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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 30, 2022 in: Pastor

ANNUNZIATA PARISH LISTENING SESSIONS

Please choose either Tuesday, October 25 from 6-8 p.m. OR Thursday, October 27 from 6-8 p.m. to participate in a listening session for our Parish. Basically, the program will have a pre-recorded message from Archbishop Rozanski and one from Father Chris Martin, the Vicar for

Strategic Planning for the Archdiocese, with an overview of the process called “All Things New”. Next on the agenda will be a planning area overview. There are 15 of these areas, and Annunziata is in Area 6. Next, multiple DRAFT MODEL options will be considered.

Please understand that a Model is an option as to how parishes in our planning area could be structured. The Models are “unfinished” because they need your insight and feedback. We need the input of the parishioners of

Annunziata so that a recommendation can be presented to the Archbishop.

To register go to: allthingsnew.archstl.org

To obtain the Parish Workbook with pertinent data about the Archdiocese, our local planning area, and our specific Church of the Annunziata go to: allthingsnew.archstl.org

Should you have any difficulties registering for our Listening Session, please contact the Rectory at 314-993-4422 during regular office hours.

RESPECT LIFE MONTH and THE MONTH OF THE ROSARY

To pray the rosary daily during this month of October offers the opportunity to intercede through our Blessed Mother to protect all human life. The essence of our identity is that we are created in God’s image and likeness and are loved unconditionally! Nothing can diminish the priceless worth of any human life. Every person is cherished.

God calls each of us to be messengers of Christ’s love, treating one another as sacred and chosen by God. In doing so, we can help build a culture that respects all human life. Every person is needed to create a community that guards and protects the unborn, the elderly, the infirm, and the challenged.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 23, 2022 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

In our parish bulletin last week I shared with you a new stage in our Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Process: Listening Sessions. If you did not see it, please go to our parish website annunziata.org to view it.

Annunziata Parishioners are encouraged to sign up for either Tuesday, October 25 from 6-8 p.m. OR Thursday, October 27 from 6-8 p.m. at https://allthingsnew.archstl.org/ The Listening Sessions will take place here at the Parish. Once you have registered, please go to and review Annunziata Parish Workbook.

Should you have any difficulties registering for a Listening Session, please contact the Parish Office at 314-993-4422 during regular office hours.


All Things New Parish Listening Sessions

A number of questions being asked, along with the responses from our Office of Strategic Planning, are below in the FAQ’s. Please take the time to look them over in preparation for the Listening Session you will attend.

Listening Sessions FAQ’s

What are the listening sessions and how do I attend one at my parish?

The Archdiocese of St. Louis will host over 350 Listening Sessions throughout our 178 parishes between October 8th & November 19th, 2022. Parishioners are invited to register for their parish’s listening session beginning mid-September at https://allthingsnew/archstl.org/ Parishioners must register in order to attend a Listening Session. Registration will close once the designated room’s seating capacity is reached. There will not be additional opportunities for Listening Sessions other than the ones scheduled for each parish. Each Listening Session will be facilitated by volunteer parishioners from a different parish. These trained facilitators will share pre-recorded messages from Archbishop Rozanski and Fr. Chris Martin, Vicar for Strategic Planning, with an overview of All Things New, a planning area overview and multiple DRAFT model options to consider for the respective planning area. A brief time will be allowed for small group discussion and facilitated large group feedback.

How can I prepare for a listening session?

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has created Parish Workbooks as a supplementary resource to help parishioners prepare for the Listening Sessions. The workbooks are meant to equip pastors and parishioners with data about the Archdiocese of St. Louis, their local planning area, and their specific parish. The data contained in the Parish Workbook was created by the Pastoral Planning Committee and validated by Pastors and Key Parish Leaders over the past several months. The workbooks incorporate data gathered over the past twenty years from parishes across the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese is releasing the Parish Workbooks for each of our 178 parishes several weeks in advance of the Listening Sessions so parishioners have adequate time to review the information and fully inform themselves in preparation for their parish’s scheduled Listening Sessions. Each Parish Workbook is posted for anyone to view on allthingsnew.archstl.org

What if I cannot attend a listening session?

After the final Listening Session in each planning area, the Archdiocese will make public the content presented at all the parish’s Listening Sessions in that planning area and will offer an additional opportunity for parishioners to provide open-ended feedback through an online survey. The survey will remain open until December 31, 2022. Parishioner feedback to the models is critical, as it will be used to help shape the future of the Archdiocese.

If I cannot make a listening session at my own parish, can I go to another parish’s listening session?

Each Listening Session will have information unique to the parish hosting it and the planning area in which it is located, so it is best to go to your parish’s Listening Session.

Do I have to go to both listening sessions if my parish has two listening sessions?

The same information is presented at both Listening Sessions at the same parish, so you are invited to attend one of them.

What is a planning area?

A Planning Area is a number of parishes and schools in a geographic region which will be considered together to develop proposed structural options for the future. There are 15 Planning Areas in the Archdiocese.

What is a model?

A Model is an option as to how parishes in your Planning Area could be structured. The Models are “unfinished” because they need parishioner and community insight and feedback. The purpose of the Listening Sessions is to gather input on these proposed options so that a recommendation can be presented to Archbishop Rozanski for his discernment.

Will I find out if my parish is going to close at the listening sessions?

No. You will be presented with different DRAFT models for your planning area which may show merger options. No decisions will be made about specific closures or mergers until after all the Listening Sessions and additional feedback opportunities.

Please continue to pray for the gift of true discernment so that we may continue to do the Will of God in all things.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 16, 2022 in: Pastor

I received this important message from our Archdiocesan Office of Strategic Planning that I wanted to share with you:

Thanks to all of you who have participated in the All Things New surveys and provided data and feedback over the past few months. The information has been enlightening, educational and fruitful as we continue to ask ourselves what our parishes, ministries and institutions need to look like in order to effectively share our Catholic faith in a way that is suitable and sustainable for our children and generations to come.

The next step in this multi-year process is to hear more robustly from you, our parishioners, about our parish. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will host over 350 listening sessions throughout our 178 parishes between October 8—November 19, 2022.

Annunziata Parish will have two listening sessions: Tuesday, October 25 from 6-8 pm and Thursday, Oct 27 from 6-8 pm. (Please note that Parishioners only need to come to one Listening Session, as the information presented at both will be the same.) You are invited to register for the Annunziata Listening Session at: https://allthingsnew.archstl.org/. It is necessary to be a registered parishioner of Annunziata to attend one of our Listening Sessions. Registration will close once the designated room’s seating capacity is reached. There will not be additional opportunities for Listening Sessions other than the ones scheduled for each parish.

Each listening session, including ours, will be facilitated by volunteer parishioners from a different parish. These trained facilitators will share pre-recorded messages from Archbishop Rozanski and Fr. Chris Martin, Vicar for Strategic Planning, with an overview of All Things New, a planning area overview and multiple DRAFT model options to consider for our respective planning area. A brief time will be allowed for small group discussion and facilitated large group feedback.

The goals of the listening sessions are to engage as many of you as possible in understanding the current state of our parish and diocese and to solicit feedback from as many of you as possible about the DRAFT models options for their planning area.

After the final listening session in each planning area, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will make public the content presented at all the Parish Listening Sessions in that planning area and will offer an additional opportunity for parishioners to provide open-ended feedback through an online survey. The survey will remain open until December 31, 2022. Parishioner feedback to the models is critical, as it will be used to help shape the future of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

In order for you to be fully prepared with accurate information before our parish listening sessions, you will receive access to our Parish Workbook. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has created Parish Workbooks as a supplementary resource to help us prepare for the listening sessions. The workbooks are meant to equip us with data about the Archdiocese of St. Louis, our local planning area, and our specific parish. Our Parish Workbook is posted on allthingsnew.archstl.org/ for anyone to view. You can access the Annunziata Workbook on the Listening Session page beneath Fr. Martin’s video. We are in Planning Area #6.

Please continue to pray for the gift of true discernment so that we may continue to do the Will of God in all things.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 09, 2022 in: Pastor

Keep Holy the Lord's Day

With the opening of our Parish School of Religion on this Sunday, it is a great time to pray in thanksgiving to God for the gift of our Catholic Faith and for the special people God has chosen to share it with us! First and foremost, thank you God for our great parents, the first and most important teachers of their children in the ways of the Faith. Thank you God for all those who assist parents in this great privilege and responsibility, especially our P.S.R. Teachers and Staff.

As Catholics, we believe the Mass is the heart of our Faith. We rightly refer to the Sunday Eucharist as the source and summit of our Catholic Life. The other Sacraments, our private prayer and devotion, and the good works that flow from our faith are all essentially connected and oriented to the Eucharist. The truth that we proclaim is that Jesus, the risen Son of God, is really present in the Eucharist. Jesus gives Himself to us in the New Covenant as our spiritual food and drink. Our participation in the Mass acknowledges and seals our right relationship with God and with the community. And it is the best thing we can do for ourselves.

When we say that we have “missed” Mass on Sunday, we only acknowledge part of the truth. We have actually chosen to do something else instead, something that is not the right worship of God. Even without intending it, we have placed a false god at the head of the week’s activities and responsibilities. A serious disorder results in the life-giving covenant that God is offering us in the sacrifice of Jesus.

We know that some particular circumstances may prevent us from coming to Mass or excuse us from the obligation. You may need to care for a sick family member. There may be an unexpected change in a work schedule. Anyone who is ill should stay home. Because the pandemic is not fully contained, anyone who feels at risk for contracting or communicating the virus should not come to Mass. Do not be scrupulous; if you are anxious about this, you are excused for the foreseeable future.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 16, 2022 in: Pastor

Feast Of The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Christ

In the celebration of the Eucharist (Holy Mass), bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole CHRIST is truly present—BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, and DIVINITY—under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. The Catholic Church teaches that the Risen Christ is fully present under either species of Holy Communion. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST” in Holy Communion.

As we are all aware, when the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, various restrictions were put in place across the Archdiocese of St. Louis to help stop the spread of the virus. One of those restrictions was the stopping of the use of the common chalice for the faithful.

On this Feast of Corpus Christi, Archbishop Rozanski has asked each pastor in the Archdiocese to make a responsible decision which is prudent for the local situation regarding the return of the common chalice. I have consulted with medical and scientific experts on Covid, and based on their risk assessments and advice, have decided at this time to postpone resumption of the common chalice.

All Things New - Strategic Pastoral Planning

I hope that you were able to read Archbishop Rozanski’s column from the Faith St. Louis magazine that I re-printed in our parish bulletin for the last two weekends. The Archbishop directly responded to “Addressing some of the rumors around “ALL THINGS NEW.”

As I have shared in previous bulletins, Annunziata had 370 people fill out the surveys which gathered information on our parish. Our parish committee has held one virtual zoom meeting and three in person meetings to go over the results and then submit our review to the Archdiocesan Committee. The results will be shared with the parish later this summer.

All Things New is to enable a vibrant Catholic presence throughout the Archdiocese for future generations. It is a multi-year process of prayer, evangelization, and re-organization of parishes and schools. Following the surveys, new models for spreading the Gospel will be proposed for the best use of the resources of the Archdiocese. Please, visit the website: www.allthingsnew.archstl.org

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 10, 2022 in: Pastor

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

“The grace of Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit”

The Catechism teaches that “by sending His only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed His innermost secrets.

God Himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and He has destined us to share in that exchange.” (CCC221)

“The Complete Trinity dwells in us” (R.P. Philippon)

“By worshiping the Trinity we realize the full truth of ourselves.”

“In the communion of grace with the Trinity, man’s living area is broadened and raised up to the supernatural level of divine life. Man lives in God and by God.” (St. John Paul II)

“We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.” (Athanasian Creed)

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FROM OUR PASTOR.....

Posted on April 08, 2022 in: Pastor

The Light is On for You!
Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Sacrament of God's Loving Forgiveness

Confessions will be offered (behind the screen only)

Saturdays - 3:30p.m. until 4:45p.m.

Palm Sunday - after all Masses

Wednesday, April 13th - 5:00 until 7:00p.m.

Good Friday - after the 12:00 noon Stations of the Cross and
                       after the 7:00p.m. service

Schedule for Holy Week

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All Things New

Posted on March 18, 2022 in: Pastor

FROM OUR PASTOR.....

Posted on March 11, 2022 in: Pastor

THE POWER OF PRAYER BEFORE
THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

In Christ, there is always reason to have hope!!  Christ tells us that He is with us. St. Paul reminds us that all things are possible for God. We need to Pray, and part of that prayer is taking time to be with God in the silence.

In our lives there is so much going on in us and all around us. We all deeply desire Peace in our hearts, in our families, and throughout the world, especially in Ukraine. In our own Archdiocese, Archbishop Rozanski has asked us to pray daily so that all Catholics will take part in the Strategic Planning Process by giving their input through the Disciple Maker Index survey. Each member of the Archdiocese is asked to take this fifteen minute survey.

Your parish wants to invite you to come for adoration at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16th. There will be time for silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, a Scripture reading, a brief homily, and Benediction at 7:45. Adoration will be offered on Wednesdays, March 23rd and March 30th. During the Lenten Parish Mission, Adoration will be held on Sunday, April 3rd, at 7 p.m.

V   Christ is Really there!  “I myself am the living Bread come down from Heaven.”

V   Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because of His Infinite love for you! “Behold I will
     be with you always even to the end of the world...because “I have loved you  with an everlasting love,
     and constant is My affection for you.”

V   When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God. “Indeed, this is the will of my
     Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. I will raise you
     on the last day.”

V   Each moment that you spend in the Risen Christ’s Eucharistic Presence will increase His Divine Life
      within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with Him.  “I have come that you
      may have life and have it more abundantly.”

V   For peace in our hearts, our families, our country, our world!  “When my people humble themselves and
     seek my presence...I will revive their hearts, their souls and their lands.”

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 04, 2022 in: Pastor

LENTEN PARISH MISSION

I am delighted that Father Charles Samson will lead us in this year’s Mission. Father will preach the Sunday Masses on April 2nd and 3rd. On Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m., we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with a homily by Father Samson, concluding with Benediction. Holy Mass will be offered on Monday, April 4th, at 7:00 p.m., followed by an opportunity for the Sacrament of the Anointing. Then on Tuesday, April 5th after the 7:00 p.m. Holy Mass, the Sacrament of God’s Loving Forgiveness will be offered with four priests available.

Father Charles Samson was ordained a priest in 2013. Fr. Samson’s home parish is St. Clement of Rome in Des Peres. He graduated from St. Louis University High School in 2005, and then entered Cardinal Glennon College seminary. After graduating from Glennon in 2009, Fr. Samson was sent to Rome to undertake advanced studies in theology. He received a Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2012, a License in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 2015, and then a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian in 2022. His areas of expertise are the Book of Exodus and the Gospel of Matthew, and he specializes in ancient biblical languages and biblical archaeology. Fr. Samson leads the seminarians from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary to the Holy Land every year after Christmas for a three-week long course on biblical archaeology, which he teaches, and pilgrimage. Fr. Samson presently teaches on the faculty at Kenrick-Glennon, and he resides at the Old Cathedral downtown. Fr. Samson loves being a priest, and he enjoys young adult ministry and leading marriage preparations. Fr. Samson has a twin brother, with whom he shares a passion for running, ultimate frisbee, and Star Wars.

PRAYER and OFFERINGS for UKRAINE

Pope Francis called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer on Ash Wednesday for the people of Ukraine and peace in the world. Throughout Lent may we continue our prayers for world peace, and especially for the brave people of Ukraine who are suffering so much. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.

The Collection to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will be an opportunity for us to help the people of Ukraine who have lost everything. Every offering we receive through Sunday, March 13th, will be sent in its entirety to Catholic Relief Services.

ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

On this Wednesday, March 9th, we offer an opportunity for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 7 p.m. in Church. We will conclude with Benediction at 7:45.

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A Lent Full of Opportunities

Posted on February 28, 2022 in: Pastor

Ash Wednesday, March 2nd
Mass and distribution of blessed ashes
at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m.

Fridays, beginning March 4th
Stations of the Cross — 2:20 p.m.

Lenten Wednesday, March 9th
Adoration and Benediction
of the Blessed Sacrament & short homily
7:00 to 7:45 p.m.

GOD’S
LOVING FORGIVENESS

            The Android app “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” and the Apple app ConfesGuide” are not designed to forgive sins (we still need a priest for that) but to help prepare people to receive the Sacrament of God’s healing and loving forgiveness.  The apps include an examination of conscience, a step-by-step guide to the celebration of the Sacrament, and other prayers.  

            The Congregation for the Sacraments in Rome stated, “this is not a substitute for actual confession of sins to a priest, but it might be a very helpful aid, especially for those who have been away from the Sacrament for a long time, as well as for young people who are so attuned to the digital world.”

CONFESSIONS ARE AVAILABLE

SATURDAYS
FROM 3:30 TO 4:45 P.M.

THE SUNDAYS OF LENT
AFTER MASSES

TUESDAY EVENING, APRIL 5TH

 

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 18, 2022 in: Pastor

UNCEASING PRAYER

On Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, every Catholic from Junior High on up, will be invited to participate in an anonymous comprehensive survey. The 75 multiple choice statements will provide feedback so essential to evaluate the effectiveness of the Church in St. Louis, and Annunziata in particular. We seek to identify opportunities for improvement and renewal within all parishes, schools, diocesan offices, and agencies.

Together we need to develop a strategic plan in order that our parishes, ministries and institutions can effectively share the Catholic Faith in a way that is suitable and sustainable for our children and for generations to come.

As Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski wrote, “With St. Paul, let us begin this journey together with prayer.” This Wednesday, February 23, you are invited to participate in a Holy Hour to pray in the presence of Our Risen Lord beginning at 7 p.m. Father Chris Martin, the Priest who represents the Archbishop in guiding this multi-year process called “All Things New”, will preside and preach.

As a Parish, as an Archdiocese, we need to pray unceasingly, asking for God to enter our hearts and minds and guide our actions as we consider the best path forward. Personal or private prayer on a daily basis is absolutely essential to being a mature follower of Jesus Christ.

Taking part in the Sunday Mass is very important. But it is not enough. Not even being a daily Mass-goer is sufficient for being a disciple of Jesus, if you do not “go into your inner room and pray in secret.” While participating in Sunday or weekday Mass is essential and powerful, this does not eliminate the need for private time with God.

PLEASE COME, AND BRING YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE WORD OF GOD, FR. CHRIS MARTIN PREACHING, AND BENEDICTION ON THIS
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23, at 7 pm!

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STRATEGIC PASTORAL PLANNING INITIATIVE

Posted on February 11, 2022 in: Pastor

On January 25th,  Archbishop Rozanski announced a pivotal moment in the life of the Church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, meant to enable us to assess every aspect of our Archdiocese and make necessary adjustments to our ministries and supporting structures to reflect the needs of our communities for the next century.

This initiative “All Things New” seeks to enable a vibrant Catholic presence across every square mile of our Archdiocese.  Throughout this process, every Catholic will have several opportunities to provide feedback on their aspirations for the Archdiocese.  The first of these opportunities will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, where every Catholic in the Archdiocese will be asked to take a survey.

The survey, known as the “Disciples Maker Index” is an anonymous 75 question multiple choice instrument designed to provide an opportunity for parishioners to reflect on their individual spiritual growth and overall parish effectiveness.

Almost 300,000 Catholics at more than 1,500 parishes throughout 40 dioceses have taken the Disciple Maker Index since 2013, providing not just valuable data for each parish, but also for the Archdiocese, and for the Catholic Church nationally as well. 

Every Catholic, from junior high on up in age is encouraged to take the anonymous survey.  Catholics who are actively practicing their Faith, Catholics who come to Mass only occasionally, Catholics who have chosen not to practice their faith, or who have left the Catholic Church are invited to fill out this anonymous survey. Please pray that all Catholics in our parish will participate in filling out this survey instrument, which will be available online and on paper commencing March 2nd.  

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FROM OUR PASTOR…

Posted on February 04, 2022 in: Pastor

DEVOTION TO THE SAINTS

At his weekly audience, Pope Francis said that when he was little, he thought the phrase “the communion of saints” in the Creed meant that the saints in heaven were receiving Holy Communion.  Instead, the communion of saints expresses how “every member of the church is bound to each of us in a profound way and this bond is so strong that it cannot be broken even by death.”

Pope Francis sought to clarify the difference between devotion to a saint, even to Mary or St. Joseph, and superstition or idolatry.  “Sometimes even Christianity can fall into forms of devotion that seem to reflect a mentality that is more pagan than Christian.”  But the fundamental difference is that our prayer and the devotion of the faithful people is not based on trust in a human being, or in an image or an object, even when we know they are sacred.”  It is not the saints who work miracles, but only the Grace of God that acts through them.”

Just as a person can have a friendship with another parishioner, he or she can have a relationship with a brother or sister in heaven.  The saints are friends and devotion is actually a way of expressing the love that comes from this bond that unites us.

“In Christ no one can ever truly separate us from those we love.  Only the manner of being with them changes, but nothing and no one can break this bond.  The communion of saints holds together the community of believers on earth and in heaven.”

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SICK

February 11th, Friday of this week, is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and World Day of Prayer for the Sick.  There has always been a strong tradition of bringing the sick and suffering to Lourdes to experience love and healing. The healing offered at Lourdes sometimes takes the form of extraordinary miracles, but always brings with it a beautiful healing that comes from treating the sick and suffering with dignity and compassion.

In 1992,  St. Pope John Paul II asked that with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, all believers might offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses.  We take this opportunity to pray for Doctors and Nurses who treat the sick and for all health care workers who seek to be God’s instruments of love and compassion.

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Heart to Heart

Posted on January 21, 2022 in: Pastor

Heart to Heart

Whoever put the odd idea into our heads that something has to happen when we pray?  Right from childhood, we start off on the wrong track when well-meaning adults regularly ask us, “Have you finished your prayers?”  As though prayer was something to “do.”  Other verbs convey a certain image or ideal we have of prayer, such as “feeling,” hearing,” “understanding things.”  But in reality, those things are rarely experienced.”

Prayer can often feel arid, or in any case not always live up to our expectations. We feel let down.  That’s when we are tempted to blame God because,  if God really loved us, God would answer our prayers.  Or we blame ourselves because, if we really loved God, we ought to be able to get through to Him.  If the connection is poor on one end of the line or the other, doesn’t it make more sense just to hang up?  So too often, after several attempts, we give up on prayer. 

Great spiritual writers suggest that the correct verb to use in speaking of prayer is “to be.”  To pray is to be -  to be with. That’s what prayer is all about.  St. Augustine understood this well when, with sadness he asked:  “My God, you who are everywhere, how is it that I find you nowhere?”

The problem is not the absence of Christ or His distance from human history.  As St. John Paul II said, “There is one problem only that exists always and everywhere: the problem of our being present to Christ.”  What is the point of insisting on the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as well as in the other Sacraments, in God’s Church, in fraternal love, in the service of the poor, if we ourselves are not also present?

When Jesus sent His Apostles out bearing the Good News to all nations, He emphatically stated:  “I am with you always, to the end of the ages!” (Mt. 20:28) But “to be with” takes at least two.  This is the very heart of faith as an experience, a living faith:  to be with Jesus, with Jesus who wished to be with us. 

The Saints teach us that the quality of our prayer is not measured by the number of lovely thoughts or wonderful sensations we derive from it.  But by the fact that, in this world we live in, in the moment of our life in which we find ourselves, we dare to open ourselves up to being with God.  The Bible calls it “face to face.”  Some spiritual writers call it “heart to heart.”  It is essential that God find us waiting!

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FROM OUR PASTOR…

Posted on January 14, 2022 in: Pastor

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Our late Holy Father, St. John Paul II, visited the United States in September of 1987. On September 12th, he addressed Catholics in Louisiana, “In the most difficult hours of your struggle for civil rights amidst discrimination and oppression, God guided your steps along the way of peace. Before the witness of history the response of non-violence stands, in the memory of this Nation, as a monument of honor to the Black Community of the United States. We recall those who with Christian vision opted for non-violence as the only truly effective approach for ensuring and safeguarding human dignity. We think of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and of the providential role he played in contributing to the rightful human betterment of black Americans and therefore to the improvement of American society itself.

Monday, January 17, on the National Day commemorating Dr. King’s Birthday, we remember some of his inspiring words that can touch our souls:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

"The ultimate measure of a human being is not where the person stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where the person stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“By the Grace of Almighty God, we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish as fools.”

(The Parish Office will be closed Monday, January 17th, National Day commemorating Dr. King’s Birthday.)

THE PASTORAL WISDOM OF POPE FRANCIS

This past Monday, January 10th, Pope Francis suggested that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus was a “moral obligation,” and denounced how people had been swayed by

“baseless information” to refuse one of the most effective measures to save lives during the pandemic. Pope Francis had previously termed vaccination as “an act of love and

contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love.” Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and

caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable.

WEARING A MASK IS LIFE-SAVING

Please wear a mask! Why, you say? The research is clear: individuals with Covid-19 can be symptom free for up to 5 days, not realizing they are carrying the coronavirus and spread it to others more at risk than themselves. We all care for our families and those we love. Let’s keep them safe!

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FROM OUR PASTOR…

Posted on January 07, 2022 in: Pastor

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

Today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the final celebration of the Christmas season. Tomorrow, we begin “Ordinary Time” once again. But as you know, we are not in an “ordinary” year.

Pope Francis makes it clear: “Our Baptism inserts us into the Body of the Church, into the holy people of God. And in this Body, in this people who are walking, faith is transmitted from generation to generation. Baptism gives us new birth in Christ, makes us sharers in the mystery of His death and resurrection, grants the forgiveness of sin and brings us new freedom as God’s children and members of His Church.”

On this Feast, we are urged not to forget the great gift we have received. Our Baptism has changed us, given us a new and glorious hope, and empowered us to bring God’s redeeming love to all, particularly the poor, in whom we see the face of Christ. Our Baptism has also given us a share in the Church’s mission of evangelization: as disciples, we are also missionaries.

Pope Francis urges us on this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord to ask the Holy Trinity to renew in us the grace of our Baptism and to make us, with all our brothers and sisters, true children of God and living members of His Body, the Church.

A NEW YEAR: FAITH DEMANDS WORSHIP

As we begin the Year of Grace, 2022, the Pope prayed that all believers might discover in a deeper way that “Faith demands worship!” Adoration means putting the Lord at the center, not ourselves. Pope Francis explained that worship means “making space for God’s plan”, realizing that we belong with God, and being able to speak to God freely and intimately. Worship means discovering that in order to pray, it is enough to say ‘My Lord and my God’, and to allow ourselves to be filled by God’s tender love.

Worship is an act of love that changes our lives. Although we have some idea of what it means to pray, the Church must go even further with the prayer of adoration, we have to grow in adoration. It is wisdom that we must learn each day.

By praying in adoration, we allow Jesus to heal and to change us…to transform us by His love, to kindle light amid our darkness, to grant us strength in weakness, and courage amid trials. By kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, in the Real Presence of the Risen Christ, we discover that life’s greatness consists not in having, but in loving!

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Epiphany Blessing for Home and Family

Posted on January 04, 2022 in: Pastor

Epiphany Blessing for Home and Family

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation,
for through Your goodness You have given us shelter from the cold and light of Your Word to brighten the darkness of night.
We come to You bearing no gifts for everything we have is a gift from You.
All we can offer is our love for each other and our faith in your Son.
Transform, then, these humble gifts into an epiphany,
a revelation of Your Divine Presence,
and bless our home and all who come to it.
May our home and family be a light for all who are lost and afraid,
a place of peace and hospitality for those in need,
and a sign that you are indeed God with us.
And when our long journey has ended, lead us all by the star of Your mercy
that we may come home to You to the dwelling place You have prepared for us in heaven.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.      Amen.

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FROM OUR PASTOR.....

Posted on December 17, 2021 in: Pastor

WELCOME TO ALL!

To all visiting Family and Friends
To new Parishioners
To all Visitors
To all our Parish Family...

a warm and loving welcome
to the Celebration of Christmas!
We hope everyone will feel at home,
as together, in song and praise,
we thank God for all our
many blessings!

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FROM OUR PASTOR.....

Posted on December 10, 2021 in: Pastor

THE GREATEST GIFT

          Pope Francis presents a very timely question, “How can we respond to those who say that there is no need to go to Mass, not even on Sundays, because what is important is to live well and to love our neighbors?”

          “It is true that the quality of the Christian life is measured by the capacity to love, as Jesus says in the Gospels.  But how can we practice the Gospel without drawing the necessary strength to do it, one Sunday after another, from the inexhaustible spring of the Holy Eucharist?” 

           Our Holy Father points out that participating in Sunday does fulfill the Third Commandment and the law of the Church.  But even more importantly, we Catholics need to participate in Sunday Mass because only with the Grace of Jesus, with His living presence in us and among us, can we put into practice the Great Commandment, “You shall love the Lord Your God…..and Your Neighbor as yourself” and be credible witnesses.  Holy Communion is where we find our strength for daily life.  Without the Eucharist we are “condemned to be dominated by the fatigue of everyday life.”  “Often consumed by worries and fears, Sunday Mass is where Christ gives us the strength to live each day with courage and hope.”

          “At Sunday Mass we rest from the busyness and work of the week, which teaches us to place our trust in the Father, not in earthly things," the Pope said.  The Prayer from the Roman Missal addresses God, saying:  “You do not need our praise, but for a gift of your love you call us to give you thanks; our hymns of blessing do not increase your greatness, but they obtain for us the Grace that Saves Us!”

 

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR’S MASSES

Friday, December 24th,  CHRISTMAS EVE
5:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 25th,  CHRISTMAS DAY
7:00. 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
(There will be no 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, December 25th.)

Saturday, January 1st, NEW YEARS DAY
7:00 and 10:00 a.m.
(There will be no 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday January 1st.)

NOTE:  January 1st, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is NOT
a Holy Day of Obligation.

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FROM OUR PASTOR.....

Posted on December 03, 2021 in: Pastor

A NEW OUTLOOK ON CONFESSION

            Congratulations to our Second Grade Girls and Boys in our Parish School of Religion as they receive the Sacrament of Joy for the first time on this Tuesday evening!  You may ask, "what is the pastor talking about?"  I want to assure you that it is not the Sacrament of Confession, scarcely frequented these days, that is changing.  Pope Francis proposes a completely different outlook on Confession, different from the experience of so many Catholics and different from a certain historical legacy.

          First of all, Pope Francis indicates that within the Sacrament lies “the remedy” for the moments in life when we are down.  Pope Francis asks all of us, “What do you think about when you go to confession?  I am almost certain of the answer:  sins.  But are sins really the focus of confession?  Does God want you to approach God by thinking about you, your sins, OR ABOUT GOD?”

            Pope Francis proposes something that can provoke a Copernican revolution in the life of each one of us:  “I am no longer at the center of the Sacrament of Penance, humiliated with my list of sins—perhaps always the same ones—to be told with difficulty to the priest.  AT THE CENTER is the meeting with God who welcomes, embraces, forgives, and raises us up.  Go to confession as a child of God who comes to receive God the  Father’s unconditional love!  Pope Francis emphasizes, “Hear this well:  God always forgives!  Do you understand?  God always forgives!”  We are not going to a judge to settle accounts, but to Jesus who loves me and heals me!”

            This new outlook on the Sacrament of Confession proposed by Pope Francis asks us not to remain prisoners of shame for our sins, shame which is a good thing, but to overcome it, because “God is never ashamed of you.  God loves you right there, where you are ashamed of yourself.  God loves you always!”

            To those who still cannot forgive themselves, believing that not even God can do it “because I will always fall into the same sins," Pope Francis says, “When does God take offense?  When you go to ask God for forgiveness? No! Never! God suffers when you think God can’t forgive us, because it is like telling God, ‘You are weak in love!’  Instead, God rejoices in forgiving us, every time.  When God raises us up, God believes in us as God did the first time.  God does not get discouraged.  We are the ones who get discouraged, God does not.  God does not see sinners to label, but children to Love.

CONSIDER THIS:  the Sacrament of Confession—from shame to celebration, from humiliation to joy.  This does not come from Pope Francis, but from the GOSPEL!

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FROM OUR PASTOR

Posted on November 29, 2021 in: Pastor

ADVENT…..

A TIME OF HOPE…..A YEAR OF GRACE

           

            Advent invites me, you, everybody to acknowledge this: 

Dear God, the world is a mess, and my own life is less than whole. Something—NO—SOMEONE—is missing.  We—I—really need YOU!  If you are willing to admit your life is not whole, that you need a rescuer, a helper, someone to intervene, and want a Savior:

PRAYER:  These days of preparation during Advent are a great time to regularly spend some quiet time with God.

BIBLE:  Read St. Luke’s Gospel 5 minutes each Advent Day.

MASS:  Participate in Sunday Mass and receive the Risen Christ in Holy  Communion.

CONFESSION:  Try to receive God’s loving forgiveness — available  every Saturday beginning at 3:30 p.m. and after Mass as announced on some Advent Sundays.  THE SACRAMENT OF GOD’S MERCY AND

               FORGIVENESS WITH 3 PRIESTS  AVAILABLE ON TUESDAY,

               DECEMBER 14th, FROM  5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

CHARITY:  Advent is a time to share, love, remember, serve, forgive, help out, Let people know you care for them.

               

SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Wednesday, December 8th, is a Holy Day of Obligation

honoring the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother,

the patroness of the United States of America.  We ask for

our Blessed Mother’s intercession, that Christ will

protect our Country during this time of uncertainty. 

 

To allow everyone an opportunity to attend Mass on this day,

Mass will be offered on Wednesday, December 8th at

7:00 a.m., 7:45 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. 

(There will be no vigil Mass on Tuesday, December 7th.)

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FROM OUR PASTOR

Posted on November 19, 2021 in: Pastor

Happy Thanksgiving

 

PLEASE COME TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD ON THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH! 
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered at
7:00 and 9:00 a.m

There is a hurting world out there who needs to hear about Jesus and witness the difference He makes in our lives as we choose to grow in obedience and produce the fruit of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, heartfelt kindness, and love…  Let’s choose to live lives of gratitude, growth, and not forget Heaven is waiting and one day there will be a welcome party for us as we come home…

Christ Our King

When Pope Pius XI instituted a special feast honoring Christ “the King” in 1925, he grieved for a world that had been ravaged by the First World War and which had begun to bow down before the “lords” of exploitative consumerism, nationalism, secularism, and new forms of injustice.

     This Sunday’s celebration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe reminds us that the Kingdom of Christ isn’t some far-off   reality.  We are living in that Kingdom now.  After all, Jesus tells the dying thief “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”  But this feast   also reminds us that while we should honor Jesus as our “Sovereign King”, we must also emulate his total gift of Himself, perfectly       embodied in His sacrifice on the Cross.  It is only by imitating our thorn-crowned King that we can help bring relief to those who suffer and God’s healing mercy to those who long for forgiveness, helping to proclaim the Good News of the Reign of Christ in the world today.

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Dear Annunziata Parishioners,
As the State of Missouri relaxes restrictions in regard to Covid-19, the CDC reminds us that the coronavirus is still being passed among us, and numbers are increasing in many areas because of relaxed restrictions. The Church of the Annunziata is continuing follow the CDC guidelines and take ever...

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