The Christian Church has long believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved free from all sin, starting at the very moment of her conception. Christians have celebrated this feast for over twelve hundred years, but the Immaculate Conception was only declared a dogma in 1854, by Pope Blessed Pius IX. A dogma of the Catholic Church is a truth that has been revealed by God and recognized by the Magisterium as something in which ass Catholics must believe. Four years later, Our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette at Lourdes, France, and told her, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Today’s feast is a holy day of obligation for Catholics!
Mass times at St. Mary’s and St. Anthony are as follows:
St. Mary Parish - Monday, Dec. 7th
St. Anthony Parish - Monday, Dec. 7th
St. Mary Parish - Tuesday, Dec. 8th
8:15 a.m. Grade School Mass
9:30 a.m. Grade School Mass
2:00 p.m. Grade School Mass
St. Anthony Parish - Tuesday, Dec. 8th
We encourage you to attend a Mass other than the St. Mary Parish Grade School Masses. There will be very limited space available for parishioners.
Suggestions to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception lends itself to fruitful meditation and should be taught to children. The doctrine of original sin, the sin of Adam and its effects on the human race, is a good beginning for study. For the best explanation of the teachings of the Church on this, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 386-412.
Mary as the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. Take a virtual tour of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, America’s patronal church.
Make a Mary candle for the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Prepare an all-white meal for dinner and then discuss with your children the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with the visual aids of dinner showing the purity and the stainlessness of Mary's soul.
Ideas for dinner:
Appetizers: Rice crackers and white cheeses
Soups: cream soups, such as clam chowder, potato soup, cream of celery
Main Course: chicken breasts, pasta with alfredo sauce
Side Dishes: mashed potatoes, white rice, cauliflower with (or without) white cheese sauce, white bread (with crusts removed), white corn
Dessert: White cake with white icing, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate.
The special treat for this feast is gingerbread cookies, loaded with fine, aromatic spices. These are mixed on the vigil, December 7. Or make your favorite gingerbread cookie. Perhaps for this solemnity the family could make a gingerbread house or Gingerbread Bowls.
During this winter season, it is also a good time to plan a Marian Garden.
No room for a garden? No time to nurture nature. Purchase a small bouquet or a few flowers...real or silk to display for feasts of Mary.
Resources from: The Catholic All Year, By: Kendra Tierney; Oriens, By: Fr. Joel Sember; Catholic Culture