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TOGO MISSION

We Welcome Fr. Bill Ryan to St Stephen Martyr!

Togo Mission

This weekend, Fr. Ryan will be preaching and taking up a collection during  all our Masses, as he has for the past few years.  Fr. Ryan is a priest of the Archdioceses of Washington serving for the past eleven years as a missionary in Togo, Africa.  He is the founding pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in a poverty-stricken rural area that  includes thirty six villages. The mission combines developmentprojects with evangelization, bringing Christ to the poor in word, deed and Sacrament.  For more information, visit togomissionparish.org.

           

  

 

In Celebration of our 150th Year Jubilee

The Illumination of our Cross and Bells

Through a generous gift from a parishioner, we have the cross on top of our bell tower, and the beautiful bells illuminated, which helpcreate a lovely character to our neighborhood. Be sure to notice how this illumination creates a focal point and an identifiable landmark for our Foggy Bottom/West End neighborhood; a beautiful and spiritual uplift for all who have the eyes to see.

 

CHANGE A PERSON’S LIFE FOR $20 A MONTH

Rarely do we have an opportunity to do so much for so long a time for so little. Father George Daniel of St. Paul’s Parish in Lahore, Pakistan recently visited us and will be returning each year.  His parish of 1600 families, includes many students too destitute to afford an education. This condemns them and their families to continued subsistence living. The Christians in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are among the world’s poorest and most discriminated against.

For twenty dollars a month you can  provide a technical education to a  student which will lift him and his family from destitution. The Salesian Fathers, the religious community to which our own Father Ledesma belongs, runs the school, the Don Bosco Technical Institute. Employers come to the Institute at the end of the two year training program to directly hire their students ! It’s life transforming in a society where Christians are typically either unemployed or perform the lowest paying tasks.

If you wish to sponsor a student, Father Daniel will make sure you learn  something about the student, probably receive a picture and periodic updates. We have established a separate  account, the St. Stephen Martyr Scholarship Fund, to provide the help these young people need. You can write a check to the Fund, provide cash ; or on the memo line of your offertory check  simply write , for example “ SSM Fund $20”. 

There are also many children whose families cannot afford elementary education ($6 a month) or junior high education ($10 a month). Memo line e.g. “SSM Fund $6”.

According to the custom of the Church in Pakistan, Father Daniel spends a great deal of time visiting homes. Every two hundred families are assisted by a trained catechist. So you can be sure that the student or students you help are well known to the pastoral staff. Are you able and willing to make a difference? If so, start as soon as you wish. I’ve  already made my contribution and will continue to do so.

Pakistan Scholarship Fund 

A  worshiper at Masson July 2nd, visiting from Texas, heard us speak of the need to help provide a life changing education to impoverished Christian youth in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This week he generously sent a check for $960 to pay for the two year training program for two students at the Saint Don Bosco Technical Institute in Lahore. So far our Pakistani Scholarship Fund has raised $18,077.

 

THE DON BOSCO TECHNICAL INSTITUTE; LAHORE, PAKISTAN

The Don Bosco Technical   Institute for Boys in Lahore, Pakistan, is a trade school,      educating mainly Christian but also some Muslim youths,  ranging in age from 15 to 22.  The center, run and heavily subsidized by the Salesians of Saint Don Bosco, opened in 2000 with 10 Catholic boarding students. The Salesian community is the religious order to which our own Father Ledesma belongs, though he works mainly in Thailand.

Spread over an area the equivalent of three football fields, the center offers technical skills to youths, most of whom dropped out of school because continuing education was beyond the financial means of their families. Salesian Father Miguel Angel Ruiz, the center's principal, took charge in 2002. The center has expanded from one to four technical trades: automotive, electrical, metalwork, and air conditioning and refrigeration. Students in its two-year program learn skills in each of these trades. 

The Institute produces skilled manpower to respond toPakistan's annual need for 1 million skilled workers in local industries. In July 2011 the Chairman of the Technical and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) visited the Institute. Impressed by the cutting edge laboratories of the institute he proposed a plan of cooperation between the Centre and the Government to replicate the advances in other institutes in the country. 

In 2012 the former principal Father Miguel Angel Ruiz, a  Salesian Father , was awarded the Medal of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholicby the King of Spain. The present principal is Father Peter Zeigo, a Salesian Father from Italy. The school was founded by Father Hans, a Salesian from Australia.

 

Your donation of $20 a month to theScholarship Fund will enable a destitutestudent to obtain a technical educationwhich will assure him and his familyof a decent life.

 

FORMED

The Archdiocese is Encouraging all Parishes to subscribe to the FORMED Catholic Internet Service. This ministry has joined together many Catholic  on-line services. Subscribing to this service gives every parishioner anduniversity student  free access to Catholic movies and videos, all the talks in the Lighthouse Ministry series ( whose discs are available in the vestibule),  Catholic Answers (so parishioners and students can provide reasons for Catholic belief when we are challenged by professors or grandchildren), children’s Catholic videos and talks on the saints, a full course on the Catholic Faith, sacramental preparation on line, Catholic documentaries, Scripture studies, audiobooks,  videos on the Sunday readings, downloadable books, materials for the Spanish speaking, etc., with new ministries joining the common effort all the time. The subscription cost is about $1600 a year, which would also make a great gift to the community if a donor is so inclined.

 

Fr. George Daniel visiting us from Lahore, Pakistan

I was born a Catholic Christian. Christians are a tiny minority in an overwhelming Muslim Pakistan, with a population of more than 200 millions. I come from a family with fourchildren; 3 boys and 1 girl.  My father works as a clerk in the flood and irrigation department, and my mother was a house-wife. For my parents, it was not easy at all to take care of us andeducate us.  They always found them self struggling to make both ends meet. I grew up in a devout, and profoundly religious family. It is within this prayerful   environment, that I heard God calling me to Himself, thus, a   vocation conceived, born and grew.  I became a priestbecause the love and mercy received and my family, and I wanted to share with everyone. 

Real challenges of Christians, in particular, the Catholic Church, are innumerable. In all walks of our life as Catholic, we encounter these every moment of every day. Apart from  hostile, oppressive, discriminatory and hateful attitude of state and society, we have to face true challenges of constant fear of our vulnerability. Any suspicion of any mal-action against   Islam can trigger an attack, burning down Christian’s properties and even killing.  This is the most crucial challenge we encounter, because the society is radical to the extreme, it doesn’t leave much room for others to exit.  It is difficult to be a Christian, “We are aware” “For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so the life of Jesus may be manifested in one mortal flesh” 2 Cor 4:11

St Stephen Martyr Parish has helped St. Paul’s Parish inLahore in various ways; by helping us furnish our church, by offering scholarship to two students: Natalie Wylde, studying in Bsc honors, and Ashbeel Shakie, studying doctor of Pharmacy.  And Yohanna bad bombing incident at two churches by   sending donations to the victims.  In this incident there were more than 1,400 injured.  St Stephen helps us constructing churches, because a church building is a source of strength, growing stronger and given Christians identity in a society which does not want to recognize their presence ever, and in giving out scholarships to students.  I am very thankful and grateful for the love, concern and  support we receive from this Parish through Msgr. Paul. Your help reminds me that “We are the Body of Christ” thus one, no matter where we are.

 

Renovation of our Parish Hall

 

Update on the Hall Permit Process  

 

A flow test is scheduled for 6-15-17.  The flow test results will determine if the existing water service for the sprinkler is adequate for the additional heads in the hall. The existing service is 4" and that serves only the boiler room and the rectory. The additional heads, we believe, will not tax that service but we won't know for sure until the flow test is completed. We are getting close to having all the evolving requests met. We are working to make sure everything is in order to    receive our hall renovation permit.

The Bible Timeline Series

The Story of Salvation

by Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray and Sarah Christmyer                                                                                                                   

Facilitated by Rosi Meza-Steel and Deacon Jon Liu

You Can Understand the Bible!

Sundays after the 11am Mass. Not meeting on Easter Sunday.

If you want a better understanding of our faith, and a deeper relationship with God, then you should join us for The Bible Timeline Study. By being a part of this study, you will not only benefit personally, but you will also help to bring about a profound renewal in our parish, as we all grow closer to Christ.This is the foundation study in The Great Adventure Bible Study Series that has helped hundreds of thousands of Catholics learn to read the Bible.  The Bible Timeline is a fascinating study that takes participants on a journey through the entire Bible. They will go deep into each period of salvation history and discover the amazing story woven throughout all of Scripture. Using a unique color-coded system, they will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and see how they all come together to reveal the remarkable story of our faith. The Bible Timeline has been granted the Imprimatur.

 

Friends of the Music Ministry 2017-2018

We invite you to continue to support our yearly drive to preserve our music ministry, and to become a Friend of the Music Ministry if you have not yet done so. God Bless You!

 

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