From the Pastor’s Desk,

This Tuesday we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. As most Christians believe that death is a consequence of the first sin, and since the Catholic Church believes that Mary was conceived without original sin through the grace of God, theologians down through the centuries have wondered if Mary died or simply was assumed into heaven without dying. The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not answer the question as an absolute, but says, “The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven…” (#974; see also #966). This is not contradictory to Sacred Scripture since in the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament the Prophet Elijah in Chapter 2:9-12 is taken into heaven in a chariot of fire and horses. Elijah was a great prophet in the Old Testament, Mary was the Mother of the Son of God in the New Testament; one is taken into the heavens in a chariot upon the completion of his work upon earth, Mary according to revelation to the Church was taken into the heavens upon the completion of her work as the Mother of Jesus the Christ. The Bishop sent a letter to all pastors of our Diocese asking us to take a look at different areas of our parish and what makes a parish vibrant. One of those areas is concerning our care of the poor. Here is a list of the areas in which St. Agnes is helping care for the poor of Springfield. St. Vincent De Paul: shares a certain percentage with our joint Food Pantry which is called the Well of Life. It also gives $500 a month to help feed the poor at Crosslines, a pantry run by the Council of Churches. Much of the rest of the money given to St. Vincent De Paul is used to help with utilities, bus tickets, money for gasoline and temporary shelter. Lenten Alms: used to help with medicine, utilities, items needed start work, and occasional temporary shelter. St. Martha’s Group: prepares a meal for the people at Harmony House one day a month. Harmony House is now providing shelter for up to 160 people suffering from domestic abuse. There are 2 smaller groups from the parish each providing a meal at Rare Breed for the homeless youth in town once a month and the PCCW helps to defray some of the cost. We are now working to help Grace United Methodist Church by providing items to the “Closet”. Items we use and take for granted on a daily basis, toothpaste, soap, deodorant etc. We also are hoping to support their plans for a laundry service at their church. If people ask what we are doing to help the poor, we are helping in many areas, not just with money.

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