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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 13, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

A blessed Father’s Day to all of our fathers: both those whom are living and those whom have gone before us in faith. Celebrating Father’s Day and Mother’s Day gives all of us an opportunity to give thanks for all the support, blessings and love our parents have shared with us. Fathers and mothers have that wonderful opportunity to continue God’s greatest gift, the gift of life; a life and love which both our God and our parents constantly share with us. A simple recognition of thanks is the best gift we can give our parents, a heartfelt appreciation for all they do for us. In a special way this Sunday both in word and at Mass, let us give thanks for the gift of our Fathers.

We are blessed as a Church to have as the patron of father’s St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. While there is no written word, in the scriptures, of Joseph speaking, much is written about how he responded to God’s call in his life and the utter care he gives to Jesus and Mary. From the birth of Jesus to the death of Joseph the actions of Joseph tell the story of a loving father and husband. Perhaps you can take some time this week to review in the scriptures the stories told of loving fathers and let all of us give thanks for those faith-filled and loving fathers in our lives.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

Please remember to return your donation for the ACA (Archdiocesan Annual Campaign). I would love to have a 100% participation even if you cannot give this year please return your cards to the parish. This collection helps the neediest in our Archdiocese, if you have any questions about this collection please contact me. Thank you.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 05, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Although our daily routine of living might change over the summer months, remember one constant -- your relationship with the Lord and His love for you. Sunday morning remains the most important part of the week. No one would ever think to nurture one child but ignore another. There can be no vacation from the celebration of the Eucharist. Each Sunday, no matter what the season, we are called to gather as the family of God to profess our faith prayerfully, purposely and publicly and to be nourished by God’s word and the body and blood of our Lord.

During these summer months let us all try and make some time to enter conversation with our Lord through prayer. Read the scriptures, go to a bookstore, and purchase a book on our faith, participate in Eucharistic Adoration, attend one of our daily liturgies. All these activities are opportunities to spend time with the Lord.

These past eight months it has been my honor to walk with so many of you at important times in your lives (Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, Reconciliation, retreats, Boards, and committees, and especially at the Eucharist). Areas I would like to continue to examine are: RCIA, Bible Study, Acts Retreats and spirituality, anyone interested in helping with these areas please let me know. I am open to any suggestions of how we can enhance our parish experience and our growth in our faith. Let me know if you have any insights in these areas>

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

Our Annual Catholic Appeal continues, so far, we have still not heard from many of our parishioners. Please consider making a pledge to this appeal, which aids the neediest in our archdiocese. If you have any questions about the appeal, please contact me.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 30, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners, Congratulations to our eighth-grade students who were confirmed last week; it was a beautiful ceremony. Special thanks to our PSR coordinator Mrs. Julie Reagan and our eighth-grade teacher Mr. Dan Mauro. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his disciples to wait in Jer...

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 24, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This coming Wednesday we celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker. Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955.

While this is a recent feast, the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history. In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, for the building up of the Body of Christ.

In Brothers of Men, René Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: “Now this holiness (of Jesus) became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of word, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God...in relation to this mystery, involves the conviction that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of someone who is poor and obliged to work for his living.”

Let us especially give thanks for all those who labor for us, let us give thanks for the gifts that we have been given and let the example of Saint Joseph guide us in the works of our lives. On a final note, thank you to all of you who labor for us here at Annunziata and for the fruits of your labor which we all have been blessed to receive.

Lastly, I would like to personally thank Mr. Nicholas Samsel and Mr. Daniel Mauro for all the great contributions and care they have given our parish these past nine months. This is their last weekend here at Ste Genevive du Bois and the Church of the Annunziata as they return to their Diocese to be ordained Transitional Deacons this May. It has been a joy to have them with us and on behalf of our community may our prayers and wishes go with them. Blessings and Godspeed for both men!

Reminder: Our ACA campaign began last week please consider a gift to the needy of our Archdiocese. As I mentioned, I would love to see 100% participation in this campaign, it would say so much to our care for our community.

Easter Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 17, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

One of the gifts of the Easter season is baptism. We are blessed to celebrate many Baptisms a year here at the Church of the Annunziata.  The gift of new life is a great gift to our families and our entire parish community. It was wonderful on Easter to have so many families and their children with us at Mass. The sounds of life were joyful for all.

I especially want our Parents of Young Children to know how grateful we are that you and your family have joined us for Mass at Annunziata.  It is our hope that your little ones will grow up to be vital members of our parish family. We are grateful that you begin this journey with us. I and all of our parish family realize that it’s not easy to get your whole family to Mass, and it can be even more difficult to keep all of your little ones still throughout Mass, but your kids should know that this church is their home and we, the community, are all brothers and sisters. They should feel welcome and at home in this place of worship, in the house of God.

We invite you to sing, pray, teach, respond, and explain what is going on at Mass with your children. Our liturgy is full of life and our little ones learn how to worship through you and your participation. Children learn by example and your dedication to coming to Mass and attentiveness to it will be their best lesson.

The presence of children in Mass is a gift to our church and a sign that we are growing! We rejoice that our children are with us, and that our parish welcomes new life! Please remember to keep encouraging our young families, offer your help if they need it, and support them as best you can!

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Special congratulations to our second graders as they received their First Communion this Saturday April 20!

Easter Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 10, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

During this Easter season we hear from the Acts of the Apostles “Look at those Christians, see how they love one another”!  As we celebrate the gift of the risen Lord in our midst this Easter Season, let us remember the love of God who gave all for us and that same love that we are called to share with each other.

We proclaim that His Love For the Life of the World as we unite with other Catholics and men and women of faith across the Archdiocese. Through the Annual Catholic Appeal, we join together and make possible the Church’s mission of evangelization, education and the many ministries of charity. Your participation in the Appeal helps our parish remain vibrant and keeps our school of religion Alive in Christ. It is important that we all participate and encourage every family and individual in our parish to do so as well.

Our Annual Catholic Appeal: “His Love For the Life of the World”, is the largest and most important annual appeal in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  Your donations are vital to so many in our Archdiocese.  Those you help are: our school children, our teachers, our senior citizens, and our parishes in need.  This appeal also reaches out to a wider community in our city, to the poor, the homeless and the most vulnerable in our society, all are helped by your generous donations.

Thank you for your generous support of the Appeal in the past. Wherever people have a genuine need in our Archdiocese, the Annual Catholic Appeal is likely to be involved in meeting that need. Your gift is critical to the success of this Appeal.

This is one time a year; we come together as Catholics to make this gift to those who need us. At times of joy and celebration, loneliness and grief, birth and death they come to the Church.  Your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal helps the Church be the Church for them.

The reason I am asking for your support today is because I know of your generosity in assisting those in need.  I am so proud of all we do here at The Church of the Annunziata for those in need, and I would love it if we could once again bring Christ’s face to our community here in St. Louis.

I would love it if 100 % of our parish would participate, even if it were only $10.  Our sharing with those in need would speak volumes to our world.  There is a Haitian saying “that God gives the gifts, but doesn’t share. The sharing is up to us”.

I would ask that all of you prayerfully and thoughtfully consider a gift this year.  If you cannot make a monetary gift this year, I would ask that you remember those most in need in your prayers as we show solidarity with all the people of God.  If you have any questions or concerns about the campaign please contact me.

Our Appeal begins the weekend of April 20-21; let us pray for its success and for the Church of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  May God bless you and your family.

Easter Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 04, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Blessed Easter and many thanks to all who helped prepare, participate and attend our Holy Week services.  The altar society, the clergy and all of our various ministers helped to enhance these beautiful liturgies.  Many thanks for their countless hours and gifts that they give to our community.  The Easter decorations are beautiful; our music ministers, ministers, Deacon Tom, and Msgr Leykem brought joy to our celebrations.  I especially want to thank our faith-filled parishioners who through word and action bring Christ to so many.  If you have not had the opportunity to attend Holy Week services in the past years, please consider attending next year as a gift to yourself. 

Next year Easter is April 20, 2025. Our Easter season is celebrated for seven weeks as we break open the word of the Lord and reflect on his presence in our lives.  During the Easter season we celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist.  Let us please pray for our young men and women as they prepare to receive these life-giving sacraments here at the Church of the Annunziata.

Our eighth-grade class will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday, April 30th, here at Annunziata; and our second-grade class will receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the first time on Saturday,  April 20th.  Let us pray for these young men and women as they prepare for their Sacraments.   Also, many marriages take place here at the Church of the Annunziata during Easter time.  Let us all also pray for these couples as they prepare to share their lives together in the Sacrament of Marriage.  Lastly, but very importantly, on Saturday, May 25, 2024, Archbishop Rozanski will ordain five men to the priesthood, to be of service to the people of God.  Finally, during this joyful season of Easter, let us pray for our Pope Francis that he be guided and strengthened by the workings of the Holy Spirit and Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski as he guides our Archdiocese.  As you can see, we are truly a richly blessed Church.

Easter Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 26, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

We are an Alleluia People!

Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluia!

This is the day the Lord has made, Alleluia!

Let us be glad and rejoice in it, Alleluia!

Easter is filled with wonderful connections between the spiritual and natural worlds.

Explore and enjoy them for a more profound appreciation of Christ’s death and resurrection.  Read this week about the disciples’ walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35 and take a walk, noticing the signs of spring, a wondrous gift from God.

A Prayer for Easter

The Lord of life has risen with power,

bringing with Him love and justice,

respect, forgiveness and reconciliation.

The One who from nothingness

had called the world into existence,

only He could break the seals of the tomb,

only He could become the Source of New Life.

-- St. Pope John Paul II

Easter Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 19, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Today begins the holiest of weeks within our church year.  From the triumphal entrance with palms to the gift of Christ in the Eucharist; to His passion and dying on the cross; to the glory of his resurrection; we remember, we celebrate, we believe.  I invite all to partake in these sacred days of Palm Sunday,

Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.  These days are an opportunity for us to fast, pray, and attune ourselves to Christ’s paschal mystery.  We need these three days to slow us down, give us time to absorb the saving actions of Christ and their true meaning for us.

I would like to send a special invitation to all to attend our Easter Vigil at 7:30 PM this coming Saturday when the church throughout the world gathers to welcome into our parish families our newest members:  Here at Annunziata, we have a rich tradition of welcoming and celebrating with our newest members: who are preparing to enter the Church this Easter.  The Easter Vigil liturgy is the most glorious and uplifting celebration of the year; please consider attending and experiencing this celebration.

Lastly, let us pray for one another this week; let us pray for peace in our world (esp. in Holy Land, Ukraine, and our Nation), for our Pope Francis, for our Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, our Archdiocese, for all those separated from our church, and for all of us that we might live out the Easter promise.  Then we can sing with the saints.

Hail thee, festival day!

Blest day to be hallowed forever;

Day when our Lord was raised,

Breaking the kingdom of death.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 13, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As we draw near to our Holy Week I wanted to share some reflections on the Triduum services of Holy Week and extend an invitation to let these services be a time of prayer and reflection for all. 

THE SACRED TRIDUUM

Sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Sunday is considered the most solemn part of the liturgical year. This three-day period is referred to as the Easter Triduum, also known as the Sacred Triduum, or Paschal Triduum.

The word "triduum" comes from the Latin word triduum, which comes from tris (“three”) + dies (“day”).  Basically, the Sacred Triduum is one great festival recounting the last three days of Jesus' life on earth, the events of his Passion and Resurrection, when the Lamb of God laid down his life in atonement for our sins.

It is known as the "Paschal Mystery" because it is the ultimate fulfillment of the ancient Jewish Passover (or Pasch), which itself was a recollection of how God brought the Jews out of their slavery in Egypt. The spotless lamb was slaughtered at the Passover meal and consumed—that same night the destroying angel "passed over" the homes marked with the blood of the Passover Lamb, and those covered by the Blood were saved. This was the Old Testament prefigurement of Jesus' work at the Last Supper—where he inserted himself as the Paschal Lamb—and Calvary, where the sacrifice was offered to save us from our slavery to sin. With the Holy Eucharist, we consume the victim that died for our sins.

The Paschal Mystery is, therefore, God's plan of redemption for the fallen human race through the passion, death, and resurrection of the God-man Jesus Christ. It is one marvelous event stretched out over three days.

In washing His disciples’ feet on Holy Thursday, Jesus commissioned them in a new priesthood; in Holy Communion, He initiated their ritual sacrifice. His last words fell from the Cross on Good Friday, and with them, His last breath. The bare altar, stripped of its garments on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, stands for the naked Christ. The tabernacle, empty of His Real Presence in the Eucharist, signifies the missing Christ.

The celebration of the Easter Vigil tells the whole story of our salvation — from creation to resurrection and beyond. The Easter Vigil includes the lighting of the Easter Fire and Paschal Candle (the large candle that will be used throughout the year), the singing of the Exsultet (the Easter Proclamation), the expanded Liturgy of the Word that traces time through Salvation History (the story of our Salvation), the Liturgy of Initiation (where new people come into the Church), and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

All these rituals come together for one purpose: to remember and recall the saving deeds of our God on our behalf. Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14). There would simply be no Christianity if Christ were not raised from the dead.

This realization makes the celebration of Easter Sunday, and every Sunday, so much the more joyful. The Alleluia that the Western Church buries on Ash Wednesday is once again intoned before the Gospel, and Easter joy abounds, all the sweeter for following the Lenten time of penance.

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 06, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners

This weekend our parish will celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at all our masses. The anointing of the sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death. A sacrament is an outward sign established by Jesus Christ to confer inward grace. The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. This sacrament is for anyone of advanced age, infirmed, facing surgery or having serious illness in body, mind, or spirit.

Like all the sacraments, holy anointing was instituted by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry. The Catechism explains, "This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord" (CCC 1511; Mark 6:13; Jas. 5:14-15).  The anointing of the sick conveys several graces and imparts gifts of strengthening in the Holy Spirit against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation, and conveys peace and fortitude (CCC 1520). These graces flow from the atoning death of Jesus Christ, for "this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases’" (Matt. 8:17). 

In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.

Mark refers to the sacrament when he recounts how Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to preach, and "they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them" (Mark 6:13). In his epistle, James says, "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (Jas. 5:14–15).

"The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life" (CCC 1532). 

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.  Let us remember to pray for the sick!

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

 

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 28, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

We are halfway through Lent.  One of the great gifts of this season is that of reconciliation.  Our God yearns for us and wants to forgive us our sins.  Besides our confessions time on Saturday’s from 3:30-4:45pm.  During this Lenten Season confessions will also be heard on Sunday’s after our 9:00 am and 11:00 am liturgies, and on Good Friday after our service.  Let us pray for each other as we all strive to grow in holiness and oneness with our God.

Here’s what the Sacrament of Reconciliation actually offers:

  • restoration to honesty—no more need to rationalize
  • restoration to integrity—no more need to have secret or unacknowledged parts of your life
  • relief from unproductive guilt—transformation of remorse into living a new life. The purpose of this sacrament is not punishment but true reconciliation with God and the community.
  • an encounter with God—meeting God in humility (not humiliation!) and weakness
  • spiritual guidance—no need to struggle with your moral issues alone
  • inner peace—no longer having to live a life at war with yourself
  • strength in meeting future challenges and temptations
  • grace—rediscovering, as did the prodigal son, your Father’s unconditional love.

Why should you not be afraid of this sacrament? The best reason is that God longs to forgive you. Remember, God knows that you are much more than the worst thing you’ve ever done. May the good Lord bless you this Lent.

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 21, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As we continue on this Lenten journey a way of praying that can be fruitful for many is Lectio Divina", a Latin term, which means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina.

The first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.

The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplation (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. 

I pray that you are having a blessed and Holy Lent!

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 14, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

What are you going to do this Lent to grow closer to Christ? 

Lent is a beautiful time to experience the transforming power of mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Besides our regular confessions times the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on the Sundays of Lent after the morning masses and on Good Friday following the Service that evening.   No matter what you have done, no matter how long you have been away, Jesus is waiting for you with open arms this Lent! 

As we begin this Lenten journey the key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism. Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has reemphasized the baptismal character of Lent, especially through the restoration of the Catechumenate and its Lenten rituals. Our challenge today is to renew our understanding of this important season of the Church year and to see how we can integrate our personal practices into this renewed perspective.

Why is Baptism so important in our Lenten understanding? Lent as a 40-day season developed in the fourth century from three merging sources. The first was the ancient paschal fast that began as a two-day observance before Easter but was gradually lengthened to 40 days. The second was the catechumenate as a process of preparation for Baptism, including an intense period of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation to be celebrated at Easter. The third was the Order of Penitents, which was modeled on the catechumenate and sought a second conversion for those who had fallen back into serious sin after Baptism. As the catechumens (candidates for Baptism) entered their final period of preparation for Baptism, the penitents and the rest of the community accompanied them on their journey and prepared to renew their baptismal vows at Easter.

The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The key to renewed appreciation of these practices is to see their link to baptismal renewal.

Prayer: More time given to prayer during Lent should draw us closer to the Lord. We might pray especially for the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully. We might pray for the elect who will be baptized at Easter and support their conversion journey by our prayer. We might pray for all those who will celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation with us during Lent that they will be truly renewed in their baptismal commitment.

Fasting: Fasting is one of the most ancient practices linked to Lent. In fact, the paschal fast predates Lent as we know it. The early Church fasted intensely for two days before the celebration of the Easter Vigil. This fast was later extended and became a 40-day period of fasting leading up to Easter. Vatican II called us to renew the observance of the ancient paschal fast: "...let the paschal fast be kept sacred. Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and, where possible, prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind".

Fasting is more than a means of developing self-control. It is often an aid to prayer, as the pangs of hunger remind us of our hunger for God. Fasting should be linked to our concern for those who are forced to fast by their poverty, those who suffer from the injustices of our economic and political structures, those who are in need for any reason. Thus fasting, too, is linked to living out our baptismal promises. By our Baptism, we are charged with the responsibility of showing Christ's love to the world, especially to those in need. Fasting can help us realize the suffering that so many people in our world experience every day, and it should lead us to greater efforts to alleviate that suffering.

Almsgiving: It should be obvious at this point that almsgiving, the third traditional pillar, is linked to our baptismal commitment in the same way. It is a sign of our care for those in need and an expression of our gratitude for all God has given to us. Works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of the Christian way of life we began when we were baptized.

Let us continue to pray for each other and in special way for those whom are preparing to enter the Church this Easter, as we together make this Lenten retreat.

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 07, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Lent is a season of hope. With ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we go forth to love and serve in His strength and with His love. For by God's grace in Christ Jesus, we do not have to stay the way we are. God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way.  Lent is a time set apart, a holy time, to allow God to have His way with us in a deliberate, focused way so that we may indeed step forth, ready to live, love, and serve in His Holy Name. Ash Wednesday opens the door to the 40-day season of Lent, a process of preparation for Holy Week.

Lent, which comes from the Germanic word for “springtime,” can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking a spiritual inventory then cleaning out those things which hinder our relationship with Jesus Christ and our love and service with Him. Lent is really a time of revival in liturgical churches as God's people prepare to celebrate the Resurrection with depth and significance.

Our Lenten disciplines are to ultimately transform our entire person: body, soul, and spirit and help us become more like Christ, not in our own power, but in His.  Eastern Christians call this process theosis which Saint Athanasius describes as “becoming by grace what God is by nature.

The Lenten practices, of prayer, fasting, and giving provide us with concrete examples of how to more closely connect our lives with our Lord. Obviously, Lent is NOT the only time we can practice these spiritual disciplines; we should indeed be practicing them all year long. This Lent presents us the opportunity to do a “deep cleaning,” to focus more fully and completely on weak areas of our spiritual walk.  Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and ask God to re-center our lives around Him, with our priorities straight and our hearts forgiven and cleansed. Yes, we should do so each day of the year. But sin is an insidious thing, slipping in here, taking a little ground there, and, wrapped up in our busy lives, we often do not notice the darkness creeping further and further into our souls.

Ash Wednesday and Lent provide us with a time set apart to present ourselves before God, asking His help and guidance in doing a “spiritual spring cleaning,” a fresh chance to say “Yes” to the Lover of our Souls who created us, who made us in His own image. Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the beauty of God's design for us.  As  we begin this Lent let our prayers ask God to reveal to us where He wants to work on our hearts during this Season of Lent.

Lenten Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 25, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Known originally as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2) is a relatively ancient celebration. The Church at Jerusalem observed the feast as early as the first half of the fourth century, and likely earlier. The feast celebrates the presentation of Christ in the temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after His birth.

When Christ was presented in the temple, "there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25) When Mary and Joseph brought Christ to the temple, Simeon embraced the Child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon:  Nunc Dimittis "Now thou can dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel" (Luke 2:29-32).

Inspired by the words of the canticle ("a light to the revelation of the Gentiles"), by the 11th century, the custom had developed in the West of blessing candles on the Feast of the Presentation. The candles were then lit, and a procession took place through the darkened church while the Canticle of Simeon was sung. Because of this, the feast also became known as Candlemas. While the procession and blessing of the candles is not often performed in the United States today, Candlemas is still an important feast in many European countries.

The Church thus prays this day, Father, we praise you and we bless you because through your Son, born of woman by the working of the Holy Spirit, born under the law, has ransomed us from the law and you have filled our life with light and new hope. May our families welcome and remain faithful to your designs, may they help and sustain in their children the new dreams and enthusiasm, wrap them in tenderness when they are fragile, educate them in love for you and for all creatures. All honor and glory to you, Father.

The next day February 3 is the Feast of St. Blaise, a day when the Blessing of Throats takes place (Through the intercession of Blessed Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may you be delivered from all illnesses of the throat and any other ailments. + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.").  This blessing, a sacramental of the Church, will be celebrated this Saturday at our daily mass. 

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 17, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Every year the Archdiocese celebrates Catholic Schools. The Archdiocese of St. Louis is abundantly blessed with so many wonderful Catholic schools.  Many areas of our country are not as blessed as we are.  Please consider catholic Schools.  Thanks to all who support Catholic education in our parish and in our Archdiocese.

There are over 105 Catholic grade schools and 27 Catholic high schools to choose from, plus 2 Catholic colleges at Fontbonne and St. Louis University.  In our Archdiocese, there are also over a hundred P.S.R. programs, such as we have here at The Church of the Annunziata. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our teachers both here at our Learning Center School, our PSR school and throughout our Archdiocese for their dedicated ministry to our youth.  The lessons learned at our schools help to enhance the faith that is lived in our homes.  It is with great joy that I commend our student body (these young men and women and all our youth) to you and ask that you keep them in your prayers.

Teachers are members of a vitally important profession.  They teach essential skills and concepts; they nurture curiosity and a sense of wonder; they cultivate abilities and interests and give their students a sense of significance and purpose.

In the context of a Catholic school, however, the work of the teacher (administrator) takes on a new dimension.  At Annunziata, it is often referred to as a vocation – a calling to become part of something of great significance; in this case, to share in the Church’s mission. In their own way, teachers and administrators in Catholic schools follow the example of Jesus to reach out to others and spread the good news about life and its purpose.

I would also like to particularly our principal Ms. Gere Book, our CRE Mrs Julie Reagan, and our parents as first teachers for their leadership and guidance; besides enriching our over 150 students academically, morally, and interpersonally they along with our teachers help to prepare our children for the reception of the sacraments.  This coming spring our eighth graders will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and our second graders will receive their First Communion.  Just last December our Second Graders received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time, as they partook of the healing and forgiving love of our God.

I would like extend an invitation to all for a special mass, this Catholic School Week, at Annunziata on Wednesday Jan 31 at 8:30am, as we celebrate our school community.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 10, 2024 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners

This Monday our country will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Race relations have always been a struggle for human kind from Ishmael and Isaac in the Old Testament to our present day, men and women of different races and faiths have struggled to get along.  Most recently we have seen the consequences of this in the conflict in the Holy Land.  We here in Saint Louis have also experienced the pain of people of different races and backgrounds failing to understand and exist with each other.  While we as a people and we as a Church have come a long way, much more understanding and Christian concern needs to be evident in our lives.

Our scriptures remind us that Christ came not just for Israel but for all people.  Let us follow the example of Christ in our thought, word and deed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church spells this out: The equality of women and  men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.

The Church of the Annunziata is a wonderful place, where people from different backgrounds and different races can come and worship together.   Hopefully this will always be a hallmark of our community.  Let us make every effort to make Annunziata a welcoming community for peoples of every race and ethnic background.

God Bless you for all your goodness.

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 27, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As we begin this New Year, Msgr. Leykam, Deacon Tom and I wish you a blessed, graced-filled and healthy 2024.  A new year always fills us with hope for the future.  We begin with a clean slate and anticipate the good changes we will make in our lives, our new year’s resolutions.

Jesus came into the world to “make all things new.”  Life has been profoundly and dramatically renewed by the Lord’s coming into the world to forgive sins and to open the gates of heaven.  May you and your family be filled with the joy of the Christmas season as you celebrate your new year knowing that because our savior was born, lived among us, died and rose for us, a place awaits each of us in heaven. As we begin this new year let us pray:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
 to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

On another note, I would encourage you to subscribe to the St. Louis Review; this is one way to keep informed about our Church here in St. Louis.  I would also like to remind you that information about our parish and parish events can be found on our website: annunziata.org.

Lastly, and most especially, thank you to all who so beautifully decorated our Church, to our many ministers, Margie Meyers and all volunteers for all their help and support during this Christmas Season and throughout the year.  Your ministries enhance all our celebrations and help to bring joy to all who worship here at the Church of the Annunziata.  I receive so many thankful comments about the beauty of our Church and its availability for prayer.

New Year Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 13, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Every Christmas T.V. has some movie about a heroic effort made by someone to get home by Christmas.  Following that theme, I thought this year we might make some kind of heroic effort and help someone return home for Christmas, return home to the Church of the Annunziata.

All of us know some person, some neighbor who has stopped actively participating in Church.  Maybe it is time for us to reach out to them, listen to them, and support them in returning to Church.  We know what a precious gift our faith is and like any good gift we wish to share it with others.  So I encourage each and every one of us to reach out to someone and invite him or her to join our community of faith here at Annunziata. 

Each of you by living out your faith becomes the greatest ambassador our parish community possesses.  I would also be happy to contact anyone, if you would please send me their name and number; I will invite them to join our community.

"Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice."  This week as we rejoice that the light of the world draws near, with Gaudete Sunday, I also invite you to give yourself any early gift with some quite time.  Time to be with your loved ones and with the Lord.  Let us pray for one another as we continue our Advent journey.

Advent Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 08, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

A few years ago Pope Benedict in a talk to children who brought the baby Jesus, from their nativity scenes, to be blessed by him said:

"The crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. This does not consist in having so many things, but in feeling loved by the Lord, in becoming a gift for others and loving one another. Let us look at the Nativity Scene: the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph do not seem like a very lucky family, they had their first child in the midst of great hardship, and yet are filled with deep joy, because they love each other, help each other and, above all, are certain that in their history God is at work, present in the Infant Jesus. And the shepherds? What reason would they have to rejoice? That baby will not change their condition of poverty and marginalization. But faith helps them to recognize in the 'infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger', the 'sign' of the fulfillment of the promises of God for all men 'whom he loves' (Luke 2,12.14), even for them!”.

My sisters and brothers this is what true joy is; the feeling that our personal and community lives are visited and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God’s love.   We need more than things to rejoice, we need love and truth: we need a God close at hand, who warms our hearts, and responds to our deepest yearnings.   This God was manifested in Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary.   So that Child, that we put in the manger, is the center of everything, He is the heart of the world.   We pray that every man, woman, or child, like the Virgin Mary, may accept as a center of their lives the God who became a Child, the source of true joy.

Many thanks to all of you who make your homes a place of love and respect and that the words spoken and the acts performed there help us grow closer to the Holy Family and our Lord.  I also give thanks to our school community our leadership and faculty for helping to foster God’s graces and love on all there.

Stop by our Nativity Scene and give thanks for the real gifts of our lives.

Blessings this Holy Season as we celebrate the gift of life, the gift of love, both here at the Church of the Annunziata, in our homes and throughout the year.

Advent & Christmas Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 29, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As we begin this season of Advent, which marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and as such provides us a time for renewal, a new beginning.

The beginning of the year actually points to the “end.” The end of all creation is marked by the long-awaited return of Jesus, the Son of Man. Our readings point to this end as the day of judgment (“Son of Man” being the scriptural title of the judge of all humanity).

The “end” reminds us that we are on a journey. The voyage through life is not an aimless wandering but has a destination and a goal.

Love is the basis for human life. God, who is love, loved us into being. Love is the force that orders all things toward God and a participation in divine life. When Jesus is asked what is the greatest of all the laws, he replies: “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love is the basis and starting point. Love also expresses itself as mercy when a violation of love or justice is encountered. Mercy heals and restores. Psalm 25 expresses the desires that lie at the heart of the righteous — to know and live in God’s way. The longing is expressed by the psalmist in this way: “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day.”

The longing is not some abstract or aimless quest, for “good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way and teaches the humble his way.” He loves us so much that he wants us to know him and the path to meaning of life. This Way is not a teaching or concept, but a person whose birth we prepare to celebrate at Christmas.

Advent Blessings!

Msgr John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 16, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Thanksgiving inspires all but the hardest heart to pause and consider the things for which he is the most thankful. I am no different. Like everyone else in the United States, I make a mental and sometimes an actual list of things for which I am thankful, especially this year for the privilege to serve as your pastor.

My family is near the top of the list as is my health and my fellow priests and friends. Also at the top of my list is our parish family. Another thing very near the top of my list is this country that I love. However, the first thing on the list is Jesus Christ. This year let, our prayers continue for peace and justice in the Holy Land, in Ukraine, in our city and in our world, and prayerful blessings for those most in need.

Jesus is everything. Everything else on my list is a gift from him.

Psalm 100

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is He that made us, and we are his

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise His name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues

throughout all generations.

On Thursday November 23, 2023, we will celebrate a special Thanksgiving Day liturgy at 7 & 9 AM. I hope that many can attend; if you are unable to attend, our Thanksgiving mass will also be streamed. God bless you for all your generosity. Thank you!

Thanksgiving Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 09, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This past Thursday on November 9, the church celebrated the feast of the dedication of the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. According to the breviary, the Church building was originally established by the emperor Constantine and the memorial of its dedication has been celebrated on this date since the twelfth century.

Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. It is the basilica of St. John Lateran which is actually home to the Pope’s cathedra, or seat of Office. Since St. John Lateran is home to the cathedra of the bishop of Rome, it is therefore the cathedral Church of the diocese of Rome, and thus the Pope’s true cathedral

The basilica of St. John Lateran was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. The official dedication of the Basilica and the

adjacent Lateran Palace was presided over by Pope Sylvester I in 324, declaring both to be Domus Dei or "House of God." In its interior, the Papal Throne was placed, making it the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. In reflection of the basilica's claim to primacy in the world as "mother church", the words Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (meaning "Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head") are incised in the front wall between the main entrance doors.

The Lateran Palace and basilica have been rededicated twice. Pope Sergius III dedicated them to Saint John the Baptist in the 10th century in honor of the newly consecrated baptistry of the

Basilica. Pope Lucius II dedicated the Lateran Palace and basilica to Saint John the Evangelist in the 12th century. However, St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist are regarded as co-patrons of the Cathedral, the chief patron being Christ the Savior himself, as the inscription in the entrance of the Basilica indicates, and as is tradition in the patriarchal cathedrals.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the

Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.

In a sense, St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, because it is the pope's cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church. St. John Lateran is not simply an ordinary diocesan cathedral on the same level as, say, our cathedral here in St. Louis—it is rather the “mother Church of Christendom.”

This is why the feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran is a feast for the Universal Church, and not just for one diocese (as would be the case for the anniversary of a normal diocesan cathedral’s dedication) or for one parish (as would be the case for an ordinary Church).

Thus, the Basilica remains dedicated to the Savior, and its titular feast is the Transfiguration. That is why sometimes the Basilica will be referred to by the full title of Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and of Sts. John Baptist and John Evangelist in the Lateran.

Prayer from St. Augustine on this feast day: "What was done here, as these walls were rising, is

reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechizing, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love.”

God’s Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 03, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

The month of November is a time of prayer, remembrance and thanksgiving for our God and all the blessings He has sent into our lives.

In The Practice of the Presence of God written by Brother Lawrence, he presents a simple but powerful concept that God is always there. Right beside us. Every day, all day. Every night, all night. Never leaving us. Never turning away from us, even when He ought to. Even when we behave in a manner so completely unlovable, so callously hurtful towards He who is love, still He never leaves our side and never loves us less.

I believe we oftentimes think of God in terms of someone we have to make a special point to call, like a long-distance friend, of sorts. It's far too easy to not be mindful of His presence and to find ourselves acting, speaking or thinking in ways that are very contrary to His.

With our minds and our attention being pulled in a thousand different directions in today's modern world, it is harder than ever to stay focused; especially to stay focused on what is ultimately the most important thing...God. Did I pay the electric bill? I cannot forget to stop by the grocery store. I have to get the kids off to school. I am afraid I will not meet that deadline at work. Am I going to be able to make the mortgage payment this month? Where are my keys? The phone is ringing again. Someone is at the door. I'm running late for my doctor's appointment.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

We need quiet time and when we feel that we do not have time for quiet time, which is when we need quiet time the most. We must make time in our day for God. We need to build our day around God, rather than fitting God into our day.

Were we to be more mindful of the reality that His presence is one thing that we can always count on, we would have a much easier (and much happier) time, living out our days on this earth, I do believe.

God Bless,

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 25, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This Wednesday we celebrate All Saints' Day in honor of all the saints, both known and unknown. It is the day after the feast of All Hallows' Evening (also known as Halloween). This solemnity comes from Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their death. The current date of November 1 was instituted by Pope Gregory III (731-741), when he consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and ordered an annual celebration. This celebration was originally confined to the diocese of Rome, but Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended the feast to the entire Church and ordered it to be celebrated on November 1.

The following day, November 2nd, the Church in an ancient feast celebrates All Souls’ Day where we gather and remember and pray for the faithful departed. We as Christians believe that if we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life. Jesus has that great desire that we are one with him, and this day commemorates our oneness with Jesus both those here on earth and those who have passed before us.

Another practice on this feast day is to attend Mass to pray for the faithful departed in our families, in our Church and all who have died in Christ. Saint Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, established All Souls' Day in the eleventh century. The day purposely follows the Feast of All Saints, in order to shift the focus from those in heaven to those in purgatory.

Please see our bulletin for a listing of those who were buried from our Church this past year and please keep them and their families in your prayers. Finally, during the month of November a Book of Remembrance will be placed before our baptismal font as a reminder of our dying and rising with our Lord, first in Baptism and then into eternal life.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 19, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

The past couple of months have seen much violence, hatred, and loss of innocent life in our world, country and our city. Racism, religious intolerance, and division in our society is so palatable and is troubling to all. As Christians these behaviors and actions are in total opposition to the Gospel values.

The senseless murders in Israel and all religious intolerances are to be condemned and must be confronted by all nations. We as a Church, and we here at the Church of the Annunziata, stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and many innocent Palestinian faithful during this time of great distress. May God grant peace to the dead, healing to the injured, and comfort to the families of those hurt and killed and to all in the Middle East, Ukraine, and all areas of strife.

Tragically these senseless acts also have occurred against many Coptic Christians who have been senselessly killed in Egypt. The Islamic State (IS) group has said it carried out the attack. It was the latest in a series of attacks by extremists on Egypt's Coptic Christian minority. Many other similar attacks have taken place the last few years against Chaldean Catholics in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Sadly, our city has not been immune from violence, hatred, racism, and divisions of many forms. Police officers have been killed or injured, innocent women and men have been attacked violently and way too many have lost lives to violence.

To combat this, it will not be great programs; but it will be the little people, you and me. The way we: speak of others, treat others, respect others, stop bullying in our schools, forgive and cherish others will speak volumes. We can’t hope to do this on a wider scope if we do not do it in our own homes, community, schools, places of employment, our parish. Are we building up others in Christ or tearing them down?

This coming November as we pray for those who have gone before us in life let us also pray for a greater respect of all people and strive in our lives to tear down walls that divide and separate us and let us remember that our God is stronger than sin, stronger than death.

God Bless!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 12, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

Our second-grade PSR students are in the process of preparing for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. I thank their parents and teachers for helping prepare these children for the sacrament.

This sacrament, like all sacraments, is an encounter with our Lord and we are blessed to receive the graces we need to unite our lives with his. When the Church celebrates the sacraments she makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and in this way, she keeps her memory of him alive.

In order to make the sacrament more available here at Ste Genevieve du Bois I am adding a couple more opportunities for the sacrament: on Wednesday’s from 5:30-6:30pm during our Eucharistic adoration and on First Friday’s 6:30-7am. These new times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will begin on November 3rd. I always find this sacrament to be one of immense joy as it enables those who partake of it to remove the effects of sin and grow ever closer to our Lord. Our God truly is the loving Father!

The Sacrament reminds us that: Because of human weakness Christians ‘turn aside from [their] early love' (see Rev 2:4) and even break off their friendship with God by sinning.

The Lord, therefore, instituted a special sacrament of penance for the pardon of sins committed after baptism, and the Church has faithfully celebrated the sacrament throughout the centuries.

What happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
In the Sacrament of Penance, "the sinner” who by grace of a loving and merciful God embraces the way of penance comes back to the Father who ‘first loved us' (1 Jn 4:19), to Christ who gave himself up for us, and to the Holy Spirit who has been poured out on us abundantly.

What is the role of the priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
According to the Rite of Penance, "the Church exercises the ministry of the sacrament of penance through bishops and priests. By preaching God's word, they call the faithful to conversion; in the name of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, they declare and grant the forgiveness of sins. In the exercise of this ministry priests act in communion with the bishop and share in his power and office . . ."

What is the role of the community in the sacrament?
According to the Rite of Penance, "the whole Church, as a priestly people, acts in different ways in the work of reconciliation which has been entrusted to it by the Lord. Not only does the Church call sinners to repentance by preaching the word of God, but it also intercedes for them and helps penitents with maternal care and solicitude to acknowledge and admit their sins and so obtain the mercy of God who alone can forgive sins.

Jesus’ words, “woe to the one through whom [sins] occur,” hold a key of insight for all of us because they have a positive dimension in addition to the explicit negative one. While it is our duty to avoid leading each other astray, we are also called to help one another remain true to the gospel message. Luckily, one does not need to be perfectly holy to help another. Even the lowliest sinner can help the most righteous person when we rely on the Lord.

We often fail to recognize the degree to which our actions affect and influence others. This is especially true in our family life and relationships with the people we spend the most time with. By our actions, we often lead one another astray or closer to heaven.

In my experience, focusing on each other’s welfare more than contemplating our own helps to avoid the notion that we are unworthy as leaders on this journey. By spending less time worrying about whether or not we can do it, we can properly focus on the next step in this moment to care for those around us. This focus fosters an unselfish mindset that reminds us that we are all here to help each other to be better Christians—ultimately, to get each other to heaven!

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 06, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

The month of October is dedicated to the praying of the Rosary. The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning "rose garden") or "garland of roses “is a popular and traditional catholic devotion.

How to Pray the Rosary - The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. The prayers consist of repeated sequences of the Lord’s Prayer followed by ten recitations of the Hail Mary and a single praying of "Glory be to the father” each of these sequences is known as a decade. The praying of each decade is accompanied by meditation on one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall the life of Jesus Christ. There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five Joyful Mysteries, the five Sorrowful Mysteries, the five Glorious Mysteries, and the five Luminous Mysteries.

The Pope has always had a great devotion to Mary and the rosary. During this month of October we pray the rosary many different times in our Church.

A couple years ago Pope John Paul II included new mysteries named the Luminous Mysteries, which reflect upon the public life of Jesus. Maybe you could also once this month gather with your families and pray the Rosary together as a sign of solidarity with our Pope. Perhaps you could also add the intention of all those who have fallen away from the practice of the faith, that they might be welcomed back home to the Church.

In a particular way as we pray the rosary we can also pray for religious liberty. This liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?

Lastly this is also Pro-Life month let us continue to pray for all life from the unborn to those near death.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 27, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

During these coming glorious days of October, we as a Church celebrate respect for life. Life in all of its manifestations from the beginning in the womb until the last final breathe. We pray that the Gospel of Life will overcome the culture of death in our land. We continue to work to do away with the intentional death that is abortion. We strive against assisted suicide and the lack of life values that leads to euthanasia. We call for an end of the execution of criminals. We respond with love and care to the life force of the infant in the womb, the child mentally incapacitated, people with disabilities among us, the alienated and lonely, the elderly and infirmed.

As we tinker with the beginnings, the end and even the intimate cell structure of life, we tinker with our own identity as a free nation dedicated to the dignity of the human person. When American political life becomes an experiment on people rather than for and by them, it will no longer be worth conducting. We are arguably moving closer to that day. Today, when the inviolable rights of the human person are proclaimed and the value of life publicly affirmed, the most basic human right, the right to life, is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence, the moment of birth and the moment of death.

As the Pope has expressed: “God's love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother's womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness (Gn 1:26) in each one”.

Let us especially keep in our prayers all expectant mothers and all who care for children. Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your support of life and for all your words, prayers and actions that proclaim the sacredness and dignity of all life.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 21, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

We are called to be Missionary Disciples to bring Christ to one

another. I encourage anyone who is interested or knows of someone interested in the Catholic Faith to please contact me at the parish. I also ask for your prayers for our all those who are preparing to enter the faith this year. Your solidarity with these men and women is a great source of support to them.

The Catechumenate is an extended period during which the candidates are given suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life.

This is achieved in the following ways:

  • Suitable catechesis; solidly supported by celebrations of the Word.
  • The Catechumens and Candidates learning to:
    • Turn more readily to God in prayer
    • To bear witness to the Faith
    • In all things to keep their hopes set on Christ
    • To follow supernatural inspiration in their deeds
    • To practice the love of neighbour, even at the cost of self-renunciation

Our parish community has been blessed over the years with men and women who are journeying in the faith and preparing for reception into the Church at the Easter Vigil.

Please keep those women and men in your prayers as they begin their journey of faith in the Catholic Church.

Blessings!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 15, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This year we are blessed to celebrate 94 years as a parish family. Milestones give us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on our mission and ministry as daughters and sons of Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment the countless number of people who have worshiped and celebrated the sacraments with us. Think of the classmates that we attended school with. Think of the Annunziata activities you have been a part of. Think of the baptisms and the weddings and First Communions and Confirmations we have participated in.

In response to all these gifts we say Thank You! Those two words might be the most important words we speak each day. They evoke an understanding and awareness that we have been blessed by our God and others. Think about that for a minute. What did you thank God for yesterday? Did you thank God for your family and friends, your health, your home, your job or livelihood? Did you thank God for the gift of faith or the abundant love that he showers upon you each day?

Prayer is the engine behind it all. Through prayer and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are able to further our mission ‘engaging others as disciples’ to love God and neighbor as Jesus taught.

As we strive to be disciples, good stewardship is certainly a disciple’s response. Stewardship, quite simply, is recognizing that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God and being grateful and generous with those gifts. Stewardship isn’t a process, or a campaign, or an accounting of our gifts.

Rather, it is a lifestyle rooted in gratitude and generosity.

The whole point of stewardship is to help each other strengthen our relationship with God and get to Heaven! The foundation of stewardship is prayer – talking and listening to God every day, throughout the day.

We at the Church of the Annunziata have the responsibility to continue to be a beacon of hope and light in our community. Now, our energies need to focus on the ‘new evangelization’ with programming, staffing, services, and facilities to welcome and grow new disciples, and engage others to meet the varying needs of our school, church and neighborhood.

Thank you for your generosity, prayers, and commitment to Annunziata Church!

With Prayers and Blessings,

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 08, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

It has been uplifting to me to see so many parishioners at our weekday masses thanks to all of you for your faith-filled lives. I also want to encourage all to invite others to the faith if you know of anyone interested in joining the church please invite them or contact me and I will get in touch with them.

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS—RCIA

The Church’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process through which adults enter into the Catholic faith. RCIA is a spiritual journey designed in phases and implemented through various rites. The participants' spiritual growth is encouraged and enhanced through reflection on God's Word and the teachings of Catholic doctrine and traditions.

Becoming a Catholic is one of the most profound and joyous experiences of life. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are still infants, and over the course of time they grow into a recognition of the enormous grace that has been bestowed upon them, of the dignity and wonder of their identity as Catholics. Others come into the Catholic fold while they are older children or adults. In these cases it is important for people to have a grasp of the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.

If you know someone who might be interested in joining the Church, be that family member, fellow worker, or neighbor, please contact the parish office with their name and phone number. Our parishioners are always the best evangelists. Your faith and how you live it will speak volumes to those around you.

Let us pray for those who are contemplating joining the Catholic faith and encourage them through our words, actions and prayers. God bless you for sharing your faith!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on September 01, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

This Monday is Labor Day, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September to honor the laborer. It was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and made a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1894. It is a day to give thanks for all those who labor for us.

One the feast days of St. Joseph is that of Joseph the Worker. Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. While this is a recent feast, the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a longer history. In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Also, coming next week is the twenty-second anniversary of the attacks and tragedy of September 11, 2001. With so much violence and fatal shootings in our world, country and our own city I invite you to take some time in the coming week either at Mass or in prayer to remember those who died, their families and to pray for an end of terrorism, racism and violence in our homes, city, country and world.

Pope John Paul II said. The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people, but faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail, he stressed. Christ’s word is the only one that gives a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. He continues; Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it.

Through prayer and solidarity, we will remember those who lost their lives, and pray with the still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy and unfortunately the many that have followed. Hopefully our thoughts and prayers will be a source of comfort for all and help to console us, strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage to work tirelessly for a world where true peace, religious freedom and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.

God Bless!

Msgr. John Shamleffer

Thank you to all who labor for our parish community, all our employees, volunteers, parishioners and benefactors.  Blessings on your labor!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on August 25, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners:

As I write it is 100 degrees, but I hear laughter and joy from our prayer group meeting by the office and children in our gym, how precious life is.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank so many for your warm welcome these past couple of weeks, it is appreciated. For those who do not know me I thought I would share a little about myself. I was raised in nearby Glendale and attended MQP parish and school. I did my undergraduate studies at SLU and attended Kenrick seminary for my Theology training.

I was ordained in 1983 and after seven years of parish work was asked by the archbishop to return to school and obtain a degree in Canon Law. Upon my completion of this degree, I for the first time came to Ste Genevieve du Bois and for almost ten years served this parish. I also worked for the Archdiocese and was the Judicial Vicar for 25 years. After my time at Ste Genevieve, I then served the people of St Joseph in Clayton for 11 + years and have been the pastor of St Gabriel the Archangel for the past 10 years prior to my present assignment as Pastor of Annunziata and Ste Genevieve.

I grew up in a family of three sisters and two brothers and our parents. My siblings are scattered across the country, but all are well. I enjoy golf, cooking, and traveling, and being a parish priest. I have been blessed with good health and wonderful opportunities to minister to so many good people.

I look forward with great excitement and humility as I undertake this new responsibility of being a pastor at two parishes. I am thankful for all the support I have and place great trust in God’s care for me. Thank you for all your words of welcome, prayers and love for me.

God Bless,

Msgr John Shamleffer

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PLEASE REGISTER FOR PSR NOW!

Posted on August 18, 2023 in: Pastor

PSR CLASSES BEGIN SEPTEMBER 10th

It’s just 3 weeks away!

Go to ANNUNZIATA.ORG and click the button: REGISTER FOR PSR

Classes are held Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 10:55 a.m.

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Church of Annunziata Mass TImes

Posted on August 11, 2023 in: Pastor

  • Mass 7:00 am Monday-Saturday
  • Saturday Confessions 3:30-4:45pm
  • Saturday Mass 5:00 pm (Vigil)
  • Sunday Masses 9:00 and 11:00 am

PLEASE NOTE: 2 Sunday Masses at 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.

NO Sunday Mass at 7 a.m.

Mass times for Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tuesday, August 15th - 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m

Ste. Genevieve du Bois

  • Mass 7:00 am Monday-Friday
  • Mass 8am on Tuesdays during school year
  • Saturday Confessions 3:30-4:15pm
  • Saturday Mass 4:30pm (Vigil)
  • Sunday Masses 7:30 and 9:30 am

PLEASE NOTE: 2 Sunday Masses at 7:30 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.

NO Sunday Mass at 11 a.m.

Mass times for Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, August 14th - Vigil Mass at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 15th - 7:00 a.m.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on July 07, 2023 in: Pastor

THIS IS MY BODY: A CALL TO EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

I sincerely hope you found Bishop Robert Barron’s book to be helpful and insightful as we grow in our appreciation of the mystery of Christ’s gift of His risen Body and Blood in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

I want to share with you a personal testimony that is given by a man names Joel S. In this witness, Joel S. reflects on two interconnected events that span a period of four years:

I was fourteen years old when I experienced the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, and I found refuge in the peace of Christ that accompanies His presence. In the midst of the many challenges, frustrations, changes, and general anxieties that being a freshman in high school presents, I simply sat at His feet.

It was during the winter retreat my parish youth ministry hosted; and prior to lunch, the priest exposed the Blessed Sacrament and invited us to pray as long as we liked, After several minutes, other teenagers began to slowly leave to go to lunch. I stayed. I felt a safe haven in the storms of life. I didn’t want to go.

But, as a freshman boy, eventually my stomach made it clear that it was time to leave and eat. I left at the same time an upperclassman, Brent, was walking out.

Brent had no idea who I was, but I knew him. He was so much of what I wanted to be - wrestling team captain, faithful disciple, well-spoken and well-liked. He was moral, strong, and lived his faith boldly. We started to speak as we walked to lunch together.

“It’s so wild,” he said to me, “I don’t even know you, but we just spent time together in prayer and it’s like, we’re brothers, you know?”

The Eucharist is powerful because when we gather around the Eucharist, we don’t gather around a symbol - we gather around a person. Yes, Brent and I shared a quiet moment of prayer in Eucharistic Adoration, but later we would even partake in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and be united in the Body of Christ in a profound way.

That retreat changed my life.

Three years passed, and I was a senior in high school - a wrestling team captain, deeply involved in my youth group, and trying to confront the struggles of living my faith while in high school. I walked quietly into the sanctuary space of our parish alongside many others.

We were there to grieve Pfc. Brent Vroman, who was killed on December 13, 2004, while serving as a marine in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The community lost a son, a brother, a friend, and a soldier. People wept and held each other as we prayed.

And yet in the center of that moment, there was the Eucharist. Jesus’ presence was with us - and in His presence there is peace. There is hope. The funeral Mass for Brent was profoundly moving, the source and summit of our faith, and I remembered that moment from three years prior.

“It’s like we’re brothers.”

Yes, and much more.

The Eucharist stood in the midst of these moments for me. These moments reminded me how Jesus Christ, in the Blessed Sacrament stands in every moment. He is the through-line, the peace in the storms. He is the beginning and the end, the source and the summit.

As we walk the many roads of life, we do not walk alone. There is a traveling companion who is also our home. There is a place from which we go and always return. It is the Eucharistic sacrifice - Jesus present to us in the Blessed Sacrament - who promises to be with us always as we run the race...even to the last breath we take.

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Church of Annunziata

Sunday Masses 9:00 and 11:00 am

PLEASE NOTE: 2 Sunday Masses at 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.

NO Sunday Mass at 7 a.m.

Mass 7:00 am Monday-Saturday

Saturday Confessions 3:30-4:45pm

Saturday Mass 5:00 pm (Vigil)

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 23, 2023 in: Pastor

EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

Our Parish bulletin today pictures the cover of Bishop Robert Barron’s new book, “This Is My Body”. As you leave Church after Mass, please accept a copy as a gift for your family.

Bishop Barron writes, “In 2019, the respected Pew Forum released the results of a survey of Catholics in regard to their belief in the Eucharist. Along with many others, I was startled when I read the data, for I discovered that only one-third of those questioned subscribed to the Church’s official teaching that Jesus is really, truly, substantially present under the signs or appearances of bread and wine. Fully two-thirds held that the Eucharistic elements are merely symbolic of Jesus’ appearance. Whether you saw it as a failure in catechesis, preaching, theology, liturgy, or evangelization, it was an indication of a spiritual disaster. I say this because the Second Vatican Council clearly taught that the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ Therefore, the Pew study revealed that the vast majority of our own Catholic people did not understand this central and crucial reality, the beginning and the end of Christianity.”

This book you receive as a gift from your Parish is designed to help all of us understand the Sacrament of Jesus’ Body and Blood more thoroughly, precisely so that we might fall in love with the Lord more completely.

THE ANNUNZIATA LEARNING CENTER

Gerre Book has been the guiding light from the beginning of the Annunziata Learning Center for Catholic Special Education which has always been a very important mission of our Parish. I received this from her to share with all our parishioners who are so supportive:

Greetings to all the wonderful parishioners of Church of the Annunziata,

On behalf of the entire day school community, I want to send you the biggest thank you ever! As we wind down the 2022-2023 school year, it will go down as one of our most historic ones. The flood last summer wiped out our entire lower level of your school building and elevator. Thanks to Fr. Leykam, the amazing leadership and staff of this parish (in collaboration with the Archdiocese), we were able to relocate to Faris Hall for 3 months. As we scrambled to start the school year and have the supplies we needed, your generosity helped us provide the quality special education that we offer students who need a self-contained setting to learn. Your donations and prayers were exactly what was necessary for our smooth transition to the church hall and back into the school building on Halloween.

Our focus all year was the needs of the students while reviewing our lists of lost/damaged items. Most of our storage was on the lower level. A "shout out" to the PSR community who were so flexible as we worked together to share our teaching spaces through all transitions. The deep dedication of the PSR staff helped every decision become easier. We appreciated your willingness to work around our PODS storage as well as allowing our PE activities to be held safely on the parking lot. We look forward to the 2023-2024 school year with access to both levels of the school building for the PSR and day school programs. Thank you again for EVERYTHING you did to support us through this school year with all your prayers, generosity, and love for these children who learn in special ways. The Church of the Annunziata Parish community has been a blessing to us.

Enjoy your summer!
Gerre Book
Principal

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 16, 2023 in: Pastor

FATHER’S DAY 2023

On Father’s Day, we remember and honor dads, grandfathers, uncles, and all the men, living and deceased, who tirelessly and selflessly gave of themselves for their families with unconditional love. It is a good time to also recall the exemplary role-model and patron saint of fathers —— St. Joseph — foster father of Jesus, husband of Our Lady and patron of the Universal Church.

Saint Joseph experienced the same difficulties in life we all do, yet he lived an exemplary life and established an ideal that is well-worth emulating for all fathers who have come after him. Saint Joseph was a man of compassion and caring. He was a man possessed of unwavering faith in God. He was a man who loved and protected his family. As St. Matthew describes in his Gospel, Joseph was a “righteous man”. For Joseph, doing God’s will was paramount; God always came first! St. Joseph, pray for us!

LIFE’S GREATEST DISEASE

Pope Francis asks, “What is the biggest disease in life? Cancer? Heart disease? The corona virus pandemic? No. The greatest disease in life is the lack of love—not being able to love.

How often do people throw themselves into the wrong cures to satisfy our lack of love? Some people think that success and money will make them happy, but love cannot be bought; it is free! Some take refuge in the virtual world, but love is concrete. There are those who do not accept themselves as they are and they try to hide beyond exterior “make up,” but Love is not an appearance. We all search for answers, some from magicians and from gurus, to then find themselves without money and without peace.

Jesus emphasizes the importance of direct contact with Him, especially through the Sacraments He has given us. Jesus waits for us to encounter Him, to open our hearts to Him, as Jesus looks beyond the ugly matters of our history.

Jesus goes beyond sins. Jesus goes beyond prejudices. Jesus never stops at appearances, but reaches the heart. Let Jesus look at your heart and heal it. And if you have already felt His tender gaze upon you, imitate Jesus, and do as He does.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 09, 2023 in: Pastor

THE MONTH OF JUNE: DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion does not end at a shrine or image. It is only authentic when it reaches all the way into ourselves and into our lifestyle with an utterly transforming power. The heart of Christianity is the Heart of Jesus, a passionate devotedness to God’s will and the well-being of humanity. The only promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is that we have not yet lost nor will we ever lose our capacity to love.

We often forget that Christ loved to be silent. He set out for the desert, not to go into exile, but to encounter God the Father. Without silence, God disappears in the noise. In his book, “The Power of Silence”, Cardinal Robert Sarah points out that silence is difficult, but it makes human beings able to allow themselves to be led by God.

Silence is more important than any other human work, for it expresses God. What virtue can be expected from this silence, Cardinal Sarah asks? The answer if simple, yet profound:

HUMILITY!

THE LITANY OF HUMILITY

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 02, 2023 in: Pastor

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

Our Catholic Faith involves more than just believing that God exists. Faith is about believing in God, as well as whatever God has revealed. By these revealed truths, Revelation, we mean God’s unveiling of supernatural truths necessary for our salvation.The Revelation of the Holy Trinity is there is only One God, but Three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A human being who loves another, opens his/her heart over time, and reveals the essence of who they are. So God, who loves YOU, opens to You God’s Inner Life, so that You may fall in love with God who created You!

CARDINAL GLENNON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is the only free-standing Catholic Pediatric Hospital in the United States! By God’s Graces, and your prayers and financial support, your Children’s Hospital is a special place where Faith and Healing unite to make miracles possible! This weekend is the Annual Appeal. Please be generous in support of Cardinal Glennon Hospital Sunday!

TO ALL OF OUR 2023 GRADUATES

Your Parish Family is very proud of you and all that you have accomplished, especially this last year. Your Class of 2023 has faced challenges and stress and have overcome! Please know we pray for you, knowing that you responded to God’s Grace through this year. May you always remain close to Jesus, especially in the Sacrament of Holy Communion!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 26, 2023 in: Pastor

PENTECOST THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR TIME

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon the Apostles. He reminded them that He would be with them always until the end of time. With that, Jesus showed great trust and confidence in His Apostles by sending them out to make disciples of all the nations. For the three years the Apostles had been with Jesus they saw how the Savior always cared for the poor and the needy. By his actions Jesus taught them that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

One of the great ways to follow the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit has been through the ministry of our St. Vincent dePaul Society. I thank GEOFF MORRISON for this beautiful tribute that he has written:

BRIGGS HOFFMANN changed our lives.

Marilyn and I retired from full-time teaching in the School District of Clayton in 1998. Briggs waited perhaps two weeks before recruiting me for the Annunziata Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Before I knew quite what was happening, he and I were driving to south St. Louis to visit several Bosnian refugee families.

In 1980 or 81, the Annunziata Conference of the St. Vincent dePaul Society was established, led by David Blanton and Briggs Hoffmann. When Mr. Blanton died in 1982, Briggs took over and led the organization for the next eighteen years. Under his leadership, ministries were established in North and South St. Louis and in East St. Louis, funded by Annunziata parishioners. Vincentians help the poor and refugees with rent and utilities payments, food, clothing and household items. They also intervene, on behalf of their clients with utility companies, landlords, and, sometimes, the police. They provide job and legal information. Known only by their first names, Vincentians provide a helping hand and a lot of encouragement.

As Briggs and I got to know each other in 1998, I asked him what motivated him to devote so much of his time to SVDP. He said that during World War II, his unit was pinned down before terrific cannon and tank fire during the Battle of the Bulge. When there was a pause, he stood up and only a sergeant also stood. Every man in his company had been killed. Since there would be patrols searching for survivors, the two men split up to make their way west to the main US Army. When the firing resumed, Briggs spied a barn, where he hid for three days. Finally, he rejoined the army and marched into Germany by the end of the war. But in the years that followed, he wondered why he had been saved. Did God have some plan for him?

When I joined in 1998, Briggs introduced me to the Bosnian refugee population, many of whom were Muslim, displaced by the Balkan War. Later, we served Afghans, Pakistanis and many Africans, in addition to a large U.S. native population. My wife, Marilyn became involved initially because Muslim widows are not allowed to have unaccompanied men in their homes. Later, French-speaking Marilyn communicated with Africans from former French colonies. We were grateful to Briggs because he showed us the face of poverty and the desperation of immigrants who were driven from their homes by violence. He showed us the poverty in our own U.S. Through his influence, we discovered a rich new area of service. It changed our lives in a good way.

“Our general rule is that we spend $100 per family - that is unless the Holy Spirit tells you differently.” Growing up in the 1950s, the “Holy Ghost” was a vague aspect of my Catholic belief. But Briggs taught me, and later Marilyn, that the Holy Spirit is real. It’s that voice in your mind that says, “This family needs a little more money, a little more attention.” To understand this phenomenon, one has to experience it. We are grateful to Briggs for enlarging our understanding of our own faith.

Finally, Briggs taught us the power of Christian love. In 2009-10, I was treated for cancer. During the grueling five months of surgery and chemotherapy, Briggs and Don Carmody brought communion to Marilyn and me each non-hospital day. Since Don was still working, Briggs appeared most frequently. Each day, there would be prayers, communion, and a few words of encouragement. Invariable, our 88 year old friend would exit saying, “Now, if you two need anything, just call me.”

By coincidence, Cardinal player and announcer, Mike Shannon, died at the time of Briggs’ funeral. Monsignor Leykam asked me to serve his mass. As I sat on the altar during the private mass, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First, if all the people whom Briggs helped during his 100 year life attended his funeral, there would have been no empty pews or aisles. Second, Briggs certainly “re-paid” God for saving his life at the Battle of the Bulge! Finally, if Mike Shannon was the most loved St. Louisan, Briggs Hoffmann was the most loving St. Louisan.

May you rest in peace, old soldier. You fought the good fight. You finished the race.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 19, 2023 in: Pastor

THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD

Jesus said to them, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Good evangelization has to be a dialogue where the other person speaks and shares his or her joys, hopes, and concerns for loved ones, or so many other heartfelt needs. It is so important to listen and care, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

After listening, bring up God’s Word, perhaps by a Bible verse or relating a story. This is fundamentally important. None of us is as smart as the Sacred Scripture. When people have questions, go to the Bible for answers. You don’t need to know much. For instance, it is surprising how many issues the Beatitudes apply to. If you can flesh out the lesson with a personal story, better still.

As a final step, if it seems prudent and if the circumstances are right, this fraternal and missionary encounter could end with a brief prayer related to the concerns which the person may have expressed. This is a gutsy move. But it is also the kind of thing that seems less weird the more you try it.

Praying with somebody does three things: it demonstrates your concern—you don’t want to win an argument; you want them to be healed and happy. It teaches the person what prayer looks like. Many people you meet might have never heard someone pray. Of course, it brings God right down into the midst of you.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 12, 2023 in: Pastor

THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Writing in the fourth century, St. Gregory of Nyssa, one of the early Church Fathers, tells us “What came about in bodily form in Mary, the fullness of the Godhead shining through Christ in the Blessed Virgin, takes place in a similar way in every person that has been Baptized and Confirmed.” The Lord does not come in bodily form, for we “no longer know Christ according to the flesh”, but Christ dwells in us spiritually and God the Father takes up His abode with Him, the Gospel tells us. In this way the child Jesus is born in each one of us.

Our Parish recognizes and congratulates all of our teens who prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our gratitude to Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, who conferred the Sacrament Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

  • Charles Edward Balcer
  • Claire Benoist
  • Andrew Taylor Bryan, Jr.
  • Selena Christine Burris
  • Genevieve Therese Clever
  • Charles Joseph Cusumano
  • Katherine Ashley Gray
  • Matthew David Hardin
  • John Michael Hawkins
  • Jane Emily Holland Hill
  • Robert Emmett McIntosh
  • Eleanor Jane McLaughlin
  • Mackenzie Ann Murphy
  • Robert Capps Rose
  • Ismael Salazar
  • Elizabeth Grace Varley
  • Adam Joseph Frigerio

MOTHERS’ DAY 2023

Today we pray for our Mothers living and deceased, we also pray for spiritual Mothers, for single Mothers, for step Mothers, for Mothers who have miscarried, and for Mothers whose children have died.

A young child asks Mom, “Who am I?” In the words of a great preacher and theologian, Peter Gomes, the Mother replies, “You are formed by God, nourished by God’s love, preserved by God’s mercy, and expectant of God’s promises. You are the human expression of the divine hope. You are God’s best and last chance in the world. Who are You? That is who you are. You are all that and more. And for that, we praise God!”

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a Mother’s secret hope outlives them all. Remember, Mother is the name for God on the lips and in the hearts of little children.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 05, 2023 in: Pastor

THE JOY OF LOVE

In this month of May, dedicated to Mary, Mother of God and Our Blessed Mother, we focus on the Family. Many of us grew up praying the family rosary. We all recognize the insight, “The Family that prays together, stays together!” Pope Francis has given us a prayer to offer throughout this month:

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love; to you we turn with trust. Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches. Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection, and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing. Holy Family of Nazareth, make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer.
Amen.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIRST HOLY COMMUNICANTS

As a parish, we rejoice and congratulate our girls and boys who received the Risen Christ for the first time in the great Sacrament of the Eucharist last Saturday morning.

  • August V. (Gussie) Hager
  • Travis (Trent) Nardini
  • Evelyn (Evie) Holton
  • Jameson Pienkos
  • Ryann Jouris
  • Katherine (Kate) Roberts
  • Caitlin Luby
  • Quinn Stemmermann
  • Harper Luby
  • Raymon Stokes
  • Evelyn (Evie) Mandel
  • Liam Wilson
  • Mary Mueller

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 28, 2023 in: Pastor

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIRST HOLY COMMUNICANTS

As a parish we rejoice with our girls and boys who made their First Holy Communion on Saturday morning, April 29th:

  • August V. (Gussie) Hager
  • Travis (Trent) Nardini
  • Evelyn (Evie) Holton
  • Jameson Pienkos
  • Ryann Jouris
  • Katherine (Kate) Roberts
  • Caitlin Luby
  • Quinn Stemmermann
  • Harper Luby
  • Raymon Stokes
  • Evelyn (Evie) Mandel
  • Liam Wilson
  • Mary Mueller

I am very grateful to Mr. Richard McIntosh, our Second Grade P.S.R. Teacher, and to all our Parents, for the outstanding preparation of our children to receive the Risen Christ for the first time in the great Sacrament of the Eucharist!

RISEN BODY AND BLOOD OF OUR LORD

St. Francis of Assisi encouraged his brother priests to celebrate Mass reverently everyday! St. Francis encouraged the faithful to confess all our sins to a priest and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as often as possible, but most especially, on the Lord’s Day! Jesus came from the royal throne: behold Emmanuel, God-with-us in the incarnation! St. Francis teaches us that the Body and Blood of our Lord is the Sacrament of humility, intimate nearness, and self-emptying sacrificial love. A relationship with Jesus Christ, in His Church, is still the answer to every question and longing in the human heart. God is still desiring to work powerfully in this world, through His Church. But only if we are willing to become open to that work.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 21, 2023 in: Pastor

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

Next Saturday, April 29th, our Second Grade Girls and Boys in Annunziata Parish School of Religion will receive the Real Presence of the Risen Christ for the first time. The annual occasion of First Holy Communion is an opportunity for all of us to take part in the Eucharistic Revival now in process. This Eucharistic Revival is not a marketing campaign, a program, or a strategic plan. It is a prophetic invitation issued by God, through our Bishops, to every Catholic in our country to come to a deeper understanding and commitment to Jesus truly present in Holy Communion. For Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven…anyone who eats this bread will live forever.

EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

Many of us have been in situations where the subject of faith comes up in conversation and you start out trying to evangelize but end up trying to win an argument. Let's use the example of the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion —

  1. Don’t assume you know what someone is thinking just because they are not actively living their Catholic Faith. Making judgments escalates arguments and diminishes true understanding. Ask good questions — ask them why they believe what they believe. Keep asking “why” to get to the root cause. We want to open a door rather than push them through a door.
  2. My attitude can set the tone on how the conversation will go. We all have baggage, no one is perfect. We all need some level of healing. Don’t focus on people’s mistakes. Try to establish a tone of mercy and compassion, regardless of how hard someone may be trying to argue. This is not a game that we are trying to win. Rather, like all of us, this is the soul of a person in need of transformation.
  3. Today, many people say, “the truth for me is….” They see truth as a concept that is adaptable to justify their current lifestyle. Introduce to them the idea that the Truth is really a person — Jesus (“I am the way and the truth and the life”). Truth is not relative, it is absolute — it is true for all of us, over all of time. People are influenced by the culture. People may not know that God is an option. Truth leads people to Jesus!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 14, 2023 in: Pastor

DO YOU KNOW DIVINE MERCY?

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the final day of the Easter-Octave — that is the Sunday after Easter. Catholics remember the tremendous love and mercy that Jesus Christ has for us, despite our sinfulness.

The message of Divine Mercy was brought to attention by Saint Faustina, a poor, uneducated Polish nun, who received many messages of Our Lord’s Divine Mercy and recorded them in her diary.

St. John Paul II proclaimed that, “those who sincerely say, “Jesus, I trust in You” will find comfort in all their anxieties and fears…There is nothing more human beings need than Divine Mercy—that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises human beings above their weakness to the infinite heights to the holiness of God.”

Pope Francis declares, “Mercy is what makes God perfect and all powerful! If God limited Himself to only justice, God would cease to be God, and instead be like human beings who ask merely to be respected.”

HOW TO OBTAIN COMPLETE REMISSION OF ALL SIN ON DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

  • Go to Confession (20 days before, on, or after Divine Mercy Sunday.)
  • Receive Holy Communion (20 days before, on, or after Divine Mercy Sunday.)
  • Pray for the Pope
  • In any Church or Chapel, pray the Our Father, Creed, and a prayer to the merciful Jesus in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or, Participate in services honoring the Divine Mercy devotions.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 06, 2023 in: Pastor

Dear Members of Church of the Annunziata, Family, and Friends,

Blessed Easter and Peace to You!

Annunziata welcomes you and is delighted that we can celebrate Christ’s Resurrection together! I offer Mass for you and your intentions, praying you experience Christ’s Peace, Joy, and Unconditional Love.

Heartfelt gratitude to our incredible parish staff! Dodie Nelke and Linda Chartrand who manage our parish office, and do so many things behind the scenes to make everything go smoothly.

Margie Meyers who manages the rectory, and takes such beautiful care of all our flowers and plants inside and outside the Church and rectory.

Matt Gremminger, our maintenance man, who cares for all our parish buildings, and is blest with the ability to repair just about anything.

Laura Gyawali, our Parish School of Religion Principal and Teacher, whose leadership and hard work sets the stage for all our teachers and parents to work together for the education and formation of our children in the Catholic Faith.

EASTER HOPE IN TIMES OF WAR, DIVISION, AND SICKNESS

St. John Paul II taught that the evil present in our world could only be defeater by imitating Jesus’s love and sacrifice on the cross. Anything else will inevitably fall short.

Darkness can only be scattered by light, and hatred can only be conquered by love. Ours is the gigantic task of overcoming all evil with good, always trying amidst the problems of life to place our trust in God, knowing that God’s Grace supplies strength to human weakness. By God’s Grace, each of us must oppose every form of hatred with the invincible power of Christ’s love!

BE NOT AFRAID!

JESUS CHRIST HAS RISEN!!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 29, 2023 in: Pastor

DO YOU LOVE JESUS?

As we begin Holy Week, I know we all want to say an emphatic “YES” to the question! Of all the weeks of the Church Year, this is the week to show our love for God! What I do with my time clearly shows who and what is important to me. It is often said that at the end of life, no one will say that they wished they had spent more time at work, rather, they wished they had spent more time with God and their family. This Holy Week, Jesus asks You, what he asked Peter, James, and John, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?"

CONFESSIONS

PALM SUNDAY— after the 7, 9 and 11 a.m. Masses
RECONCILIATION NIGHT—Wednesday, April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.
GOOD FRIDAY—after the Noon and 7 p.m. service

HOLY WEEK and EASTER SCHEDULE

HOLY THURSDAY — April 6 (NO morning Mass)
10:00 a.m. Chrism Mass at the Cathedral
7:00 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper - Followed by Adoration at the Altar of Repose until 10 p.m.
GOOD FRIDAY — April 7 (NO Masses on Good Friday)
12:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross
7:00 p.m. Celebration of the Lord’s Passion with Holy Communion
HOLY SATURDAY — April 8
(NO morning Mass and NO 5:00 p.m. Mass)
7:00 p.m. Easter Vigil Mass

EASTER SUNDAY — April 9 - - Masses at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 27, 2023 in: Pastor

PREPARING FOR HOLY WEEK WITH FATHER RICHARD GIELOW

Father Richard Gielow is a gifted, dynamic, inspiring preacher of the Word of God. I hope you can be with us all three nights of the Mission!

SCHEDULE

SUNDAY EVENING, MARCH 26 — 7 to 8 p.m.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Special Preaching, and Benediction

MONDAY EVENING, MARCH 27 — 7 p.m.

Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing

TUESDAY EVENING, MARCH 28— 7 p.m.

Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive God’s loving Forgiveness and Mercy.

HOLY WEEK

PALM SUNDAY——–———– Saturday, April 1, at 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 2 at 7, 9, & 11 a.m.

RECONCILIATION NIGHT—Wednesday, April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

HOLY THURSDAY—–——–-Thursday, April 6, NO morning Mass; Chrism Mass at the Cathedral at 10 a.m.; Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. followed by Adoration at the Altar of Repose until 10 p.m.

GOOD FRIDAY——————Friday, April 7, (No Masses on Good Friday)

Stations of the Cross at 12 p.m.; Celebration of the Lord’s Passion with Holy Communion at 7 p.m.

HOLY SATURDAY——–———Saturday, April 8, EASTER VIGIL MASS AT 7 p.m.

EASTER SUNDAY——–———Sunday, April 9, Masses at 7a.m., 9a.m., and 11 a.m.

CONFESSIONS

Every Saturday throughout the year———3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Every Sunday in Lent——————–——after the 7, 9, and 11 a.m. Masses

Wednesday, April 5—–————————5 to 7 p.m.

GOOD FRIDAY—–—————————after Noon and after the 7 p.m. services

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 17, 2023 in: Pastor

JESUS SAYS, “COME TO ME”

Imagine receiving an invitation from Our Savior Jesus Christ! A Parish Mission is a personal invitation from God. It is a major event meant to help everyone who participates to grow in the understanding of their Catholic Faith, to deepen their relationship with God, and to enable everyone to fulfill the commission Jesus gives to all the Baptized — to be God’s instrument to share the Gift of Faith.

MISSION SCHEDULE

Father Richard Gielow, Congregation of the Mission will begin our Lenten Mission by preaching next weekend’s Masses (March 25/26).

SUNDAY NIGHT — (3/26) — 7 to 8 p.m.Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Preaching, and Benediction.

MONDAY NIGHT — (3/27) —7 p.m Holy Mass followed by Anointing of the Sick

The Anointing of the Sick is not Extreme Unction. The Sacrament of the Sick confers Sanctifying Grace. The conferral of this Anointing is meant to comfort and strengthen the sick person, quiets anxiety, dissipates fear, and gives strength to face doubt and despondency, when faced with surgery, recovery from it, growing elderly, addictions of various sorts, unrelenting pain, and grave illness.

TUESDAY NIGHT— (3/28) — 7 p.m.Holy Mass followed by the opportunity for the Sacrament of Christ’s Loving Forgiveness with several priests available. Saint John Paul II reminds us that Jesus is really present. We actually speak with Jesus heart to heart. He suffered, died, and rose for us while we were yet in our sins. God wants to give you inner peace and strength to be more like Jesus!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 10, 2023 in: Pastor

LENTEN PARISH MISSION YOU ARE INVITED!

Beginning on our Parish Feast Day of the Annunciation, March 25, we welcome Father Richard Gielow of the Congregation of the Mission.Father Gielow will be living here at the rectory. I have prepared a list of days and times Father Gielow would be available for a visit or a meeting. Simply call the rectory to make an appointment.

Father Gielow will preach the weekend Sunday Masses on March 25/26. The Lenten MISSION schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday evening, 3/26, 7 to 8 p.m.—Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Special Preaching, and Benediction
  • Monday evening 3/27, 7 p.m. Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing
  • Tuesday evening 3/28, 7 p.m. Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive God’s loving Forgiveness and Mercy.

About Fr. Gielow

Father Gielow holds a degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Religious Education from Catholic University of America. He is also listed in “Who’s Who in America” as a well-known preacher and retreat director. Currently, Father Gielow is the Director of the Vincentian Parish Mission Center, National Spiritual Advisor to the Ladies of Charity of USA, and National Spiritual Advisor to Fraternal Organization KSKJ.

Vincentian Mission Prayer

Divine Savior, transform me into yourself. May my hands be your hands. May my tongue be my tongue. Grant that every faculty of my body May serve only to glorify you. Above all, transform my soul and all its powers, that my memory, my will and my affections, may be the memory, the will and the affections of You. I pray You to destroy in me, all that not of you. Grant that I may live but in you, and by You, and for You, and that I may truly say with St. Paul, “I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me.”

MEN AND WOMEN

Your parish is in need of Ushers at the 5pm Mass on Saturday and the 7,9,11 am Masses on Sunday mornings. Please sign up by calling Dodie or Linda at the rectory (314-993-4422). We will be able to get a substitute when you are out of town. Ushering is a great way to help out your parish.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on March 03, 2023 in: Pastor

LENTEN PARISH MISSION MARCH 25–28

Beginning on our Parish Feast Day of the Annunciation, March 25, we welcome back Father Richard Gielow of the Congregation of Mission, who last visited in 2017. Father Gielow will be living here at the rectory. I have prepared a list of days and times Father Gielow would be available for a visit or a meeting. Simply call the rectory to make an appointment. Father Gielow will preach the weekend Sunday Masses on March 25/26. The Lenten MISSION schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday evening, 3/26, 7 to 8 p.m.—Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Special Preaching, and Benediction
  • Monday evening 3/27, 7 p.m. Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing
  • Tuesday evening 3/28, 7 p.m. Lenten Mass followed by the opportunity to receive God’s loving Forgiveness and Mercy.

FORGIVENESS AND MERCY

Looking back on the first week of Lent, the Evangelist, St. Matthew, shares the Words of Jesus, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Lent reminds us that mercy is at the heart of the Gospel message and the essential importance that forgiveness plays in our lives. I need, we need, to acknowledge that Forgiveness is God’s nature. Jesus is clear that He did not come to call the righteous, but to call sinners to repentance. The mercy of God the Father, who welcomes sinners with open arms and propels us to conversion, is a gift to everyone seeking it and is meant to be shared with others.

If I, if you, have been forgiven by God for your sins, God calls us to forgive others for theirs. Forgiveness is not only in God’s nature, but it is required of those who have received it. We can ask God for help when we find it difficult to understand what it means to forgive or how to do it. May we never forget that forgiving others is necessary for our own healing and freedom.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 24, 2023 in: Pastor

As I write this, I have just come back from offering the 7 a.m. and Noon Masses on Ash Wednesday. For me as pastor, the experience was like a shot of spiritual B-12! The numbers of people coming and participating in Mass was an inspiration!

With the beginning of Lent, God offers all of us the opportunity to participate in Sunday Mass and Holy Communion. In our Catholic tradition, we speak of the “obligation” to participate in the Mass every Sunday and holy day, unless serious circumstances prevent us from doing so. I know that in our culture, an obligation does not seem so much like an invitation as a burden or unpleasant task. However, there are good and positive reasons why Catholics should gladly assume the obligation of Sunday Mass.

As creatures of a loving God, we owe God proper worship. The obligation is ours by the nature of things. Everything we have comes from God. We cannot be fully human without a relationship with God in which we invest ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God. Already in the Old Covenant, God revealed the kind of worship that is pleasing to God and good for us. This included regular observance of the Sabbath.

Now in the New Covenant, we see the extent of God’s love for us in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are invited by Jesus to share in his perfect worship of the Father. Participation in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and in the power of the resurrection is available to us fully in the Mass. This is the worship that is pleasing to God, and so we owe it to God. We are blessed to have this joyful duty so accessible to us in our parish week by week.

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 fully 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 relationship that God is offering us in the sacrifice of Jesus.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 17, 2023 in: Pastor

ASH WEDNESDAY

THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE BLESSED ASHES WILL TAKE PLACE DURING MASSES ON ASH WEDNESDAY AT 7:00 A.M., 12 NOON, AND 7:00 P.M.

The Church ritualizes the beginning of Lent through the blessing and distribution of ashes. The Word of God on Ash Wednesday emphasizes repentance, reconciliation, and interiority. Prayer, penance, and almsgiving are signs to God that we take these 40 Days seriously. What will your spiritual growth plan look like during the coming Lenten Season?

To help you respond to the special Graces that God offers all of us during this Holy Season, please make Sunday Mass a non-negotiable and accept God's invitation to come to a daily Mass sometime during the week.

Please receive the Sacrament of God's Divine Mercy and Forgiveness. Confessions are heard every Saturday from 3:30 until 4:45 p.m. and Sundays after all the Masses during the Season of Lent.

Penance can be meaningful when we discipline ourselves and be more open to where God is leading us, rather than what I want and when I want it. Giving up things can be good, but perhaps, choosing to do something that Jesus invites us to can be very good also. Choosing to do something for another out of love is what Jesus shows us throughout the Gospels. "Christianity is a way of life that is only as effective as it is concretely lived out. It is about being doers of the Word of God and not only hearers."

LENTEN OPPORTUNITY

Please take a copy of “The WISDOM of the SAINTS” and use it throughout Lent and beyond for inspiration to come to know, love and serve God like never before. This book provides 365 days of inspirational quotes from the saints to help you through your daily struggles and provide you with beautiful thoughts for meditation to bring you closer to Jesus as you prepare for Easter.

Courage:

“Go forward bravely, Fear nothing. Trust in God; all will be well.”

St. Joan of Arc

God’s Mercy:

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

St. Augustine

Prayer:

“Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”

St. Teresa of Avila

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 09, 2023 in: Pastor

VALENTINE’S DAY: THE SACRAMENT OF GOD’S LOVING FORGIVENESS (part 2)

Jesus teaches through His Church that there is a close link between holiness and the Sacrament of God’s loving forgiveness. Many times because of fear, shame, or influences of the world telling us that we don’t need this Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), we miss or underrate the importance of this Sacrament that is meant to be a Gift from God and fills us with God’s Mercy. We can so easily forget that the Sacrament of Confession opens the doors to participate in the feast of the Holy Eucharist and leads us into the holiness and grace that God wants to give us.

Some people say, “I don’t feel forgiven when I confess.” There is a theological formula in Latin that sounds complicated, but is really simple: the Sacraments act “ex opere operato.” If you translate it literally, the statement reads: “the Sacraments act with the work being done.” Crystal clear, isn’t it? In other words, if the Sacrament is performed correctly, it doesn’t fail. For the strength of the Sacrament does not derive from the mood or merit of the one doing it (that is, of the priest’s holiness or my own). They rely on God’s grace. Obviously, the better our inner disposition, the more we will be able to open our lives to that grace. Still, if done in good faith, even if you don’t feel it, you can be sure that you have been forgiven.

Other people think, “I am a good person. It’s not like I have committed murder or stolen anything. There is no need to go to confession.” This is often associated with the feeling of self-justification known as pride. If you suffer from this disease, no worries, the antidote is going to confession.

What about those who say, “God isn’t going to forgive me. My sins are too great!” It is true that God will not be able to forgive you if you continue to believe that God can’t. The Mercy of Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts, time after time, but Christ never forces the door open or knocks it down. God is infinitely merciful and wants to embrace every person with forgiveness. The truth is God never ever tires of forgiving us.” The problem is that we ourselves tire—we do not want to ask, we grow weary of asking for forgiveness. God never tires of Forgiving!

Lent is coming.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on February 03, 2023 in: Pastor

VALENTINE’S DAY: THE SACRAMENT OF GOD’S LOVING FORGIVENESS

With the beginning of this month of February, many people are focused on Valentine’s Day—a time to express love, friendship, care, and appreciation for special people in our lives. We may choose to give flowers, a special greeting card, a unique gift, a lovely meal together, a face time call, etc. As with many of you, I have heard people say that everyday should be Valentine’s Day, everyday should be a time to show unconditional love, understanding, patience, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy, especially to members of our own family, friends, and community!

As Catholic Christians, we are reminded that God offers us a spiritual Valentine’s Day each and every day of our lives. The Sacrament of the Risen Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion immediately comes to mind. We have all heard the Saints, such as St. Athanasius, proclaim, “Receive the Body of Christ, that you may be the Body of Christ!”

Jesus teaches through His Church that there is a close link between holiness and the Sacrament of God’s loving forgiveness. Many times because of fear, shame, or influences of the world telling us that we don’t need this Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), we miss or underrate the importance of this Sacrament that is meant to be a Gift from God and fills us with God’s Mercy. We can so easily forget that the Sacrament of Confession opens the doors to participate in the feast of the Holy Eucharist and leads us into the holiness and grace that God wants to give us.

Many times people say, “I confess directly to God.” If you think or say this, please, then go to confession. This Sacrament is the safest way to confess directly to God. If you are not convinced, consider what you mean by “direct” and “indirect.” When I want to speak directly with someone, it is just not enough to have an inner and spiritual dialogue. I like going to see the person and talking with him or her face-to-face. I am more like those Greeks who said to Philip: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” God knows how much we need this concrete and physical certainty.

This is why God the Son became flesh and dwelt among us. For this reason, Jesus instituted the Sacraments as visible, concrete, tangible, mediations. These are the real direct ways to let God connect with us!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 27, 2023 in: Pastor

CATHOLIC EDUCATION 2023

During this year’s Catholic Schools Week, I would like to focus our attention on our excellent Parish School of Religion and our incredible Annunziata Learning Center.

The religious education and formation of our children is the God given privilege and responsibility of our loving and faith-filled Mothers and Fathers. As pastor, I want to do everything possible to assist Parents with this privilege and sacred trust. Our Parish School of Religion, with Principal, Mrs. Laura Gyawali, and dedicated Teachers and Volunteers, is one of the greatest blessings the Parish can offer Parents on their children’s journey to becoming an active, practicing member of their Catholic Faith.

With the beginning of this new semester, we as a parish want to express our appreciation for the dedication, preparation, and commitment of all those involved with Annunziata’s P.S.R.

THE LEARNING CENTER

For three and a half decades our Parish has committed the resources of our Parish to Catholic Special Education. The results of the Annunziata Learning center are truly miraculous! Ms. Gerre Book, the Principal, who has dedicated her life to these children, and has been with the Learning Center from the beginning, writes:

Dear Parishioners of Annunziata,

With the celebration of Catholic Schools Week, we would like to take this opportunity to express the sincere gratitude of the students, staff, and parents of Annunziata School. We appreciate all that you do for our school. Your commitment to the Catholic education of children who learn differently is truly commendable. With your support, we are able to spread the joy of Christ to many children. Annunziata School truly is a school family because of the wonderful children and staff who are here every day. Thanks to all the parishioners for helping to make Annunziata School a special place for the students and their families.

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From Our Pastor .....

Posted on January 21, 2023 in: Pastor

SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

Pope Francis writes: “A profound bond links Sacred Scripture and the faith of believers. Since faith comes from hearing, and what is heard is based on the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17), believers are bound to listen attentively to the Word of the Lord, both in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and in their personal prayer and reflection. Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year (Jan 22,2023) to the Word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the Risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of God’s Word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.”

Consider these benefits of reading the Bible:

1) THE BIBLE IS GOD SPEAKING TO US.

Catholics believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. All necessary truths that God intended to communicate for the purpose of our salvation are contained in Sacred Scripture.

2) SACRED SCRIPTURE IS FILLED WITH ENCOURAGEMENT.

By reflecting on God’s past faithfulness, recorded for our memory in the Scriptures, we can be filled with hope for

the future.

3) READING SACRED SCRIPTURE CAN HELP OUR FAITH MATURE.

Many Catholics stop studying their faith when they leave school. This epidemic leaves our adult believers with a stunted faith.

4) BY READING THE BIBLE, WE WILL KEEP FOCUSED ON WHAT MATTERS.

What if everyone spent as much time with the Bible as they do watching the news or listening to podcasts or scrolling social media?

5) READING SACRED SCRIPTURE TEACHES US TO PRAY.

The Bible is a school of prayer, a training ground which teaches us how to express the things we hold deep in our hearts.

6) THE MORE WE READ SCRIPTURE, THE MORE CLEARLY WE WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE.

A suggestion: make a vow to make Christ the center of your life and to know, live, and transmit God’s Word in everything you think, say and do.

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Pastor's Column

Posted on January 21, 2023 in: Pastor

FROM OUR PASTOR …………

SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

Pope Francis writes:  “A profound bond links Sacred Scripture and the faith of believers.  Since faith comes from hearing, and what is heard is based on the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17),    believers are bound to listen attentively to the Word of the Lord, both in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and in their personal prayer and reflection.  Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year (Jan 22,2023) to the Word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the Risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of God’s Word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.”

Consider these benefits of reading the Bible:

1)   THE BIBLE IS GOD SPEAKING TO US.  

          Catholics believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  All necessary truths that God intended to communicate            for the purpose of our salvation are contained in Sacred Scripture.

2)   SACRED SCRIPTURE IS FILLED WITH ENCOURAGEMENT.

          By reflecting on God’s past faithfulness, recorded for our memory in the Scriptures, we can be filled with hope for

          the future.

3)   READING SACRED SCRIPTURE CAN HELP OUR FAITH MATURE.  

          Many Catholics stop studying their faith when they leave school.  This epidemic leaves our adult believers with a                  stunted faith.

4)   BY READING THE BIBLE, WE WILL KEEP FOCUSED ON WHAT MATTERS.  

          What if everyone spent as much time with the Bible as they do watching the news or listening to podcasts or                        scrolling social media?

5)   READING SACRED SCRIPTURE TEACHES US TO PRAY.

          The Bible is a school of prayer, a training ground which teaches us how to express the things we hold deep in our                 hearts.

6)  THE MORE WE READ SCRIPTURE, THE MORE CLEARLY WE WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE. 

          A suggestion:  make a vow to make Christ the center of your life and to know, live, and transmit God’s Word in                      everything you think, say and do.

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Posted on January 21, 2023 in: Pastor

FROM OUR PASTOR ………… SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD Pope Francis writes:  “A profound bond links Sacred Scripture and the faith of believers.  Since faith comes from hearing, and what is heard is based on the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17),  &n...

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 13, 2023 in: Pastor

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

JANUARY 18–25, 2023

The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: “Do good; seek justice.” (Isaiah 1: 17)

The Prophet Isaiah reflects his concern for the oppressed who suffer from injustice and inequality fed by hypocrisy that leads to disunity. He teaches that God requires righteousness and justice from all of us, to create the peace and unity that God desires. These virtues originate in God’s love for all, and racism runs counter to this vision. Isaiah’s challenge to do good and seek justice together applies equally to us today.

THE MEANING OF THE KING HOLIDAY

By Coretta Scott King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a

man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the

timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth,

justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s

character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the

universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his

revolutionary spirit.

We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn’t enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.

The King Holiday honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality, the leader who not only dreamed of a color­blind society, but who also lead a movement that achieved historic reforms to help make it a reality.

On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate the values of equality, tolerance and interracial sister and brotherhood he so compellingly expressed in his great dream for America.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 06, 2023 in: Pastor

EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

The Epiphany of the Lord is a feast of light that encourages us to continue to seek. It is a quest that will lead us to find Jesus in our Lives—the only ONE capable of giving us hope, peace, and full happiness.

In the Epiphany we recognize Jesus as God, King, and Savior of the World! We can celebrate this Feast with special, but different kinds of gifts, remembering the offerings presented by the Magi to the Child Jesus. A friend sent me a gift that I could give to God at the beginning of 2023: “An examination of conscience for the year 2022 in 25 minutes or less” so that we can look back to see where God has been active in our lives. It’s a way to help us notice, be grateful, and experience the desire for improvement and growth.

  1. Remember that you are in God’s presence. That’s essential for any prayer.. It’s not just running through a list or talking to yourself. You’re doing it with God. St. Ignatius used to recommend actually looking at the physical place where you’ll be praying (a chair, on the floor, in a pew) and imagine God looking at you. It helps you to remember God is with you. Or you could simply invite God to be with you. God is always with us, but it’s good to remind ourselves of that, especially when we pray.
  2. Call to mind what you’re grateful for. Think of all the wonderful things that happened to you this year. Take your time to do this. Savor them, like you would savor a good meal. And give thanks to God for them. Even if you had a bad year, call to mind what you’re grateful for. You may be surprised by how many wonderful events you’ve forgotten about. Know that these are God’s gifts to you.
  3. Review the year. Of course you can’t do this day by day, but perhaps go month by month. Or just do it by topic—family, friends, work and so on. Cast your mind back over the year. Notice where God was present, where you said yes to God’s invitation to greater love. Where God loved you. Notice.
  4. Express your sorrow, Surely in the space of 365 days you’ve done some things you regret. Tell God you’re sorry. If you have really harmed someone, today is a good time to seek forgiveness. Think about going to Confession if you’re Catholic and conscious of grave sin. But don’t wallow in your sins; remember you’re human and we all make mistakes.
  5. Ask God for the grace to live 2023 as a good person. All of us have things that we need God’s grace to face: health problems, financial problems, family problems, work problems. So ask God for help. Be specific about what you need. St. Ignatius often encouraged people to pray for what they want and need. Finally, ask for the grace to see God’s presence in the New Year.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on January 03, 2023 in: Pastor

MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD

In this Christmas Season we remember that “God so loved the world that God the Father gave us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus.” Only because of Mary’s “Fiat” could the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, be born into time.

Through the intercession of our Spiritual Mother, may God give us the Grace to pray for Justice and Peace, and accept the responsibility to bring it about through our cooperation with God’s Divine Will.

Through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, let us pray:

“Remember O Most Gracious ever virgin Mary,
that never was it known, that anyone who fled
to your protection, implored your help, or sought
your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by
this confidence, we fly unto you, O Virgin of Virgins,
Our Mother. To you do we come, before you we
stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word
Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your
mercy hear and answer us, Amen.”

Msgr. John Leykam, Deacon Tom Gottlieb, and our entire Staff of Annunziata, wish you a happy, healthy, prayerful, and peace-filled 2023!

MASS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE AT 5 P.M, Saturday, December 31st

MASSES ON NEW YEAR'S DAY 7 A.M., 9 A.M., 11:00 A.M.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 23, 2022 in: Pastor

WELCOME TO ALL!

To all visiting Families 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 16, 2022 in: Pastor

GO TO CONFESSION - LET YOURSELF BE CONSOLED

All people are called to remember that anyone who wants to experience the consolation and tenderness of God, simply needs to go to confession.

Our Holy Father made up this imaginary conversation:

“Father, I have so many sins, I have made so many mistakes in my life.”

“Let yourself be consoled.”

“But who will console me?”

“THE LORD!’

“Where must I go? “To ask pardon. Go. Be Bold. Open the door.”

“Jesus will welcome you. Do not be afraid!”

“I am confused, I have forgotten what to say and what to do.”

Open the door— "Jesus draws near to those in need of the tenderness of God the Father!”

“The Lord always consoles us as long as we let ourselves be consoled.”

“Of course, God the Father also corrects His children, but God does that, too, with tenderness.”

Often, Pope Francis said, “People look at their own limits and sins and start thinking that there is no way God can forgive them. It is then that the voice of Our Lord is heard saying, ‘I will console you. I am close to you. God tenderly reaches us——be not afraid, God loves You!”

CONFESSIONS WILL BE HEARD AFTER EACH SUNDAY MASS TODAY AND ON THIS MONDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 19th, FROM 5:00 P.M. UNTIL 7:00 P.M.

(Msgrs. Ramacciotti and Leykam will be available.)

PLEASE COME AND OPEN YOUR HEART TO JESUS AND BE FORGIVEN AND HEALED.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR P.S.R. SECOND GRADE

Special thanks to the Mothers and Fathers of our Second Grade students who helped their daughters and sons prepare to receive Christ’s forgiving love Tuesday evening. In their name, I thank our wonderful Teacher, Richard McIntosh, for assisting their parents in teaching and forming them in order to value and appreciate God’s Gift of this Sacrament of Divine Mercy and loving forgiveness. May I introduce you to our First Reconciliation Class: August Hager, V Evelyn Holton Ryann Jouris Caitlin Luby Harper Luby Evelyn Mandel Mary Mueller Trent Nardini Jameson Pienkos Katherine Roberts Quinn Stemmermann Ramona Stokes Liam Wilson

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 09, 2022 in: Pastor

ADVENT IS OPPORTUNITY TO GET OFF PEDESTAL OF SUPERIORITY

Pope Francis challenges all Christians to embrace the Season of Advent as a time of Grace to help believers stop being presumptuous and pretending to be self-sufficient. There is only one way to begin a new life: “the way of humility—to be purified from the sense of superiority, from formalism and hypocrisy.”

People need to see themselves “as sinners, and to see Jesus as the Savior who comes for us, not for the others, for us, just as we are, with our poverty, misery and failings, above all with our need to be raised up, forgiven and saved.”

St. John the Baptist gives a sharp rebuke to those who are known for their duplicity and presumption, and his urgent appeal to repent. John tells us to “produce good fruit as evidence of our repentance.” This is the cry of love, like the cry of a father who sees his son ruining himself and says to him, “Don’t throw your life away.”

If people presume they always are right, they will fail to welcome the loving invitation and miss an opportunity to begin a new life. In essence, hypocrisy is the greatest danger, because it can even ruin the most sacred realities. Hypocrisy is a serious danger!

It is important to welcome God with humility, not bravura: “We’re strong; we are great people.” Each of us needs to confess our own sins, our own failings, our own hypocrisy. It requires getting off the pedestal and being immersed in the water of repentance.

Advent is a moment of grace to take off our masks—every one of us has them—and line up with those who are humble, to be liberated from the presumption of the belief of being self-sufficient, to go to confess our sins, the hidden ones, and to welcome God’s pardon, to ask forgiveness from those whom we have offended. This is how to begin a new life!

CONFESSIONS DURING ADVENT

The Sacrament of God’s Great Love and Forgiveness is offered on:

Saturdays, December 10th, 17th, (not the 24th) from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Sundays, December 11th, 18th after all the Masses.

and

Monday, December 19th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

when Msgrs Ramacciotti and Leykam will be available.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on December 02, 2022 in: Pastor

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

ADVENT is not a miniature version of Lent. In fact, the two seasons are extremely different. Advent stresses hope and joy, Lent stresses penance and sorrow. Advent emphasizes what we need to add to our lives (e.g., grace, light, joy), while Lent emphasizes what we need to remove (sin). Advent stresses preparation with festivity! Advent features the Prophet Isaiah. In this season, read a chapter of Isaiah each day and be inspired!

THE HOLYDAY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

In the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, the angel Gabriel, speaking on God’s behalf, addresses Mary as “full of grace”. In that context this phrase means that Mary is receiving all the special divine help necessary for what lies before her. The Holy Spirit led the Church to the insight that Mary had to be the most perfect work of God next to the Incarnation. The People of God believe that Mary was full of grace and free of sin from the first moment of her existence. This great privilege of Mary is the highlight of all that God has done for us in Jesus!

MASSES ON THE HOLYDAY, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8th, are at 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.

CONFESSIONS IN PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS

The Sacrament of God’s Loving Mercy and Forgiveness is offered during this Season of Advent every Saturday from 3:30 to 4:45, Advent Sundays after Masses, and on Monday, Dec. 19th, from 5 p.m.to 7 p.m. (There will be two priests available on Dec. 19th)

CHRISTMAS MASSES

MASSES ON CHRISTMAS EVE — SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th 5 P.M. and 10 P.M.

CHRISTMAS DAY, MASSES — SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th 7A.M., 9A.M., and 11A.M.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 30, 2022 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 is a great time to regularly spend some quiet time with God.

BIBLE: Read St. Matthew’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.

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

A GIFT FROM YOUR PARISH!

So that we all might embrace Advent, and spend these holy days together waiting — in prayer, penance, and hope —for the appearance of Christ our Savior, please accept Matthew Kelly’s “Holy Moments” or “The Eucharist…20 Answers” or both, on the tables at the Church doors.

NEW MISSAL AND HYMNAL

The new Liturgical year begins this weekend with the First Sunday of Advent. For the coming Church year, Annunziata has purchased WORD & SONG 2023 from World Library Publications. WORD AND SONG has an extensive selection of songs for Mass to encourage congregational singing.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 18, 2022 in: Pastor

Happy Thanksgiving

PLEASE COME TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD ON THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH!

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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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 14, 2022 in: Pastor


“Sheltering”

WORLD DAY OF THE POOR

Pope Francis invited all the world to a call to action for the poor and the needy in 2016, an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. At the end of that year, the Holy Father established a World Day of the Poor to be celebrated every year on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The sculpture in the picture above was conceived by renowned Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz to shed light on the problem of homelessness in the world and to promote practical solutions, especially in supporting the ministry of the St. Vincent dePaul Society worldwide.

As Pope Francis blest the sculpture entitled, “Sheltering” in St. Peter’s Square last week, Mr. Schmalz, encouraged people, “It is everyone’s job to provide the homeless with a roof over their heads. To make them visible and address their needs.”

In the coming weeks, as families gather for Thanksgiving, I thank you for your faithful support of our St. Vincent de Paul Society, and your own ongoing sacrifices to help the poor, needy, and homeless.

God Bless You!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on November 07, 2022 in: Pastor

VOCATION AWARENESS WEEK

As Catholics, we firmly believe that God has a plan for our lives! God calls some to marriage, some to the priesthood, and others to religious life or to live as generous single people. Fully living out our own vocations, and teaching young people how to discern God’s call, is a serious duty, but also a joyful one.

During this week, please pray and encourage the young people in your life—children, grandchildren, students, and friends—to be open if God calls them to the priesthood and religious life.

EVERYONE HAS A DIVINE VOCATION

“Jesus has a specific task in life for each and every one of us. Each one of us is hand-picked, called by name by Jesus! There is no one among us who does not have a divine vocation! Some are called audibly by God, but the usual kind of call is internal, through the inner working of the Spirit.”
—Homily by Pope Saint John Paul II 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT (continued)

The wellness industry is redefining the concept of purity as what you consume, rather than the moral state of your soul. This new use of the word purity to describe only the material world feels hollow. There may be some ritual comfort in collecting crystals or forgoing meat, but they are not substitutes for paying attention to our souls. Do you know a single woman who would prefer to be married to an adulterous vegan husband than a faithful husband who consumes the occasional hamburger?

In its worst form, wellness purity allows us to escape from our own moral impurity rather than make a genuine attempt to be a better person. Buying and consuming organic fruit smoothies is expensive, but it’s easy. Making an earnest attempt to confront one’s own moral failings and to be held accountable for them is challenging and uncomfortable—even if the financial cost is almost nothing.

The challenge for contemporary Catholicism is to reclaim ground that has been ceded to the wellness industry. Our faith tells us that embracing the virtues of confession is a great form of self-care. After all, sin hurts our relationship with God and with those around us. Therapy may be good for your mental health, and diets good for your body, but the Sacrament of Confession is still the way toward purity for your soul.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 28, 2022 in: Pastor

THE SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS

In order that all our Parishioners may participate in Mass for the Holy Day of Obligation on All Saints’ Day, Masses will be offered:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st—7 a.m. & 9 a.m & 5:30 p.m.

THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

Mass will be offered on ALL SOULS’ DAY AT 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.

The 5:30 p.m. Mass will have a special remembrance for all those who have died over the past year. We pray for our deceased and remember in prayer their family and friends who grieve their loss.

PRAYER WRITTEN BY FATHER HENRI NOUWEN

Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists, who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me! Help me practice the discipline of gratitude!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

It is a remarkable coup. As churches struggle with declining membership, the wellness industry is redefining the concept of purity as what you consume, rather than as the moral state of your soul. It is also commodifying purity by making it an expensive lifestyle choice.

Purity seems to have an inherent attractiveness to people as what we desire to keep “pure”—the body, the mind, the soul, continues to change. So, wellness grifters of every shape, size, and creed have popped up to fill the void created by a disappearance of spiritual richness from daily life. They have come up with new ways to work out, new meditation apps, new sticks of incense with which to purify your home and myriad other means, to plug the holes left by the decline of traditional religions. (to be continued next week…..)

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 20, 2022 in: Pastor

PARISH LISTENING SESSIONS

There is still time to sign up for our Parish Listening Sessions to be held this Tuesday, October 25th or Thursday, October 27th from 6pm-8pm. The Sessions will be held in Faris Hall. The All Things New models for Annunziata will be presented for your comments. To Register please call the Rectory.

FEAST OF ALL THE SAINTS

We are still joined in Jesus Christ with all who have gone before us because, in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome, nothing can separate us from the love of God made fully present in Jesus Christ, including death (Romans 8:38, 39).

The Saints are a part of the eternal family to which we are now joined in and through Jesus Christ. They are part of that great cloud of witnesses which the author of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews makes reference in these inspired words of encouragement:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Masses on the Holy Day of Obligation for All Saints are:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st — 7:00 & 9:00 a.m., & 5:30 p.m. — ALL SAINTS

Please pray for peace, especially in our families, in our country and in the world.

ALL SOULS DAY- PRAYING FOR ALL WHO HAVE DIED

It is good for us to recall with gratitude our loved ones with whom we have shared our life and history. Yes, we may still experience the sadness of their loss, even after many years. But we should also recall the joy we had in their presence and the roles they played in our lives.

During this month of November, I want to assure you that we pray daily at Mass for your deceased family members and friends. I encourage you to inscribe their names in the Book of Remembrance in the front of Church by the Communion rail on St. Joseph’s side. Let us all pray for the deceased, and for one another who grieve their loss.

On Wednesday, November 2nd there will be a special Mass for all those we have died over the past year. If you would like to join us, no matter where your loved one’s service was performed, please contact the Rectory by Friday, October 28th. We will have a candle, that you can take home, with your loved one’s name on it that will be lit at this Mass. Please join us!

Wednesday 2nd — 7:00 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. — All Souls

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 14, 2022 in: Pastor

You are Invited!!

As your pastor, I invite you to take part in a special parish meeting to hear about the All Things New draft models for Annunziata.

I would emphasize that your participation and input is very important. A Model is only an option of how parishes in our planning area could be structured. Your attendance at the Parish meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25 OR Thursday, Oct 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. is critical because it will have an important part to play in the future of our beloved Church of the Annunziata.

To register, please go to our website: annunziata.org, or call the rectory, and Dodie or Linda will help you register.

Feast of All the Saints

We are still joined in Jesus Christ with all who have gone before us because, in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome, nothing can separate us from the love of God made fully present in Jesus Christ, including death (Romans 8:38, 39).

The Saints are a part of the eternal family to which we are now joined in and through Jesus Christ. They are part of that great cloud of witnesses to which the author of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews makes reference in these inspired words of encouragement:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Masses on the Holy Day of Obligation for All Saints are:

Tuesday, November 1st — 7:00 & 9:00 A.m., & 5:30 P.m. — All Saints

All Souls Day- Praying For All Who Have Died

You and I often speak of our “loss” when a loved one dies. It is true that we do lose their physical presence in our lives. We are no longer able to hold them or hug them. But, our faith assures us that death cannot overcome love. The bonds of love which unite us endure and we are joined to our loved ones in the Communion of Saints. Our loved ones are not lost—they are with God who is love.

It is good for us to recall with gratitude our loved ones with whom we have shared our life and history. Yes, we may still experience the sadness of their loss, even after many years. But we should also recall the joy we had in their presence and the roles they played in our lives.

During this month of November, I want to assure you that we pray daily at Mass for your deceased family members and friends. I encourage you to inscribe their names in the Book of Remembrance in the front of Church by the Communion rail on St. Joseph’s side. Let us all pray for the deceased, and for one another who grieve their loss.

On Wednesday, November 2nd there will be a special Mass for all those we have lost over the past year. If you would like to join us, no matter where your loved one’s service was performed, please contact the Rectory by Friday, October 28th. We will have a candle, that you can take home, with your loved one’s name on it that will be lit at this Mass. Please join us!

Wednesday, November 2nd — 7:00 A.m. & 5:30 P.m. — All Souls

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 07, 2022 in: Pastor

Respect Life

To create a world where every person is loved, each person must spread kindness, mercy and an authentic understanding of being part of the human family. Only then will abortion and other attacks on human life end.

Over the past months, we have seen civil unrest and chaos spread across our country. Now more than ever, people of faith must be the voice of reason as we seek unity and spread God’s mercy.

We are a nation founded on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, but the right to life itself is not fully protected, especially for unborn children, the terminally ill, and the elderly, the most vulnerable members of the American family. We are called to be peacemakers in a nation at war. We are a country pledged to pursue “liberty and justice for all”, but we are too often divided across lines of race, ethnicity, and economic inequality.

We are a society built on the strength of our families, called to defend marriage and offer moral and economic support for family life. We are an affluent society where too many live in poverty and lack health care and other necessities of life. These challenges are at the heart of public life and at the center of the pursuit of the common good.

All Things New Parish Listening Sessions

There are rumors galore, news’ stories speculating on the future of parishes and parish schools, and so much more. As your pastor, I invite you to come to one of our parish listening sessions, to get the facts, and to offer your opinion about Models that will be presented. A Model is an option as to how parishes in our planning area could be structured. The Models are “unfinished” because they need your input. 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.

COVID 19 — Omicron Virus

Throughout these two and a half years, I have sought the best ways to keep the people of Annunziata safe when they come to Church to worship. The Doctors and the Scientists consulted are from the St. Louis area and the Virus is their specialty.

In light of their medical advice, Holy Water will be placed in the founts and the Children’s and Babies’ Room next to the Sanctuary will be re-opened beginning this

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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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Christ the Man of Work

Posted on September 02, 2022 in: Pastor

On this Labor Day weekend, we pay special tribute to the contributions and achievements of the Men and Women in our Nation who have made such a dramatic difference in the lives of others in our Country and throughout the world.

You are invited to join us for Mass on this Monday, September 5th, at 7 a.m.

The truth that by means of work, all human beings participate in the activity of God, our Creator, was given particular prominence by Jesus Christ. For Jesus not only proclaimed, but first and foremost fulfilled by His deeds the “gospel”, the word of eternal Wisdom, that had been entrusted to Him. Therefore this was also “the Gospel of work,” because He who proclaimed it was Himself a man of work, a craftsman like his foster father Joseph. If we do not find in his words a special command to work—but rather on one occasion a prohibition against too much anxiety about work and life, at the same time the eloquence of the life of Christ is unequivocal: Jesus belongs to the “working world”, He has an appreciation and respect for human work. It can be said that He looks with love upon human work and the different forms that it takes, seeing in each one of these forms a particular facet of man’s likeness with God, our Creator and Father.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on August 26, 2022 in: Pastor

Parish School of Religion

Our Annunziata Parish School of Religion program is meant to supplement the Religious Formation already happening in the home. Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children in the Catholic Faith. Parents’ example of living and sharing their faith pays dividends for eternity for the whole family.

Annunziata aims to assist parents in teaching their children by providing a safe environment to learn and share their Faith. We pledge to provide religious instruction in the Catholic Faith to assist parents and encourage participation in one of our weekend Sunday Masses.

Our P.S.R. Teachers and Staff are volunteers who devote themselves to our children. We are blest to have Mrs. Laura Gyawali as our Principal, assisted by her daughter, Millie. They have worked hard this summer to plan, coordinate, and make sure that all is in readiness as we begin Parish School of Religion on Sunday, September 11th, at 10 a.m.

If you know of any child from Kindergarten thru the 8th grade who are not receiving religious education, please encourage their parents to call the rectory. Thank You!

Annunziata Learning Center

As we begin our thirty-fifth year of Catholic Special Education, as a special Mission of Annunziata Parish, heartfelt gratitude to all our parishioners who have reached out and helped financially following the flash flood of two and a half feet of water in the lower level of our beautiful School. Thanks to the hard work of Gerre Book, our Principal, her faculty and staff, our maintenance genius, and many others, we have adapted Faris Hall as temporary classrooms, thus, our Annunziata Learning Center was able to open for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 24th.

Thought for the Day:

“Therapy may be good for your mental health, and diets may be good for your body,

but the Sacrament of Confession is still the best way toward purity of your soul!"

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on August 19, 2022 in: Pastor

Feast of Saint Louis, King of France

Since the day on which the Church honors Saint Louis falls on a Thursday this year, Archbishop Rozanski is granting permission to all parishes in the Archdiocese the option of celebrating the Feast of Saint Louis on Sunday, August 21. St. Louis was born in 1214 and became king of France when he was only twenty-two years old. He married and became the father of eleven children who received from him careful instruction in the Christian life.

In the Liturgy of the Hours (the Divine Office) for Saint Louis, there is found a reading “From a spiritual testament to his son by St. Louis”. I would like to share this passage:

My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it.

If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either through vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend Him in the matter of his gifts.

Listen to the divine office with pleasure and devotion. As long as you are in church, be careful not to let your eyes wander and not to speak empty words, but pray to the Lord devoutly, either aloud or with the interior prayer of the heart.

Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Be just to your subjects, swaying neither to right nor left, but holding the line of justice. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. See that all your subjects live in justice and peace, but especially those who have ecclesiastical rank and who belong to religious orders.

Be devout and obedient to our Mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father. Work to remove all sin from your land, particularly blasphemies and heresies.

In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a son. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil. And may the Lord give you the grace to do His will so that He may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see Him, love Him and praise Him unceasingly. Amen.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on August 12, 2022 in: Pastor

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Celebrated every year on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into heaven, before her body could begin to decay — a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts. Because the Assumption falls on a Monday this year, the Feast is celebrated but it is not a holy day of obligation. Mass for the Assumption on Monday, August 15th, will be at 7:00 a.m.

Our Parish School Building

As the restoration of our School building continues, I will keep you up to date on our progress. In the meantime, our Annunziata Learning Center and Parish School of Religion have moved to Faris Hall on the lower level of Church. The children of our Learning Center will begin their new school year on Wednesday, August 24th, and our Parish School of Religion will begin on Sunday, September 11th. Our gratitude to Men’s Bible Study, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Cornerstone Women’s Bible Study, and A.A. for all their help and support!

Vicar for Strategic Planning for the Archdiocese of St. Louis

As we pray, and continue to live our Faith, and share the gift of the “Joy of the Gospel”, I wanted to share with you some reflections from Father Christopher Martin, whom the Archbishop asked to assist Him in the critical pastoral planning for our Archdiocese: “As we continue to journey through the ‘All Things New” strategic planning process, I can sense within myself, and I hear from others, a lot of anxiety. A lot of “what if this or that” conversations taking place tend to leave people feeling more anxious. The truth is we don’t know what the future will look like in our Archdiocese. Heck, you and I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like.

Anxiety is one way to respond. Trust in God is the other.

Anxiety’s deadly spiritual relative is discouragement, which means to be disheartened — to have your heart taken out. Trust’s spiritual relative is encouragement — to have your heart placed within you. In the Old Testament, when the Israelites were journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land and encountering all sorts of obstacles along the way, they became anxious and discouraged. Joshua reminded them of where to place their hope: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:19)

The world is full of things the devil can use to rob us of peace and to increase anxiety and discouragement within us. So what should we do when we sense these things growing inside out hearts? We can heed the words and the admonition of St. Paul who writes:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on August 05, 2022 in: Pastor

THE FLOOD OF THE CENTURY

As the day of Tuesday, July 26th, began at midnight, the deluge erupted! In the space of several hours, our whole metropolitan area had record breaking rain and flash floods. The result was catastrophic for so many peoples' homes, apartments, and businesses. We continue to pray for all the people, their pets, and belongings that were lost and destroyed. We are grateful to the first responders, and the many volunteers who came to the need of their neighbors! In our beautiful Annunziata School building, the lower level was inundated with over two and one-half feet of water. We immediately contacted the appropriate authorities to pump out the water and begin the process of disposing of all the contents that were ruined.

We are following all the protocols to restore the lower level to its original first-class status.

PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION

In the last week, the Restoration Company has been working every day, including the weekend. They began with six employees, and it has grown at times to over a dozen workers. We are still anticipating the opening of our Parish School of Religion on Sunday, September 11th.

In order that our P.S.R. Principal, Mrs. Laura Gyawali, can order books and materials for the students, we ask that Parents whose children will be participating in Parish School of Religion in September, please register as soon as possible. Mrs. Gyawali has made registration very easy for everyone. For our new Families, P.S.R. is for children in Kindergarten through the Eighth Grade. Please go to: http://annunziata.psrenroll.com/

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on July 29, 2022 in: Pastor

Every parish in the Archdiocese is now asked to provide feedback on two critical questions which are essential to carrying out the Mission that Jesus gives to all of us.  You may offer your feedback online at our website, or you may tear out the insert, fill it in, and place the “Parish Feedback Form” in the collection boxes in Church or drop it by the rectory.  As with the Disciple Maker Index, there is no need to sign your name.  Please, let your voice be heard.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on July 22, 2022 in: Pastor

PARISH FEEDBACK FORM

In last week’s bulletin, I shared an extensive report on the “All Things New” strategic planning initiative. I have repeated that report in today’s bulletin in the hope that as many parishioners as possible will read it. Towards the end of the analysis was the question, “So what’s next?” Every parish in the Archdiocese is now asked to provide feedback on two critical questions which are essential to carrying out the Mission that Jesus gives to all of us. You may offer your feedback online at our website, or you may tear out the insert, fill it in, and place the “Parish Feedback Form” in the collection boxes in Church or drop it by the rectory. As with the Disciple Maker Index, there is no need to sign your name. Please, let your voice be heard.

NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

Our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith ------- the Lord’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. When you find Jesus, and your heart is enamored, and you realize that other people do not recognize Him, your heart breaks. It doesn’t break because Jesus is not there. It doesn’t break because the person is bad. It breaks because there is such a possibility for a beautiful relationship with God! Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying that if you are not able to see Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, you won’t be able to see Jesus in the poor or the immigrant or the unemployed. The Eucharist is incredibly social, because even the word that we use when we receive the host, “Communion” conveys this. That communion is not only with God, but with each other.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on July 15, 2022 in: Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

January 25, 2022, was the launch of the St. Louis Archdiocesan strategic pastoral planning initiative known as “All Things New.” The purpose is to make the necessary adjustments to our ministries and supporting structures to reflect the needs of our Catholic communities for the next century.

On March 2, 2022, every Catholic in the Archdiocese was asked to take a survey, known as the Disciple Maker Index. This was an important opportunity for each Catholic to be heard. The results for individual parishes were sent to the pastor and parish representatives to provide analysis and feedback to the Archbishop.

Transparency is very important! This is a multi-year initiative focused on evangelization.

All Baptized Catholics are called by Christ to spread His Gospel message and ensure a Catholic presence in every square mile of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. For the first time in over 50 years, the total number of Catholics in the Archdiocese has dropped below 500,000. This is due, in part, to a significant decline in the number of births and baptisms within the Archdiocese. Also, as many as 5,000 Catholics leave the local Church annually or do not re-engage after high school or college.

Currently, we have 178 parishes and 210 active priests, including both diocesan and religious order priests. Significantly, 35% of diocesan priests are 65 years old or older and could retire within 10 years, such that by 2026, we may have more parishes than priests to serve them. This is especially the case in the largest parishes, such as the 21 large parishes with only one priest per 3411 Catholics. While All Things New is not driven by a projected priest shortage, that is a major concern looking to the future.

For purposes of the All Things New initiative, Annunziata is grouped into a “parish planning area” that includes: Immacolata and Little Flower (Richmond Heights), Our Lady of the Pillar (Creve Coeur), St. Joseph (Clayton), St. Genevieve DuBois (Warson Woods), St. Clement of Rome (Des Peres), St. Mary Magdalen (Brentwood), Most Holy Redeemer and Mary Queen of Peace (Webster Groves), St. Gerard Majella and St. Peter (Kirkwood).

Prayer, Tradition, and Service define our parish! Annunziata is a stable parish, with slightly declining parish membership. Mass attendance pre-Covid was 21-24% and post-Covid is around 20-21%--both below the Archdiocesan average of 27%-29%. These figures do not include homebound and vulnerable parishioners watching via livestream. Baptisms have been stable, but PSR numbers have declined in the past two years. The parish is in solid financial condition and has used reserves for some parish building maintenance. Though the offertory has declined over the past decade, reserves have been maintained. The median household income is $182,500, which is well above the archdiocesan average and second highest in the diocese, and 31% of our resident area population is Catholic, versus the archdiocesan average of 18% and 29% for the parish planning area as a whole.

The major themes that emerged from the DMI survey are that our parish is very much alive, in a good place/on the right track, financially secure and blest with well-maintained facilities and an older, devout and affluent demographic of stable, long-term generational households. Our parishioners are heavily invested in missionary discipleship, adopting Catholic Special Education for 35 years and seeking to expand knowledge of how to share our Catholic faith on a one-on-one basis.

Annunziata is a closely-knit community that fosters philanthropy. Families have occupied the same residences for generations. This has driven strong relationships between parishioner families, meaning there is a certain dynamism that propels our parish when it comes to cooperation and stewardship—not just at the parish level but with any needs within the Archdiocese and our community overall. For this, we are very grateful and blessed.

So what’s next? In the coming months there will be further opportunities to provide feedback on your aspirations for the Archdiocese. Preliminary draft models for reorganization will be presented to all the parishes this fall for input. The final models will be announced in May of 2023, with implementation to take place over the next three to five years. Please continue to pray unceasingly to the Holy Spirit for discernment, pastoral vision, and Biblical Stewardship.

God Bless You,

Fr. John Leykam,
your pastor

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on July 08, 2022 in: Pastor

“MY FLESH FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD”

With the great Feast of Corpus Christi a few weeks ago, our Holy Father, Francis, the Bishops of the United States and around the world, “embarked on a three year initiative of Eucharistic Revival” to invite all Catholics to renew Christ’s Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. There is no doubt that God wants to see a movement of Catholics “healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist — and sent out in mission for the life of the world.” Right now, the Catholic Church in the United States needs healing and the unity that can flow from rekindling our love for the Holy Eucharist. Renewal must begin in our homes, our parishes, our neighborhoods, and in the marketplace. Annunziata is so blest to have our Eucharistic Adoration Chapel inside of Faris Hall, the opportunities to drop by for a visit in our upper Church, and the blessing of being so close to the Carmelite Monastery and Chapel.

PRAYER FOR EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You!
I beg pardon for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope, nor love you.
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly.
I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ,
present in all the Tabernacles of the world in reparation for the outrages,
sacrileges and indifference by which You are offended.
And, through the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg of You the conversion of sinners.
Our Lady of Fatima

CARMELITE NOVENA

74th Annual Outdoor Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Saturday July 9th — Sunday July 17th 2022

  • Each Evening in the Chapel - Marian Prelude: 6:45 p.m. — Benediction: 7:20 p.m.
  • Each Evening on the Grounds - Rosary at 7:35 p.m. — Mass at 8:00 p.m.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, we are not able to move the Mass inside the chapel in case of inclement weather. Please bring umbrellas or other rain protection as needed.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 30, 2022 in: Pastor

Please join us for Mass at 7 a.m. on July 4th!

THE BIRTH OF OUR NATION

Our National Holiday of the Fourth of July recalls the final draft of the Declaration of Independence being adopted by all 13 American colonies declaring independence from British rule.

A very familiar excerpt from the Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS."

ARCHBISHOP MITCHELL ROZANSKI

On June 24, 2022 our Archbishop responded to the United States Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade: “The Catholic Church has always proclaimed that every human being, born and unborn, is endowed by our Creator with the right to be protected and cherished. Therefore, just as before today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade, the Church will continue serving those who are most vulnerable and bearing witness to the dignity of every human, regardless of religion, race, age or any other factor.

Here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we will continue providing resources for women facing unexpected and difficult pregnancies, cherishing and protecting women and their children, so that they may both develop their full potential in this world and be happy with God forever in the next.

I urge all the faithful in our Archdiocese of St. Louis, now more than ever, to demonstrate compassion and provide support to those in need, with a special deference to mothers and children in need."

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on June 24, 2022 in: Pastor

HUMILITY: WHAT JESUS USED TO SAVE US!

First, think about Mother Teresa. She had good self-esteem. She even dared to speak against abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1993 before her invited hosts President Bill Clinton, and Vice-President Al Gore, and their spouses. That’s guts, that’s self-confidence, and that’s HUMILITY! Turns out that all the saints understood that everything comes from God and that God is everything. Mother Teresasaid,“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.”

To be sure, humility is often misunderstood. Some think it is synonymous with self-deprecation. Some think humble people lack confidence, when in fact, the most humble people are some of the most confident, and sometimes, some of the most prideful people are the most insecure. Others think humility is not attractive. But in reflecting, you find that humility is most attractive as you see the humble person is the one who listens and cares about others as opposed to the one focused on their self and trying to look good. True humility is in the person who wants to do something because it is right and they are not looking for praise.

When we look at the crucifix, we see a man who is humble and who is not about himself. We see a man who is for others!

In the fall of 1990, Mother Teresa addressed priests from all over the world in the Vatican Audience Hall about ways to cultivate humility:

  • Speak as little as possible about yourself.
  • Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  • Avoid wanting to know things that should not concern you.
  • Do not interfere in the lives of others.
  • Accept small irritations with good humor.
  • Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  • Accept being forgotten and disregarded by others.
  • Accept insults without retaliating.
  • Be courteous and delicate even when provoked.
  • Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  • Choose the more difficult task.

"Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."(Matthew 20:28)

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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 May 27, 2022 in: Pastor

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST

St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, teaches all Christians that Jesus, as conqueror of sin and death, is our Mediator and Advocate with our Heavenly Father, to send the Holy Spirit upon us as He promised at the Last Supper. The Holy Spirit empowers us to say a whole hearted “Yes” to God’s will in our lives so that we can be with God for all eternity, as Jesus promised.

Ascension Thursday is celebrated on Sunday, May 29th,in order that parishioners may participate in greater numbers. The transfer of this Solemnity takes place in many Dioceses throughout the United States.

MEMORIAL DAY MASS

There is no greater way to honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, than to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for them. Monday, May 30th, you are invited to Mass at 7:00 a.m. to pray for all soldiers killed in wars, both at home and abroad.

A war is just as much about the survivors as it is about the honored dead. It is the survivors who continue to tell the stories of the bravery of those who died for their country and for what they believed in, and it is the survivors who can pass on lessons they have learned to future generations. They are a living testament to the desire of the American people to continue the cause of freedom.

On Monday, May 30th, our Parish Office will be closed in honor of Memorial Day.

ANNUNZIATA SCHOOL

Last Monday evening I celebrated Mass for the graduates, and their families and friends, in our wonderful Annunziata Day School. Miss Gerre Book, our Principal, her dedicated staff, and our parents, each expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the generosity of you, our parishioners. The Church of the Annunziata has seen our Annunziata Learning Center as a special mission of our parish. This full-day school education is for our children with learning disabilities, speech and language deficits, and high functioning autism disorders. As we begin our 38th year in the fall, I praise God with you for this “School of Miracles”!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 20, 2022 in: Pastor

THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE TO GOD

FOR 50 YEARS OF PRIESTHOOD

St. Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in the City of Corinth, “We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”

For many years we have been blest to have two seminarians, who are studying to be priests, join us at Annunziata on Sunday mornings. They come, seeking to experience parish life and to learn something of what it means to be a parish priest. As the seminarians reflect on their pastoral experience, they have learned that the People of God want their priests to be holy men. They want priests to be signs of God’s presence and symbols of hope. Priests fulfill these expectations by being men of prayer, being present to people in their times of joy and sorrow, offering a compassionate and sympathetic ear, assuring them that God loves them, and will never abandon them—no matter what happens. Christ’s Church is a community and a way of life which depends totally on God’s grace and our free human response.

I give thanks to God for my family and all the parishioners I have come to know over these past fifty years. It is a privilege to share our stories of faith, to celebrate the Sacraments, and to pray together. I thank you for all you have taught, and continue to teach me about God’s goodness, patience and forgiveness! I ask you for forgiveness for the times I have let you down, disappointed you, or not been attentive to your needs.

As I give praise to God for the Priesthood, I ask you to join me in praying for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Please pray daily and encourage your children or grandchildren by asking them if they have ever thought about a vocation as a priest or religious. If they ask you why you believe they would be a good priest, tell them honestly about your admiration of the Christ like person they are becoming, and affirm the qualities they have that would make them a good priest or religious.

Please, pray daily for vocations!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 13, 2022 in: Pastor

YOU ARE INVITED

On May 20, 1972, Cardinal John Carberry, the Archbishop of St. Louis, ordained our class of ten transitional deacons to the Priesthood.

In these fifty years I have been blest to serve in parishes with believers who truly know Christ, love Christ, and serve Christ. Each parish has its own personality, diversity, and charisms, but what remains the greatest of blessings,are Parishioners who value their Catholic Faith and try tofaithfully, day by day, lay down their lives in loving, selfless service of their spouse, their children, their parents, friends, the poor and the suffering, and the stranger. Men and Women of Faith inspire me with their desire to serve and not be served, who realize that everything is a gift, and all is Grace, and they want to be instruments of Christ’s compassion, generosity, andmercy in order that the love of Jesus may be made visible.

Next Sunday I will celebrate the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Masses to give praise and thanksgiving to God for the privilege of being one of Christ’s Priests, to pray for you, the loving and faith-filled people of Annunziata, and to pray for all our deceased family and friends whose sacrifice, devotion, and hard work built a faith family in these 93 years since Monsignor Faris founded Annunziata at the direction of Cardinal John Glennon.

I hope that you and your family can join me at either the 9 or 11 Mass on Sunday, May 22nd.

CONFIRMATION DONE RIGHT!

To prepare well for the Sacrament of Confirmation takes time, prayer, study, reflection on the Word of God, and a commitment to serve! This Sacrament is critical for full initiation into the Catholic Faith through which the Gifts of the Holy Spirit enable us to love Jesus and to serve Him in the poor, the suffering, and the needy. Our gratitude to Mrs. Laura Gyawali, Dr. Ben Palanca, and our faith-filled parents who guided their daughters and sons to become an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ.

Congratulations to our Teens who received the Holy Spirit by the conferring of Confirmation by Bishop Mark Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis: Matthew James

Carmody, Caroline Grey Danforth, Drew Borders Danforth, Alyssa Nicole Eye, Catherine Grace Farley, Marjorie Marie Gyawali, Avery Louise Henriksen, Sean Patrick Hogan, Nina Joy Lovett, Chase Michael Murphy, Keira Elizabeth Palanca, Jose Manuel Quiroz Rivera, Audrey Whitelaw Qureshi, Audrey Marie Raibley, Annabelle Hope Reagan, John Alexander Saleeby, Andrew Hunter Schmitz, Lea Shamsham, and Molly Elizabeth Shipley.

WELCOME MONSIGNOR LUIS MESA

As announced last weekend, we are honored to celebrate our Missionary Plan of Cooperation with the Messengers of Peace, co-founded by Monsignor Luis Mesa and our former Archbishop Robert Carlson. The Messengers of Peace is a religiouscommunity dedicated to praying for peace in Colombia and around the world. Members of the community perform works of peace through ministry to the children, elderly and poor in the Country of Colombia.

With a continued growth in vocations, now at 18 members, the Messengers of Peace are looking toward to their newest endeavor: taking on the pastoral leadership and care of 5,000 people who make us the Parish of Our Lady of Protection with a main Church and eight smaller mission chapels in the town of Arcabuco, near the community’s monastery.

Please pray for them and thank you for your support and generosity this weekend.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on May 05, 2022 in: Pastor

GOD BLESS OUR MOTHERS

A Mother carries her baby in her womb for nine months, and
in herheart for the rest of her life! Mother stands for millions
of things she gives to her children; it also stands for sacrifices,
pain, grief, and sorrows which she undergoes to keep her
Children happy and secure. On this Mothers’ Day, we pray in love for our
Mothers who are living and deceased. There is no greater love we can offer than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

Our prayers and heartfelt congratulations to our Girls and Boys who received the Risen Christ for the first time in Holy Communion on Saturday, April 30th!

May I introduce our Children: Bradley Beckman, Andrew Bush, Chiwetel Ezepue, Santiago Flores Tamayo, Nora Gilligan, Catherine Hall, Virginia Holton, Bennett Kamps, Lauren Miller, Lydia Mueller, Jacqueline Murphy, Peyton, Wilber, Caroline (Keely) Williams, Liesl Wilson.

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

MISSIONARY PLAN OF COOPERATION

Next weekend, May 14&15, we welcome Monsignor Luis Mesa,founder of the Messengers of Peace in the country of Colombia. Co-founded with the help and support of Archbishop Robert Carlson, the former Archbishop of St. Louis, during a time of active insurgent groups, along with kidnappings in Colombia, there was a grace filled opportunity for a religious community to work with the poor and pray for peace! The community’s charism is prayer, work, and spiritual direction.

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 29, 2022 in: Pastor

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

Saturday, April 30, was a very special day in the life of our Parish Family, as eighteen girls and boys received the Risen

Christ for the first time. My gratitude to their parents, their teacher, Richard McIntosh, and Laura Gywali, our Parish

School of Religion Principal. Please pray for them.

MAY CROWNING

The month of May is dedicated to Mary, our Blessed Mother. Saint Mary of the Annunciation is the focus of our prayer as we honor Mary and ask her to intercede for us to help us become more like Jesus, her Son and our Savior. May we accept these days to pray the rosary for peace in our hearts, our families, our nation, and the world in which we live, especially for the people of Ukraine.

SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION

We welcome Bishop Mark Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, on this Thursday, May 5th, as he celebrates the Eucharist at 7 p.m.and confers the Sacrament of Confirmation on our junior high teens. Parishioners are most welcome to come to Mass andpraise God with our teens and their families as they complete their full initiation into their Catholic Faith! Come Holy Spirit!

ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL

During this time of uncertainty and suffering, the Annual Catholic Appeal continues to sustain ministries and services throughout St. Louis and ten surrounding counties. Our reach is extensive, our Catholic devotion runs deep, and our readiness to live the Gospel is strong. Your prayerful support will play a central role in impacting the lives of those served. Those who are in need of God’s love are not strangers. They are family. Let us come together as one Church to lift up anymember of our family who seeks God’s grace and mercy.

Please make a gift to the 2022 Annual Catholic Appeal—we are grateful for your participation!

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on April 21, 2022 in: Pastor

THE MIRACLE OF DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

The Universal Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s origin stems from St. Faustina who was privileged to receive apparitions from Jesus emphasizing His mercy, and especially His mercy today. Jesus promised that those who go to Confession and Receive Holy Communion today will receive not only forgiveness for their sins, but the total remission of all temporal punishment for their sins. What does this mean? It is like a second Baptism, all sin and punishment is wiped out!

You are Invited for Divine Mercy Celebration

Pastor Father Michael Grosch and the parishioners of St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood invite you to join them for a Divine Mercy Celebration on Sunday afternoon, April 24th. St. Gerard Majella is located at Ballas Road and Dougherty Ferry, one block east of I-270, at 1969 Dougherty Ferry in Kirkwood.

V The Service will be in the Church from 2:30-4:00 pm. There will not be a Mass.

V There will be Veneration of First Class Relics of St. Faustina (bone) and St. Gerard Majella (bones) from 1:45-2:25 pm and after the Service.

V There will be Confession from 2:00 until all are heard, Blessing of the Image, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 pm, the Divine Mercy Litany, Benediction, and the Divine Praises.

"ALL THINGS NEW”

In the update given in the Easter Sunday bulletin, the Archdiocese of St. Louis Strategic Pastoral Planning Initiative moves into its next phase. Please, Pray! Again, we had a total of 367 Disciple Maker Index Surveys filled out. The results will be shared with each pastor and our parishleadership committee this coming June. Our committee members, Deacon Tom Gottlieb, Katie Ackerman,Rick Holton, Jr., Deanie Reis, Liza Thornhill, and Charlie Weiss will go over the survey results and then forward our recommendations toFather Chris Martin, the Vicar for All Things New.

Remember that there will be 372 listening sessions at Parishes throughoutthe Archdiocese this fall. As soon as I receive the information on out Parish dates, I will publicize it so all may take part.

Donation Recommendations for Ukraine

With the ever-changing situation in Ukraine, the Archdiocese of St. Louis recommends the following two suggestions for getting aid to the people of Ukraine:

The first option for aid is through the Ukraine Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Checks may be sent directly to the Ukraine Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The check should be marked “Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine.” The address is 810 N. Franklin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123.

Catholic Relief Services is well known for its presence to disaster areas for bringing immediate aid to those who are in need. Donations may be sent to Catholic Relief Services/Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine at 228 W. Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-3443.

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From Our Pastor....

Posted on April 15, 2022 in: Pastor

EASTER WELCOME

Dear parishioners, relatives and friends, beloved visitors, thank you for being an important part of the greatest solemnity of the year:  the holyday of Easter which celebrates the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!  After His crucifixion, death, and burial, three days later, Jesus rose from the grave. By this, He conquered death and redeemed us from sin.

Christ’s Resurrection means that eternal life is granted to all who believe in Him, live the Gospel, and accept His gift of Salvation!  The purpose of Easter also means the full confirmation of all that Jesus taught and preached as the Son of God!

Update on “All Things New”

The Archdiocese of St. Louis Strategic Pastoral Planning Initiative is dependent on prayer and good discernment.  There is no predetermined plan.  Good discernment requires information if we are going to discern what the future should look like.  Annunziata Parish is blest to have 77.9% participation in the Disciple Maker Index Survey based on the October, 2021 weekend Mass count numbers for three weekends.  Paper copies of the survey returned is 209 added to the 158 online surveys comes to a total of 367 surveys completed.

As announced on January 25th, the launch date of “ALL THINGS NEW”, every parish in the Archdiocese was asked to assemble a team of five key parish leaders to help guide the discussions at the parish level.  Our Team announced in January is Katie Ackerman, Rick Holton, Jr., Deanie Reis, Liza Thornhill, and Charlie Weiss.  Our Parish Team will participate in several educational webinars in May and June.  Then our Parish Team will be provided a workbook and conversation guide to help process feedback from the 367 Disciple Maker Index surveys from our parish, and then steer discussions toward the greatest needs for evangelization and social outreach.

Additionally, 372 listening sessions will be held at parishes across the Archdiocese in October and November of this year.  These sessions are expected to include proposed models for the future structure of the Archdiocese.

You are Invited for Divine Mercy Celebration

Pastor Father Michael Grosch and the parishioners of St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood invite you to join them for a Divine Mercy Celebration on Sunday afternoon, April 24th.  St. Gerard Majella is located at Ballas Road and Dougherty Ferry, one block east of I-270, at 1969 Dougherty Ferry in Kirkwood.

V The Service will be in the Church from 2:30-4:00 pm.  There will not be a Mass. 

V There will be Veneration of First Class Relics of St. Faustina (bone) and St. Gerard Majella (bones) from 1:45-2:25 pm and after the Service. 

V There will be Confession from 2:00 until all  are heard, Blessing of the Image, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 pm, the Divine Mercy Litany, Benediction, and the Divine Praises.

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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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From Our Pastor . . . .

Posted on April 01, 2022 in: Pastor

FATHER CHARLES SAMSON

Your Parish of Annunziata offers a special opportunity to grow closer to God in Lent each year.  The annual Lenten Parish Mission is led this year by Father Charles Samson, a great Diocesan Priest who brings a wealth of insight, knowledge, and holiness.  Perhaps you have read his book on the Holy Land, or heard him speak in any number of forums throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

CONFESSIONS

It has been said that when you have someone special or something special in your life, it is a temptation to take that person or that gift for granted.  As Catholics we believe that by Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection He defeated sin and death, and that on the night of the Resurrection He gave His Church the great Sacrament of loving forgiveness and Divine Mercy.  If you have ever made a good confession then you know the truth:  God forgives your sins, gives you inner peace, joy, relief, and love that you never expected!  God welcomes you always—no matter if you forgot how to receive the Sacrament, no matter how long it has been, Jesus says, “Be not afraid” Come, talk to Christ heart to heart!  Come, in this anonymous setting, and lay everything at the foot of the Cross.  Confessions are heard at the following dates and times:

Sunday, April 3rd, after all the Masses (two priests)

Tuesday, Apr 5th, after the Mission Mass (about 8 p.m. — 4 priests)

Saturday,Apr 9th, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Sunday, Apr 10th, after all the Masses

Wednesday, Apr 13th, from 5p.m. to  7:00 p.m.

GOOD FRIDAY, Apr 15— after Noon Stations of the Cross & after the 7 p.m. Good Friday Service

DISCIPLE MAKER INDEX SURVEY

THANK YOU to all who have filled out the anonymous survey, sharing your thoughts, reflecting on your spiritual growth, and our parish’s strengths and opportunities.  The  expression of your attitudes and beliefs, your relationship to your parish, your satisfaction, participation, and the demographics will help us in formulating the Strategic Plan for the Archdiocese..  If you have not filled out the survey as of today, it is still not too late.  You have until midnight, Monday, April 4th to go online to our parish website, or fill out a paper copy of the survey being handed out at Church this Sunday morning, or use the QR code. 

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From Our Pastor . . . .

Posted on March 25, 2022 in: Pastor

KNOW AND LOVE JESUS MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!!!

We welcome Father Samson who comes to preach our special Lenten Mission.  Father Charles Samson was ordained a priest in 2013.  After graduating from Cardinal Glennon Seminary in 2009, he was sent to Rome to undertake advanced studies in theology and 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 wrote a book on the Holy Land, and every year at Christmas, leads the Deacon class from the seminary on a Pilgrimage to the Sacred sights.  Father presently teaches on the faculty at Kenrick-Glennon, and he resides at the Old Cathedral downtown.

CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

At this dark hour in the world, Pope Francis urges all Peoples of good will to pray before the Prince of Peace, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, when Ukraine is being scourged at the pillar by violence, destruction, hatred, and the deaths of thousands of innocent children, teens, and adults.  With our Parish Feast-day of the Annunciation, the Holy Father asks all people of faith to join in an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (this prayer of Consecration is found in the centerfold of today’s bulletin.)  Please pray the Act!  If possible, pray the Consecration daily.  The decision to consecrate Russia and Ukraine, and the world in which we live, is critical as world peace is threatened.  In the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the children at Fatima in 1917, it was revealed that God wills the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

This Wednesday, March 30th, you are invited to pray before the Risen Presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Adoration will begin at 7 p.m. and conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 7:45.  Let us come together to pray for World Peace!

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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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FROM OUR PASTOR

Posted on December 17, 2020 in: Pastor

MASSES FOR CHRISTMAS

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, Our Church can accommodate only 80 people at each Mass.  Please recognize that Christmas seating will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.  You will be assisted by an usher to find a seat.  You may NOT reserve or hold seats for others. Seats will be given to people as they arrive, so ALL those wishing to sit together must arrive together.  NO ONE MAY STAND IN THE BACK OF CHURCH OR IN THE AISLES!  ALL MUST WEAR A MASK THE ENTIRE TIME EXCEPT WHEN RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION. Social distancing be-tween members of different households will be enforced. 

Once our capacity is reached, the DOORS WILL BE CLOSED, and any who cannot be accommodated will be encouraged to come to the next available Mass. 

Remember, after each Mass for Christmas, as we do after all Masses on weekends and weekdays, the entire Church and the restrooms are sanitized.

Online Mass


CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS!

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Annunziata,

There is a Christmas card which reads:
“This Christmas, I wish you Jesus.”  

On the inside it reads:
“Isn’t it nice to have everything!”  

In the midst of all our current challenges and concerns, the love of God the Father is made manifest to us in the wonderful gift of His Son, Jesus.  May Jesus, our Savior, bring unconditional love, forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation to our families, our nation, and this world which so desperately needs God’s Healing Grace.

May Our Lord Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, bless you , your families and loved ones.  May Mary, the Mother of the Child Jesus and our Mother, watch over you and our Parish Family of Annunziata.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted on November 30, 2020 in: Pastor

No, it is not January 1st.  The liturgical (Church) year does not match New Year’s Day, the beginning of the calendar year. The Church year is distinctive.  It always begins on the first Sunday of Advent, and with it comes a shift in the cycle of Scripture readings. (This year the focus is on the Gospel of St. Mark.)

Advent is the four-week liturgical season that precedes Christmas. The term “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “advents” which means “coming,” and it focuses not only on the past coming of Jesus on the first Christmas; but also on the present coming of Jesus in the gospels, the sacraments, other people, prayer, love, truth, and personal experience; and the future coming of Jesus at the Second or Final Coming at the end of the world, the Parousia or the Last Judgement.

Advent is not Lent or a miniature version of Lent.  In fact, the two seasons are extremely different.  Advent stresses hope and joy, Lent stresses penance and sorrow;  Advent emphasizes what we need to add to our lives (e.g., grace, light, joy), while Lent emphasizes what we need to remove (sin).  Advent stresses preparation with festivity!  Advent features the Prophet Isaiah.  How great it would be if we could read two chapters of Isaiah each day.

St. John the Baptist is the main saint of Advent.  He is “the prophet of the Most High”, the immediate forerunner of Jesus, and the link between the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Himself.  John the Baptist is the voice crying out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  John also directed peoples’ attention from himself to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God” and made one of the momentous statements in the gospels as he declared, “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease”.  I pray that all of us can have a spiritually profitable Advent as through the Bible, the Sacraments, Prayer, and Works of Charity, Jesus increases in power and brilliance in our lives! 

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Thanksgiving to God

Posted on November 20, 2020 in: Pastor

Thanksgiving to God

ON THANKSGIVING DAY, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26th,
MASS WILL BE OFFERED ONLY AT 9 a.m.

So much of 2020 has been beyond our control, and we have naturally focused on limitations and restrictions, the uncertainty and loss of the people and opportunities we miss most.  With record numbers of people infected by covid-19, Thanksgiving Day is a good moment to take a deep breath and focus on the parts of our lives that bring us joy and for which we are thankful to our God.  Gratitude to God can open our hearts to God’s gift of happiness.  Gratitude to God helps us all feel more positive emotions, improve our health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Of the many things that will be remembered in the aftermath of 2020, the moments of warmth and kindness will surely be some of the brightest ones.  Acts of kindness are not strictly a pandemic phenomenon, but perhaps they have taken on a new significance.  Kindness can be God working through each of us that unlocks our shared humanity.  We are all sisters and brothers, created in the image and likeness of God.  Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community, and enables others to see Christ in YOU!

In the face of fear, uncertainty, and isolation it is all too easy so give in to frustration.  This year God gives us the opportunity to strengthen our community, and be even more of the presence of Jesus in us and in others.  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

On this last Sunday of the Church’s Liturgical year, we honor Jesus as the center of creation.  The attitude demanded of us as true believers is that of recognizing and accepting in our lives the centrality of Jesus Christ, in our thoughts, in our words and in our works.

We must work every day, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to draw closer to Jesus.  In our own increasingly “post-Christian” society, we cannot be complacent in our spiritual lives.  To acknowledge the Kingship of Christ means that we should dedicate ourselves to prayer, to building up our families and our parish communities, and to bringing healing to our broken world.

The Kingdoms of this world at times are sustained by arrogance, rivalries and oppression; the reign of Christ is a “Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”

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From Our Pastor...

Posted on October 22, 2020 in: Pastor

From Our Pastor...

CHILDREN AND THE POWER OF PRAYER

Growing up, our parents, and our teachers in elementary school, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, opened our eyes to the power of prayer.

What a great power unleashed—to pray together as a family.  In the month of November, we were introduced to praying for those who had died.  The reality of purgatory was explained.  But more importantly, the power of prayer for those in purgatory impressed upon us that God would answer our prayers for those who were preparing to be with Christ in Glory for all eternity.

Perhaps we could use this analogy from American historical records:

Years ago an immigrant seeking entry into our country through New York Harbor was first detained at Ellis Island for registration.  Before these immigrants on Ellis Island rose the Statue if Liberty and the towers of the New York City skyline, symbols of America as a land of freedom and opportunity.  But if any of these immigrants had an illness, they would be detained at Ellis Island in quarantine till the last trace was cleared up.  Analogously, Purgatory is kind of like an “Ellis Island off the coast of Heaven.”  As the immigrants who were detained in quarantine on Ellis Island had to wait until their sicknesses were gone before entering into America, so the souls in Purgatory must wait until all defilement and traces of sin are purified before entering into Heaven.  Nothing tainted can enter the holy and dazzling presence of God.

To take the analogy a step further, don’t immigrants even in our own day enter into our country all the more quickly and easily if they have a sponsor?  Someone who is already an American citizen to speak on their behalf, informing our government that they will be productive members of society?  In a similar way, we members of the Church Militant still on earth have the role of being sponsors for the souls in Purgatory.  We can speak on their behalf by praying, offering up our penances, and having Masses offered for them so they might all the more quickly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

THANK YOU, ALEX TREBEK.  YOU WERE A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR!

This article was sent to me by a great fan of the television quiz show—”Jeopardy!”  Because of its length, I have edited the article from America:

The recent death of Alex Trebek (1940-2020) after a very public battle with pancreatic cancer has plunged millions of us into mourning.  Trebek was not a politician, not an athlete, not a rock star, not a member of our pantheon of faux heroes.  He was a gentleman who guides us through what remains of an older, genteel culture that prizes intellectual achievement and cultural sophistication.  His program was one of the last places that had not surrendered to the vulgarity of stand-up comedy or to the demolition-derby rhetoric of our political campaigns.  The charity with which he treated flummoxed contestants who couldn’t seem to master the clicker or who slumped into a point deficit was a reminder of the shades of politeness we long ago abandoned.

For your civility, your urbanity, your charity, your courage in fighting cancer, your love of education and your commitment to classical culture—a great thanks, Alex, from all of us.  We are in your debt.

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From Our Pastor

Posted on September 18, 2020 in: Pastor

From Our Pastor

Mental Health & Spiritual Health

Covid-19 has devastated Americans’ mental health. Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, caregivers report having experienced disproportionately worse mental health, increased substance abuse, and elevated thoughts of suicide.  Pope Francis encourages a national commitment to become “artisans of the common good.”  Artisans make the most of life’s every day  junctures by focusing on the value of those they meet, whether or not a person can do something to benefit them in return, and regardless of whether they are family or friend.  Anyone, in any position, can say hello to a stranger on the street rather than avert our eyes.  We can choose to value people rather than devalue them.

Much of many peoples’ lives is suffering—in a pandemic or not.  But sometimes we make it harder on ourselves and one another than it needs to be.  Our everyday interactions are opportunities to affirm someone’s dignity and to infuse their life with kindness.

In addition, there has long been a stigma surrounding mental illness. Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide are often hidden by people, ashamed at their purported weakness and lack of faith.  Such beliefs, such thinking are both untrue and dangerous, causing those who are suffering to refuse necessary treatment (such as counseling or medication).

To underscore the truth that mental illness is not a sign of spiritual weakness, the Catholic Church points out saints who lived with mental illness, saints who struggled with thoughts of suicide, saints who went to therapy and took medication. Let us pray for each other!

The Sanctuary of Our Church

During the last two weeks I have sought the input of our parishioners regarding the drape behind the Tabernacle.  Thanks to those who responded by e-mail or by phone.  As a result, we will not have a drape which would change colors by the liturgical season with the use of lighting.

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