The Diocese of Tyler Office of Faith Formation will host a series of three workshops focused on assisting parishes and families to develop practices and programs for those with special needs.

Organized by Linda Khirallah Porter, the director of faith formation for the diocese, the fist of the three workshop scheduled for this Saturday (Jan. 10) will cover what resources are available for those with special needs, the role of clergy, parents and others in catechizing with those diagnosed as having special needs, and how environmental factors can play an important role in the process.

In his first year as pastor at St. Mary’s in Longview, Fr. Mark Kusmirek has focused on a traditional Catholic Christmas custom that he credits with first exposing him to the priesthood.

As of this Wednesday, the priests and deacons at St. Mary’s have visited the homes of almost 90 parish families for the traditional Epiphany blessing of homes. The custom recalls the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child.

Born in Barcelona, Spain, St. Raymond of Penafort was the third Superior-General of the Domincan Order. He is famous for his work in the freeing of slaves. He wrote five books of Decretals which are now a valuable part of the Canon Law of the Church. The Summa Casuum, which is about the correct and fruitful administration of the Sacrament of Penance, is the most notable of his works.

Read more at… Jan. 7 Optional Memorial of St. Raymond of Penafort, priest; St. Andre Bessette, religious (Can), Opt. Mem.

Courtesy of CatholicCulture.org Liturgical Year

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis condemned the killings of at least 12 people at the Paris offices of a satirical weekly newspaper Jan. 7 and denounced all “physical and moral” obstacles to the peaceful coexistence of nations, religions and cultures.

“The Holy Father expresses the firmest condemnation of the horrible attack,” said a statement from the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who added that the killings had deeply disturbed “all persons who love peace, well beyond the borders of France.”

Fullness of Truth Conference Returns
The Diocese of Tyler is pleased to announce that the Fullness of Truth Conference is returning to Tyler on Feb. 20-21. These conferences are among the best in the nation and we are extremely blessed to have one right here in Tyler! The topic for this year’s conference is “Why the Cross: Suffering and Salvation in Scripture.” Speakers include Fr. Leo Patalinghug (from the TV show ‘Grace Before Meals’), Dr. John Bergsma (professor of Theology and Sacred Scripture at Franciscan University) and Bishop Joseph Strickland. Tickets are on sale now at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-the-cross-suffering-and-salvation-in-scripture-tyler-tx-tickets-14923986044

Week of Prayer for Those Affected by Abuse
As part of the Diocese of Tyler’s Safe Environment Program, Bishop Strickland has decreed that all parishes are to offer prayers for those affected by abuse during the week of Jan. 10-16, 2015.  The prayers can be found on our Safe Environment Program web site.  For questions or more information, contact Fr. Gavin Vaverek.