Again, happy blessed Easter. Today is the last day of the Octave of Easter, the 8 holiest days of the year. In the Catholic Church, each of these days are celebrated almost as if they were Easter Sunday itself. However, we continue to celebrate the season of Easter for 50 days, until the Pentecost, which this year is Sunday, May 15th. Catholics prepare for Easter for 40 days, but we celebrate Easter for 50 days.
Today, the Second Sunday of Easter, is special for another reason. In 2000, Saint Pope John Paul II declared the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. Devotion of Divine Mercy came from the writings and personal devotion of Saint Faustian Kowalska, a Polish nun who born in 1905 and died in 1938. The picture of Divine Mercy is Jesus with white and red rays emanating from Jesus’ heart.
Because today is Divine Mercy Sunday, and doubly so because we are in the Jubilee Year of Mercy, today (Sunday, April 3) at 3 PM we are going to have a Divine Mercy Holy Hour at St. John the Baptist in Minnesota Lake. We will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, have Eucharistic Adoration, and Confessions will be available. We will finish about 4 PM. What a great and holy way to spend the afternoon of Divine Mercy Sunday. I hope to see you there.
Switching gears completely, I would like to give my two cents about colleges. It is and was the season of looking at colleges. I am actually very, very weary of most Catholic colleges and universities. Many are Catholic in name, but some of their professors do not teach the Truth, the teachings of the Catholic faith. Unless a person is from a super Catholic family, since he or she are at a Catholic college, the person assumes that what the Catholic professor is saying is what we believe as Catholics, when in fact often it is not. It is much better to go to a secular college or university with a good Newman Center than to go to a lukewarm Catholic one. One way to make sure they have an awesome Newman Center is to see if FOCUS missionaries are on that campus. You can check this at: http://www.focus.org/give/campuses. FOCUS (Fellowship Of Catholic University Students) is an amazing organization that trains young people (just out of college) how to evangelize Jesus and the Catholic faith to college students. Now there are about six universities that, if I had kids, I would have no qualms about sending my child there. Not only are the professors, but the students at these universities and colleges are on fire for Christ, the Catholic Church, and her teachings. The six Father Vogel approved Catholic colleges are Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia; Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio; Ava Maria in Ave Maria, FL (Side note: this college was started by the guy who started Dominos Pizza.); St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California; Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas; and newest on my list, University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. These colleges teach their students that we are to be in the world, but not of the world; that the universe is best understood through the lens of the Catholic faith.
Enough of my rumblings. Have a blessed week continuing to celebrate our new life in Jesus’ resurrection.