Jozef De Veuster was once a gregarious boy who loved life — even a skating champion near his Tremelo, Belgium, hometown. Brought up in a faithful family, he chose to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and entered religious life with the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1859. Better known by his religious name, Damien, this saint had the heart of a missionary and was known to pray each day to become one. In 1863, Damien volunteered for Hawaiian missions in place of his sickly priest-brother who was supposed to go. Soon, his zeal for souls earned St. Damien De Veuster the title “apostle to the lepers,” and ultimately led to his canonization by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
We’ve been hearing from a lot of parents who are frustrated that the pandemic is stopping them from being involved in the ministries they are involved in at their parishes or in their communities. It’s good to want to make a difference, but many of us are missing out on a tremendously important ministry opportunity. Our homes! Did you know that, as far as the Church is concerned, parenting is a ministry. Although we tend to think of “ministry” as “ the churchy stuff we do at church—or to serve others.” Ministry is really any activity that enables us to communicate God’s love to another person. If that isn’t parenting, I don’t know what is. On Teaching Catholic Kids are some ways you can practice the Corporal Works of Mommy (and Daddy Too) to experience and encourage a more meaningful spirit of service in the home.
Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatric physician, a working mother, an avid outdoorswoman, and a loving wife best known for her decision to not abort her child when complications arose during her fourth pregnancy. However, she displayed heroic virtue throughout her life, joining the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the age of twelve, and Catholic Action later in life. She earned her medical degree in 1949 intending to use her skills to help the poor in Brazil, but when poor health prevented that, she opened her own office, focusing especially on helping poor women. Discover more about her life.
One of the sad consequences of the coronavirus outbreak is the separation many of us feel from our parish communities. Public Masses are suspended and parish gatherings, including religious education classes, are canceled. But families can still stay connected to God and his Church during the COVID-19 crisis, and they can form their children in the faith as well. It begins with seeing the family through the eyes of our faith. Read the ways your family can be a true domestic church during this time.
Maybe you remember we celebrated the feast of St. Joseph on March 19. Today, May 1, we celebrate another feast dedicated to Jesus’ earthly father, that of St. Joseph the Worker. Find out why two feasts.