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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

Dating - What's Too Far?

In today's culture it often seems as though dating has become more of a common past-time and less a search for a suitable marriage partner. Because of this, along with the general decline of moral standards in society, it is often the case that unmarried couples become so physically involved with one another that they can no longer clearly see what is appropriate and modest behavior before God. This is unfortunate, because it is difficult to discern a life-long marriage partner when the eyes of the couple are clouded by uncontrolled sexual passions and desires.


Among dating couples who do desire to live in the grace of God, some of the common questions asked are, "What are we allowed to do?" "Have we gone too far?" "Have we sinned?" There are some general rules that unmarried couples should abide by in order to foster the virtues of chastity, charity and self-control in the relationship so that the couple can truly come to know one another and God's Will for them.

First of all, we must look at the actions of the couple itself.
There are two very different kinds of actions.

Directly Stimulating Actions

The first is the action that is, by its very nature, so closely related to the sexual desires that they serve no other purpose except to stimulate and arouse the persons involved. Some examples of these would be: prolonged and passionate kissing, impure embracing or petting, and sexual intercourse.

These actions are always gravely wrong between unmarried people, and no "good intention" can ever make them right. If the action is committed intentionally and with sufficient reflection, then it is a mortal sin. If there is no reflection, as can happen sometimes when an impure action occurs without any forethought or intention at all, one does not sin mortally. However, it does not change the fact that the act itself was gravely wrong and one should be very careful not to let it happen again.

Indirectly Stimulating Actions

The second kind of action is anything that is in and of itself morally good or neutral, which does not have as its sole purpose the stimulation of the sexual passions. Some examples of these would be: dancing with a boyfriend/girlfriend, holding hands, kissing, affectionate or friendly embracing. While these acts are good or neutral in and of themselves and serve another purpose entirely, they can still have the effect of causing one to become aroused.

Is this then sinful? For every person, the answer can be different, according to his or her intent for doing the action.

Impure Intent

Any boy who has the intention of dancing with a girl in order to become aroused, or in order to arouse her, has already sinned against chastity and charity even though the dance itself might have been morally neutral. His intent was impure. Another example would be if that same boy found that while affectionately embracing his girlfriend he became aroused, and he continued to embrace her with the intent of further arousing himself or arousing her, even though the embrace itself was nothing at all impure.

Pure Intent

The boy who modestly kisses a girl and becomes aroused, but does not intend the arousal has not sinned even venially. Nor does he sin if he remains aroused, but does not will or desire the arousal. However, as soon as he begins to enjoy the arousal or desire it, then it is time to stop whatever action is causing the arousal, even if it is a morally good or neutral action. To continue would be to commit sin.

Near Occasions of Sin

Since people are different, different things can be for them near occasions of sin. By near occasion of sin we mean anything that "sets the stage" TO sin. For example, a couple may know from experience that every time they sit alone in the dark watching movies, the situation between them almost always tends to "go too far." For the sake of their souls then, it would be prudent for them to watch movies with the lights on, or with other friends in the room.

What if they continue doing what they know causes them to sin gravely? Then that too would be sinful, since intentionally putting oneself in an occasion of sin is a sign that one is willing to flirt with disaster - one is willing to sin, if it "just happens."

There are three basic things to keep in mind while dating:

Never seek out anything solely for the pleasure it brings to us. To do these would be a violation of chastity because we lack control of our sexual desires and appetites, and a violation of charity because we see the other person as an object to our pleasure.

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YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

MAY 1
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER

This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint. Read More »

MAY 2
ST. ATHANASIUS

St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly.. Read More »

MAY 3
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES

Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus'.. Read More »

MAY 4
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS

Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840. Read More »

MAY 5
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA

St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Read More »

MAY 6
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL

Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town.. Read More »

MAY 7
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI

Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months. Read More »

MAY 8
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day. Read More »

MAY 9
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI

Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law. Read More »

MAY 10
ST. ANTONINUS

St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power. Read More »

MAY 11
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI

St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701. Read More »

MAY 12
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them. Read More »

MAY 13
ST. ANDREW FOURNET

St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were.. Read More »

MAY 14
ST. MATTHIAS

St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples. Read More »

MAY 15
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER

Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of.. Read More »

MAY 16
ST. UBALD

St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education. Read More »

MAY 17
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school. Read More »

MAY 18
ST. JOHN I

St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, heodoric the Goth.. Read More »

MAY 19
ST. CELESTINE V

Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small. Read More »

MAY 20
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor. Read More »

MAY 21
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD

Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered..Read More »

MAY 22
ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well. Read More »

MAY 23
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI

St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them. Read More »

MAY 24
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND

St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom. Read More »

MAY 25
VENERABLE BEDE

Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673. Read More »

MAY 26
ST. PHILIP NERI

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him. Read More »

MAY 27
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY

St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission.. Read More »

MAY 28
BLESSED MARGARET POLE

Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole. Read More »

MAY 29
ST. MAXIMINIUS

St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul. Read More »

MAY 30
ST. JOAN OF ARC

St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer. Read More »

MAY 31
THE VISITATION OF MARY

Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby. Read More »

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