Bishop Joseph Perry: Family Prayer for Vocations

Parent(s):

Good Lord, we beg your blessing upon our family.  We thank you for the children with which you have blessed us.  Bless us as we use this day to give you praise.  Help our children grow towards you through the various things they learn about the mysteries of life and creation sewn by your hand. Grant wisdom to me/us their parent(s), their teachers and others you have given to guide them.  Preserve our efforts to give our children all that they deserve.

We pray you grace our children with faith, openness of heart, a willingness to learn, a desire to do good to others as you have taught.  Keep them ever strong and ready for any test of character.  As they grow in knowledge and experience inspire in our children a desire to serve you in holiness of life.  In whatever walk of life they choose be for them a true path to your kingdom. May you find among our children generous hearts to serve you and the Church perhaps as a priest, or religious brother or sister.  Should their Calling be to extend this family of ours, may theirs be a holy matrimony and family life after the example of your life with Mary and Joseph. 

Child/Children:

O Jesus, whisper in my heart how I might best serve you.  Make me strong in faith, always attentive to people’s needs, ever spiritual, understanding and charitable.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much.  Bless our priest(s) and religious who serve(s) us.  Bless my parents, our bishop and pastors and all who help the Church’s work.

Family:

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, increase the number of our priests and religious men and women.  Preserve them for your Church.  Keep them zealous in their vocation and successful in their labors.  May they do all things for love of you and the Church.  We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.  AMEN

Bishop Joseph N Perry

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Sub-Committee on African American Affairs

2020

Click here for more prayers by Bishop Perry

Catholic Men Family Connection

A Father’s love is never time wasted

Photo: ‘Learning the Game’ Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella

Families, as the domestic church, have the opportunity to make the family meal a time of prayerful encounter with one another and with Jesus. At a family meal we share our experiences of the day and connect them with the experiences of others in the family.

We can also enjoy the meal as an opportunity to reflect upon our family life in light of the Scriptures, that connects us to Jesus too.

Choose a family meal each week to share each of our experiences of the week. Perhaps take turns as family members to plan and prepare the meal together. Begin the meal by reading the Gospel for the day. As you eat, talk together about how these events speak to our lives in the light of Scripture.

Download and share Bishop Perry’s Prayer Before Meals.

Next, each family member can share the things that are going on in his or her life. Consider what Jesus might say to each person if he were sitting at your dinner table. Conclude with a special prayer after your dinner.

Dad’s, as the priest of your family the domestic church, pray a prayer of blessing for each family member, asking that Jesus continue to be present in each person’s life, helping each one to be a better follower of Jesus. Conclude with a Sign of Peace.

A Father’s Love

Men, how many times have you (and I) done things with human understanding instead if seeing those things through the eyes of Christ. Do you have this regulator switch that turns Christ’s love ON and turns it OFF, instead of being filled with His love and making our ‘plans’ His. It’s all about relationships. If you are a Father, what is your relationship with your children? What is your relationship with the Lord Jesus?

I recall a few years ago when I spent a weekend with my teenage son attending a basketball tournament that he was playing in. I rationalized that because of the distance and cost of travel we would stay in a hotel, but the real truth is I knew that I needed to do a better job at giving my son my time. I always ask for lessons from God in everything that I do, but this weekend God had a lesson that I didn’t ‘plan’ for.

We all have the same amount of time, what is different is how we use it. We all have ‘important’ things to take care of: work, house, car, and many details in-between. Sometimes, we make all of these details so important that we let go of the one thing that is most important – relationships.

I was thinking about all of this while watching one of my son’s games, when he took a hard fall while driving the ball and was injured. This is a very rare occurrence for him. It wasn’t until after the game and on the way home that his knee started to puff up and become painful. I cannot find the words to describe how much I wanted to take that injury from him and carry the pain for him. If you are a Father I’m sure you know what I am talking about.

Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me. 1 Peter 2: 24 – 25: ” He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep’s but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”

The lesson the Lord spoke to me is this: Jesus envelopes you with his loving arms, like a father with a young child. It is impossible to love Jesus more than he loves you, more than how a father (or parent) loves their children.

A father’s love for his own child is only a glimpse of A Father’s Love from the Lord Jesus. Just like how Jesus says ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’, when you feel distant from God, who moved?

In other words, does your relationship with your children example A Father’s Love that you have with the Lord. If not, what has stopped that from happening?

Our first job as a Dad is to get our family to Heaven. Each child is different in making the connection and developing the relationship. It is never time wasted because, as a Father, the impact you have on your family can go three generations deep.

Frank J Casella, CMCS-Director

Bishop Joseph Perry: A Prayer for Employment

Pray this each day, whether or not you are employed.

O God, Father of us all, You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with your Will and to advance your kingdom on earth.  Grant to me, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, the man chosen by God to care for you in your childhood and youth, employment and work that I may with dignity provide for my family. Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and abilities for the good of those who depend upon me for care and support.  You placed me in charge of this family.  I beseech your assistance in helping me provide for them as you would have me do. You are our God and head of this family.  Amen

Bishop Joseph N Perry

Click here to download (PDF) copy

A Letter from Bishop Joseph Perry on COVID-19

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we approach the feast of the Resurrection on Sunday, April 12, we may well feel like we are entombed by precautionary measures that have altered the rhythm of life these days given the threat associated with coronavirus.  All this is certainly without precedent in our lifetimes.  We struggle daily enough with the cold and flu and other physical discomforts and can find relief in most instances with over-the-counter meds.  And, let’s admit it, we Americans are not used to plagues of this nature and scope that hit other areas around the world.

The austerity of Lent and what the season can mean faces us dramatically.  What is God saying to us in this time of anxiety and misfortune?  It is a time for prayer and sober reflection on our dependence upon the mercy of God.  What prayer can we recite together as a household while we are waiting on the Lord?  For we cannot heal ourselves.  While churches are closed these days for sake of the fright connected with contagion, once they are reopened we hope many more unused to the regimen of weekly ritual focus upon God might be inclined to reorder their lives and join us.

I’ve been busy telephoning the priests of the vicariate, family and relatives and friends to make sure everyone is alright.  With the exception of one of our priests who is hospitalized with the virus, everyone else appears to be alright.  Thank God!

While we already have made necessary changes to our lifestyle and readjusted certain habits, we might measure which of these we might carryover once this is all over, what needs particular attention on our parts for a better quality of life and spiritual tone to our busy lives.  

Certainly, a healing in response to a bad turn with health is one of the gifts of God. 

But first, seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all things will be added unto you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” 

Matthew 6, 33-34

Blessings and good health I wish for you and all who are important to you.

Biship Joseph Perry
Archdiocese of Chicago
CMCS Episcopal Liasion

Manhood Monday: Turn From Your Ways and Live

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Verse Before The Gospel  EZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

“Now, I am not saying my parent’s methods of raising us were the best. All I know is that I did not turn out the worse for it. I believe there is something to be said for steering clear of giving birthday gifts and Christmas gifts and gifts in between that symbolize violence and killing so prevalent in our city and other cities across the country. Follow through with the rearing of your kids and grandkids on this. Support your prayers and messaging by fasting from the images and instruments associated with violence. Then, sooner or later, the kids will understand.”

Bishop Joseph Perry, from ‘We Yearn For Peace!’

God bless your week.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘Family Out For A Walk’ Copyright 2015 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America

Now that we are all called to the stay-at-home guidelines for the COVID-19 virus, I’m noticing several men are saying how this is causing us to focus on our priorities and purpose, and putting things in a more clear perspective.

One of the things that has helped me to do this is to write my thoughts in a quality notebook that will last a generation or two, but you can also to this digital on a Free priviate blog tool like Tumblr or WordPress.com. The important thing is to get started, because when we write out thoughts is helps us to know where we stand on things, and our children learn from this as well.

For example, after my Father died in 2009 I came to realize that I learned more from him after he died than when he was living. Because as I experienced life his words and lessons began rolling in my head. So I started to write these things down in a notebook, along with my own life lessons, and I plan to leave these for my children and future generations. After they move out of the house will be a good time to hand them over, and I’m excited to see what happens.

Keep this in mind, it is said that if you start to spend ten minutes to an hour a day with your own thoughts, it will take up to sixty days before you remove all the clutter and eventually can start the hour thinking about yesterday and today! I have found this to be so true!

More on this with my blog post for this Thursday .. stay tuned

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back here again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.


Not signed up yet? Click here.

Click here to learn about the annual Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum held on the Saturday after Easter. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and surrounding Chicagoland are invited to attend.

Manhood Monday: The LORD Will Be With You

Your weekly dose of “Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man”.

From Today’s Readings:

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Verse Before the Gospel  Am 5:14

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the LORD will be with you.

“Indeed, nothing is worthwhile unless we do it intentionally and with fervor as upright Christians.  This is the manner in which Jesus lived and died for us.  It is the only way his disciples can live authentically his legacy.”

Bishop Joseph N. Perry from ‘Taking Life Seriously’

God bless your week.

The CMCS-Team


Frank’s Photo of the Week

Photo: ‘Family Walk to the Park’ Coyright 2016 Frank J Casella on Fine Art America

Daily Video Reflection for March 23, 2020 from the U.S. Catholic Bishops

For the Daily Readings, plus audio and video, please visit http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings

Thanks for Reading.

Make it a great week. See you back here again next Monday.

Frank J Casella,
CMCS Executive Director

A larger collection of photographs can be viewed on my portfolio.


Not signed up yet? Click here.

Click here to learn about the annual Bishop Perry’s Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum held on the Saturday after Easter. All men from around the Archdiocese of Chicago and surrounding Chicagoland are invited to attend.

The Domestic Church: Connecting to Marriage and Family

Where might the word of God be leading us when it comes to our family life?

The word of God leads us to the heart of what it means to be the Church, and therefore also to the heart of what it means to be a Christian family: For the Church and our families to be light, we must be centered on Christ and imitate Him, going out to the peripheries to bring the Gospel.

Marriage and family concerns everyone: Each of us comes from a family. Each of us is a son or a daughter. In God’s plan every child is meant to be the fruit of his or her mother’s and father’s love for each other in the sacred bond of marriage. This is why conversations about marriage and the family in the public square concern all of us, and this is why the Church’s teaching on marriage and family is important for all of us.

Acknowledging the experience and pain of broken marriages and families: Sadly, many of us have experienced or know family or friends who have experienced the pain of a broken marriage and family. Each experience is unique, and the Lord’s mercy is great. Even for those of us who find our family situation difficult –and that probably includes all of us at one time or another! –we each have a role to play in God’s vision of the family. Ultimately, all of us are part of the perfect family –God’s family –as beloved sons and daughters of God the Father.

“Domestic Church”: Very early in the life of the Church, the Christian family, founded upon the covenant of marriage between husband and wife, together with any children they were blessed with, became understood as the domestic church. This understanding has profound implications.

Two – Photograph by Frank J Casella on Fine Art America
Considering particular aspects of the family as the domestic church: What does it mean to call the family the domestic church?

The Catechism of the Catholic Churchspeaks of the family as the place where one learns endurance and the joy ofwork, fraternal love, generous – even repeated -forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life. (CCC, nos. 1656-57). A particular aspect(s) of the domestic church might be highlighted. Concrete stories orexamples could assist as well. Here, let’s take three of the points mentioned in the Catechism as it relates to the family: love, forgiveness, and prayer:

Family as school of love: First, family life is where we are meant to learn to love. The family has its foundation in the promise of lifelong, faithful,and fruitful love between husband and wife.

Family as school of forgiveness: Second, the family, as the domestic church, is called to be a school of forgiveness. Every day, we are reminded that we are far from perfect. We are all sinners in need of mercy, forgiveness, and healing.

Family as school of prayer: And now for the third point, on prayer: to love and to forgive in the way that Christ calls us requires the Lord’s grace. We cannot be salt of the earth and the light of the world without God.

As adomestic church, the family is called to be a school of prayer, keeping the Lord at the center of the home, so that His light will shine brightly throughout the home, into the neighborhood, the community, and the world.

May the Lord be glorified in all our words and deeds, and may our families shine with the light of Christ for all to see.

Resource: World Marriage Sunday 2020 (PDF)