"Welcoming, charitable, and empowered
to live the Gospel"
Our Mother of Good Counsel,
located in Bryn Mawr, PA,
just 20 minutes west of Philadelphia,
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive.”
These words above are not my words, but a quote from Pope Francis’ letter to the Church for Lent 2017.
Lent has its origins in the earliest centuries of Christianity. Originally, it was an intense period of preparation for those who were preparing to receive Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist (the Sacraments of Initiation) at the Easter Vigil. Then, it the Church decided that all Christians should avail themselves of this period of grace as a time to grow closer to the Lord and to prepare to reaffirm their own baptismal promises.
You have heard me say many times by now, that a deepening understanding of our Baptism is essential for understanding how we as Catholic Christians are connected to the Lord Jesus, and to each other as members of His Body. Lent is a time of grace during which we have the opportunity to deepen that understanding.
Every year millions of Catholics think: “What should I give up for Lent?” Self-denial certainly is an important aspect of our Lenten observance, but we should be thinking as much about “What I should take up” during Lent to deepen my relationship with Christ and with His Church. The Church has always recommended: "prayer, fasting, and almsgiving," along with the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Any actions or activities that show kindness and mercy to those around us, or to those at a distance certainly fall under this rubric.
One other thing that we at OMGC can do is to participate in our yearly Lenten talk series. These will take place during the first six Thursdays of Lent. Father John will start us off talking about Baptism in the Gospels. I will then give a talk about how St. Paul taught the first Christians about Baptism. The next four talks will be about the Psalms – those songs and prayers used both by Jews and Christian for 3000 years. I'll give a talk on some of the Psalms that help us to repent. Michelle Frankl will then give the final three about the Psalms as Jesus used them.
However you choose to use this holy season, my prayer for you is that it will indeed be a time of grace – a time for deepening your appreciation and understanding of how your Baptism connects you with the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for our brother,
OMGC Parish Finance Council Chair,
who passed away tragically while on vacation in Vermont.
Please also keep his wife, Judy, and all his family in your prayers.
Arrangements are pending.
Online Access to Catholic Resources and Entertainment
Dear Parishioners of OMGC,
We have been offered temporary access to FORMED.org for everyone in the parish until the end of February.
Mr. Rob Shea of the Augustine Institute visited OMGC this morning and demonstrated the portal to Karen Carey and me. He explained to us the content of FORMED.org - an online portal for an astounding array of resources that can help Catholic individuals and communities to grow in knowledge of our faith and of the Bible and so deepen their faith in Jesus Christ.
Both of us were very impressed by the:
- Depth and breadth of content
- Variety of types of media - videos, audio, e-books, feature-length motion pictures (about 100 of them with more on the way), and PDF download study guides, etc.[G3]
- Variety of types of content - Scripture, stories, Catholic spirituality, apologetics, sacraments, Church history, the lives of the saints and much more.
- Variety of target groups - Young children, older grades, teens, young adults, parenting, families and more.
- The very high production values that went into the videos and other media. One example: In my previous parish we used Father (now Bishop) Robert Barron's "Catholicism" series one year. It was exquisitely produced. At OLGC we paid a few hundred dollars to purchase the "Catholicism" series material. That entire series is just one of the many resources included in the access we have until the end of this month.
Please feel free to share this log-in info with other members of OMGC. Mr. Shea said that besides parish members we are free to share it with anyone at all who lives within the geographical boundaries of the parish whether they are parish members or not.
So use the temporary log-in information below and see what's available.
Let me know what you think.
Website address: www.formed.org
password: Beloved (case sensitive)
Note: this login info is good only until the end of February.
Confirmation at OMGC
First of all, on behalf of our Confirmation Team, I would like to thank you all for praying for our 34 children and 1 adult who will be confirmed next Saturday here at Our Mother of Good Counsel during the 5:00 liturgy. The team, consisting of Mr. Joe Carey, Mrs. Erin Dries, Mrs. Toni Betz, Fr. John, and myself, has been working closely with the students since September. We, along with their parents, have been teaching them, guiding them, getting to know them, and learning from them over the course of several Wednesday evenings and two Saturday retreats. Sr. Anne and the RCIA team, of course, have been working with Charmaine Vertucio, the adult being confirmed.
Confirmation is the completion of the Sacraments of Initiation. First we are baptised, then we receive Jesus in Holy Eucharist, and then we receive the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. The age of Confirmation varies from diocese to diocese across the United States. Here, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the sacrament is celebrated when the students reach 6th grade.
At Our Mother of Good Counsel we have a unique situation. Due to the Bishops' tight schedules, and the fact that we tend to have less children in our program, due to simple demographics, we celebrate the sacrament every other year. Therefore, every other year, we confirm both 6th and 7th grade students.
Even more unique with our parish is the fact that, due to the number of excellent schools in our area, our 34 students come from 14 different schools. This can make an educational program challenging. The students in Catholic schools receive their Confirmation Preparation at their schools. The students who attend public schools, or public private schools, have been receiving their instruction on Wednesday evenings throughout the year. All students participate in the retreat days, thereby giving them a chance to get to know one another.
Our students have appreciated your prayers and they have promised to pray for you in return. Please continue to pray through our final weeks, and if you are so inclined, please join us for the 5:00 Mass on Saturday, February 25, when Bishop Timothy Senior will celebrate the Confirmation Liturgy with us.
Coordinator of Religious Education and Youth Ministry
PARISH LENTEN SERIES
Save the Dates
This year, our parish is providing six evenings of input and reflection on the Scripture Readings of Lent on Thursday evenings from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. The schedule will develop as follows:
March 2: Fr. John Deary will share on the theme of Baptism as found in the Sunday Gospels of Year A.
March 9: Fr. Liam O’Doherty will use the readings of St. Paul to speak on Baptism in the lives of the First Christians.
March 16: Fr. Liam will speak on the topic of the Psalms for Repenters.
March 23, 30 & April 6: Mrs. Michelle Francl-Donnay will present the Psalms which Jesus used for his own prayer and preaching.
A more thorough explanation of each week’s topic will be presented prior to the week of its presentation. The talks will take place (as of now) either in the Church or the Daily Chapel as the number of those attending can be accommodated.
Please plan to join us for this opportunity to become more deeply aware of the spirituality of the Lenten Season.
MLK Day at OMGC
- Letters to prisoners at Graterford Prison
- Blankets for Laurel House
- Wreaths for Golden Living Center
- and activity bags for kids in emergency waiting rooms and others.
- Harcum College Basketball Team
- Daylesford Crossing Community
- St. Francis Home for Boys
- OMGC YOUTH GROUP & Friends
Click HERE to see all photos
The Right Place to Start
In this article Archbishop Chaput shares his reflections and valuable guidance with us as Catholic citizens of our beloved United States of America following the recent elections.
Please click here to see the article.
Morning Prayer at OMGC
Here at Our Mother of Good Counsel, each Monday through Saturday morning, we celebrate Morning Prayer in common following the 8:00am Mass. Everyone is invited (around 8:30am) to join us in the daily chapel for this beautiful way to begin the day!
Please do not bring food that contains peanuts, nuts, peanut products or nut products inside the church. Someone sitting near you may have a serious allergy. Thank you for honoring this request.
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Vision Survey Results
Read the results of our Vision Survey.