MAY 2015 edition of The Domestic Church publication
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          May 13th is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.  She appeared six times to Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917....
Perhaps the most well known utterance of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima was her confident declaration that  “My Immaculate Heart will triumph”.
          Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has interpreted this utterance as follows: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.

     Jesus said to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." (Matthew 21:21-22)
"Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
Discovering Our Deepest Desire (D.O.D.D.) is about strengthening marriages, and about becoming Marriage-Building parishes that provide marriage support and encouragement to all married couples. The title of the D.O.D.D. curriculum comes from St. Augustine who said, “The deepest desire of every human heart is to be seen and to see another in this same way.” This golden thread that runs throughout the program is the impetus that drives home the importance of strengthening our marital commitment to our spouse.
SAVE-THE-DATE: Thursday, JUNE 4th, 2015 - - TIMES: 6:00 – 9:00 PM - - D.O.D.D. marriage enrichment evening for couples, marriage ministers, deacons & wives, priests… Registration information is forthcoming…
CCC 1814: Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work[s] through charity."

Join Strong Catholic Families Teams from throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids and the Diocese of Kalamazoo for a conference to share best practices, get inspired to continue the momentum, and learn about new resources.

  • Dinner will be served during the meeting. We will ask for a donation to help cover the cost of dinner.
  • A voucher for child care will be available on request.
  • Come to the summit even if you can only come later.

 Please RSVP by contacting Jean Kastenholz at

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God."

          Who are the peacemakers? 
 If God, and the Risen Christ, is the true source of Christian peace, then being a peacemaker does not mean inventing or creating peace but transmitting it, passing on the peace of God and the peace of Christ, "which passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7): This is the peace that the apostle is transmitting to the Christians in Rome. We cannot be the source, but we can be the channels of that peace. The prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi expresses it perfectly: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace." 
          The condition for being instruments of peace is to remain united to its source, which is the will of God. The secret of interior peace is a total and continually renewed abandonment to the will of God. To preserve or reclaim this peace in one's heart, it helps to repeat often with Saint Teresa of Avila:
          Let nothing disturb you;
          Let nothing frighten you;
          All things pass away;
          God never changes.
          Patience obtains all things.
          He who has God lacks nothing:
          God alone suffices.

          The apostolic parenesis, or instruction (exhortation), is full of practical pointers about what promotes or hinders peace. One of the most well-known passages is in the Letter of James: For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:16-18)
           Every effort to make peace needs to begin from this personal sphere. Peace is like the wake left by a great ship, which spreads out to infinity but begins from one point, and the point in this case is the human heart. The message of (Saint) John Paul II for World Peace Day in 1984 had as its title "From a New Heart, Peace is Born."         
(Resource: "Beatitudes: Eight Steps to Happiness" by Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. CAP)

Ten Principles on Marriage and the Public Good

1. Marriage is a personal union, intended for the whole of life, of husband and wife.

2. Marriage is a profound human good, elevating and perfecting our social and sexual nature.

3. Ordinarily, both men and women who marry are better off as a result.

4. Marriage protects and promotes the well-being of children.

5. Marriage sustains civil society and promotes the common good.

6. Marriage is a wealth-creating institution, increasing human and social capital.

7. When marriage weakens, the equality gap widens, as children suffer from the disadvantages of growing up in homes without committed mothers and fathers.

8. A functioning marriage culture serves to protect political liberty and foster limited government.

9. The laws that govern marriage matter significantly.

10. “Civil marriage” and “religious marriage” cannot be rigidly or completely divorced from one another.

Find more resources here:
What do you love most about being married?
 Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body."    Matthew 26:26
Are you grateful for all things that come your way, today?
Joy Filled Marriage Weekends for the Engaged
 We are excited to announce the 2015 schedule for this new marriage preparation program in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The weekends with registration openings in 2015 are September 19-20, and November 14-15. To register for a weekend, please visit our website here: or contact Socorro at: via phone at: 269-903-0199
Our Vocation is to Care for the Covenant of Marriage
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Continuing our catechesis on the family, we recall God’s creation of man from the ground. He is placed in the garden, where he is to care for creation. Yet God sees that man is alone, and so he creates woman, someone complementary with whom man can share his life. Man and woman are created to live a life of reciprocity, to enter into a covenant together. Yet sin introduces discord into their relationship, lack of trust and suspicion. We see throughout history the fruit of this sin, especially towards women – oppression, violence and exploitation. Most recently, this mistrust and skepticism has led our culture to disregard the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, that covenant which deepens communion and safeguards the dignity of their uniqueness. When the stable and fruitful covenant between a man and a woman is devalued by society, it is a loss for everyone, especially the young. For all our sins and weaknesses, our vocation is to care for the covenant of marriage. It is a vital and energizing vocation, through which we cooperate with our heavenly Father, who himself always cares for and protects this great gift.  Wednesday, April 22, 2015 general audience catechesis by Pope Francis
   Living Images of God's Love

          How are we living our vocation to "love one another"? How are we living images of God's love in our families, in our communities, and in the world?

          This is the invitation we are given by our Risen Lord: to be disciples of God's love (in Truth). We are to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News that God is love, and very much alive in our hearts!

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