Important Dates: Monthly Mass & Prayer Group, January 19th, 2018
Happy Sunday My Friends! This is the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (pink candle) signifying the half way point to Christmas, and Bambinelli Sunday when the Pope and some parishes bless the infant Jesus figurines we place in our Christmas Nativity scenes. Two joyous traditions of our faith and our church preparing us for the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day.
Preparations at Joseph’s House are in full swing as the celebrations have already begun for our moms and residents. As you may know we are home to 7 moms and 11 little ones just now and as you can imagine with that many little ones, many of them toddlers, our home is overflowing with Christmas joy! The parties began this week with our original Joseph’s House Angel Miss Erin Byrne, a tenth grader at West Genesee, once again gifting all of our current moms with presents for their children. Erin raises the money for this gift giving by collecting bottles and cans for Joseph’s House. She has been at this for more than 3.5 years with her best friend and “right hand man” Hannah Fiacchi
These young women are relentless in their pursuits of securing bottle and can donations to fund our mission. They are already on the phone speaking with people about upcoming Christmas & New Year’s parties asking them to save their returnables for them to pick up and redeem on behalf of Joseph's House. Erin and Hannah also recruited many friends like Meghan Satalin, and family members over the summer to clean up after a huge concert at the amphitheater. These young people worked with the more than 20 others they called upon, until 2 AM collecting for our moms and babies. The generosity of these young women is a blessing to us beyond compare as it shows all we are never too young to develop a sense of giving and gratitude for what we have been gifted and we are never too young to be of service to others. They are a shining example of the words of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words”
The very special celebration began with a wonderful dinner prepared by Hannah and her mom. Hannah also asked her friends at work, (this 12th grader has two jobs!) to be Secret Santas for our home and arrived with a large quantity of diapers and wipes for our 11 little ones. Hannah and Erin are members of our Joseph’s House Junior Auxiliary founded by Madison Prowak and
Mairead McIntyre from Bishop Ludden. This group is responsible for promoting the mission of Joseph’s House to high school students. They assist us with Baby Bottle Drives, special events at our home and host quarterly dinners for our moms and kids. For more information on the Joseph’s House Auxiliary program contact Kitty.
They are influencing the pro-life movement in younger middle school students as well. This was made evident in another surprise capping off the evening with the arrival of 12 year old Sarah Prowak from Holy Family who in lieu of birthday gifts gifted us with a large assortment of personal care and pantry items from our wish list.
The final astonishing event of the evening was the arrival of Santa Claus himself! While we were more than delighted by this surprise visit, some of our toddlers had other thoughts about Santa, his beard and his jolliness!
Our celebrations continue today with a great number of our Exodus moms coming back to the House to have Christmas Dinner with the current moms and babies. We have a wonderful big, family dinner planned and a gift exchange thanks to the generosity of so many who participated in our Christmas Blessings Program. This is going to be a great event that wouldn't be possible without the hard work and dedication of all our staff, but especially Sue and Carol, who coordinated the Christmas Blessings Program and have prepared a wonderful day- which involves taking on quite a bit of extra work on top of their every day duties at a very busy time of year!
Such is the power of prayer my friends. As one breaks this quote into smaller phrases one can truly understand thoughts and dreams are powerful prayers. When those thoughts and prayers are for good, they provide grace beyond measure. Anyone who “lovingly pray(s) for his brethren participates in the great work of saving souls”. This phrase explains the extraordinary
gift and special task given to the elderly. It explains the travesty of assisted suicide and the right to die. Should one never be able to do any work of any sort, one will always have the ability to pray. Should one be ravaged by dementia or comatose, prayers offered for and through that person by others, for others, have double the power of the prayers sent up for those capable of living a normal life. Nothing is wasted with God. Every soul created no matter how young or how old, no matter how perfect or imperfect, is a most precious commodity because of his ability to offer prayer. Every person created by the Hand of God is bestowed with an inherent dignity empowering their very being to be a means of prayer, a conduit of
salvation for millions of souls.
I have come to understand every individual on earth has a responsibility to prayer that is uniquely his own. It is a responsibility assigned to him at conception to be the avenue of deliverance for others. That is to say we will be shown by God at our final judgement what we could have done, the souls we could have saved, if only we had prayed more. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to get me away from electronics and more aligned and attuned to a life of prayer.
I have read and heard many times one of the greatest gifts we will ever receive when we enter God’s Kingdom is being met by people we never knew on earth who arrived in Heaven because of our prayer. Each time you pray for the souls in purgatory, for people suffering due to natural disasters, wars and famine, you may be saving a soul and sending someone to Heaven. Every time you offer up a suffering, set back or trial to God for others, you may be sending someone to their eternal reward. What a powerful vehicle we become when we pray! So pray unceasingly my friends and one day when you arrive in the abode of the angels and saints you will be greeted by the joyous chorus of voices you saved through prayer. God Bless you all and
Love and Prayers,