Faith and Family is a weekly column by Lani Bogart, in which she provides practical ways to connect the Sunday readings, especially the Gospel, to the lives of families. Lani oversees all things catechetical at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and co-leads the Committee to Serve Wives and Widows of Deacons for the Diocese of Phoenix.

Changing and Growing

08-25-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

The discipline of the Lord that comes through our various trials “seems a cause not for joy but for pain.” We have all experienced this in daily life. It hurts to be confronted with the ways we need to change and grow.

Yet, over time, if we receive it with faith, hope, and love, God’s discipline will produce in us “the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” This is a treasure no one can take from us!

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A Season of LIfe

08-18-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Have you ever endured a season of life where you felt as if you were trudging through thick mud? Today’s 1st reading reminds me of that feeling of being stuck in a mud pit. Every decision seems too difficult and you can’t see a way out.

The answer the Psalmist offers might not be what we want to hear when we’re in the pit. It involves waiting. Waiting for God. While we wait, we can only cry out for his help.

But when he finally delivers us, our faith grows! We come to believe that God has not forgotten us and our confidence grows. We sing a new song to God and encourage others to trust in God’s goodness.

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Abraham, Father of Faith, pray for us

08-11-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Am I the only one who cringes when I hear the reading about God being so pleased with Abraham’s faith because he does not hesitate to obey God’s command to slit the throat of his only son? Today’s second reading helps us understand it better.

The author of Hebrews explains that Abraham believed God could raise Isaac from the dead; that he received Isaac back from God as a symbol of the resurrection.

This means that many years before Jesus raised himself from the dead under his own power, Abraham believed in the Resurrection of the Body! No wonder Abraham is still honored for his amazing faith.

Abraham, Father of Faith, pray for us.

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Become a Catechist

07-28-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Is God calling you to become a catechist and accompany children on their journey of faith? Our Parish Catechists:

  • are 16 years or older,
  • have completed the Sacraments of Initiation
  • are single OR are married in the Church
  • attend Mass on Sundays
  • want to learn how to share the Catholic faith with others.
  • appreciate the dignity of children
  • are willing to invest time and effort into preparation and lesson planning.
  • are available on Sundays from 10:00am to Noon
  • Speak enough English to communicate with the children at the assigned grade level.
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How are you helping your family grow in the Catholic Faith this summer?

07-21-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Summer is traditionally a season of much growth. How are you helping your family grow in the Catholic Faith this summer?

Excitement is growing in the R.E. office as we plan how to better serve families in our parish.

Check out the free website Formed.org. Enter parish code N2NFK7. There you can find good movies for your children, for you, and for the whole family. There are beautiful stories of the lives of saints, cartoons that teach the truths of our faith, and some great audible books too.

High school volunteers can earn service hours and contribute to our parish!

If you are available on Sundays from 10:30 to Noon from mid-September through early May and willing to serve as an aid in our Sunday morning Catechism Classes, please email or call our Religious Education Office this week!

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

07-14-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Do we act is if we believe the catholic faith is merely a matter of being nice or good people? Today's Gospel shows us what obedience to Jesus looks like. We are to take care of each other! The Good Samaritan uses his body, time, possessions, and money to help the victim of the robber. He refuses nothing that might be of help. He bandages his wounds, probably with fabric from his own clothing.

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God's Love for You

07-07-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Do you know someone who is convinced God loves them personally? Someone whose faith is alive? The prophet Isaiah uses the image of a mother and child to describe the intimacy he wants to have with each one of us. “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” God’s care for His children is personal, tender, deep, merciful and everlasting.

It’s this kind of love that motivates us to turn from sin and selfishness. His love helps us face our fears and see ourselves for who we really are. When we’re grounded in his love we see our sins, admit them honestly, confess them regularly and try again.

READ MORE

Become a Catechist

07-28-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Is God calling you to become a catechist and accompany children on their journey of faith? Our Parish Catechists:

  • are 16 years or older,
  • have completed the Sacraments of Initiation
  • are single OR are married in the Church
  • attend Mass on Sundays
  • want to learn how to share the Catholic faith with others.
  • appreciate the dignity of children
  • are willing to invest time and effort into preparation and lesson planning.
  • are available on Sundays from 10:00am to Noon
  • Speak enough English to communicate with the children at the assigned grade level.
READ MORE

How are you helping your family grow in the Catholic Faith this summer?

07-21-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Summer is traditionally a season of much growth. How are you helping your family grow in the Catholic Faith this summer?

Excitement is growing in the R.E. office as we plan how to better serve families in our parish.

Check out the free website Formed.org. Enter parish code N2NFK7. There you can find good movies for your children, for you, and for the whole family. There are beautiful stories of the lives of saints, cartoons that teach the truths of our faith, and some great audible books too.

High school volunteers can earn service hours and contribute to our parish!

If you are available on Sundays from 10:30 to Noon from mid-September through early May and willing to serve as an aid in our Sunday morning Catechism Classes, please email or call our Religious Education Office this week!

READ MORE

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

07-14-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Do we act is if we believe the catholic faith is merely a matter of being nice or good people? Today's Gospel shows us what obedience to Jesus looks like. We are to take care of each other! The Good Samaritan uses his body, time, possessions, and money to help the victim of the robber. He refuses nothing that might be of help. He bandages his wounds, probably with fabric from his own clothing.

READ MORE

God's Love for You

07-07-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Do you know someone who is convinced God loves them personally? Someone whose faith is alive? The prophet Isaiah uses the image of a mother and child to describe the intimacy he wants to have with each one of us. “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” God’s care for His children is personal, tender, deep, merciful and everlasting.

It’s this kind of love that motivates us to turn from sin and selfishness. His love helps us face our fears and see ourselves for who we really are. When we’re grounded in his love we see our sins, admit them honestly, confess them regularly and try again.

READ MORE

Is God calling you?

06-30-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

One of the clearest ways we can express our love for God and all He has done for us is to love our neighbor. So, if we find a desire in our hearts to follow Jesus wherever He leads, we can count on Him to lead us into loving those around us.

In what ways is God calling you to love those around you?

Is he calling you to become a catechist and accompany children on their journey of faith?

Our Parish Catechists:

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The Miraculous Meal

06-23-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Jesus tells the apostles, “Give them some food yourselves.” This must have seemed outrageously impossible to them. Did any of them silently wonder why Jesus expected that they could feed all those people? They were just ordinary men; he was the miracle worker.

But Jesus wanted to work through the apostles. He still wants to work through his apostles today. At every Mass, priests collaborate with him in offering us food for our hungry souls.

The twelve wicker baskets of leftovers are a sign of God’s superabundance in filling the needs of not just his followers, but of all the people. The miraculous meal he left the Church is meant to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, too, even those beyond the walls of church buildings. God always calls human beings to work with him.

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Trinity Sunday

06-16-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Trinity Sunday is an excellent time to reflect on our families and the Sign of the Cross. The act of reverently tracing a cross over ourselves with great love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an easily overlooked teaching that every adult can give to the children in their lives. Every time we prayerfully cross ourselves, our humble gesture contains the Mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whose communion of love keeps all things in existence. What a privilege to be able to repeat it again and again in the presence of our little ones! What an ingenious way Mother Church gives us to root the identity of each beloved child in the love of the Holy Trinity!

This week find time to help a child in your life discover or rediscover the beautiful prayer of the Sign of the Cross.

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Come Holy Spirit! Come!

06-09-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

As we celebrate the joyful Feast of Pentecost, let us invite the life-giving breath of the Holy Spirit to reanimate us, to fan into flame the fire of God’s love in our hearts and in our families, and to make us ONE.

As he faced his passion Jesus’ prayer was for unity in his Church: “I…pray…that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (Jn 17:20-21).

Pentecost is the answer to Jesus’ prayer. God sent His breath, the Holy Spirit, to create supernatural unity. The first converts experienced it immediately, it is still a sign that the Holy Spirit is with his Church, 2000 years later.

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The Ascension

06-02-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

At every Sunday Mass we confess our faith by reciting the Nicene Creed. Today our celebration of the Ascension focuses on these words: “he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

Just before he ascended into Heaven, Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit.

Both the Nicene Creed and the Mass teach us that the Holy Spirit’s dynamic presence makes it possible for Jesus to remain with us.

The same Holy Spirit that overshadows Mary when Jesus is conceived in her womb is called down by the priest to overshadow the elements of bread and wine at each Mass and make Jesus present for us!

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