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Novena for St. Ann

The Feast Day for Saints Joachim & Ann is July 26

153115812951608086St. Ann, Mother of the Immaculate Conception

 GOD OUR FATHER, the beauty and the order of your creation was willfully damaged by those who rejected your friendship. Undeterred by this ingratitude, your Son entered our world on a mission of mercy and healing. He walked among us as a divine physician seeking the lost and the strayed, curing the sick and the handicapped, mending broken hearts and restoring broken friendships, comforting the distressed and bringing peace of mind to the victims of sin. With the exception of sin, he too was the victim of suffering and anxiety. He knew fatigue and hunger and loneliness. In taking flesh and blood from the children of Eve, he honored Mary and Ann as mother and grandmother. From them he inherited eyes which behold the ills of man and hands which constantly reach out to bring healing to mind and body. In this novena of prayer, dedicated to Saint Ann, the friend of the sick, we ask her intercession to strengthen our faith that miracles of healing may continue to testify that the compassionate Jesus still walks among us. We ask him to bless us, today and forever. Amen.—Bishop Raymond J. Boland (1978)

DAY 1 – Wednesday, July 18 – Embrace me as a brother to your grandson, Jesus.

Glorious Saint Ann, by the special bond of affection uniting you still with your child, our blessed Mother, and with her divine Son, we call on your powerful aid to meet today’s pressing needs. We freely acknowledge our own sinfulness and unworthiness, and yet we count on your help, and promise ever to be grateful to you and faithful to God’s will for us. Amen.

DAY 2 – Thursday, July 19 – Teach me the value of prayer.

Dearest Saint Ann, teach me the value of prayer. When I pray humbly, earnestly, God’s hand stretches out to me; it takes hold of my hand, my mind, my will and helps me up the steep path that leads me to the goal he has set before me. Amen.

DAY 3 – Friday, July 20 – Show me the light of Christ so as to find my way.

Saint Ann, when I lose my way and lose sight of my Lord, show me how I can find him again; tell me where he wishes me to walk through life; help me discover in Christ’s teaching the light that will reveal to me the Father’s will, which is made manifest through his commandments, through my duties toward him and toward my neighbor and through the various circumstances in which I am called to work out my destiny. Amen.

DAY 4 – Saturday, July 21 – Obtain for me strength and courage over all temptations.

Saint Ann, when I lose heart before the hardships of life and the constant obstacles that I have to overcome, when I feel helpless before my bad inclinations, before my repeated struggles against the evil one and against a world that is constantly pulling me away from you, obtain for me from God, who is the source of all strength, the courage to remain faithful to him, never to pull my hand out of his hand and to overcome the countless temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Amen.

DAY 5 – Sunday, July 22 – Grant me a consuming love for God and neighbor.

Saint Ann, first of all, let me always keep burning in my heart the eternal flame of God’s love; let the unquenchable fire of God’s love for me forever keep alive in me a consuming love for the Lord and for my neighbor. Amen.

DAY 6 – Monday, July 23 – Help me to prize heavenly joy over earthly consolation.

Dearest Saint Ann, whenever I am unhappy, inspire me to pray for happiness, for my share in the happiness of this earth; but, first of all, for the endless happiness that God has prepared for those who serve him with loving and prayerful hearts. Amen.

DAY 7 – Tuesday, July 24 – Draw me deeper into the mind and heart of Christ. 

Each passing day is a step forward on our earthly pilgrimage. Saint Ann, let each new day bring us deeper into the Lord’s knowledge and love. This is the goal of all Christian life on earth: that every passing day and every passing year should show us better the dazzling face of our God and urge us toward him in more faithful service. Amen.

DAY 8 – Wednesday, July 25 – Teach me how to bear suffering as God’s will. 

Saint Ann, the afflictions that befall our persons, families, cities and nations will be unbearable, unless you teach us how God’s merciful designs for man are attained through suffering. Keep reminding us that the only way that leads man to God and happiness is the way of the cross. Amen.

DAY 9 – Thursday, July 26 – Teach me how to desire equity and justice for all.

Saint Ann, teach us how to love one another. Love alone can do away with the evils of disputes, riots and wars. Love alone can inspire men with a sense of equity and justice. It will tear down the barriers that divide men according to languages, colors and creeds, and will inspire mankind to live in mutual understanding. Amen.

Prayer of Consecration to Saint Ann

Blessed Saint Ann, who did give birth to the Mother of God: illustrious Grandmother of Jesus Christ, I choose you this day for my Patron and my Mother. I offer and consecrate myself entirely to you and I recommend to your eternal solicitude and your holy protection my body and my soul, the necessities and vicissitudes of my existence, my life and my death. I am determined, and I promise, to serve you and to honor you for love of Mary, your most holy Daughter, and to propagate according to my powers devotion to you. / On your part, O my sweet Mother, O my holy Patron, deign to receive me into the number of your servants and children. Obtain for me the grace to imitate so perfectly the virtues which have made you pleasing in the sight of God that I may merit the favor of Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me a happy death and at my last hour receive my soul into the arms of your love. Help me during my life by the sufferings, by the merits and mercies of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to obtain such perfect remission of my sins that my soul on leaving its body may go quickly to join you in eternal rest. Amen.

NOTATIONS:

Two-side Parish Bulletin Insert, click HERE.

The version of the devotion is here somewhat abridged.  For a pdf file of the complete booklet, click HERE.

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Jerry Coniker, Rest in Peace

153089093862327923Dear Friends of the AFC,

The Apostolate for Family Consecration’s beloved founder, my father, Jerome Francis Coniker (“Jerry”) passed into eternal life on July 4, 2018. At his death, he was surrounded by so much love and many prayers, and by many family members and loved ones who were with him in his daughter Maureen’s home. No doubt he is overjoyed to be reunited with my mother, Gwen, the love of his life, as well as his daughter Angelica, and his parents and brother.

My father was a man truly driven to make a difference in the world. The salvation of souls and the protection of families through consecration were his passion. He desired the laity to know and embrace their call to holiness, to be saints, because he was convinced that ordinary fathers, mothers, and children can help to bring about the kingdom of God on earth when they make their daily family life an offering to God.

This is the message of hope, inspired by the Fatima message, that he and my mother spread through the Apostolate for Family Consecration® and by the example of their life. At a time when there were not many lay ministries in the Church, my father overcame many obstacles and made many sacrifices, never wavering in his conviction that God had called him to this mission. Thousands of lives have been touched because he said yes to the Holy Spirit and chose to found the AFC with the help of my mother. I am filled with joy and gratitude that the fruits of his labors, as well as my mother’s, will live on in this ministry.

Thank you for supporting this mission through your prayers and sacrifices.

I invite you to join us in celebrating my dad’s legacy. Visitation will be from 4:00–9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, with a vigil service at 8:00 p.m. in St. John Vianney Chapel at Catholic Familyland®, and from 9:30–10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 12 in St. Joseph Auditorium.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 12, in St. Joseph Auditorium. Following the Mass, he will be laid to rest in the crypt of St. John Vianney Chapel, next to my mother, Gwen. A lunch celebration will be held immediately after the burial. If you plan to attend the luncheon, please RSVP through this form.

RSVP to Funeral Luncheon

I ask your prayers for the repose of my dad’s soul, for my family, and for the AFC during this time. Thank you and may God bless you!

In the Holy Family,

Theresa Coniker Schmitz

Executive Vice President

Trinity, Confession & Marriage

downloadQuestion 273

Hello Father, I have a few questions:

1. On the Blessed Trinity: The Nicene Creed states, “I believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son” and yet the Trinity is one. The Blessed Trinity is the beginning and the end. Why is it that in the Nicene Creed it almost seems like the Holy Spirit comes after the Father and the Son? Am I looking at this incorrectly?

2. On Confession: Is it a requirement for the priest to wear a stole?

3. On Marriage: If a Catholic woman/man weds a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic service, does the Church view that as a valid marriage?

Response

About the Trinity

There are three eternal relations or generations or processions in the Trinity. The Father in knowing himself generates the eternal Word or the Son. Between the Father and the Son and the Son and the Father is an infinite goodwill or love in which they generate the Holy Spirit. There is no before or after. God exists outside time in an eternal present. “God is one divine substance in three divine Persons.” None of this is created; rather, it is simply what God is.

About Confession

The priest is directed to wear a stole but in a necessity the priest can absolve sins without one.

About Marriage

The Catholic party is bound to the Church’s laws of marriage. The Catholic Church has rightful jurisdiction over her seven sacraments, including matrimony. It is best that Catholics marry Catholics. A Catholic marriage must be witnessed before a priest or deacon.  Marriages outside the Church (lacking a dispensation from canonical form) are invalid and illicit.  The only exception is if a marriage takes place in an Orthodox (Eastern) Church.  Such a marriage would be valid but illicit.

Timid About Moral Correction

downloadQuestion 272

I frequently worry about moral correction and if I am supposed to give it or not. I am on a mission trip and we are allowed to wear shorts to Mass.  During the summer camp we have Mass every day.  Sometimes my teammate wears really short shorts. I usually wear longer shorts because I feel modesty compels me to do so. I really do not want to say anything as it might make this girl mad at me.  I have to work with her all summer. Is it a serious sin to remain silent? I guess I will have to say something. Do you think I should?

Response

You could warn her that the moderators of the mission trip might say something. Otherwise, you might leave it to those in charge as they must see what you see. They are the ones with the main responsibility here.

The Use of Missals at Mass

downloadQuestion 271

Are we allowed to use missals at Mass?  Why am I asking? Our previous parish priest would tell people off in church if he found them with a missal at Mass. Usually it was the more senior parish members that used them. Prior to reading the Gospel, he even went so far as to stop and to demand an elderly man to put down his missal; otherwise, he said that the Mass would not continue. I felt bad for the old man. Our priest scolded him in front of everyone in church. Previous priests had never said anything about such a rule.  He was the first. I use a missal sometimes; especially when I find it hard to understand the reader. I have also used one when attending a Mass in another language.  So, is it wrong for us to use the missal?

Response

There is a school of thought that missals should be read prior to Mass and not during. Initially they were books that translated the Latin. However, some have trouble hearing and need the missals to follow the Scriptures. Others can better reflect upon the richness of prayers because of a book with written texts. The priest in question erred grievously in how he treated the elderly man at Mass. Congregants have every right to employ a missal. The priest should apologize to the man and seek his forgiveness. Indeed, if this reflects how he treats the people in the pews then recourse should be made to just authority for his “fraternal correction.”

Subjective of Sin Hard to Measure

downloadQuestion 270

I understand that committing a mortal sin requires full consent, but how much pressure is needed to make your consent not full? Thanks.

Response

What you ask is very subjective and hard to resolve. It is almost like asking someone, how high is up? The issue is intention and freedom. That must be judged in each case.

Impatience or Failure to Trust?

downloadQuestion 269

Can you please expound on the gap between trusting our Savior and impatience? What about asking for reassurance from our Savior? Did Moses show impatience with God in the story of Numbers 20:8?

Response

The sin of Moses and Aaron was not impatience but rather that they feared the people more than the Lord. The “impatience” you ask about is a failure to surrender and to trust in divine providence. God is not our genie that we can command with wishes.