Countdown to Sine Die
Sine die - the adjournment of the Maryland General Assembly session - is almost here. The legislature will wrap up its regular session next Monday, April 12.
“This final week can become very intense as the House of Delegates and Senate advocate for bills and try to work out solutions to their differences,” said Jenny Kraska, executive director for the Maryland Catholic Conference.
“Most of the legislation we have advocated for remains active. This includes police reform, juvenile justice, immigration, pregnancy support, housing, and more. We are being very vigilant as bills move through conference committees and votes,” she added.
“The most important thing Maryland Catholics can do this week is keep the work of the General Assembly in their prayer intentions. One easy way to do this is to pray along with Archbishop Lori, who is our video prayer leader this week. We also encourage prayers to Servant of God Mother Mary Lange.”
We will have a session wrap up in an upcoming Catholic Voice email so stay tuned. Both chambers did vote last week to drop the official Maryland state song. Written during the Civil War, “Maryland, My Maryland” became the state's official song in 1939. The Catholic Review took a look at the issue from a Catholic perspective.
Pray with Archbishop Lori
The Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and chairman of the Board of Governors of the Maryland Catholic Conference, offers a message and prayer for the General Assembly in this final week of session.
Click the image above or visit our prayer page, where you can access all of the video prayers from this session and read or download the prayer (in English and Spanish). The prayer also is posted on Twitter and Facebook (@mdcatholic) on Monday at 10 a.m.
Support for Seafarers
The Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay mean shipping and fishing are major industries for Maryland. The Catholic Church has an active apostolate of prayer and support for the workers. A partnership of several organizations, including the Stella Maris National Office and the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking, of which the Conference is a member, has just released new resources:
- Solidarity with Seafarers Resource Kit (includes background, bulletin announcements, prayers and social media graphics)
- Stella Maris Evening Prayer Service
Of Note: Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday
Divine Mercy Sunday, when we focus in a special way on God’s mercy, is next week. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a number of resources for the observance, including the origins of this devotion from private revelations to Polish Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.
Just last year, Pope Francis said in his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday:
“At one time, the Saint, with satisfaction, told Jesus that she had offered him all of her life and all that she had. But Jesus’ answer stunned her: ‘You have not offered me the thing is truly yours.’ What had that holy nun kept for herself? Jesus said to her with kindness: ‘My daughter, give me your failings’ (10 October 1937). We too can ask ourselves: ‘Have I given my failings to the Lord? Have I let him see me fall so that he can raise me up?’ Or is there something I still keep inside me? A sin, a regret from the past, a wound that I have inside, a grudge against someone, an idea about a particular person… The Lord waits for us to offer him our failings so that he can help us experience his mercy.”
The Divine Mercy devotion was particularly dear to Pope Saint John Paul II; he canonized the Polish Sr. Faustina on April 30, 2000. In celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday you can celebrate by making a favorite dessert of the Holy Father, Papieska kremowka (“Papal” cream cake).
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