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Beginning July 28th, the Feast Day of St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception (a distant relative of Father George Maniangattu), Mass will be offered Wednesday-Friday at 5PM.

A Reflection on St. Alphonsa  (1946)                 St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was born in Kudamalur, India on August 19th, 1910, of the ancient and noble family Muttathupadathu—and of whom Father George is a descendant. As the Vatican stated in St. Alphonsa’s canonization-biography, “From her birth, the life of St. Alphonsa was marked by the cross, which would be progressively revealed to her as the royal way to conform herself to Christ.” Indeed, her entire life—a total of 36 years—involved remarkable suffering and illness, both physical and mental, that followed one after another. These included typhoid fever, double pneumonia, hemorrhages, a dramatic nervous shock that incapacitated her for a year, and finally, in the last year of her life, a tumor that caused violent convulsions and vomiting up to forty times a day. Despite these intense sufferings, St. Alphonsa was known for the “grace and charm of her countenance, the brightness of her glance, and the ever-cheerful smile which characterized her to the end of her life.” Rt. Rev. Thomas Pothacamury, Bishop of Bangalore, once stated that “the narrative of her life bears testimony to many of her spiritual qualities, her utter unselfishness and her love of suffering. The keynote of her life was death to self and life to Christ and in Christ.” She grounded all her suffering in St. Paul’s teaching that “as Christ suffered for us, we too must suffer for one another and thus make up what is wanting in the sufferings of Christ [Colossians 1:24].” As a simpler way of explaining the merit and power behind uniting our suffering to Christ’s, St. Alphonsa once wrote, “It is when grapes are pressed that we get the juice, the wine; they do not yield wine of themselves. When God, by suffering, purifies us, we become like good wine.” And when we are transformed into good wine—as St. Alphonsa was—we give glory to God! For “the glory of God is man fully alive,” as St. Irenaeus once declared.

St. Alphonsa’s saintliness not only extended into the sphere of mental and physical suffering, but also into her love of others—which requires us to die to ourselves. In her spiritual diary, St. Alphonsa once wrote: “I do not wish to act or speak according to my inclinations…I want to be careful to never reject anyone. I will only speak sweet words to others…I will ask pardon of the Lord for every little failure, and I will atone for it through penance. No matter what my sufferings may be, I will nevercomplain and if I have to undergo any humiliation, I will seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” Simply amazing! In reflecting on the lives of saints, such as St. Alphonsa’s, Thomas Dubay recognized that “marriage, priesthood, and religious life are blessed vocations when the men and women concerned are deeply converted and enjoy profound intimacy with the Trinity. They are incomparably happier than those who are not. There is no bickering among them, no grudges, no scandals, no battles, physical or verbal. Major sins and minor pettinesses, cold silence and pouting disappear. When spouses disagree with each other, mutually receptive listening and amiable discussion replace impatient and snapping arguments. There is a genial pliability in nonessential matters, and when one slips, a generous forgiveness heals the momentary hurt. Am I describing an unreal utopia? No, indeed. Why am I so sure that the deeply converted are so happy? Three rock-like facts: (a) divine revelation: ‘rejoice in the Lord always’; (b) the lives of married, priestly, and religious saints; (c) my own experience with contemporary persons in all three states of life—both those who are living them fully and faithfully, and those who are not” (Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, 58-60). Therefore, let us all become like St. Alphonsa! St. Alphonsa, pray for us!

 

Dispensation Cessation 5-3-21 Final Spanish

Dispensation Cessation 5-3-21 Final English

Mass Times

At St. Leo in Demopolis

  • Sunday: 9:00 am

At St. Francis in Livingston

  • Sunday: 12:00 pm

Confessions

Confessions are offered
30 minutes prior
to each Mass.

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