Mrs. Kandy Harkin is the Chaplain at St. Ignatius of Loyola Secondary School. The Chaplain is available to support and guide all members of the school community on their faith journey. In order to do this the Chaplain provides opportunities for prayer, sacraments and celebrations of the Eucharist, staff and student retreats, pastoral counselling, resource for student projects, prayer services and class discussion.
By calling forth the talents and gifts of students and staff, the Chaplain encourages a strong sense of Christian community in our school. Fostering both a sense of caring and of social justice, the Chaplain shares in what makes our school a special experience for all who are a part of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary. Students are welcome to drop by the Chaplain’s office at any time.
April 2016 – Overview for the Month
April 2016 falls in the Easter season in which white, the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity, and innocence, is the liturgical color.
The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of April 2016
Universal: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.
Saint and Feasts Days for April
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of April are:
- April 3. Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Octave of Easter 2016 (the Sunday after Easter Sunday). The Gospel relates the story of doubting Thomas.
- April 4 The Annunciation of the Lord: 2nd week of Easter
- April 5: Saint Vincent Ferrer priest
- April 7: Saint John Baptist de la Salle
- April 10th – 3rd Sunday of Easter: Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
- April 11: Saint Stanislaus of Cracow, bishop and martyr
- April 13: Saint Martin I pope and martyr
- April 17 : 4th Sunday of EasterWorld Day of Prayer for Vocations
- April 18: Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin
- April 21: Saint Anselm bishop and doctor of the Church
- April 23: Saint George
- April 24: 5th Sunday of Easter: Jesus gives the commandment to love one another.
- April 25: Saint Mark the Evangelis – Feast Day
- April 26: Our Lady of Good Counsel
- April 28: Saint Peter Chanel priest and martyr; or Saint Louis Mary de Montfort priest
- April 29: Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church
- April 30: Saint Pius V (pope), Saint Marie of the Incarnation
The Month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
Amen. (St. Augustine)
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Fear of the Lord
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit of the Lord hath filed the whole earth, alleluia.
The month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: “with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
The Holy Spirit is the Person of Love in the life of God. He is also like a breath, an aspiration of infinite Love, from which we draw the breath of life.
On the day of Pentecost the Divine Spirit communicated such an abundance of life to the whole Church that to symbolize it “there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they (the Apostles) were sitting.”
But it is also for us that the Holy Spirit has come, for the group in the Cenacle represented the whole Church. The Holy Spirit came to remain with the Church forever. This is the promise of Jesus Himself. He dwells in the Church permanently and unfailingly, performing in it without ceasing His action of life-giving and sanctification. He establishes the Church infallibly in the truth. It is He Who makes the Church blossom forth with a marvelous supernatural fruitfulness, for He brings to life and full fruition in Virgins, Martyrs, and Confessors those heroic virtues which are one of the marks of true sanctity.
The Proper Name of the Holy Spirit
“Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son. The Church has received this name from the Lord and professes it in the Baptism of her new children.
The term “Spirit” translates the Hebrew word ruah, which in its primary sense, means breath, air, wind. Jesus indeed uses the sensory image of the wind to suggest to Nicodemus the transcendent newness of him who is personally God’s breath, the divine Spirit. On the other hand, “Spirit” and “Holy” are divine attributes common to the three divine persons. By joining the two terms, Scripture, liturgy, and theological language designate the inexpressible person of the Holy Spirit, without any possible equivocation with other uses of the terms “spirit” and “holy.”
Titles of the Holy Spirit
When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the “Paraclete,” literally, “he who is called to one’s side,” ad-vocatus. “Paraclete” is commonly translated by “consoler,” and Jesus is the first consoler. The Lord also called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth.”
Besides the proper name of “Holy Spirit,” which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirit of God — and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.
Excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Symbols of the Holy Spirit
Water. The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit’s action in Baptism.
Anointing. The symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit.
Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions.
Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. “The Father has set his seal” on Christ and also seals us in him.
The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them. In his name the apostles will do the same. Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given.
The finger. “It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons.” If God’s law was written on tablets of stone “by the finger of God,” then the “letter from Christ” entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written “with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.” The hymn Veni Creator Spiritus invokes the Holy Spirit as the “finger of the Father’s right hand.”
The dove. At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable. When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized.
Excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Holy Spirit and Our Spiritual Life
Everything depends on the Holy Spirit’s operation in us. The more fully we allow ourselves to be drawn and guided by the Holy Spirit, the closer we shall come to Jesus and His mysteries and graces. The Holy Spirit must draw us to every good thought, word and deed. Every act of faith, of hope and of love for God requires the inspiration and help of the Holy Spirit. If our virtues and our deeds are to be truly perfect and worthy of God, they need the special and continual touch of the Holy Spirit. Even though we are endowed with all the supernatural virtues, we still remain mere apprentices in the spiritual life. We know what we must do; and yet lack the virtue and the faculty to perform these things with ease. The Holy Spirit must guide us. He must seize our intellect and our wills and guide us in prayer, in work, in the decisions we have to make, and in the difficulties we encounter every day. He must share with us His manner of seeing, of loving, of thinking, and of working.
Our works and our conduct will be perfect only when the Holy Spirit has taken complete possession of us. Therefore, in addition to the supernatural virtues of faith, hope, charity, justice, fortitude, temperance and wisdom, He gives us also His seven gifts. Thus He equips the tiny boat of our soul with sails upon which He Himself, the Spirit of God, blows. Our progress across the sea of life is then no longer slow and painful. We are propelled and guided by the Spirit. If the Spirit of God breathes upon the sails of our boat, then our journey will be a happy one. Then through the work and the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives in our soul, we shall come to the Father.
Excerpted from the The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, O.S.B.
Divine Mercy Sunday 2016 is on APRIL 3rd
Divine Mercy Sunday History
Divine Mercy Sunday is an Observance in the Roman Catholic Church in which followers are encouraged to offer forgiveness and reconciliation to all. It is based on visions recorded from St. Faustian Kowalski. In 2000 it was decreed a solemnity, a high feast day, by Pope John Paul II. Roman Catholics are required to attend worship, go to confession, and take Holy Communion. Divine Mercy Sunday occurs the Sunday after Easter.
Divine Mercy Sunday Facts & Quotes
St. Faustian was a Polish nun who lived in the early 20th century. She devoted her life to spreading the word about God’s forgiveness, or divine mercy, for anyone who asks for forgiveness. Although she was a mystic, she also cooked and gardened as part of her convent life.
St. Faustian had visions much of her life. One that was the most profound was of Jesus, with one hand raised in blessing and with two fingers of his other hand resting on his heart. She said that Jesus asked her to have the image painted, and to include a prayer that said, “Jesus, I trust in you.” This is the prayer that Catholics recite on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Most priests preach on the story of Doubting Thomas on Divine Mercy Sunday (John 20:19-31). Thomas, also a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, was one Jesus’ apostles. When Jesus arose from the dead, he didn’t believe it. Jesus directed him to touch his crucifixion wounds to help him believe. Jesus doesn’t chastise Thomas for his disbelief, which is considered an act of mercy.
The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me … which I took with me to the See of Peter and which it in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate. – Pope John Paul II
Excerpted from the The Catholic Church: Our Mission in History by Carl Koch, FSC