Did you know Assumption “caters” to butterflies?

Throughout the many flower gardens and beds spread across Assumption Parish’s campus, our Garden Club and the students from Assumption School take care of special plants. There are numerous flowers and plants that were planted specifically to encourage the propagation of butterflies! If you stop for a moment and look at the gardens, chances are you’ll very quickly see a butterfly gently fluttering by.

Take some time to enjoy the beauty of the flowers and plants and, most importantly, the featured guests – the butterflies!

This chubby caterpillar was found in one of the butterfly gardens at Assumption by a Garden Club member. Look at the beautiful colors and lines!

 

See the visitor above? This very hungry caterpillar will soon form a chrysalis. Watch the video below to see the amazing process!

Once the transformation is complete, the newly formed Monarch butterfly will break free from the chrysalis and flutter freely in search of nectar to drink! See this amazing feat here:

Now that you know this amazing process, take some time to visit the Assumption gardens to see the beautiful creatures. God is amazing!

Join Pope Francis in praying for his monthly prayer intentions…

JUNE

The Mode of Life of Priests
That priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively to a solidarity with those who are most poor.

JULY

The Integrity of Justice
That those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not have the last word.

AUGUST

Families, Schools of Human Growth
That families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly “schools of true human growth”.

SEPTEMBER

The Protection of the Oceans
That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

OCTOBER

A Missionary “Spring” in the Church
That the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary “spring” in the church

NOVEMBER

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East
That a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.

DECEMBER

The Future of the Very Young
That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.

What is the process in the preparation of the prepared prayer intentions? The faithful from around the world suggest papal prayer intentions to the international office of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network in Rome. Through prayerful discernment the international office selects a large number of them and submits them to the Vatican for further selection, with the Pope making the final selection. The Vatican then entrusts to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network the official set of monthly prayer intentions, which are then translated into the major world languages and published in print and digital formats.

What is Good Friday and why do Catholics go to church on this day? Watch this short, 3-minute video from Catholic Online for a thorough explanation:

 

What is Holy Thursday and why do Catholics celebrate this day with a special Mass? Watch this short, 3 minute video from Catholic Online for a thorough explanation:

The first 48 hours of any movie is the most important. Today, Unplanned (a movie based on a true story about Abby Johnson, the youngest director ever at Planned Parenthood) is opening in theaters. You will not see posters advertising this movie in any theater, but they do have times listed on their websites. Will you please go see this movie to [hopefully] put this in the top 3 this weekend? If you’ve read the book, if you’re pro-life, if you’re pro-choice, if you don’t have an opinion – it doesn’t matter. Every person should see this movie.

Locally, the movie is being shown at the following theaters:

  • Celebration! Cinema North located at 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids 49525
  • Celebration! Cinema located at RiverTown Crossings Mall at 3728 Rivertown Parkway, Grandville 49418
  • Celebration! Cinema South located at 1506 Eastport Dr, Grand Rapids 49508
  • AMC Grand Rapids located at 3000 Alpine Avenue NW, Walker 49544
  • AMC Holland 8 located at 12270 James St., Holland 49424
  • AMC Classic big Rpaids 4 located at 213 S. Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids 49307-1809

Please be sure to thank these theaters for showing this movie. Other theaters simply chose not to show it.

A Good Read This Lenten Season

Any Kev-Heads out there? If so, then you know the author of Broken Mary. Yes, Kevin Matthews. Early day shock-jock from WLAV-FM in Grand Rapids. But don’t let that stop you from reading this book! Mr. Matthews, a life-long Catholic, takes readers from his early days up to his amazing re-engagement of the Catholic faith. In addition, you may recognize the local names in the book (like a local priest in Grand Rapids!). And this book will inspire you to take a trip over to St. Anthony of Padua Church as well to visit Broken Mary.

But most importantly, Kevin’s message of brokenness, forgiveness, acceptance, renewal, hope and so much more rings true for all. His message is so sincere, so moving, so honest. It’s a beautiful read for this Lenten Season.

Follow Kevin’s Lead

Kevin had been hearing and feeling a thought in his heart to pray the RosarySo he committed to saying the Rosary every day during Lent. He didn’t know how to say the Rosary. But he found an online recording and prayed with it every morning. Here’s an insert from his book discussing his journey:

“There I was, standing in front of this beautiful statue for all those gathering to see, and now it was time to kneel. Earlier that winter, I’d had my knee replaced, that and my MS were going to make kneeling a challenge. What if I don’t finish in front of all these people? Mary, Jesus, please help me to do this.

Soon I was kneeling, with no pain. I closed my eyes and saw no people. I began to pray the Rosary, and the church noise turned to silence. Within forty days, I had learned how to pray the Rosary without prompting, each bead, fingers moving forward, slowly, prayer after prayer after prayer. Then, finally, the Sign of the Cross. On that last day of Lent, my days of just reciting the Rosary were over, because I was beginning to pray.”

Begin to Pray

Will you follow Kevin’s lead? Will you commit to saying the Rosary every day during Lent, so that when Lent is over, you just won’t be reciting the Rosary?

If you’re unable to pray the Rosary every day, will you prayerfully consider coming early to church to pray the Rosary together? You’re invited to pray a Group Rosary at Assumption every Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. before the 5:30 Mass, Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. before the 9:00 Mass and Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. before the 5:30 Mass. Prayer in groups is powerful! And this is a great way to learn how to pray the Rosary if you don’t remember how.

Learn More About Broken Mary

Go to The Broken Mary Project to read all about Kevin’s journey, pray the Rosary with Kevin with his online recordings, order the book and ask for prayer intentions.

By Chris Stefanick of Real Life Catholic

Why I’m Not Leaving the Church and 3 Things We Can Do to Fix It:

Now more than ever people need to know there is something more to life.

Now more than ever people need to know – really know – that the answer is the Good News Jesus offers.

And that is why now, more than ever, people need us to get back to basics: Pray. Serve the poor. Preach the Gospel.

Will you join me? http://reallifecatholic.com/stay-connected/

Aletia: Saturday, September 8, 2018 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

According to tradition, Mary’s parents were barren until God answered their prayers.

Little is known authoritatively about the Virgin Mary’s early childhood and family. However, an ancient text from the year 145, called The Protoevangelium of Jamesprovides a narrative that many saints have turned to when wanting to learn more about the Virgin Mary.

According to the unknown author, a man named Joachim was saddened at not being able to conceive a child with his wife, Anne. It’s recorded, “Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and did not come into the presence of his wife; but he retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: I will not go down either for food or for drink until the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer shall be my food and drink.”

Similarly, Anne “mourned in two mournings, and lamented in two lamentations, saying: I shall bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childlessness.” Then Anne “saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and hear my prayer, as You blessed the womb of Sarah, and gave her a son Isaac.”

The Angel Appears

In the midst of her prayers an angel appeared and said, “the Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.” At the same time an angel appeared to Joachim, saying, “Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God has heard your prayer. Go down hence; for, behold, your wife Anne shall conceive.”

The two conceived a child shortly thereafter and then according to the story “her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anne brought forth. And she said to the midwife: What have I brought forth? And she said: A girl. And said Anne: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anne was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.”

The account echoes many of the stories in the Old Testament, where couples were barren until they cried out to God. Angels are often the bearers of good news to them, proclaiming that they will bear a child. Yet in this case, instead of a boy, the announcement is a girl who “shall be spoken of in all of the world.”

The Catholic Church’s Beliefs

While the story is not known to be a factual account, the Church does refer to the parents of the Virgin Mary as Joachim and Anne.

Whatever happened, it would have been fitting for her birth to be miraculous, as the Church teaches that the Virgin Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin in the womb of her mother. The Solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is celebrated annually on December 8, nine months before the Feast of the Birth of Mary on September 8.

 

St. Anthony of Padua
Patron Saint of Lost Things
(1195-1231)
Feast Day: June 13

If St. Anthony specializes in anything, it is in finding lost objects. In America there’s even a little rhyme about it:  “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please look all around. There’s something that’s missing and cannot be found.” It’s not great poetry, but it makes its point.

The life of St. Anthony is brimming with miracles, and one of these stories explains how St. Anthony became the heavenly finder of lost objects. A novice in St. Anthony’s community decided to run off without telling his superiors. Before he left, he stole a valuable copy of the Psalms that belonged to Anthony.

Distressed at the loss of such a beautiful book, Anthony prayed to recover it. meanwhile, as the thief was making his getaway, he saw a terrible apparition blocking his path. “Return the book to Anthony!” the vision commanded. Frightened out of his wits, the young man ran all the way back to the monastery to restore the book to its rightful owner.

Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal. How he wound up in Italy is a long story. Here’s the short version:

Anthony had entered the Augustinian order in Lisbon. The bodies of five Franciscan missionaries who had been martyred in Morocco arrived in Portugal. Filled with admiration for the holy men, Anthony decided to switch orders from the Augustinians to the Franciscans and join the mission in Morocco. This he did.

However, on a trip home, a storm at sea blew Anthony’s shop off course. instead of landing in Portugal, Anthony came ashore in Sicily.

His timing was good: the Franciscans were gathering in Assisi for a general meeting, or chapter, and St. Francis himself would be there, It was at the chapter that Anthony decided to remain in italy.

On one occasion, Anthony made it his mission to bring back to the Catholic faith a man belonging to the Cathars, a sect that hated the Church and especially hated the doctrine of Our Lord’s Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Nothing Anthony said made any impression on the man, Then on a holy day, Anthony carried the  Blessed Sacrament in procession through the streets. People knelt as the Sacred Hot passed by. When Anthony encountered the Cathar, the obstinate man remained standing. But his mule went down on its knees. The miracle of the mule convinced the Cathar, and he returned to the Church.

After Anthony died, so many miracles occurred through his intercession that Pope Gregory IX declared him a saint just one year after his death. Almost 800 years later, Anthony still holds the record the the fasted canonization.