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"May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds."   (from the Easter Vigil Service of Light)

Your April Newsletter
Our Mission:
to provide counseling which is faithful to the teachings, values, and traditions of the Catholic Church.

Our Primary Services:
Evaluation and Treatment for mental illness, addictions, and spiritual distress.
Holy Week
Dr. Ken posted a blog article for Holy Week reflection. Follow the link here.
 
Holiday Schedule
The Gratia Plena office will be closed Good Friday (April 18th) and Easter Monday (April 21st). Because of the Monday holiday, the Loving and Eating Well (LEW) group will not meet. The LEW group will resume Monday, April 28th. We invite Catholic women working on overeating issues (and intimacy issues) to join us Mondays at 5:30pm for the LEW group! Bring a friend. We are a supportive and encouraging group but also good for challenge and accountability with each other. Come on in and join us!
 
Happy Easter!
Easter, the joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion for our sins, is the high-point of the Christian religious year. The secular world makes a big deal about Christmas, and the Incarnation is certainly a great and wonderful mystery, but Christians know that the Word became flesh for the main purpose of accomplishing our salvation and helping us to discover God’s immeasurable love and mercy for us. Treat this Easter day as the great celebration that it is! If you don’t have a church, find one and go this Sunday. And as Fr. Roy Oggero CSB would say: “Thank you Jesus…thank you Jesus!”
 
Divine Mercy Sunday
April 27th is Divine Mercy Sunday! This solemnity is the result of St. Faustina’s encounters with Christ, who assigned her a mission to remind the world about God’s great mercy. The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday. If you have not read St. Faustina’s diary, you are missing out on a remarkable book.
 
Two Popes to be Canonized
Also on Sunday, April 27th two popes will be recognized formally as saints:  Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. You can learn more about them here. It is expected that 5 million people will attend the ceremony. The Vatican will “live stream” the ceremony at selected movie theaters for those of us who can’t make it, and there will also be coverage on TV and satellite radio.
 
Pope Francis’ Series on Gifts
Pope Francis began a series on the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” in one of his recent Wednesday addresses. The first talk was on wisdom, which is described as “seeing with God’s eyes.”
 
We Hear Wedding Bells…
Our UST student intern Pui just announced her engagement, and our newest staff member Rosanna will be married this month! Congratulations to the happy couples who will become one! Marriage is such a beautiful and sacred mystery. However, when a marriage is blessed it also becomes a target for our enemy because of the enormous spiritual value it carries. Therefore, all marriages must be nurtured and protected, like new plants. Please pray for Rosanna’s and Pui’s marriages and for all married and engaged couples. And couples, please pray together often…just the two of you!
 
Heartbleed
Last week, Google security engineers announced that they had discovered a software bug in Internet security that would leave a very large number of servers vulnerable for attack, allowing for the potential theft of sensitive user information. This software bug, now labeled “Heartbleed,” was accidentally introduced a little over two years ago. It is not known if the security hole has been exploited or not, but companies are patching the problem as fast as they can. Our website manager in Phoenix has assured us that financial transactions and other form entries on our Gratia Plena website did not expose any information. Please know that our Gratia Plena website is protected and is not vulnerable to this issue, and you can feel safe making donations or payment, as well as making entries in the various forms that send information to us about scheduling intake appointments and requests for being added to our monthly electronic newsletter mailing list.
 
Write a Review of Gratia Plena
The organization called “Great Nonprofits” is a place to find trustworthy nonprofits, to inspire and inform donors and volunteers. You can help Gratia Plena by writing a brief review on the Great Nonprofit website. It won’t take you long, and can help give us some additional positive exposure in the community. Thank you in advance for helping us in this way!
 
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in Houston
Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem men and women’s hearts which have been broken by abortion. A retreat is planned for the Houston area on the weekend of July 25-27, 2014. Contact Cindy at (713) 825-0649 or Traci at (281) 658-7366 rvhouston@yahoo.com for more information.
 
Wishing for Wall Art
We had good success with our last wish list request, and are so thankful for the many people that have supported Gratia Plena in so many different ways in the past two years. Some of our supporters do so quietly behind the scenes. Here’s another wish list item. We have some empty walls in the office that are in need of something…anything! If you have any religious or serene wall art that you’d like to donate, we would like to consider it for use in our office. We will provide you with a receipt for tax purposes, since we are a 501(c)(3).
 
CUSA
In a previous newsletter, we introduced you to the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD). We recently discovered another organization that might interest you: CUSA, an apostolate of persons with chronic illness or disability. This is the link to their website. The CUSA administrator is Father Lawrence Jagdfeld, OFM in the Chicago area.
 
Volunteering
If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we are called to action, to come out of our own self to reach out to others…not to make us feel good but because we respect the dignity and value of those whom we serve. Christianity is not a spectator sport and is much more than Omphaloskepsis (navel-gazing). What are you doing besides going to Sunday Mass? Consider the many opportunities for volunteering your time. Here are two examples. St. Dominic Village is a faith-based non-profit continuing care retirement community near the Texas Medical Center. They seek volunteers on an ongoing basis. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has a growing and vibrant Correctional Ministry. Staff and volunteers recently organized an ACTS retreat behind bars for men! The ministry to women inmates especially needs female volunteers. There are many other opportunities to volunteer in our community. Here you can find some interesting facts and data about volunteering from the US Department of Labor.
 
Book of the Month Recommendation:
We recommend this month the book Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self , the latest offering by Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, a Franciscan friar in New Mexico at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque. It “explores the deepest questions of identity, spirituality, and meaning…(likening) the True Self to a diamond buried within us, formed under the intense pressure of our lives, that must be searched for, uncovered, separated from all the debris of ego that surrounds it. In a sense the True Self must, like Jesus, be resurrected, and that process is not resuscitation but transformation.” You can pick up the book alone or the Center also offers a self-paced on-line course using this book for those who want to explore a bit deeper. In next month’s newsletter, watch for our “Movie of the Month” recommendation.
 
Disclaimer: Gratia Plena and its staff do not receive any compensation or earthly benefits from recommending books, movies, music, websites, blogs, apps, et cetera…
Copyright © 2014 Gratia Plena, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
10701 Corporate Drive, Suite 190, Stafford, TX 77477
(832) 532-0129 (office landline)
www.gratiaplenacounseling.org 
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