Thursday, January 21, 2016

Petitions/Prayer of the Faithful for January 24, 2016

Here are the petitions Ellen McHugh has written for next Sunday, January 24, 2016. St. Mary's Church in Painesville, Ohio.

Prayer of the Faithful for January 24, 2016
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Celebrant: The Lord Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives and salvation to all.  This gives us confidence to entrust to him all our needs.

·      We pray for those who govern nations and make laws: for the wisdom and courage to honor the dignity of all human life from conception until death. We pray to the Lord.

·      That our loving God, who always hears the cries of the refugee and the immigrant, may enable men and women of good will to hear those cries and be moved to conversion and transformation. We pray to the Lord.

·      Teach us in our daily lives to show mercy as we walk together as one body in Christ; help us to welcome not only the strangers in our midst, but the gifts they bring as well.  We pray to the Lord.

·      For those who directly minister to the most vulnerable among us; for the sick and the dying, for those who struggle with addiction, for those who feel isolated or forgotten.  We pray to the Lord. 

·      Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours—let the words of our mouths and the thoughts of our heart always speak your truth with compassion.  We pray to the Lord.

·      And for those for whom this Mass is offered [name them]. We pray to the Lord.

·      Let us pause now and silently offer to the Father our own particular intentions [allow for silence. . .].  We pray to the Lord.

Celebrant: Gracious God, we welcome the Gospel of Your Son.  As you answer our prayers, may the words of the Gospel resound in our hearts and shape our lives.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen   

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What Five-Year-Old Boys Love . . .

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja Turtles!

Colin with his Ninja Turtles

The Turtles' Domain
And his favorite is Leo (Leonardo). The Turtles all have the names of Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. I have a lot to learn about Ninja Turtles!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Willie Nelson sings there's 'room for everyone' in America | PBS NewsHour

Willie Nelson sings there's 'room for everyone' in America | PBS NewsHour: Willie Nelson has weighed in on the debate over Syrian refugees. In front of a crowd that included a smattering of lawmakers, the outlaw country musician sang that there’s “room for everyone” in America.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Poem for Robby. And Another for the Little One

Portrait of Robby at Two

When Robby wakes up after his nap,
(And this boy is one good napper),
He lies in bed awhile and talks.
Sometimes he practices sounds or words.
One day I heard him say the word “yes”
At least ten times. “Yes!” “Yes!” and “Yes!”

If I come visit him and walk into the house with my shoes on,
Robby points to my shoes, then pulls them off,
Carries them to the door, sets them in perfect order—

He is like me, his Grandfather,
He likes order—and at the same time,
Loves chaos.

Robby loves to play in his basement,
A paradise for toddlers. He tells his Grandmother,
“Nana, run! Run!”
Then runs in a circle ten times,
Wearing out poor Nana.

When visiting, I ask Robby to show me the fish.
He takes me to the aquarium and shows me
The big ones, the little ones, the blue and the pink.
He loves the fish—wants me to feed them.

Then he takes me by the hand to the piano.
He actually puts my fingers on the keys
And says, “Play, Brrr, play!”
“Play ‘Jingle Bells’!”
He calls me “Brr” like his big brother Colin—
“Brrr”—the bearded grandfather,
A name I love.

This little guy, now two-years-old,
So happy, so much fun,
Such a great teacher to his parents,
Grandparents, and brother.

Bob (“Brrr”) Coughlin / January 2016

Little One,

Just ten weeks knit together in your Mother’s womb,
We love you already,
Pray for you on the perilous journey to birth.

We know you are both strong . . .
And fragile

And we ask the angels to guide you
The thirty weeks more until your birth—

Want you to know what a loving family
You are part of us

Can’t wait for you to know your Mom and Dad,
Your crazy bothers,
Your grandparents,
Aunts, uncles, cousins

And the friends who root for you now,
Who will be your teachers
And playmates.

Little One,

We are so full of gratitude

and hope.

 Bob Coughlin / January 6, 2016

Petitions/Prayer of the Faithful for January 17, 2016

Ellen McHugh's Prayer of the Faithful for this coming Sunday at St. Mary's in Painesville, Ohio.

Prayer of the Faithful for January 17, 2016
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Celebrant:  As we celebrate our coming together for the Eucharist, let us, dear sisters and brothers, approach the one God to voice all our needs.

·      For the Church, and for this parish community: may we always recognize the gifts God has given each of us and encourage the gifts of one another for the good of our neighbor and the whole human family.  We pray to the Lord.

·      For a welcoming ecumenical spirit among churches, that we may bear joyful witness to the quest for Christian unity in Jesus’ name.  We pray to the Lord. 

·      For people of all nations, races, and religions, that Martin Luther King’s dream of unity, peace and brotherly love be fulfilled among us.  We pray to the Lord.

·      For the poor, the unemployed, and the destitute, for immigrants and refugees, and for all who dedicate their lives in service to them.  We pray to the Lord.

·      For all children who have died from abortion and for their mothers and fathers: for mercy, peace and the loving embrace of Christ.  We pray to the Lord.

·      In this month dedicated to the Holy Name, we pray that each time we say, “Jesus” it is spoken as a perfect prayer, reflecting Your perfect love for us.  We pray to the Lord.

·      And for those for whom this Mass is offered [name them]. We pray to the Lord.

·      Let us pause now and silently offer to the Father our own particular intentions [allow for silence. . .].  We pray to the Lord.

Celebrant:  Gracious God, we believe that you will hear and respond to our sincere prayers, asked in the name of your Son, and in the power of your Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Visit to a Local Mosque--Trying to Build Bridges

A Visit to the MACE Islamic Center in Richmond Heights—“Just Thoughts”

“We pray for you every day” (Muslims brother and sisters at the Richmond Heights Mosque)

Humera, Salma, and Nafis told us that they pray briefly five times a day, and at each prayer, they pray for us and for all the “Children of Abraham.” All Jews, Christians, and Muslims are “Children of Abraham.” These gentle souls, whom we met at the MACE Islamic Center in Richmond Heights, prayed for us all the time. When they told us that, we responded, “And we promise to pray for you every day.”

Five St. Mary’s parishioners and five other people visited the MACE mosque on Saturday, January 9th.  Some of us were a bit on edge, not sure of what to expect. When we entered the modern building on Chardon Road, we were warmly greeted by two women, Humera and Salma, and a man, Nafis. We were offered coffee and sweets and then began a tour of the facility and an introduction to Islam.

Our Muslim friends looked just like us—Humera and Salma do not wear the hijab head dress themselves (though we saw some people coming for prayers with head coverings, similar to the babushkas our own mothers wore to church in the 1950s). All were very hospitable and friendly, these three well-educated, kind people.

After a brief introduction to Islam, we removed our shoes and entered the prayer room. The mosque itself is very simple, with no statues or pictures. The only iconography consisted of three short writings in Arabic, done in beautiful calligraphy. Humera, Salma, and Nafis told us about how daily prayers and Friday prayer works (Friday is their Sabbath), let us look at prayer books (the Quran, in Arabic, with English translations). We opened the book at random, and our eyes immediately dropped on a passage that spoke to our deepest Christian and human values.

After the tour, Humera approached one of St. Mary’s parishioners, saying, “You look very familiar. Could our daughters have gone to the same pre-school in Euclid back in 1992? And indeed it was true. Humera had visited this parishioner’s home back then, and even took her daughter to school. Sometimes you wonder if such serendipity is really the the Grace of God in action.

We left deeply moved by the kindness and humanity of Humera, Salma, and Nasif. And we were struck by the beauty of Islam and its similarity to Christianity and Judaism.

These personal encounters between cultures can lead to understanding and peace. We were all so grateful for this opportunity.