Bishop Hebda's 2011 Easter Message

Love our Bishop! Keep Bishop Hebda in your prayers! I saw this on the Diocese of Gaylord website and wanted to share it here.

The following is taken from the Diocese of Gaylord Website.

Bishop Hebda's 2011 Easter Message

I have had the undeserved privilege of celebrating Easter in some of the most famous and important sites in Christendom (St. Peter’s in Rome, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, St. Basil’s in Red Square, St. Patrick’s in New York City, to mention but a few) and in some of the most picturesque spots in the world (in a Baroque Abbey nestled in the Swiss Alps and in a medieval monastery blocked from the world by a parade of cedars, right out of Under the Tuscan Sun).

Yet none of those Easters can compare with the Easter of 2005, spent with my family keeping vigil in a cramped hospital room in Pittsburgh. My Mom was battling for her life, having suffered a severe stroke which prompted a craniotomy on Holy Thursday as the rest of us gathered in the hospital chapel to commemorate Jesus’ Last Supper and, of course, to pray for a successful surgery.

That Good Friday we experienced the reading of the Passion differently, having spent the day in an intensive care unit in which death lingered around every corner. Holy Saturday crept in and we devoured with renewed interest the readings of the Easter Vigil, which promised new and everlasting life to all who choose to follow Christ, and on Easter morning, three generations of Hebdas gathered for Mass around a makeshift altar in that hospital room, joining in song with the Church throughout the world and throughout the ages: Christ is risen! He is truly risen! It was a message that sustained us and gave us hope. Six years later, my Mom has no recollection of that Easter morning but it will always be the one that I remember most.

While two thousand years have passed since that Sunday morning when the faithful women went to take spices to Jesus’ tomb and found that he had risen, the world continues to thirst for Easter hope. In spite of spring snowstorms and economic doldrums , health concerns and budget cuts, that empty tomb in Jerusalem continues to proclaim to the world that nothing—absolutely nothing--is stronger than God's love.

The message is found credible, however, only to the extent that it is seen to have changed the lives of those of us who claim to believe. A life transformed by joy, radiating forgiveness and unwavering compassion, speaks to the essence of Easter much more eloquently than even the most beautiful bonnet or the most intricately decorated egg.

In this year in which the Diocese of Gaylord marks its 40th anniversary, please join me in praying that we might use well the 50 days of the Easter Season to renew our commitment to "know Christ and the power of His Resurrection." Through lives that strive to imitate Jesus’ love and his humble and joy-filled service, may we become credible beacons of hope as we proclaim throughout this portion of the Lord’s vineyard: "Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen!"

Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)

I almost have it memorized and hopefully after this Easter Season I will. During the Easter Season we replace the Angelus with the Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven).

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. / For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

Has risen, as he said, alleluia. / Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. / For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

You can learn more about the Regina Coeli at Catholic Culture.

Now if I was only close enough to a Catholic Church to hear the bells I wouldn't have to set my Google Calendar to remind me!

He is Risen, Alleluia! He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

Bishop Cooney's Easter Reflection

Saw this link of some Easter Reflections written by Bishop Patrick Cooney. Here's a sample...

As we celebrate the Easter feast and, indeed, celebrate it for the whole Easter season, we must be very thankful to the Triune God. We must be thankful because we have been chosen and we have been inaugurated through the Lord’s passion, death and Resurrection, and the sending of the Spirit into being his people, his body. It is a wonderful privilege and a great honor for all of us. It is equally important that we realize this each day of our lives and we live it out through our love for everyone who comes into our life. It is a love which we demonstrate through our words and actions that we are genuinely concerned about the well being of everybody and we reach out to them with a helping hand in the best way we can.

Reaching out to others and showing our love to our neighbors is a very important part of our faith. I know I struggle with it on a daily basis, but I can only keep trying to love as Jesus did. It's not always easy, but I figure if I can do it, then every little bit will help this world be a better place for my family, especially my children.Let's keep Bishop Cooney in our prayers as he continues his recovery.

Read Bishop Cooney: Easter Reflection 2008 at Gaylord Herald Times