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Volume 26 @ Number 18 @ January 24, 2016 @ $15 per Year

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Three Pre- Lent Saints

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The Bi-Weekly Publication of The Catholic Diocese of Lexington

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Deacon Skip Olson

Cross Roads Staff

LEXINGTON. The Diocese of Lex- ington kicked offthe Jubilee Year of Mercy, as well as the New Year, with the first of several scheduled diocesan celebrations. The Mass for the Healing of Families was held on Saturday, January 9 at noon at the Cathedral of Christ the King. Bishop John Stowe, O.F.M., Conv. was the main cel- ebrant. Fathers John List, pastor of St. Peter, Lexington and John Moriarty, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Lexington, concele- brated. More than 400 were in at- tendance, with nearly half of those from the Hispanic community. For an hour and a half before the Mass, confessions were heard

Mass for Healing of Families kicks off Year of Mercy in the diocese

at six stations throughout the Cathedral, with five priests and Bishop John participating. They ended just moments before the Opening Procession. Mike Allen, diocesan director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life helped coordinate and promote the Mass. "My expecta- tion for the event was that it would be well attended, since just about everybody is dealing with some sort of family struggle. Sometimes it helps just to talk about it and acknowledge that such challenges are a reality for all families -- being Catholic, even devoutly so, doesn't exempt us from learning to love and forgive each other." In his homily, Bishop John said that no one is autonomous. "We all depend on our families just as we depend on God." He reminded those in attendance that Jesus was born into a particular family at a particular time and place. "The Holy Family didn't choose what was easy or gratifying as a fam- ily, but rather what God had pre- scribed for them as a family. We recall the pilgrimages of the Holy Family [to Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth] as we begin this one." He said that it's all too easy to resent, to pass on prejudices, and the ugliness of sin in our families," but that "the Scriptures proclaimed today call us as fami- lies to hope." St. Paul, in the sec- ond reading from 1 Corinthians, describes a sacrificial love that the Holy Family employed. And Pope Francis reminds us of those magic words that can heal fami- lies: 'Thank you I forgive you I love you.' We need to say them often, and with sincerity."

Over 400 attended the Mass for Healing of Families Jan. 9. CR photo: Cindy Olson

Elise Harris

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN NEWS). In his general audience during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis fo- cused on the common baptism Christians share, saying the strength of this bond is stronger than existing divisions. We are truly the Holy People of God, even if, due to our sins, we are not yet a people fully united," the Pope said in his Jan. 20 general audience, adding that "the mercy of God, which works in baptism, is stronger than our divisions." The pope's audience, which took place in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, fell during the

Pope Francis: For Christians, baptism is stronger than differences

Week of Prayer Christian Unity. It runs Jan. 18-25, and is organized by the Pontifi- cal Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Commission on Faith and the Order of the World Council of Churches. This year's theme, "Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord," is taken from chapter two of the First Book of Peter, and was chosen by a group from Latvia, which is home to a strong presence of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians. Bishop John Stowe, O.F.M., Conv., will participate in the annual Prayer for Chris- tian Unity service Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., in Pax Christi Church in Lexington. Inclement weather pending, the service had not been cancelled at press time. In his address, Pope Francis pointed to a 12th century baptismal font in the Lu- theran Cathedral of Riga in Latvia, where St. Mainardo evangelized. The font, he said, is sign of the origin of the faith recognized by all Christians in Latvia, and explained that this origin "is our common baptism." Referring to the Second Vatican Coun- cil document "Unitatis redintegratio", the pope affirmed that baptism "establishes a sacramental bond of unity which links all who have been reborn by it." Above all, this shared baptism means that all are sinners and are in need of be- ing saved, redeemed, and freed from evil,

Photo: Elise Harris/CNA

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