Dear Village Family,
Hope you are all well and had a brilliant Thanksgiving! I'm grateful that Thanksgiving led us into the Season of Advent, so we can properly prepare for our Lord's coming again.
Some of you have asked questions about our Retreat Center for next weekend's Fall Retreat. We are headed to Somerset Beach Campground, and will be staying in the Red Oak Lodge. Somerset Beach Campground owns a large expanse of land and has a number of large conference centers on site, as well as a separate Cafeteria Hall. We go to this site every other year for our Fall Retreat- and it has been great!
We will all be staying together in the Red Oak Lodge, which is carpeted, has internal heat & AC, as well as a fireplace in the main meeting space. The main meeting space is bordered on two sides by hallways (that do not touch). We designate one hallway for guy's rooms and one hallway for girl's rooms. All rooms have their own attached bathroom. For safety reasons- it's nice to have everyone under the same roof. We have never had a problem on retreat having the boys and girls under the same roof, and communicate clear and strict rules about no boys/girls being allowed in the room of the opposite gender. In order to avoid any future difficulties with this, I sleep in the main meeting space which separates the hallways.
Teens, if you aren't sure about whether or not to join us- let me just say I have seen some amazing transformation through Retreats! One teen said that when he came on our retreat he heard God's voice for the first time- and his life has been different ever since. So many teens have been overwhelmed by the realization of God's personal love for them. And in addition to taking your relationship with God to the next level, you'll have some quality time with other teens to develop solid friendships!
---The deadline for Fall Retreat registration is Monday, 12/7, after which there will be an additional $10 fee if space is available.
---This Thursday: St Francis Xavier @ The Dead Theologians Society!
---Your Question of the Week: "Mary and Joseph were seriously chaste their whole lives?"
You are in my prayers!
The Village News
This Thursday: St Francis Xavier @ The Dead Theologians Society
St Francis Xavier is known for being the greatest missionary in the history of the Church! St Francis Xavier once baptized over 40,000 people in just one month! Join us tomorrow as we celebrate his Feast Day by discovering the life he lived for God’s greater glory. Through the Saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society, or DTS, inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow! Come on out and join us next week on Thursday from 6:30-8pm.
--6:30pm: social time in the Parish Offices
--7-8pm: gather in the Church choir loft for prayer (the Elizabeth St door is always open)
--8-8:30pm: return to Parish Offices for hot cocoa & snacks
This Sunday: St John Vianney & the Year of the Priest
Pope Benedict XVI has announced that this is the Year of the Priest– in celebration of the 150th death anniversary of St John Vianney, patron of all parish priests. Our Pope called on our priests to follow in the footsteps of St John Vianney– to let themselves be captivated by Christ. Stop on by this Sunday from 5-6:30 as we discover the life of St John Vianney– explore the daily demands of our priests– and find practical ways to support our priests!
Fall Retreat, Next Weekend, 12/11-12/13
Village Retreatants escape from the stress and hectic schedule of everyday life to be welcomed into the rich prayer life of the Church with Morning Prayer and Night Prayer, in addition to Holy Mass. Together we will encounter Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be blessed by God’s Real Presence in Eucharistic Adoration.
As G.K. Chesterton once said, “Seriousness is not a virtue!” Village Retreats are also packed with free time, prize giveaways, and games. Past favorites have included Mafia, Jenga Tournaments, Epic ERS Battles, Catch Phrase, and Ultimate Frisbee. Of course the staple of every true Village Retreat; we’ll be going on our late-night Taco Bell run Saturday night!
The name of our Retreat Center- Somerset Beach Campground- can be a bit misleading. They own a large expanse of land and have a number of large conference centers on site, as well as a separate Cafeteria Hall. We will all be staying together in the Red Oak Lodge, which is carpeted, has internal heat & AC, as well as a fireplace in the main meeting space. The main meeting space is bordered on two sides by hallways (that do not touch). We designate one hallway for guy's rooms and one hallway for girl's rooms. Each room has a private attached bathroom. We stayed at the Red Oak Lodge just two years ago for our Fall Retreat and had a great time!
Final registration for Fall Retreat is due Monday, 12/7, after which there will be an additional $10 late fee if space is still available.
Your Question of the Week: Mary and Joseph were seriously chaste their whole lives?
All Christians believe that Mary was a virgin before and at the time of the birth of her son Jesus. In fact, the Virgin Birth was promised by God through the Prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament: “The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” The Gospel of Matthew confirms that Mary conceived Jesus when she was yet a virgin and she and Joseph did not have marital relations before Jesus was born- see Matthew Chapter 1, Verses 18-25.
Now that said, some Christians believe that after Joseph and Mary were married they had children other than Jesus.
---To support this belief some will point to various scripture passages that refer to “Jesus’ brothers.” The trick is, Jesus and his contemporaries spoke Aramaic. The Aramaic language uses the same word to describe both brothers and cousins. In fact there is no way to distinguish a true blood brother in the language. That said, these passages cannot be used to prove that Joseph and Mary had children aside from Jesus.
---Some people believe Mary and Joseph had children aside from Jesus because the Gospel writers use the term “first-born” to describe Jesus. The first-born son had legal rights according to the Mosaic Law, so this would have been used to refer to an only child as well as the eldest of brothers. So there isn’t any real evidence here suggesting marital relations.
Neither the Gospels nor the accounts of the early Church suggest that Mary had any other children besides Jesus. In fact, the faithful have always held that Jesus was Mary’s only child and that she remained a virgin for her whole life. You can also check out a historical document called the Protoevangelium of James which was written around 120AD that supports this teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity. As early as 293AD the Church Fathers explicitly spoke about Mary being ever virgin.
Today some Protestants are unaware of the early Church’s confidence regarding Mary’s perpetual virginity and the proper interpretation of "the brethren of the Lord." Yet even so- many of the Protestant Reformers themselves—Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli—honored the perpetual virginity of Mary and recognized it as the teaching of the Bible.
There have been a number of other marriages throughout history in which the husband and wife maintained perpetual virgins. For example, St Cecilia and her husband Valerius chose to live a married celibate life together! Their intention was to live a life focusing mostly on prayer and charitable works. In fact St Therese of Lisieux’s parents lived a married celibate life together for some time, until their parish priest encouraged them to bear children! Now that we know so much more about the proper role of sexual love in marriage, men and women are discouraged from living together as perpetual virgins. However God’s plan for Mary, the Mother of God, who held the Word Incarnate within her womb was pretty special, and according to His plan for her, she remained ever-virgin!
Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say:“The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin". (#499)