Dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
On this Seventh Sunday of Easter, we stand today between two great celebrations. We have so recently celebrated Ascension Thursday (at least in this Archdiocese) and we are looking forward to the Great Feast of Pentecost . . . all in this Great Season of Easter begun with the observance of the RESURRECTION of the Lord.
These three Great Mysteries, which are three of the Glorious Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary, form the Great Paschal Mystery of Christ — the embrace of which is our only HOPE of Salvation.
These events in the life of Christ are intimately linked, so closely united that the are experienced as three moments — three realities — all caught up in the one event of the Resurrection of the Lord which is the fundamental reality for Christians.
Christ is RISEN from the dead
It is the definitive statement of Almighty God that Death does not have the final word.
Pope Francis noted that, “ The death of the Lord’s faithful is not like the death of non-believers, for we do not merely die — we die in the Lord. It is because of our Baptism.
Pope Francis remarked that baptism is NOT MERELY A FORMALITY.
A baptized person, he said . . . Is not the same as one who has not received baptism.
Baptism is an act that touches the depth of our existence. We are immersed in that inexhaustible fount of life that is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love of all history; . . . and so we are able to live a new life, No longer at the mercy of Evil, Sin and Death, but rather in communion with God and with our brothers”.
For Jesus, and for us, the Resurrection is the definitive answer to Jesus prayer in the Garden of Gethsemani — that the Father might deliver Him from death.
In His ASCENSION Jesus returns to the Father with OUR humanity.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said of this Great Mystery:
"Jesus . . . came to the world . . . to bring men back to God . . . as a shepherd who wants to lead his sheep back to the fold, after making himself like men in all things, humiliated to the point of death on the cross, and after touching the abyss of the greatest separation from God".
And on PENTECOST Christ sends the HOLY SPIRIT to be our Advocate and Guide
Jesus tells His disciples that He will be leaving them. You may imagine their concern about being left behind and their feelings of being abandoned — especially after what just happened to Jesus. But before He ascends to the Father, leaving their physical sight, He assures them of the endurance of Divine Assistance in all their works.
“. . . You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
. . . and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth."
Jesus, well aware of the human heart, encourages them, and prays for them. In the Gospel we heard His prayer — It is known as the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus:
Father, the hour has come . . . and I pray for these . . . who will keep my word
. . . And carry on my name.
It is only by faith that these disciples, and that we ourselves can rejoice when it seems that Sin is more common than Grace and Virtue.
It is only faith that makes it possible for us to keep our eyes on heaven when we experience the broken and sinful aspects of ourselves.
It is our faith that can save us from feeling abandoned and alone as we too await the power of the Holy Spirit
In these dark nights, we are encouraged by Jesus Himself to BELIEVE and to TRUST that we are not alone; that God’s promise of salvation is still with us, and that we are the recipients of the gift of the Holy Spirit. We know then that we are loved by God, and if we follow Him — Really and Sincerely — that all will be well.
Pope Benedict recalled that:
“After the Ascension, the First Disciples remained gathered together around the Mother of Jesus, in fervent expectation of the gift of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus
From this arises the invitation for us to remain united together in prayer, and to invoke the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Church today, is once again gathered with Mary . . . imploring the Father to bestow His Spirit on his disciples . . .
Come, Holy Spirit, Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love . . . And renew the face of the earth! Amen
Reverend Jason V. Kulczynski
National Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena for
the United States
Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
9220 Old Bustleton Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19115
Listen to AIM HIGH on Radio Maria hosted by Father Jason Kulczynski at:
Support the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
The Sanctuary of Saint Philomena is not a parish Church. We do not have parishioners who support this place of worship on a weekly basis. We are completely dependent on the love and generosity of you, the world-wide devotees, to keep the doors of the earthly home of Saint Philomena open.
We pray at the Sanctuary for the devotees of Saint Philomena to recognize and provide the means to pay our monthly utilities of gas and electricity. We also pray for the means to install a lift at the Sanctuary to enable physically challenged pilgrims to experience the entire home of their beloved Saint.
In order to ensure the Sanctuary is able to keep our doors open to you and to continue to offer God continual praise and to be the focal point through which our prayers are received by Saint Philomena and interceded for before God at the Sanctuary, you may donate in the following ways:
- Direct to the Sanctuary:
- By personal check payable to the "Sanctuary of Saint Philomena." For security reasons, please send your donation through registered or express mail to the Sanctuary's address at the bottom of this newsletter.
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- By bank transfer to the Sanctuary's Bank account: BANCA UNICREDIT MUGNANO DEL CARDINALE(30525) BANK ACCOUNT:N° 000400102946 SWIFT CODE:UNCRITM1E94 IBAN:IT18D0200875790000400102946
- U.S.A. Tax-Deductible Donations may be sent to the new non-profit set up in the United States:
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- Postal mail donations can be made to: Saint Philomena Sanctuary Support Fund, Inc. P.O. Box 4114 Bergheim, Texas 78004, U.S.A.