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Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost

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The Church has an ancient tradition of praying for nine days (between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday) that we open our hearts and lives to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Who does great and mighty works in our lives and brings us and others to holiness, happiness and Communion with the Blessed Trinity. Here's a good novena prayer .  You can pray a shortened form if you want (it's a devotion after all) but I recommend at least praying the prayer for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit each day.  You can read what those gifts are and how they can help you in the guide.  You should start on Friday, May 14th, (the day after Ascension Thursday)   and end on Pentecost on Sunday, June 23rd . By the way, don't let the parish calendar confuse you.  Ascension is actually on Thursday, May 13th, but the Mass has been moved to Sunday in our diocese and some others, so more people can pray together at Sunday Mass. 

St. Damien - the Leper Saint

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  One of our "adopted" American saints who should be much better known is St. Damien of Moloka'i. He heroically served the lepers of the then-Kingdom of Hawaii in the late 19th century. Like so many of the saints such as Peter Claver, Katherine Anne Drexel (other saints of the Americas) he gave his life serving those whom no one else was willing to serve.   You can start reading about him here .  If you are lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, there are shrines to him there. 

New priests for Cincinnati

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  This Saturday, May 15th, Archbishop Schnurr will be ordaining seven new men to the priesthood for service to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  A very happy day!  You can read the personal stories of these men here .  I am sure that link will also be updated after Saturday to include stories about the ordination itself. Please pray for these men by name: Soon-to-be Fathers Michael Kapolka, Aaron Hess, Edward Hoffman, Louis Jacquemin, Elijah Puthoff, Scott Morgan, and Anthony Marcelli. In addition to this good news, two men were recently ordained to serve the Oratory of St. Philip Neri , a religious congregation of priests who will be serving some of our inner city parishes in Cincinnati: Fathers Henry Hoffman and Brent Stull, C.O.   Their brief bios are in their newsletter here ,   ( Photo here ). Fathers Henry Hoffman and Edward Hoffman are biological brothers.   It has been far too long since we've had brothers ordained to the priesthood from our diocese.

Our new deacons

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  The last major step for a man preparing to be ordained to the holy priesthood is his ordination as a deacon.  At this time, he promises to live a life of celibacy (renouncing the good of marriage and family life for the sake of building the Kingdom of Heaven).  He also promises to pray for the Church without ceasing, committing to praying the breviary (the Liturgy of the Hours of the Church) every day of his life. Two weeks ago, seven young men were ordained deacons on their way to the priesthood. Please pray for them. You can watch a brief video of the ordination here and see more photos here. God willing, Patrick, our seminarian will be ordained as a deacon one year from now. 

Prevent taxpayer funding of abortion

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  The Unites States Bishops' Conference is sponsoring a webinar on how citizens can act to prevent the federal government from forcing them to fund abortion with their tax dollars.   This is a real threat as the majority political party has strongly advocated for the removal of the Hyde Amendment, a safeguard against this coercion. The webinar runs next Wednesday the 12th at 2:00 p.m.  Sign up here. 

Archdiocese's Bicentennial

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  On the weekend of June 19th, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will be celebrating the bicentennial of our founding.  That's 200 years of the Catholic faith in the Archdiocese, a gift we should not take for granted.

Marian Consecration for the parishes

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  Just in time for the month of May (the month in which the Church has traditionally emphasized the importance of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary), some of our parishoiners are organizing a consecration to Mary, using a great resource entitled: Mary's Mantle Consecration: A Spiritual Retreat for Heaven's Help.   It is designed to be done mostly at home, and can be adapted for individuals and families.  Please stay tuned for more information.  We are hoping to start this up on either May 13th (Our Lady of Fatima) or May 31 (Feast of the Visitation).