"Jesus is always with you, even when you don’t feel His presence. He is never so close to you as He is during your spiritual battles.
He is always there, close to you, encouraging you to fight the good fight; He is there to ward off the enemy’s blows so you won’t be hurt."
~St. Padre Pio (1885-1968)
We are a people called together by God, led by the Holy Spirit and nourshed by the Word and Body of Christ. We become the living Word and Body of Christ through:
Note: If you missed last week's Mass, view it at "Prayer Corner"
Bishop Strickland’s Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Joseph Edward Strickland
By the Grace of God and the Apostolic See
Bishop of Tyler
TO THE PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED RELIGIOUS AND CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF OTHER FAITH TRADITIONS, AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL IN THE THIRTY-THREE COUNTIES OF NORTHEAST TEXAS THAT MAKE UP THE DIOCESE OF TYLER:
On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 decision establishing the legal right of two individuals of the same sex to legally marry in all 50 states. By doing so, the Court has acted in contradiction to their duty to promote the common good, especially what is good for families. I join with the Bishops of the United States in calling this decision a “tragic error.”
Let me unambiguously state at the outset that this extremely unfortunate decision by our government is unjust and immoral, and it is our duty to clearly and emphatically oppose it. In spite of the decision by the Supreme Court, there are absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God’s plan for marriage and the family. Regardless of this decision, what God has revealed and what the Church therefore holds to be true about marriage has not changed and is unchangeable.
Marriage is not just a relationship between human beings that is based on emotions and feelings. Rather, our Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Traditions tell us that God established true marriage with its own special nature and purpose, namely the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.
While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions.
While some of us may have family members who have same-sex attraction, and there are even some who are members of our local churches, this decision to require the legal recognition of so-called marriage between homosexual persons should in no way lead us to believe that the living out of this orientation or the solemnizing of relationships between two persons of the same sex is a morally acceptable option.
We know that unjust laws and other measures contrary to the moral order are not binding in conscience, thus we must now exercise our right to conscientious objection against this interpretation of our law which is contrary to the common good and the true understanding of marriage.
Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.
Finally, I call on the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to turn in prayer to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking their intercession for our nation that all of us may come to a greater understanding of the beauty, truth and goodness that is found in marriage as revealed to us by our Savior.
I instruct that this letter is to be publically read by the priest-celebrant following the proclamation of the Gospel at all Masses of obligation in the parishes, missions and chapels of Diocese of Tyler on the weekend of July 3-4, 2015.
Given at the Diocesan Chancery
On the 26th day of June
Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen
Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop of Tyler
St. Joseph's parish family congratulates Fr. Anthony McLaughlin, our new parish shepherd-designate, on attaining United States of America citizenship on June 9, 2015!!
Welcome to historic Saint Joseph Parish. We are a diverse parish that welcomes all visitors and new members with open arms. We embrace former Catholics who wish to make the journey home to the Eucharist, because Jesus said: " Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep." I invite you to call the church office at 903-935-2536 to learn more about "Coming Home!"
Because we have Masses daily and 4 Masses on weekends, we may not realize that you are visiting from out of town, that you are new to our parish family, or that you wish to learn more about our Catholic faith.
Therefore, we invite you to introduce yourself to the pastor as well as the fellow parishioners around you. We extend a warm welcome with open arms to you and your family!
Since the founding of St. Joseph's Parish in 1874, we have continued to be a warm, friendly, and down-to-earth people for whom worship, education, and social outreach are important. Come take a tour of this website and see the various elements of our wonderful parish unfold before you. We are very proud of our past and we enjoy one another’s company in the present. We continue to look toward to a future full of promise and hope.
Please come, we invite you to join us on our journey of Faith, together, as members of the One Body of Christ!
May God bless you abundantly,
Rev. Fr. Denzil Vithanage
"The Lord never tires of forgiving --- never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace not to tire of asking forgiveness, because He never tires of forgiving. Let us ask for this grace."
~ Pope Francis
Let our Prayers be Offered in Solidarity with those of Pope Francis
POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS
Universal: "That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come."
Evangelization: "That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life”.