Taken from CatholicCulture.org
The feast of the Epiphany, which was kept in the East and in certain Western Churches before being observed in Rome, seems to have been originally a feast of the nativity; January 6, for those churches where it was kept, was the equivalent of Christmas (December 25) in the Roman Church. The feast was introduced at Rome in the second half of the sixth century and became the complement and, so to say, the crown of the Christmas festival.
Epiphany means manifestation. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him. Christian tradition has ever seen in the Magi the first fruits of the Gentiles; they lead in their wake all the peoples of the earth, and thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation. St. Leo brings out this point admirably in a sermon, read at Matins, in which he shows in the adoration of the Magi the beginnings of Christian faith, the time when the great mass of the heathen sets off to follow the star which summons it to seek its Saviour.
That is the meaning, too, of the wonderful prophecy from Isaias which the liturgy appoints to be read in the first nocturn at Matins and at the Epistle of the Mass. This same thought of universal redemption the Church returns to as she sings, in the antiphon to the Magnificat at 2nd Vespers, applying the words to herself, of the union with Christ typified by the wedding feast at Cana, by the baptism of her children foreshadowed by that of Christ in the waters of the Jordan. Formerly the Epiphany was an additional day for solemn baptisms.
On January 1st, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Mary’s quiet witness of faith and humility is something we can model in our every day lives. She encourages us to strive for holiness! Below is an excerpt from an article written on catholic.org by Deacon Keith Fournier. To read it in its entirety, click here: Mary, Mother of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches "The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that 'with God nothing will be impossible' and so giving her assent: 'Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.'"
"Elizabeth greeted her: Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.Throughout her life and until her last ordeal when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary's faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God's word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith" (CCC #148,149).
The Lord has invited each of us into an intimate, personal, exchange of love with Him. Mary is a model to imitate. She walked in holiness of life and points us along the path to Her Son. Each of us can say "Yes" to God, right now, wherever we are. Each of us can respond with our entire being, with a "Fiat" of surrendered love as she did.
When we do, we can participate in the life of the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We become sons and daughters "in the Son", and enter communion with the Holy Trinity. Conversion involves the exercise of our human freedom to choose God and the fullness of his plan as revealed in Jesus Christ.
We invite you to consider our new electronic giving program as a way to automate your regular weekly offerings.
Electronic giving is convenient for you and provides much-needed consistency for our church. There is no cost for you to participate.
As an example, if you are currently giving on a weekly basis, you will no longer need to write out 52 checks a year, instead you can set up online donations and simply drop your empty envelope into the basket each week as an attendance record. And when illness, or other circumstances prevent you from attending mass, this program will allow your weekly offerings to continue on an uninterrupted basis.
To find out more about our exciting new service, click here.
"Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!"
"To listen to the Word is to have a personal encounter with God. Psalm 119 guides us towards the Gospel and fulfillment of the law of Jesus Christ. The Lord and His Word are our 'land' in which we live in communion and joy.
Each year during Our Catholic Appeal, you affirm the Lord and His Word by your generous response in supporting the ministries of the Diocese of Orlando. You open your hearts to the gift of these ministries because they help each one of you to live more fully in God's Law and to prosper our land with His majestic love. From honoring the divinity of each life, to teaching people of all ages about our faith, to sharing our resources with those who are alone or in need, to holding our parishes accountable for your stewardship in the Lord's name, these ministries bring forth God's law in our land."
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We nurture the spiritual lives of our family of believers by leading and inspiring each other to be true Christian disciples.
To deepen and enhance the spiritual life of the parish through liturgy, personal prayer, and devotions.
To provide religious education and spiritual formation.
To minister to those within the parish family and community.
To reach out to returning Catholics and unchurched persons.
To deepen our commitment to stewardship of prayer, time and talent, and treasure.
To celebrate our diversity and our commonality.
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish was established on July 27, 1967. We celebrated our first Mass on August 13, 1967, on the grounds of Camp San Pedro. During the following two years, Pastor Michael Troy and 200 families were a community on the road, celebrating Mass in San Pedro Center, New Hope Baptist Church and Aloma Elementary School. On November 1, 1969, we celebrated the first Mass in the domed recreational building. It served not only as our church, but also the rectory, church offices, ministry meeting room and community auditorium.