Confraternity of Penitents Newsletter

2016 December

Visitor's Vision: Remembering the Gifts That We Are

I remember my grandmother on my father’s side, whose house was a couple of blocks away from our house in my town. One of the things I remember about her, before she passed when I was a ten, is that my siblings and I vied with each other to carry a message from our parents to her. The simple reason is that she seemed to have endless treats for her grandkids, for whenever any of us visited, we are sure to have some cookies or candies or other local delicacies. Well, I know better now – that almost all grandmothers do the same - that is, they always, for some reason, have a way of keeping some jars of cookies that are always filled, and from which they ceaselessly gift their grandkids with cookies and candies, especially those ones the parents do not always offer the kids. I am not making a value judgment here, but only inferring that this attitude of giving presents, which draw grandchildren to their grandmothers, actually shows the power of gifts, and it also makes it interesting to reflect on the theme of gifts, in appreciation of God’s marvelous gift of the new born Jesus to humanity, at Christmas. 

We know that a gift can be ‘a thing’ given willingly to somebody. Still, a gift can also be a person, if we look at it from the perspective of ‘one’s natural ability or talent’ that can be gifted/used willingly for the good of another, meaning that we can also talk of each other as a gift in a positive sense. In other words, a gift could be a thing or a person and can also be manifestly visible or existentially invisible. Thus, we can talk of material gifts, spiritual gifts, supernatural gifts, eternal gifts, transient gifts, persevering gifts and gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf, Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn.733, 735, 768, 798, 1830, 1996 etc.). Now, even though we read and hear so much at this period about the gifts and presents we exchange at Christmas time, or the gifts we give to those in need, we note that our major interest in this reflection is on the gift that each of us is/can be.

While expressing his gratitude to the whole Church in Poland where his priesthood was born and developed, in his book written to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his priestly ordination, Pope John Paul II talked of the laypeople thus: “At this time, I also think of all the lay people whom the Lord has had me meet in my mission as priest and bishop. They have been a unique gift to me, and I thank Providence for them every day…I carry them all in my heart, for each one of them has made his or her own contribution to the growth of my priesthood. In one way or the other they have shown me the way, helping me to understand my ministry better and to live it more fully” (John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, Doubleday, NY, 1996, 69). What a beautiful way to express the gifts that we are to each other, as sons and daughters of God, through Christ.

Now, as with every gift, the first thing we do with a gift or present is to open it, I suppose. And I suppose also that this involves accepting the present, getting acquainted with it through our five senses, and then enjoying the present. And while engaged thus, the underlying emotion at this time is usually ‘appreciation’, which can be articulated in words or in actions or in some kind of emotional outburst. Somehow, I think this is what Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) described as keeping a gift alive through appreciation, while depicting the picture of how St. Francis did revive the quiet child in the manger by his nearness, as the nobleman John saw in his dream. (Ratzinger, J., Images of Hope, Ignatius Press San Francisco, 2006, 12). St. Francis worked tirelessly to rebuild the Church by manifesting Jesus in himself; thus, by bringing the gift of Jesus to all, he expressed the gift that each one of us can be. And we, as Christians, are gifts ultimately and precisely, because we manifest that gift of God who is Emmanuel, as well as all other abilities/talents we have received, since God is the source of every good gift: “Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the creator of the heavenly lights…” (Jam 1:17).

However, if we not at this juncture, we cannot really and fully appreciate what we do not understand. We can’t see its inner meaning and goodness, just like Herod and those around Jerusalem who were blind to the gift of Jesus (Mtt 2:1-3), (cf. Ratzinger, Images of Hope, 14). This is why the liturgical season of Advent is very important, both in appreciating the gift that is Jesus and in being a gift to others and to the world, ourselves. As we recall, Jesus’ comings are in history, mystery and majesty (cf. H.A. Buetow, God Still Speaks: Listen! Cycle A, S. Pauls Press Mumbai, 2002, 35), Now, Advent signifies the time we consciously, reflectively, prayerfully and joyfully wait for Jesus and his promise. Advent is a time of love, new beginning, and fulfillment. What this means is that, by living Advent properly, we can then understand the power of the gift of Jesus to us and how we can appreciate the gift of Jesus by being gifts to each other. Unfortunately, we have to struggle with the changing times today, where Christmas is already being celebrated with songs, activities and decorations, even before Thanksgiving, and even before the liturgical season of Advent commences. Thus, that necessary season of Advent, that helps us to reflect on who we are and what we can be, is being lost and swallowed up, thus making it more difficult to recognize the meaning of the gift of the new-born Jesus and the gift each of us can be to the Church and society today.

Fr. Francis Chukwuma, CFP Visitor

No Greater Love: The Resurrected Body

Professor Joseph Ratzinger ends his Introduction to Christianity on the Apostles’ Creed with a discussion of the resurrected body.  We have still not reached the end of our questions. If this is the position, is there really such a thing as a resurrected body, or can the whole thing be reduced to a mere symbol for the immortality of the person? This is the problem that still awaits us. It is no new problem; even 'Paul was bombarded with questions of this sort by the Corinthians, as we can see from the fifteenth chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians, where the Apostle tries to provide an answer, so far as such a thing is at all possible on this point, which lies beyond the limits of our imagination and those of the world accessible to us. Many of the images employed by Paul have become alien to us: but his answer as a whole is still the noblest, boldest, and most convincing one ever formulated to this question.

Let us start from verse 50, which seems to me to be a sort of key to the whole: "I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." It seems to me that the sentence occupies much the same position in this text as verse 63 occupies in the eucharistic chapter 6 of St. John's Gospel: for these two seemingly widely separated texts are much more closely related than is apparent at first sight. There, in St. John, it says, just after the real presence of the flesh and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist has been sharply emphasized: "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail." In both the Johannine and the Pauline texts, it is a question of developing the Christian realism of "the flesh". In John, the realism of the sacraments, that is, the realism of Jesus' Resurrection and of his "flesh" that comes to us from it, is emphasized; in Paul it is a question of the realism of the resurrection of the "flesh", of the resurrection of Christians and of the salvation achieved for us in it. But both passages also contain a sharp counterpoint that emphasizes Christian realism as realism beyond the physical world, realism of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to a purely worldly, quasi-physical realism.

Here Professor Ratzinger puts together two seemingly unrelated Bible verses and shows that they make the same point.  St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, tells us the negative truth -- that we are not to look for eternal life from our physical bodies.  In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus tells us that life comes from the spirit, not the flesh.  Those who think that the only thing which is real is the physical world are wrong.  St. Paul tells us that our real resurrection will not be of our physical, biological, earthly, mortal bodies.'   In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus tells that He is really present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, but not in a physical, biological way.  As Professor Ratzinger says, the reality of our resurrected bodies and the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist both come from the Holy Spirit. 

Professor Ratzinger explains this further.  Here English cannot fully convey the enigmatic character of the biblical Greek. In Greek the word soma means something like "body", but at the same time it also means "the self", And this soma can be sarx, that is, "body" in the earthly, ' historical, and thus chemical, physical, sense; but it can also 'be "breath"---according to the dictionary, it would then have to be translated "spirit"; in reality this means that the self,  which now appears in a body that can be conceived in chemico-physical terms, can, again, appear definitively in the guise of a transphysical reality. In Paul's language "body" and “Spirit" are not opposites; the opposites are called "physical body" and "spiritual body". We do not need to try here to pursue the complicated historical and philosophical problems posed by this. One thing at any rate may be fairly clear: both John (6:63) and Paul (I Cor. 15:50) state with all possible emphasis that the "resurrection of the flesh", the "resurrection of the body”, is 'not a "resurrection of physical bodies". Thus, from the point of view of modern thought, the Pauline sketch is far less naive than later theological erudition with its subtle ways of construing how there can be eternal physical bodies. To recapitulate, Paul teaches, not the resurrection of physical bodies, but the resurrection of persons, and this not in the return of the "fleshly body”, that is, the biological structure, an idea he expressly describes as impossible ("the perishable cannot become imperishable"), but in the different form of the life of the resurrection, as shown in the risen Lord.   Thus, we can see that the “spiritual body” is not just a pie in the sky creation of human imagination or hope.   The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows us that it is a concrete reality which was seen and touched by witnesses.

 

Has, then, the resurrection no relation at all to matter? And does this make the "Last Day" completely pointless in comparison with the life that always comes from the call of the Lord? Basically, we have already answered this last question in our reflections on the second corning of Christ. If the cosmos is history and if matter represents a moment in the history of spirit, then there is no such thing as an eternal, neutral combination of matter and spirit; rather, there is a final "complexity" in which the world finds its omega and unity. In that case, there is a final connection between matter and spirit in which the destiny of man and of the world is consummated, even if it is impossible for us today to define the nature of this connection. In that case, there is such a thing as a "Last Day", on which the destiny of the individual man becomes full because the destiny of mankind is fulfilled. In our physical world, matter and spirit are joined to give us the world we live in and observe even though we do not know how this happens.  At the “Last Day” this joining will be different from now, but God has not told us how this will happen.

The goal of the Christian is not private bliss but the whole. He believes in Christ, and for that reason he believes in the future of the world, not just in his own future. He knows that this future is more than he himself can create. He-knows that there is a meaning he is quite incapable of destroying. Is he therefore to sit quietly with his hands in his lap? On the contrary; because he knows there is such a thing as meaning, he can and must cheerfully and intrepidly do the work of history, even though from his little segment of it he will have the feeling that it is a labor of Sisyphus and that the stone of human destiny is rolled anew, generation after generation, up the hill only to roll down again once more and nullity all previous efforts. Whoever believes knows that things move “forward", not in a circle. Whoever believes knows that history is not like Penelope's tapestry, which was always being woven anew only to be undone again. Even the Christian may be assailed by the nightmares,' induced by the fear of fruitlessness, out of which the pre-Christian world created these moving images of the anxiety that all human activity is vain. But his nightmare is pierced by the saving, transforming voice of reality: "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (] n 16:33). The new world, with the description of which, in the image of the final Jerusalem, the Bible ends, is no Utopia but certainty, which we advance to meet in faith. A salvation of the world does exist---that is the confidence that supports the Christian and that still makes it rewarding even today to be a Christian. The “otherworldly” orientation of Christianity does not make us idle or unconcerned about the world.  Rather, we know that everything we do counts for eternity. This is why we can never stop growing in the Christian life and into union with the Lord.  --Jim Nugent, CFP

Thoughts from CFP’ers –Thanks to God and the Blessed Mother

CFP member Kingsley Eze had applied for residency in Spain so that he could establish a Rosary business to support his family. He wrote this letter to the CFP on September 8:

 

I just received the residence card from the police department about an hour ago. 

 

The Blessed Virgin Mary has made it very clear that she has a hand and perhaps some interests or plans in my getting this document. To me, it goes beyond a mere coincidence that the day I applied for the permits after series of preparations and appointments was on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and, after long period of processes and protocols, the residence card was given to me today September 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What other sign do I need to know that the Mother of God is with me? 

 

I made a promise to the Blessed Virgin the day l submitted the application in February that, if I received this favor, I would visit the shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Lourdes to pay homage to her. This evening, I will take a bus to Lourdes, France to thank Our Lady, present this permit to her, consecrate it to her and ask her to use me and the paper for her special intentions. Thanks a lot for your prayers and supports. Please, thank Jesus and Mary for me. Sincerely, Kingsley 

 

See Kingsley’s website at www.therosarycity.com

Reflection on the Rule: Appendix C

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER IV, 12 

Those who do not have a breviary may use the following substitutions of Psalms for recitation of the Daily Office (Psalms are numbered according to the New American Bible, Catholic edition, and taken from My Daily Psalm Book, arranged by Rev. Joseph Frey, c. 1947 by the Confraternity of the Most Precious Blood. The entire Psalter is recited in a week's time). Since the hour of Prime has been suppressed, those Psalms listed for Prime may be used as focal points for the period of meditation and mental prayer: 

 Sunday: Office of Readings1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11; Morning Prayer 93, 100, 63, Daniel 3: 57-88, 148; Prime 118, 119 v. 1-32; Midmorning Prayer 119 v. 33-80; Midday Prayer 119 v. 81-128; Midafternoon Prayer 119 v.129-176; Evening Prayer 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115; Night Prayer 4, 91, 134 

Monday: Office of Readings 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30; Morning Prayer 47, 5, 29, Canticle of David ("Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Thine, O Lord, are grandeur and power and splendor and glory and majesty. For all that is in heaven and on earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art the ruler who is exalted above all. Wealth and honor are from thee, and by thy power thou rulest all things. And in thy hand are strength and power, and to thy hand it belongs to make everything great and strong. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee and we praise thy glorious name."), 117; Prime 24, 19; Midmorning Prayer 27, 28; Midday Prayer 31; Midafternoon Prayer 32, 33; Evening Prayer 116, 120, 121, 122; Night Prayer 6, 7 

Tuesday: Office of Readings 35, 37, 38, 39; Morning Prayer 96, 43, 67, Tobit 13 v. 1-10, 135; Prime 25; Midmorning Prayer 40; Midday Prayer 41, 42; Midafternoon Prayer 44; Evening Prayer 123, 124, 125, 126, 127; Night Prayer 12, 13, 16  

Wednesday: Office of Readings 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51; Morning Prayer 97, 65, 101, Judith 16 v. 13-17, 146; Prime 26, 52, 53; Midmorning Prayer 54, 55; Midday Prayer 56, 57, 58; Midafternoon Prayer 59, 60; Evening Prayer 128, 129, 130, 131, 132; Night Prayer 34, 61  

Thursday: Office of Readings 62, 66, 68, 69; Morning Prayer 98, 90, 36, Jeremiah 31, v. 10-14, 147; Prime 23, 72; Midmorning Prayer 73; Midday Prayer 74; Midafternoon Prayer 75, 76; Evening Prayer 133, 136, 137, 138; Night Prayer 70, 71  

Friday: Office of Readings 78, 79, 81, 83; Morning Prayer 99, 143, 85; Prime: Canticle of Isaiah: Isaiah 45: 15-26, Psalm 147 v. 12-20, 22; Midmorning Prayer 80, 82; Midday Prayer 84, 87; Midafternoon Prayer 89; Evening Prayer 139, 140, 141, 142; Night Prayer 77, 86  

Saturday Office of Readings 105, 106, 107; Morning Prayer 149, 92, 64, Ecclesiasticus 36 v. 1-16; 150; Prime 94, 108; Midmorning Prayer 102; Midday Prayer 104; Midafternoon Prayer 109; Evening Prayer 144, 145; Night Prayer 88, 103, 95, Canticle of Mary: Luke 1 v. 46-55, Canticle of Zachary: Luke 1 v. 68-79, Canticle of Simeon: Luke 2, 29-32

Reflection

This exhaustive list shows that you do not need to have the breviary to pray all seven hours of the Divine Office. This makes it easy for those who cannot afford a breviary to be part of the Confraternity of Penitents.

Monthly Letter to All Penitents: The Significance of Straw

Straw is probably one of the most overlooked symbols of the Christmas season. It’s there in the manger, in the Nativity scene, but no one pays any attention to it unless they are participating in a sweet tradition of adding a piece of straw to Jesus bed for each good deed that they do. This is a tradition followed in many families, especially geared toward children who may need a little incentive to calm down and do good deeds before Christmas day and its presents.

But did you ever consider why Jesus was born in a stable? Straw is the cast-off stalk from the wheat. The wheat is valuable because it is used to make bread, the staple food of the people at the time of Jesus. The straw, which cannot be eaten by humans, was used for bedding in the stable to absorb the refuse from the animals. Straw also provided warmth and comfort, particularly in cold weather.

The infant Christ was laid in a manger filled with straw. He chose not only to be poor, but also to live among the cast-off refuse of humanity. Just as the straw absorbs the refuse from the animals, so, too, Christ absorbed our nasty sin in his own suffering and passion. Just as the owners of the wheat fields might give no thought to the straw but only to the wheat, so these wealthy people might give no thought to the poor who harvested their fields. Like straw, the poor were overlooked and cast aside, yet to them Jesus came. His identification with the poor began at His birth. The first visitors to adore the King of the Universe were rustic shepherds. Jesus ministered to the poor in His earthly ministry, was killed like a common criminal, and was buried in a borrowed grave. We might anticipate this from a child who was laid in straw at birth.

Saint Francis, who very much wanted to imitate Christ, used to sleep on straw and so did his brothers. Cardinal Ugolino, the future Pope Gregory IX, mentioned that the brothers were sleeping like animals in their lairs, on straw. St. Clare used to shake out the straw mattresses of the sick sisters. While penitents do not sleep on straw, we might consider how we can identify with the poor Jesus. What does Jesus’ straw bed teach us about our own comfort level? Do we feel a call to change? --Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP

Humor: Thoughtful Thoughts

Most preachers would make good martyrs, they are so dry, they would burn well. ---  The church must feed people the food – not merely show them the menu. ---   We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. --- The task ahead of you is never as great as the Power behind you. ---  People will die on their feet, before they will live on their knees. ---  Pray that people will meet Christ before they meet the church. ---  Do not lower God’s word to the level of your experience. ---   The only difference between a rut and a grave, is the depth. ---   The Bible is a verb, not a noun. ---  Demons are like rats at the garbage dump. Unless you get rid of the garbage, the rats will come back.  ---  Success is never permanent, failure is never final.  --- When the tide comes in, all the ships in the harbour rise with it. --- The one who kneels before God can stand before anyone.  ---  Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.  ---   Appeasement is like feeding the alligators – hoping they will eat you last.  ---  Preach at all times. If necessary, use words.

Following Francis: Following Christ: The Name of Jesus

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. (Luke 2:21)

Saint Francis had a deep reverence for the name of Jesus, so much so that he could not tolerate seeing scraps of paper lying around as those scraps might contain some letters that make up the Holy Name of Jesus. Therefore, he used to pick up papers and put them into what he considered to be safe places.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes the names of God-made-man as follows:

452 The name Jesus means "God saves". The child born of the Virgin Mary is called Jesus, "for he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21): "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

453 The title "Christ" means "Anointed One" (Messiah). Jesus is the Christ, for "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:38). He was the one "who is to come" (Lk 7:19), the object of "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20).

454 The title "Son of God" signifies the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father: he is the only Son of the Father (cf. Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18); he is God himself (cf. Jn 1:1). To be a Christian, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (cf. Acts 8:37; 1 Jn 2:23).

455 The title "Lord" indicates divine sovereignty. To confess or invoke Jesus as Lord is to believe in his divinity. "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit'" (1 Cor 12:3).

The name of the Child in the manger is indicative of who that Child is. Who is Jesus to you? Can you say that you can relate to Him under each of His titles listed above? The Christmas Octave may be a good time to pray to Christ under each of His titles, perhaps focusing a day on each. May the Lord and Christ, Jesus, the Son of God, become a greater presence in your life at this holy season.

A blessed Advent and joyous Christmas to you all! ---Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP

Thoughts from CFP’ers:  Letter to a Man Who Says He is Homosexual

The only one we have to be true to is God, Himself. Our values and beliefs are formed by the environment around us (throughout our lives) as well as by the spiritual direction we may feel from the other side. This direction may come from the Lord and His hosts or it may come from His enemies. Therefore, it may not be in our best interests to be true to our values and beliefs if our prayer life is not perfected. So how do we know whether we are following the “good spirits” or the “bad spirits”? And how do we know if our environment or the world around us is helping us to make good choices… choices that we should be true to? How do we perfect our prayer lives? 

Whole books are written to answer these very questions, most notably the Bible. In short, however, the answers lie in other questions we must ask of ourselves: Do I love God with my whole heart, soul and mind? Is He first and foremost in my life? Is He my lover before all others? Do I contemplate His life and Word and have a deep personal relationship with Him (Is He truly my very best friend)?

When perfected, and when we’re on the right path to perfection, we feel a deep peace within our hearts that the world cannot give. Do I possess this profound peace of the Lord enough to lay down my life for my beloved? Do I kiss His wounds daily and offer my sufferings with love? Am I a lover of His cross? How do I face difficulties and problems? Do I love and offer them to my Lover most willingly for His sake?

We are true to ourselves only when we can honestly answer these questions. And when we can answer them positively, we will possess the Truth. For our dear Lord said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” He is the only Truth we must be true to; nothing else. And when we are true to Him, then we’ll be true to ourselves and others; and our beliefs and values will fall into place. Our Rule and Constitutions help us live in the truth and grow in perfection.

I recommend this book to assist in living in His Love: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. It’s well worth rereading because Nouwen, through his writing, helps his readers to love the Lord!

When followers of Jesus enter evermore deeply into His Heart of Love, no other love can replace His, not even that of a close (human) spouse! There is no other! He is the only Spouse, Brother, Friend and Lord of us all! All others in this life are temporary and imperfect. In this deep loving relationship with the Lord, the disciple longs to do and, live in, the will of God. His Will becomes our will. If He made me a woman, even though I may be tempted to desire the life of a man, I will offer that pain to Him seeking only his understanding and guidance because I desire only His will.

If I desire to live the life of the opposite sex of which I was born, or desire to be married to another of the same sex, then I need to look at environmental factors that may have contributed to that condition such as: Was I sexually abused at some point in my life?, Did both of my parents share the responsibility of my upbringing? Did my parents love the Lord with their whole heart, mind, and soul? Did they share the love of the Lord with me? Did my parents love each other as Christ loved the Church? How did they get along with each other? How did I get along with my siblings? Was my religious education rich or poor?

Sickness and death came into the world due to sin and must be faced by every single human being. Having problems with sexual identity and desires, on the other hand, are particular to a small percentage of people. Transgenders have problems with the sex that they were born with and therefore desire to change it. “Married” homosexuals and those who engage in sexual acts must deal with the problem of not being able to produce the offspring of their mutual love together without involving the sexuality of another party. We, therefore, must ask ourselves: Did God purposely make some people the “wrong” sex so that they should desire to change it or did He make a mistake? Did God purposely make some people to share intimate love but not allow them to have the fruit of that love be entirely their own? If we believe this, what does it say about God?

From the beginning, after the fall in the garden, God made Adam and Eve clothing to cover their nakedness. This covering, among other things, is a sign of the sacredness of our sexuality. We cover or veil that which is most holy to the Lord, just as the tabernacle was veiled in the Old Testament, and is now covered and veiled in our churches. Our sexuality is sacred because it is from these parts of our bodies that He creates new life. The seed of the male is deposited into the part or place of the female where it will grow and become one of God’s greatest miracles! In homosexuals, procreation is impossible.

A point to always remember is that homosexuals and transgenders are very much loved by God and that their desires, in and of themselves, are not sinful. Sin enters these individuals when they don’t give their sexualities to God and love Him with all their heart.

You certainly have not wasted my time, N. I love you, my brother in the Lord, and will pray deeply for you! Please keep in touch. Peace and good! In the Sacred Heart of Jesus our Spouse, Dianne Joselyn, CFP

The Fast of Saint Martin

The Fast of St. Martin begins November 12 and lasts until Christmas. Those at the Novice 3 level and above are to observe this fast as stated in the CFP Rule, following the guidelines in the CFP Constitutions. In a nutshell, the daily fast involves two meals a day, one being larger than the other, and no solid food in between (the days of abstinence from meat remain the same as always). However, as always, Sundays and Solemnities are never days of fast or abstinence.

Confraternity Photo Album

Tom Lonsberry stands in front of the gazebo at the entrance to Mary’s Glen. Tom organized his Scout Troop to power wash, paint, repair, and re-roof the gazebo as his Eagle Scout project. Tom and your troop—thank you so much! It’s beautiful!

The interior of the prayer chapel in Mary’s Glen is currently being completed, but we thank the family of Madeleine Drobney for donating the vintage crucifix that is already hung there.

On site volunteer Tim Luncsford works three weeks to reroof a storage shed on the CFP back property. The old door was also removed.

Christmas Shopping?

Keep the CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop in mind! Many beautiful gift items. Your patronage helps to support the Confraternity of Penitents. 

Have a Blessed Advent and a Joyous Christmas!

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May God bless you and give you joy!