St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Faith Community Presents a
Sacrament Semester Series

September 7 – November 23, 2014


Join us beginning September 7 – November 23, 2014
As we dive deeper than ever before into the beauty of the Seven Sacraments of Christ’s Church

Our parish is introducing a semester focus on the Sacraments. All ministries will focus on the Sacraments of the Church based on a parish outline. Sunday homilies will be available online after each week. Click here for detailed scheduling information.

If your family, relative or friend has experienced infertility, loss of a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, infant or childhood death, or unexpected death of a child before the age of 18, we hope that you will join us in remembering your child. Please feel free to extend an invitation to the Mass and reception to grandparents and other family members and friends that have supported you during these difficult times.

Did you know we have an ALL NEW Men's Ministry?

Check out what is being offered:

Men's Morning Fellowship
Wednesdays 6:30 - 7:30am

Mission Prep (Formation & Accountability)
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm in Room A

Men in Mission Annual Retreat
November 21 - 23, 2014 (in partnership with St. Timothy's parish)

For more info, email meninmission@standrew-cfc-org



Dear People of St. Andrew the Apostle:

Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the forgiveness of our sins and for the healing of our souls. Reconciliation and forgiveness, the showering upon us of God's mercy, is not a new thought in our Judaic-Christian tradition. John the Baptist was preparing people for the advent of the Messiah by a "baptism of repentance," signifying sorrow for past sins and being united to God in a new way. But the Baptist was also quick to point out that another was to come who would baptize "in the Spirit."

Jesus anointed His apostles with the Spirit twice:

  1. When he appeared to them in the Upper Room after His resurrection, breathed upon them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." (John 20:22-23)
  2. On the first Pentecost when the Spirit came upon the apostles like tongues of fire.
    In Jewish thought, the only one who could actually forgive or retain the effects of sin was God. Here, the Son of God pours out the Holy Spirit and specifically passes on the power of God to forgive and to retain the effects of sin. What a blessing to know that our sins are actually forgiven.

Did Jesus intend to pass on this power only to His apostles, or through the Apostles to pass on the power of forgiveness to priests? It is clear that the early Church understood the power as belonging to the priests. Reconciliation was regarded in the early Church as a "second Baptism," a renewal of our relationship with the Lord. It was conferred after a major sin such as murder, apostasy, or infidelity in marriage. After confessing their sins, members of the early church were assigned to the "Order of Penitents" to perform their penance, which often lasted several months to a year. They were actually absolved at the conclusion of their penance and readmitted to Communion at the celebration of Holy Thursday – the Feast of the Lord's Supper. Their penance included wearing sackcloth and ashes, standing outside the Church asking people for their prayers, and being dismissed from Mass at the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word.

Within monasteries a practice of spiritual direction arose where older monks gave spiritual guidance to younger monks. This included the confession of sins and absolution for the sins. People began coming to the monasteries seeking the same kind of spiritual guidance. Eventually the practice of individual reconciliation through confession and absolution – as we know it today – took hold in the Church.

There are FIVE steps in a good Confession:

  1. Developing an awareness of sin and a need for God. Most often this happens at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and we do an Examination of Conscience to determine our sins.
  2. True sorrow for our sins and a firm purpose of amendment…our choice to refrain from sin to the extent possible in thanksgiving for our experience of God's mercy.
  3. Confession to a priest, who acts in the person of and in the name of Jesus. This includes a Prayer of Sorrow (or Act of Contrition) for our sins and acceptance of a Penance.
  4. ABSOLUTION from our sins. Our sins are washed away into the ocean of God's mercy.
  5. Performance of our Penance.

Why must Catholics go to a Priest?

Jesus did not pass on the power of forgiveness to everyone. He passed it on to His Apostles, and through them to those who were later chosen and ordained as priests. While I suppose one could "take their chances" with some other way of seeking forgiveness from God, I would not recommend it, since this is the way Jesus set it up. Going to a priest puts a human face on God's mercy.

What is the purpose of the Penance?

It is easy to say to God, "I am sorry." It is more meaningful, however, to put our sorrow into concrete action that shows God how much we love Him and appreciate His offer of forgiveness. The Penance is an action that demonstrates both our sorrow for sin and our determination to do better in the future.

What is Sin in our World Today?

One way to think about sin is that it is an offense against God – a breaking of His commandments. When we think this way, we can use the Ten Commandments as a way of examining our conscience and determining what we need to confess and ask His forgiveness. Another way to think about sin is to think about the person we are becoming – through our actions and behaviors, are we becoming the best version of ourselves that God intends us to be? When we think about sin this way, we can use Saint Paul's characteristics of love as outlined in his first letter to the Corinthians (chapter 13, verses 4-7) for God is love and we are called to become the best version of ourselves by becoming more like Jesus, who is God.

LOVE IS PATIENT.
Am I becoming a person who is patient? What causes me to be impatient, especially with my brothers and sisters, with my parents, with my friends, with teachers and supervisors?
LOVE IS KIND.
Am I growing kindness, or at times do I hurt other people?
LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS
Do I become jealous when I see what other people have that I do not have? Am I grateful for the things I do have?
LOVE IS NOT POMPOUS, IS NOT INFLATED, IT IS NOT RUDE.
Have I been rude in my dealings with others?
LOVE DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN INTERESTS
Am I self-centered, always wanting more, rarely concerned with the needs of others?
LOVE IS NOT QUICK TEMPERED
Do I have a problem with my temper? Do I lose my temper a lot? What causes me to lose my temper?
LOVE DOES NOT BROOD OVER INJURY, IT DOES NOT REJOICE OVER WRONGDOING, BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.
Do I have trouble holding grudges against people who have injured me? Do I get pleasure from dong things that I know are wrong?
LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS, BELIEVES ALL THINGS, HOPES ALL THINGS, ENDURES ALL THINGS.
When I have doubts am I tempted to just give up my faith, or am I open to searching to know the TRUTH that Jesus teaches? Does Jesus see me as a faithful follower?
LOVE NEVER FAILS.
But I have failed to love and I need to go to Confessions, ask for forgiveness, and start again with God

Celebrating a Good Confession

This is accomplished by coming to a priest to confess one's sins. The priest stands in the person of Jesus and speaks in Jesus' name. You say, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been ___ (length of time) since my last Confession. I would like to ask the Lord's
forgiveness for the following sins:" (State your sins) End your Confession by saying, "And for all my sins I am truly sorry."

PENANCE (Satisfaction)
The priest will speak with you about your Confession and may or may not ask you
questions. Then he will assign a PENANCE, which is an activity that you are asked to perform in satisfaction of your sins, and to draw you closer to God. He will ask you if you are in agreement that the PENANCE assigned is something you are willing to do.

PRAYER OF THE PENITENT (Act of Contrition)
The priest will ask you to pray a prayer expressing both sorrow for your sins and a "firm purpose of amendment" which is your desire to change your life. You may use the Prayer found to the right, or an Act of Contrition that you learned earlier in life, or compose your own.

ABSOLUTION
In the name of Jesus, and acting in His person, the priest absolves (washes away) all of your sins. The Priest praises God and dismisses you: The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace. At this point you can leave the place of Confession and go to complete your penance. A nice exit would perhaps include, "Thank you, Father."

Read More Weekly Bulletin Letters ▸
Calendar
Mass Intentions
Tuesday, October 21
8:30 am
† Dan Demaro
Wednesday, October 22
8:30 am
† Ann Garner
7:00 pm
† Souls in Purgatory
Thursday, October 23
8:30 am
† Julia Butler
Friday, October 24
8:30 am
† Manuel Pantoja
Saturday, October 25
5:00 pm
† Joseph Cuong Tran
Sunday, October 26
7:30 am
† St. Andrew Parishioners
9:00 am
† Eileen Warburton
11:00 am
† Mike Peters
5:30 pm
† Lindsay Peralta
Monday, October 27
8:30 am
 
Announcements

Seasons of Hope Adult Bereavement Support Group

Mondays, Sep 15-Oct 20 -- 6:30-8:30pm, Room A
Wednesdays, Sep 17-Oct 22 -- 9:30-11:30am, Room A

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Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Wednesdays, 9:00-10:30am

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Events
OCT 25

16th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

OCT 26

St. Andrew's MOMS Halloween Party

OCT 29

Divorce and Separated Support

NOV 1

Angel Connection Mass of Remembrance & Hope

NOV 2

Thanksgiving Food Drive

NOV 6

24th Annual Unique Boutique

Ticket Sales begin Sat, Oct 11
Volunteers needed

Read more
NOV 8

A Morning of Reflection

presented by the Phoenix Diocesan Council of Catholic Women

Read more
NOV 10

Advent 33 Days to Morning Glory

NOV 21

Men of Iron Retreat

in conjunction with St. Timothy Catholic Church

Read more
NOV 27

3rd Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner

JAN 17

"Called to Protect" Safe Environment Training

SEP 22

Pilgrimage to Philadelphia and Pope Francis