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Parish Daily Update 8/10/20

Dear St. Joseph Family,

As we send our children back to school and college, I came across something that I needed to hear, and I thought I would share.

“God loves your child more than you do.  You need to get that.  You may have given birth to them, but He gave life to them, He gave breath to them, and He has a purpose for them.  And there’s not a pandemic big enough or a school year weird enough that can change His plan for them.  Ignore the noise of the world.  Listen to the voice of God.  Rest in the Hands that are holding your child – and you, too.”       ~Author unknown


Offertory for the week of 8/2/20

General                                $22,545.00

Building                                $680.00

Our Daily Bread                $130.00

Cemetery                            $50.00

As a reminder, the following are ways you can continue to contribute:

~Place your offering in the basket as you come to Mass;

~Mail checks directly to 127 Church Rd., Madison, MS 39110;

~Your bank’s online bill-pay page, having the bank send a check to the


~Texting your contribution to 601-391-6645; or

~ for on-line giving. 

Thank you all for your continued support of our Parish!!!

Prayer intentions:

~For the repose of the soul of Betty Adkins, mother of parishioner Eddie Adkins, who passed away Saturday night.  Eddie, Becky, Emma, and all of their family are remembered in our prayers.

~For the repose of the soul of Hoa Nguyen, who was our parishioner and the mother of Thi Nguyen, also our parishioner.  Mrs. Nguyen passed away late last week.  We remember Thi and all his family during this difficult time.

~St. Catherine’s Village, Siena I, has had an outbreak of COVID.  2 employees and one resident tested positive on Friday and subsequently they tested all residents on Siena I.  As of yesterday evening, 7 residents’ tests came back positive and my mother, Doris Degenhardt, is one of the positive cases.  While she is not symptomatic, she, along with the other positive cases, has been quarantined.  I ask for your prayers for my mom and all the other residents and staff who are positive.

~For all of our friends and loved ones who are suffering the effects of this pandemic, whether physical, financial, or emotional.

The Mass readings for tomorrow, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.

God bless you all!


Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin  

First Reading:  Ezekiel 2:8-3:4 

The Lord GOD said to me:
As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you. It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was:  Lamentation and wailing and woe! 

He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So, I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me,
feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them.  

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R.  How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R.  How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth,
in my yearning for your commands.
R.  How sweet to my taste is your promise! 

Gospel:  Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14 

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.  In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” 


“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?”  Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 

We have all gone out in search of that lost “sheep”: the son or daughter who makes the irresponsible choice, the friend whose life has become a train wreck, the co-worker who just can’t keep up. The difficult part is focusing on the needs of this one at the expense of the other members of our families, our other friendships, our own jobs – when we’re not even sure we can make any difference at all for this “one.” 

Maybe the solution is that such shepherding has to be a community vocation: that, at some time, we’re all shepherds seeking out the lost. That may mean a church community reaches out to a parishioner in need or a family comes together around a loved one in trouble. Perhaps most important, a “shepherding” community comes together to support one another in the work of shepherding: giving space for a Mom and Dad to focus on the child in need, providing help to the friend reaching out to someone in trouble. 

May we possess the humility to recognize God’s hand in the “shepherds” who care for us and the generosity of heart and spirit to be “shepherds” ourselves to one another in the spirit of Christ, the Good Shepherd. 

O God, illuminate our perspective with Jesus’ spirit of humility, that we may see those considered “little” as our brothers and sisters; may we always remember that in serving them, we serve you; in seeking them out when they are lost, we find you. 

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.


St. Clare

One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, Clare was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, Clare escaped from her father’s home one night, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed her long tresses to Francis’ scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. Clare clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair, and remained adamant.

Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity, and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order. At age 21, Francis obliged Clare under obedience to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.

     The Poor Ladies went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat, and observed almost complete silence. Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: “Our bodies are not made of brass.” The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade Clare to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: “I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ.”

      Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of Clare’s life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick and washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals, and bishops often came to consult her—Clare herself never left the walls of San Damiano.

     Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. Clare was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.

       A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. Clare had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. “Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.” To her sisters she said, “Don’t be afraid. Trust in Jesus.” The Saracens fled.