Archive for "Newsletter Spring 2012"

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Newsletter "No Doubt", Newsletter Spring 2012 May 28, 2012 No Comments

No-Doubt Archive

Editorial Team

Editor-in-Chief
Yolanda Rodriguez
Copy Editor
Mary Cantrell
Digital Layout
Patricia VanBuren
Printed Layout
Kristina McGovern
Collaborators
Church Progress
Fr. Jim Kuczynski
Gus Scannapieco
Spirituality
Yeyme Reyes
Andrew McGovern
Ministries
Jerry Sweeney
José Luis Ocaña
Activities
Sue Bunda
Diversity
Jim Hagan
Families
Lauren Russell
Common Interest
Maxine Thurman

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sttacommunications@stthomastheapostle.org

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No Doubt!

Welcome to our St. Thomas the Apostle newsletter NO-DOUBT! I am very pleased you are taking the time to learn more about the people, the groups and the activities that constitute our parish life here at St. Thomas.

The number one goal for the newsletter is to improve communication throughout our faith community. As your pastor, one of the most regular refrains I hear from parishioners is, “I didn’t know that!”
“No Doubt” can be one step toward addressing this.

You may wonder why we have titled this “No Doubt.” Our patron, St. Thomas the Apostle, often has been referred to as the “Doubting Thomas.” It was not that he did not have faith in the Risen Jesus; it was more a desire on his part to have “no doubt” as he put his hands into the wounds of the crucified and risen Lord. He had a personal encounter with the Lord and he believed.
In each edition you will:

  • Updates on our efforts to build a new church
  • What’s happening in our multitude of ministries
  • Photos of events and parishioners
  • Meet a Family Feature
  • Learn more about our priests
  • Inspirational Articles
  • … and more

I’m hopeful that you may want be a part of this project by sharing something about your experience of parish life at St. Thomas, or about sharing in the many ministries and activities of our St. Thomas Community. You can reach out to Yolanda Rodríguez at yoly711@aol.com, or any of the other members of the newsletter committee to help work on future newsletters via e-mail.
“No Doubt” is one of the means that can help us to become better engaged with each other and in the mission of our parish community. No Doubt = Conviction. May this new instrument of communication help us to share the convictions of our faith, and the convictions of our discipleship and service among this faith community we know and love as St. Thomas the Apostle.

‒ Father Jim

Eucharist—The True Presence of Christ

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Andrew McGovern

As Catholics, we believe that the bread and the wine that we see at Mass are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. If we stop to think about it, how can this happen? Many Protestant Churches have a more symbolic understanding of the Eucharist as a remembrance of Christ rather than the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is true that the Eucharist is a memorial of Christ’s suffering and death and ultimately His glorious resurrection. But it is so much more than a memorial. It is the BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, and DIVINITY of Jesus Christ. Some Recent polls taken in the United States tell us that only 30% or 3 out of 10 Catholic Americans believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is a very sad statistic.

To find the truth of the Eucharist, we need to open to the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, verses 22-59. I encourage you to read the whole text, but in this article we will concentrate on certain verses. Let’s look at verse 35 to begin. The people that Christ is talking to are asking for the bread of life. They are searching for eternal life, they are searching for truth. How many of us can say that we are searching for truth? We are always on a quest to find what is true and right for our lives, much like the people who heard Christ. Christ’s answer to these people proclaims, “I am the bread of life.” (Jn. 6:35) The people are asking and Jesus is telling them that what they are asking for is right in front of them. Jesus is using the words “I AM” He is telling these people that He is what they are looking for. He is not saying “I have the bread” or “I can get you the bread” He is saying that “I am the bread.”

A little further down in the text in verse 51 Christ tells the people, “I am the LIVING bread… and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (Jn. 6:51) Christ takes the bread statement a step further. He is saying that the bread that He is, isn’t just regular bread, it is Living Bread and that it is truly His flesh. Now at this, the people went into a rage. To eat the flesh of a man was detestable a punishable by death according to the Law. Christ had every chance to clarify and tell them, “Don’t worry, it’s only a sign.” Instead He said, “Truly, Truly, I say to you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life within you.” (Jn. 6:53) Christ takes it a step further and tells them exactly what He means. “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” (Jn. 6:55)

Now we take this discourse in John’s Gospel and we relate it to the Last supper narrative in the Synoptic Gospels and we see the Eucharistic Tradition in all of its beauty. “And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them saying ‘This is my body which is given for you.” (Lk. 21:19) Christ is saying that it IS His body given for us. When I introduce my wife to people, I say “this IS my wife, Kristina.” When I say this, I’m not saying this is kind of like my wife or she represents my wife. I’m saying that she IS my wife. This is the same for Jesus. This IS His body, not a symbol or a representation.

Christ has given His apostles the power to change the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. This Eucharistic action occurs at every Mass through the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread and the wine, become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we are in communion with Christ and each other in the Eucharist, do we appreciate the gift given to us? Do we stay after Communion to give thanks to Jesus for the gift He just gave us? We have to remember that Judas left the Mass early too, after taking the Body and Blood of Christ…

Legion of Mary Celebrates the 2012 Acies

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Frances Ohanenye

The Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory celebrated south Atlanta Curia’s Acies in March with a morning mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King Church in Atlanta.
The Latin word, Acies, means “an army ranged in battle array.” The assemblage of Mary’s Legion was one of fierce devotees. Members walked in reverent pairs to the Legion Altar.
Attendees soulfully glorified Christ with the hymn, “Holy Is His Name,” and adored Mother Mary with the entrance song, “Sing of Mary.” A short pause for thanksgiving to our Lord followed the mass, marking the official beginning of the 2012 Acies Ceremony. Read more »

Feed the Hungry

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by John Boyle

I joined the Feed the Hungry mission several months ago, after taking the Just Faith course at St. Thomas.

The Feed the Hungry mission is direct and simple. It follows the Catholic Church’s social teachings. The gospels say, “In as much as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.” (Matthew 25:4)

One of the social teachings of the church is the special option for the poor and vulnerable. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2444 we read: “Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to ‘be able to give to those in need.’ It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.” Read more »

Worldwide Marriage Encounter and W.E.D.S.

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Maria Croshaw

What is a Worldwide Marriage Encounter?

The mission of Worldwide Marriage Encounter is to proclaim the value of marriage and Holy Orders in the Church and in the world.
The Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is a positive and personal experience offering married couples an opportunity to learn a technique of loving communication which they can use for the rest of their lives. It is a chance to look deeply into their relationship with each other and with God. It is a time to share their feelings, hopes and dreams with each other. Read more »

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Continuing a Tradition of Caring

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Albert Thomas

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul continues the ministry started by the Blessed Frederic Ozanam in 1833. Frederic was 20 years old and a student at Sorbonne University in Paris. It was post-revolution France, when poverty and hunger were rampant. During a discussion with others at the university, Frederic and his friends were challenged to put Catholic creed into action. On April 23, 1833, Frederic met with several friends and started the Conference of Charity. The mission was simple: they collected donations of food and took them to the needy who lived in the immediate vicinity.
Frederic was deeply inspired by St. Vincent de Paul, who lived in France between 1581 and 1660, and decided to rename the Conference of Charity as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Frederic worked hard to get friends in other cities to do the same kind of charity that he and his friends had started. He died in 1853. But the society grew rapidly and today, it is active in 142 countries and is estimated to have about 700,000 members. The society came to the United States in 1845 and to Atlanta in 1903.
Read more »

Getting to Know Each Other – I

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments

In each issue, we will introduce you to a new family and one who has been at St. Thomas for many years.
If you are interested in having your family featured, please let us know!

E-mail sttacommunications@stthomastheapostle.org

  • Families featured in our May 2012 newsletter were interviewed by Lauren Russell Read more »

Feed the Hungry – Love

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Johanna Baldwin

His name was Love. He was one of our favorites on the street.

Love was one of the first people we got to know in the early days of our ministry. The group started with some of the Just Faith graduates who got together each Saturday to hand out food to the hungry. Read more »

Moving Forward in Hope: Our New Church Update

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by MFIH-Capital Campaign Committee

As of May 2012, the pledges made to our Moving Forward In Hope (MFIH) stands at $3,162,000 a total that continues to fluctuate slightly with pledges being added and some pledges being reduced by parishioners who move out of the parish. These updates are posted weekly in the parish bulletin. Of the total amount pledged, we have thus far received payments of $937,000. With our goal for our building campaign at $5,000,000, it is important to point out that in order to commence construction of a new church, we must have collected at least one half of the stated goal, an amount of $2,500,000.

Recently, the MFIH committee met to discuss where we are and how we might continue to move forward with this vital campaign to build a new church. The committee discussed a program to help parishioners develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, whether through Evangelization Retreats, follow-up efforts based upon the results of our Gallup survey and related stewardship efforts to name a few options. We feel the more faithful we are, the more we will be willing to support God’s work in our parish community, including the need for more space which would be substantially addressed with the building of a new church. In May 2012, we plan to reintroduce the sale of Memorial Garden bricks. Each brick sells for $200. With 9,832 bricks still remaining to be purchased, there is a potential for $1,960,000 toward the campaign. Various programs on the brick sales are being considered at this time In the near future a letter from our pastor will be sent out to those who have not yet pledged, appealing to their sacrificial giving possibilities to further help the campaign. We need everyone who can to participate in this most important endeavor of our parish.

In addition, there has been continued activity to acquire the home adjacent to the church. We have presented an offer that to date has not been accepted. Also, we are in the process of acquiring additional land adjacent to the rear parking lot for more parking which is needed at some weekend masses.

If you have any questions, please contact Gus Scannapieco, our Parish Administrator, at 404-234-0034 (direct line.)

  • Visit Capital campaign main page HERE

The Lector Ministry: A Commitment to Read the Holy Word

Newsletter Spring 2012 May 01, 2012 No Comments
Submitted by Joe Yorio

We number fifty, give or take. We make an annual commitment to read at any one of the five English-speaking weekend masses and other special times, such as Holy Days and at Ignite. The readers prepare the faithful for the proclamation of the “good news” and the homily following. Read more »