiguration — one of the Gospel’s most mysterious and awesome visions (Mark 9:2-8; Matthew 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-36). Peter, James and John had an overwhelming experience with the Lord on Mount Tabor. Following the night of temptation and preceding the blackness of Golgotha, the glorious rays of the Transfiguration burst forth. Before their eyes, the Jesus they had known and with whom they walked became transfigured. His countenance was radiant; his garments streaming with white light. At his side, enveloped in glory, stood Moses, the mighty liberator, who had led Israel out of slavery, and Elijah, the greatest of Israel’s prophets.

Jesus needed the light and affirmation of the mountaintop experience in his own life. In the midst of his passion predictions, he needed Mount Tabor, to strengthen him as he descended into the Jordan Valley and made his way up to Jerusalem. For every disciple since, it is the same. Those who follow Jesus must ascend the mountain to catch a glimpse of the mystery of God’s presence in our world and in our lives.

And yet Mark’s story of Jesus transfigured reminds us that gazing in contemplation is not enough. The disciples are told to listen to Jesus, the Beloved of God, and then return to their daily routine down in the valley.

The awesome Gospel story of the Transfiguration gives us an opportunity to look at some of our own mountaintop experiences. How have such experiences shed light on the shadows and darkness of life? What would our lives be withouthearingVoiceOfGod some of these peak experiences? How often do we turn to those few but significant experiences for strength, courage and perspective? How has the mountaintop experience enabled us to listen more attentively to God’s voice — a voice calling us to fidelity and authenticity in our belief? When we’re down in the valley we often can’t see Christ’s glory.

The most consoling message of the Transfiguration is perhaps for those who suffer, and those who witness the deformation of their own bodies and the bodies of their loved ones. Even Jesus will be disfigured in the passion, but will rise with a glorious body with which he will live for eternity and, faith tells us, with which he will meet us after death.

So many voices assail us that we find it difficult to listen to God’s voice. Before light envelops us, we need to go through darkness. Before the heavens open up, we need to go through the mud and dirt. We must experience both mountains — Tabor and Golgotha — in order to see the glory of God. The Transfiguration teaches us that God’s brilliant life included death, and there is no way around it — only through it.

It also reminds us that the terrifying darkness can be radiant and dazzling. During moments of transfiguration, God penetrates the hardened, incredulous, even disquieting regions within us, about which we really do not know what to do, and he leaves upon them the imprint of his own face, in all its radiant and dazzling glory and beauty.

 

[The readings for this Sunday are: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Romans 8:31b-34; and Mark 9:2-10.]


Watch the dramatization of this week’s gospel, and the rebuff of Jesus to the temptations of the Evil One. Click on the video below to view:

For Mini-Reflection from today’s Gospel according to Mark:

“As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Reflection:

The disciples, like us, will experience loss and death. They and we need to live in the hope that death does not have the last word – resurrection does. Coming down the mountain Jesus asks them to wait before they tell anyone because they have yet to experience the whole story – his suffering, death and resurrection.

So we ask ourselves:

  • Amid the discipline of Lent do we still keep our eyes fixed on the resurrection?

  • What gifts has Lent had for us at this moment


World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Debuts Official Hymn for September 2015 Event

Entitled “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” –

the hymn will serve as the musical cornerstone for celebration of this triennial global event 

Click here to listen to “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom”

 The World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, being held September 22-27, 2015, and featuring Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States, has debuted the official hymn for this international gathering.   Entitled “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom,” the hymn draws inspiration from the theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, “Love is our mission: the family fully alive,” as well as the Roman Missal and Sacred Scripture.  It was first performed by the Cathedral Choir during the Offertory Procession of the November 30th Sunday evening Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul celebrated by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Selected by a committee led by Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre; Father G. Dennis Gill, Director of the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese; and Dr. John Romeri, Director of Music for the Archdiocese; “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” was formally approved as the official hymn by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the co-sponsor of the 2015 World Meeting of Families with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The hymn tune, PHILADELPHIA, was written by composer Normand Gouin, former music director at Old St. Joseph in Philadelphia, who currently serves as a Musician and Liturgist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The text was penned by Fr. Andrew Ciferni, O.Praem, a nationally-known liturgist, teacher and scholar who is a native of South Philadelphia.

“Following the joyous news that Pope Francis will join us in Philadelphia next year, this hymn will further inspire all of us as we prepare for the 2015 World Meeting of Families,” said Archbishop Chaput.  “This event has the power to transform the lives of families – both Catholic and non-Catholic alike – in positive and charismatic ways. I’m confident that this hymn will affirm that spirit.  With its powerful words and melody, ‘Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom’ is an excellent choice for our official hymn and I hope it encourages all who hear it to deepen their daily relationship with God and with their own families in significant ways.”   

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World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia, 2015: NOW OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

November 10, 2014

P R E S S  R E L E A S E 

World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 Opens Registration and Announces Keynote Speakers & Content  

Baltimore, MD (November 10, 2014) – In remarks offered today at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Fall Assembly, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. announced that registration for the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015, which is being held September 22-25, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA, is now officially open. Individual registrants and families can register via Worldmeeting2015.org/Plan-your- visit/Register for the four day Congress at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and also book hotel rooms for Congress days through the website.  Multiple registration and pricing options are available, allowing delegates to select a package that best suits their needs.  There is also an option available for registrants to seek out local host families through Homestay.com via http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/plan-your-visit/places-stay/.

The World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 will offer an Adult Congress and a Youth Congress for ages 6- 17. There will also be a licensed daycare for children under the age of six. The Adult Congress, for ages 18 and older, will consist of keynote presentations and breakout sessions that address the many ways in which families can strengthen their bonds, especially in the face of the significant challenges facing the family globally in the 21st century.  The Youth Congress will provide interactive programs designed for young people to play, listen, serve, build, and embrace the mission of love in a family.

“The World Meeting of Families will deal with a wide range of family issues where our faith is both needed and tested,” said Archbishop Chaput at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Fall General Assembly. “These are matters that affect families not only here in the United States but on a global scale. So we want to focus next year not just on the neuralgic sexual issues that seem to dominate the American media, but on things like the family and poverty, the family and addiction, the family and children with disabilities, the loss of a spouse, the effect of divorce and co-parenting, health and wellness as building blocks to preserving the family, creating real intimacy between husband and wife, the challenges of raising children, the role of grandparents, the parish as a support community for families, and similar themes.  And we want to involve the whole community in this celebration, which is why we’ve included Jewish, Mormon, Muslim and Protestant presenters on issues that we all share – regardless of confessional divides.”

In addition to announcing the opening of registration, Archbishop Chaput also spoke about the impressive roster of influential leaders and scholars  that the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 will bring together to discuss the critical issues facing the family worldwide. Nearly 100 renowned speakers are expected to present and facilitate conversation among delegates. From Baptist to Jewish to Lutheran, 24 percent of the Congress presenters will represent other faith traditions and 30 percent of presenters are from outside of North America. Leading the program are keynote addresses from Father Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, Rector of Mundelein Seminary, and host of CATHOLICISM; His Eminence, Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston; Helen Alvaré, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law; Dr. Juan Francisco de la Guardia Brin and Gabriela N. de la Guardia, renowned Panamanian doctors; His Eminence, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila; and His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, Archbishop Emeritus of Conakry, Guinea.

      Although a few breakout session speakers are still being confirmed, the majority of speakers and presentations for the Congress has been finalized and can be reviewed at http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/about-the-event/speakers/ .

“The 2015 World Meeting of Families will welcome a most remarkable and dynamic group of speakers as we aimed to bring people together in faith and share a common message of love while also giving comfort and encouragement to those who may be struggling,” said Dr. Mary Beth Yount, World Meeting of Families Director of Content and Programming. “When developing the programming and educational sessions, one of our goals was to create a Congress inclusive of people of all ages, all walks of life, all cultures and even other faiths so that every person might leave the conference feeling inspired by new ideas to incorporate into his/her family life. Through the grace of God and the messages shared during the Congress, we hope to reaffirm the importance of the family and strengthen its bonds on a global scale.”

     As the world’s largest family gathering, the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is expected to bring together 10,000 – 15,000 delegates from more than 150 nations in faith and celebration. The Congress will provide delegates the opportunity to share their thoughts, dialogue and prayers during daily Mass, devotions and breakout sessions.  All sessions will focus on the myriad issues facing today’s global families, including financial crises/poverty, blended families, disabilities, addiction, divorce, and interfaith marriage, with speakers from the Pontifical Council for the Family, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Foundation for Family and Futures, National Catholic Partnership on Disability, Catholic Relief Services, among others. Rooted in the 2015 Congress’ theme, “Love is our mission: the family fully alive,” the catechetical content and programming will emphasize the impact of the love and life of families in society.

     For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next September, please visit www.WorldMeeting2015.org.  An online retail store, featuring t-shirts, hats, pins and other small mementos, is also open and can be accessed at http://wmof.myshopify.com/.  You can also engage the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias – Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

     About World Meetings of Families Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.


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Click here to view the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 “Schedule at a Glance”. 


Host a Family

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Welcome Visitors with Hospitality

Many of our visiting families are traveling long distances to reach the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015. As an affordable alternative to hotel accommodations and to support the volume of people coming to the Philadelphia area, we are offering families located in the Philadelphia region the opportunity to open their doors to our visitors.


Host Families can host visitors in a spare bedroom, a vacated apartment, or any amenable facility. Visiting individuals and families can then search the Host Family database to find hosts to be matched too. When registering as a Host Family, you will include information on your hosting situation (bedrooms, family hobbies, pets, allergies, access to public transportation, etc.). Additionally, each visiting family will pay a nightly fee to the Host Family. The Host Family can use that money to offset costs, buy breakfast each day, donate to the visiting family, or in any other way desired. Your role, as a Host Family, is pivotal in enabling many families to make this trip safe and affordable.

If you would like to open your home to a World Meeting of Families Visitor, you can register at https://worldmeeting2015.homestaymanager.com/host/sign_up  or email us at host@WorldMeeting2015.org.

Once Host registration has opened, you will be notified so that you can enter your information into a private database which will be used only for the World Meeting of Families event.