Ministry Newsletter │ July 2024

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July is Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

The month of July is traditionally dedicated to the Precious Blood, and Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the profound sacrifice of Jesus and the pouring out of His blood for humanity.

One particular devotion in the Catholic Church connected to the Passion of Jesus Christ is the honoring of His Precious Blood. It is a recognition of Jesus’ sacrifice and how He spilled His blood for the salvation of humanity. Furthermore, the blood of Christ, along with the body of Christ, is made present through the gift of the Eucharist.

Over time, the Church developed various feasts of the Precious Blood, but it wasn’t until the 19th century when a universal feast was established. In 1849, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that the first Sunday in July be dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Later, Pope Pius X assigned July 1st as the fixed date of this celebration.

After the Second Vatican Council, the feast was removed from the liturgical calendar, but a votive Mass in honor of the Precious Blood was established and can be celebrated in the month of July (as well as most other months of the year).

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of July!

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Ministry Newsletter │ June 2024

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June is Dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Although devotion to the love of God and to the love of Jesus can be traced to the time of the Apostles St. John and St. Paul, historians trace the earliest devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, specifically, to the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It is believed that Jesus chose Margaret Mary Alacoque, in the 17th century, to share with the world His desire to bring new devotion to His Sacred Heart. Jesus revealed to Margaret Mary twelve promises that He would bestow upon all those who practice the devotion. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after Margaret Mary’s death. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which occurs 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday, was inaugurated in 1856. Margaret Mary was canonized a Saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

Additionally, the First Friday Devotion, also known as the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was made popular by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. For more than 100 years, Mount Olivet has had the tradition of holding a Mass, on the first Friday of the month, to pray for all those individuals in our care at our various cemeteries. This year, the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus will fall on the first Friday of June on June 7th.

It is interesting to note that the Archdiocese of Denver’s own Servant of God Julia Greeley had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and she died on the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 7, 1918.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of June!

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Ministry Newsletter │ May 2024

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May is Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin May

The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You may be familiar with the expression, “April showers bring May flowers.” Many cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans, associated May with new life and growth. Symbolically, Mary can be viewed as a “second” or “new” Eve. In the Book of Genesis, Eve is described as “the mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20). However, Eve’s disobedience brought about death (Gen. 2:17). Saint Jerome observed, “Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary” (Epistle 22). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, who, in turn, brought salvation to all. Jesus conquered death (1 Cor. 15:54-55) and is the source of eternal life (John 3:16-17). Thus, “dying He destroyed our death, rising He restored our life” (CCC 1067). Through Jesus Christ, Mary became our mother, the mother of all the living in the order of supernatural grace. Thus, the month of May has been dedicated to Mary due to the symbolism of new life and growth.

Different cultures honor Mary in various ways during the month of May. Some recite the Rosary every day during the month. The devotion of a May Crowning is practiced in many Catholic parishes, schools, and homes. A wreath, or crown, of flowers is ceremonially placed on a statue of Mary and flowers can be placed at the feet. Also, this year, there are three Marian feast days in May. The Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated on May 13th. The Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost. This year, it falls on May 20th. The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on May 31st.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of May!

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Ministry Newsletter │ April 2024

Ministry Newsletter │ April 2024

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April is Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Spirit

The month of April is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Spirit. Easter Sunday can occur between March 22nd and April 25th, depending on the lunar cycle of a particular year. Even if Easter Sunday occurs in March, the Easter Season will still include April. In many ways, April can be seen as the “Month of Easter.”

The Blessed Sacrament refers to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as the Eucharist. The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ, himself, on Holy Thursday as described in the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 26:25-29; Mark 14:22-26; and Luke 22:14-20. St. Paul also records the institution in First Corinthians 11:23-25. Although the Gospel of John does not include words of institution, John 6:47-67 is very explicit about Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist. “Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6:53-56). Thus, the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324).

We are currently in the Year of Parish Revival phase of the National Eucharistic Revival which is focused on renewing the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Reach out to your local parish to learn how you can participate. Click here to learn more.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of April!

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Ministry Newsletter │ March 2024

Ministry Newsletter │ March 2024

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March is Dedicated to Saint Joseph

A statue of St. Joseph with the Child Jesus at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery.

The month of March is dedicated to Saint Joseph. The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is celebrated on March 19th.

Just as the Roman Catholic liturgical year has a rhythm and spiritual emphasis for each season, the liturgical tradition has dedicated a different spiritual focus to each day of the week. For example, Sundays focus on Christ’s Resurrection; Mondays, the Holy Spirit and souls in Purgatory; Tuesdays, the Holy Angels; Thursdays, the Blessed Sacrament; Fridays, Christ’s Passion and His Sacred Heart; and Saturdays, the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Heart. Wednesdays focus on Saint Joseph. So, in addition to remembering St. Joseph in a special way during the month of March, we are encouraged to reflect on his fidelity to the Holy Family and intercede on the behalf of holy fatherhood, both spiritual and biological, every Wednesday of the year.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of March!

 

 

 

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Ministry Newsletter │ February 2024

Ministry Newsletter │February 2024

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February is Dedicated to the Holy Family

The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The Holy Family is a model of virtue for all parents and children to follow.

The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt was held in special regard by the early Coptic Christians. They viewed it as an opportunity of reconciliation between Egyptians and God following the Exodus plagues and a form of preparation for the Christian faith which would later be proclaimed to them by the apostle Mark.

In 1893, Pope Leo XIII instituted the Feast of the Holy Family to assist in inspiring the Catholic faithful to live in the charity and virtue of the Holy Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ministry Newsletter │ January 2024

Ministry Newsletter │ January 2024

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January is Dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus and, on January 3rd, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Early Christians started to commemorate the ceremonial naming of Jesus on January 1st for it is the eighth day following Christmas Day on December 25th which was formally commemorated as Jesus’ birthday by emperor Constantine and Pope Julius I in the mid-fourth century. “When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb” (Luke 2:21).

Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles. The devotion was promoted by various saints over the centuries including St. Bernard of Clairvaux and the Franciscans, St. Bernardine of Siena and St. John of Capistrano. The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is the titular feast of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

The Holy Name of Jesus has been represented in Christian art as a monogram with the initials, IHS, the first three letters of Jesus (Iēsous) in the ancient Greek alphabet: iota (I), eta (represented by H when capitalized in Greek), and sigma (S). A less common variation of IHC has also been used in the past because sigma is represented by c when the letter is in the middle of a Greek word. A monogram for the name of Jesus is known as a Christogram. It is very common to see the IHS Christogram on Christian grave memorials and headstones, especially at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery.

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

An IHS Christogram at the top of the Mullen memorial at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery (Section 9).
A stylized, intertwined IHS Christogram on a grave marker at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery (Section 2).

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End-of-Life Preplanning Lunch & Learn Presentations | Aug. 3rd 9:00am and 1:00pm | Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery

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