The Path Of Conversion

I sought the Lord, who answered me, delivered me from all my fears. (Ps. 34:5)

Pope John Paul II’s urgent call to conversion was a message to believers. An invitation to a change of heart, not a change of religious denomination. Conversion, he suggested, is not a dramatic moment in time, but a series of ordinary moments, transformed by grace. It is a path that has been worn by the footsteps of those who have gone ahead of us in following Jesus. It is a way of living, “nurtured through the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture and the practice of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” (The Church in America, 26).

Please consider joining us on this path. We welcome everyone who is seeking to renew his or her life through the living Jesus Christ.

“I have brushed away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you ” (Isaiah 44:22).

View the Archdiocesan video A Heart, A Compass, A Cross: Answering the Call of Jesus Christ.

Archdiocesan Resources
Catholic Men for Christ Conference
Catholic Women for Christ Conference
As for me and my house
A Guide for Confession

RETREATS

White House Retreat
White House Retreat is a Jesuit Retreat House based on The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. Three-day preached retreats are offered throughout the year. On each retreat there are four or five priests available for private conferences and the celebration of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.

Days of Recollection
A terrific way to find a bit of solitude and detachment. A day of quiet and prayer, spiritual nourishment and refreshment. Take advantage of one of these at our parish as we seek repentance on the path toward conversion.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Explore, Rediscover, and Reconnect. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a weekend getaway that helps married couples rediscover themselves as individuals and as a couple. The Weekend is God-centered and comes out of the roots of the Christian faith. Our Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are presented in the Roman Catholic Faith Expression. Guided by a team of volunteer couples and a priest, each participant explores their relationship with each other, their spouse, and their family.

Men’s Day of Recollection
During a Saturday in Lent, the parish sponsors a Day of Recollection for the men of the parish. It usually lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is held at St. Dominic High School. Msgr. Callahan gives presentations that assist the men to grow into a deeper spirituality. Topics in the past have dealt with Male Spirituality, Prayer, Forgiveness and Eucharistic Spirituality. More information concerning the Men’s Day of Recollection can be found in the bulletin and the parish website in February of each year. All men 18 years or older are invited to participate in this annual Day of Recollection during the season of Lent.

Women’s Day of Recollection
Annually St. Joseph’s Women’s Ministry offers during Lent a Day of Recollection.  You will experience presentations by well known and recognized spiritual leaders throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.

We address topics that include but are not limited to: Be known and Understood by our Loving God – We are Women at the Well, The Season of Lent for Women:  A Time to Reflect, Recreate and Renew, Holy Women Past, Whooly Women Present, just to name a few.

A typical day would include:  Continental Breakfast, prayer, speaker, a time for reflection, sharing, mass, lunch, free time for rosary or Stations of the cross and wrap up session. 

Women of 18 years and older are invited to attend this wonderful day of spirituality.

SCRIPTURE SPIRITUAL READING

Readings and Psalms for each Month.

Visit Catholic Online and search repentance,forgiveness and sin for Scripture readings.

Listen to Covenant Catholic Radio online.

Other Inspirational Resources for Books and Videos

Paulist Press
Ignatius Press
Our Sunday Visistor
National Catholic Register

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION

Jesus always welcomed the sinner. The parable of the prodigal son illustrates the joy with which the father receives his repentant son. When the relationship with the father is restored, joy and peace enter in.

“Who among us has not tasted the peace that comes from living in communion with God and our brothers and sisters? There is a longing in the human heart for joy, peace and the serenity of communion. There is a corresponding ache in the human heart when that communion is lacking” (Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, 11).

A personal encounter with Jesus in Confession restores baptismal grace and reconciles the penitent with the Church. The sacrament results in bringing peace and serenity to the individual and a revitalization of the community.

View Dr. Ray Guarendi’s video on confession.

PERSONAL TESTIMONIES

The Rosary

The rosary is not just a set of beads used as a guide for repetition. It is the symbol of the story of the life of Jesus. Knowing and meditating on his story causes growth in our spirits and strength for our souls. It connects us to him as human beings who experience the same things and enlightens us in our own struggles.

My name is Tina Coffey and I am a member of the Parish Council here at St. Joseph. This week I will continue our series of personal testimonies by sharing my story.

When I sat down to write this, I asked myself if this was possible. How am I going to truly reach hundreds of people in a matter of minutes? Rather than continue to tell myself how impossible this was, I decided to pick up the very tool that I was challenged to share with you today. I picked up my rosary and began to pray. The following is what God gave to me. I ask you to open your minds and hearts to hear my story.

What is the Rosary? It is the truth, a history, a weapon against evil, and finally a tool that can increase faith and grace.

The Rosary is the story of a real family and the events in their lives.

It is the story of good news, a visit with a family member you love, the birth of a new baby. It is proud moments parents have for their child and also the fear and worry a parent experiences.

It is life’s celebrations and miracles: baptisms, weddings, living out your calling,

It is tragedy: worry and fear, facing fears, facing the evil in this world, and finally facing and coming to terms with death.

It is overcoming the odds, winning a battle that seems impossible, experiencing justice, and eternal rewards.

All the events I named are not generic life events but real emotions and experiences felt and lived by Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.

The rosary is not just a set of beads used as a guide for repetition. It is the symbol of the story of the life of Jesus. Knowing and meditating on his story causes growth in our spirits and strength for our souls. It connects us to him as human beings who experience the same things and enlightens us in our own struggles.

I am a cradle catholic who lived a typical life of catholic school and going to mass on Sundays – not much else. I miscarried a baby 12 years ago and faced the question we all face. Why God?? Why have you abandoned me? When you ask that question, just as Jesus did on the cross, it is not abandonment but rather an invitation by God to make a choice: “Turn towards me and I will give you what you need or turn away and lose everything.”

I chose to turn toward him because I felt I had no alternative. I was desperate for children and I knew He was the only way. I found peace and safety in the rosary because I felt, “who would understand my pain better than the Blessed Mother.” It was a baby step, that has led to hundreds of baby steps in my faith.

Faith is not a giant leap you can take and be done with. It is a lifetime of steps forward and backward. Each step gives you growth, knowledge, peace, and understanding.

I challenge and invite each of you to pick up a rosary. Learn how to pray it. Take a baby step on your path towards communion with God.

As Catholics we use the terms communion and eucharist synonymously. Our goal as a parish council is to recognize and share that the eucharist is in fact the source and summit of our faith.

Answered Prayers

God really does answer our prayers (though not always the way we want of course) and many times He uses the people around us to answer them. The next time I feel a prompting to “do the right thing” – I’m going to listen to it. It may be God using ME to answer someone else’s prayer!

Hi!  My name is Annette McGarrahan, and I’d like to tell you a true story.

When I was about 20 years old, my father took a job in Baltimore, Maryland.

Since my family lived in the Midwest at the time, this was going to entail a big move, with a several-hundred-mile drive in the car.  My two sisters and I were all in college and working summer jobs – only my two brothers, who were 15 and 12, would be moving with my parents.  But my father had to leave to start the new job right away, so that left my mother to drive halfway across the country with my two brothers.

I hated the thought of Mom making that long drive by herself.  My brothers could keep her company, but they couldn’t give her a break from all that driving.  What could I do?  I was working an hourly job that didn’t provide for vacation time.  Finally, I just decided that I had to help my mom.  Even though it meant losing my paycheck for awhile, I just felt I had to drive over with her – it was the right thing to do.  So I went into my boss and told him I needed the time off, and explained why.  He kindly agreed to let me go.

I went home to tell my mom the good news, and she was very happy.  She told her parents (my grandparents) who lived about four blocks from us.  Of course, they were also very happy.  The next time my grandmother saw me, she said, “Annette, I’m so happy you’re going to drive with Peggy (my mom) over to Baltimore.  I was so worried about her, and I prayed that God would help us out and He did!”  As she told me this, a shiver ran down my spine, as I realized that God had used ME to answer my grandmother’s prayer!  I had never had that happen to me before – that awesome feeling that God had used me as His instrument.  It showed me in a very concrete way that the power of prayer is real.

God really does answer our prayers (though not always the way we want of course) and many times He uses the people around us to answer them.  So the next time I feel a prompting to “do the right thing” – I’m going to listen to it.  It may be God using ME to answer someone else’s prayer!

.

REPENTANCE AND CLERGY SEX ABUSE

Catholics today have their values and belief challenged as never before in recent memory. When the clergy sex abuse scandal broke nearly a decade ago, Catholics felt unable or unwilling to defend the church they grew up in. As the process of purification continues, learn how to face and answer this most difficult question. George Weigel offers his thoughts in his book The Courage to Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform and the Future of the Church.

Read the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ Policy Statement on Protecting God’s Children.

WHY BE CATHOLIC?

George Weigel sees the future of the Catholic Church as filled with daring possibilities. He proposes answers for questions such as: What does the church believe about other great religions? Is Jesus uniquely the Savior of the World?  Does belief in God limit our freedom? In his book The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored you will find answers that might surprise you.

View the Catholics Come Home video.

During Lent, Refuse MediocrityLearn More | Lent Information
+