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Thursday, June 4, 2009


Pentecost is the great symbol of unity in the early church when the followers of Jesus receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the second great feast of the agricultural year, which follows the Passover by fifty days. The first fruits of the harvest are presented for the Lord.

The Acts of the Apostles depicts the events of the first Christian Pentecost when the invisible Holy Spirit arrives with audible and visible signs. When posed against the backdrop of agricultural theme, Pentecost represents a moment in the completion of creation for just as God breathed upon the world and the first humans in Genesis, God similarly breathes upon the first believers. The Spirit does not dramatically change the believers, but allows them to continue speaking in their own language. They are to bring the message of God’s peace and justice to the entire world.

In John’s 20 chapter of the Gospel, Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles as they hide themselves in fear from the Jewish authorities after the Crucifixion. The Spirit brings peace and forgiveness to any heart that is bound by fear. When we hold onto our fear we cling to ourselves. When Christ’s Spirit lives in us, our woundedness remains, but we are surrounded with a power that allows us to hold onto each other more strongly. We are freed from the bonds that close us down and we can move towards the unity that the Spirit urges us onward and upwards because we move toward healing and peace.

My prayer for us is that the fruits of the Holy Spirit be abundant to you this Pentecost season. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:24) May we all become one in Christ.

Themes for this Week’s Masses

During the ancient agricultural feast of Pentecost, we meet the kind and generous Tobit, who is stricken with blindness, and Sarah, who is in the midst of many problems and beset by demons. Tobiah, Tobit’s son, through the angel Raphael, helps both Tobit and Sarah. The Gospel readings are taken from the 12th chapter of Mark when Jesus reveals to his disciples that his way of healing people and setting people on the path to life will put him on a path of suffering that will be at odds with the rulers of the world. Both sets of readings show us the way life can be when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Saints of the Week

Justin is honored on Monday for his use of the knowledge of philosophy to explain Christianity in 165 A.D. He is also known to have written one of the first descriptions of the Mass. On Tuesday, Marcellinus, a well-known priest, and Peter, an exorcist, are remembered for their spread of the faith during the Diocletian persecution (300 A.D.). While serving time in prison, the two converted their jailer and his family to Christianity. Charles Lwanga and his 22 Ugandan companions are celebrated on Wednesday for their perseverance against an immoral and vengeful king who tried to stamp out the faith in his land. On Friday, Boniface’s evangelizing efforts in 715-754 A.D. to the Netherlands and Germany are recalled. Boniface reputedly cut down the Oak of Thor without being harmed by the pagan Norse gods.

KAIROS Reunion

A reunion of all the KAIROS participants from 2001-2009 will be held at the Rockcraft Retreat Center on Sebago Lake on Thursday, June 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $30.00. It is a good time to renew the graces of the retreat and to be with friends who share the same passion for their experience. All are welcome. If you know anyone from KAIROS I-IV, please send this email to them so they know they are welcome.


Commencement exercises for the 117 graduates of the Class of 2009 will be held at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland on Monday, June 1st. An alumna who just graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts this May will be the Commencement speaker.

Stained-Glass Exhibit

The Art department at Cheverus is keeping the ancient religious craftsmanship of Stained-Glass making alive. Students have decorated the celebrated Cheverus Atrium windows with their resplendent artwork. If you are in the area, please stop by see the sun radiate through the multicolored glass images.

Concert for Catholic Middle Schools

The music department at Cheverus performed for the Catholic Elementary Schools of Portland on Thursday to showcase the vocal talents along with the jazz and string ensembles. Perhaps the opportunity to develop one’s musical and artistic skills will be a motivator for some young person to enroll at Cheverus in a few years.

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