Knights of Columbus Annual Trip to Laughlin

43310_8_bTrip to Laughlin

The Knights of Columbus are hosting a 3 night 4 day Laughlin bus trip.

Oct 4th to Oct. 7th, 2015

Cost is: $150 per person double occupancy, or $175 for single.

or $175 for single. This is a Fun trip for all.
Please contact Keith Warren at 760-715-6209.

Servants Retreat Sept. 12, 2015

Servants Retreat
September 12, 2015
Do you want to be a more loving and compassionate
person? Do you wish to experience greater peace of mind
and heart? Do you want more joy in your life?
If your answer to these questions is ‘Yes’, then join us for
an inspirational half-day retreat in Healy Hall following
the 8am Mass on Saturday, September 12th!
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I
have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Bible Studies and Small Communities

1413569813477.jpgwebPersonal study of the Bible is a very important part of our spiritual growth.  We are blessed at St. Mark’s to have a variety of vibrant Bible studies. Many of our Bible Study opportunities take the form of Small Christian Communities. We also have seasonal Bible Studies we will update on this page. We invite you to explore some different options to see which Bible study is best suited for you. For more information about Bible Studies or Adult Faith Formation, please contact our parish office (760) 744-1540.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2 Timothy 3:16

Small Christian Communities are small groups of ordinary parishioners who meet regularly, usually in participants’ homes.  Their ultimate goal is threefold:
1) To connect their faith by listening to each other, sharing with and seeking to know each other.
2) To allow the Sunday liturgy to become a more intrinsic part of their daily lives, relating it to today’s realities.
3) To open their hearts and minds to the Spirit through the scriptures in order to apply God’s word in their daily lives. 

A new bible study has just started on Friday mornings at 9am in our St. John Paul II Center multipurpose room. All are welcome!

What is my attitude toward giving?

Saint Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5 that we are to have among ourselves the same attitude as Christ.  He then goes on to quote the beautiful Christian hymn believed already to be in use at the time of Paul’s writing.  Namely that, Christ, though God, out of obedience to the Father, emptied himself of his own will to become a servant for all, even to the point of death on the cross.         

Paul is telling us that, to have the attitude of Christ means, we are to live out our daily lives in union with Christ, imitating him in all things by serving one another.  As Jesus tells us in Mark’s Gospel: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me”.  Paul says the way we do this is to have the same attitude as Christ, emptying ourselves of our will, obediently accepting the Father’s will no matter the cost by being a servant to the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters.

The hymn in Philippians quoted by Saint Paul say that because of Jesus’ obedience to the Father, his sacrifice on the cross to save mankind, God highly exalted him and “bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).

As Paul has already told us, we are to confess Jesus is Lord not only with our lips but with every action of our lives by having his attitude in all things.  There are four principal areas of everyday life that we can assume the attitude of Christ and confess Jesus is Lord: money, sex, power and, humility towards God and others.  Our discussion here will focus on just one of these areas, our attitude towards money.

One of the best homilies I have ever heard on our attitude towards our financial resources was given by a Lutheran minister.  He held up his bible and said, “This is my Sunday bible, the word of God”.  Everyone was quick to acknowledge, yes father, it is.  He then held up his checkbook and said, “This is the bible by which I live my life every other day of the week.”  It was a powerful way to illustrate how our attitude towards the financial resources God so graciously blesses us with is a living example of how we put into practice the word of God we profess on a Sunday morning.

A recent homily on EWTN focused on a series of “isn’t it strange”, statements regarding the way sometimes look at things in light of our call to “have the attitude of Christ.”  He said, “Isn’t it strange how putting $20 in the Sunday plate offering can seem like so much and how $20 at the grocery store or gas station seems like so little.”

When it comes to the having a Christ-like attitude towards our finances, the Church gives us four basic principles to consider:

1.      Out of my love for God, and in gratitude for the countless blessings he has bestowed on me, I will give back to the Lord the first portion of all that he has given me.  This first principle serves as the foundation for all the rest.  For when we put God first in our thinking, everything else seems to flow naturally.  Like every other aspect of Christian discipleship, we can always come up with excuses as to why we can’t put God first in our finances: I have a mortgage to pay, or the car payment is due, etc., etc.  But, who of us would want God to respond to our needs with “leftovers”?  When we put God first, he will provide for all we need.  “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Matthew 6: 31F).

2.      Recognize that, like Christ who, out of his love for us, gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life, true love always involves a sacrifice.  Therefore, the gift I give of my first blessings from the Lord should be a sacrificial gift“When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.  He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood” (Luke 21:1F).

3.      Realize that the principle of tithing – giving back to the Lord 10% of my income – is the way I make my financial gift sacrificial. (Genesis (14:20), Deuteronomy 14:22).  This is not an outdated principle (Malachi 3:8).  God still expects us to honor him with our tithes.

How I allocate my tithe is another matter to consider.  Generally, an accepted practice is to give at least half of my tithe to my parish’s general collection and half to other collections for building funds, Annual Catholic Appeal and other charities of interest to me.  The concept of giving at least half of my tithe to the general collection at the parish is based on the fact that my parish is my immediate “Catholic” family and I should assist my immediate family’s needs first.

4.       Finally, I need to remember that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).  I will consider my envelope as a wrapping for my gift.  And, with the attitude of Christ, I deposit it prayerfully and joyfully into the collection basket as an expression of my faith, an outward sign that I chose to give glory to God not only with my lips but with every aspect of my life.

We also need to recognize that God does not need our money rather we need to give to God as an outward expression of the love and thanksgiving we have for all he has done and continues to do for us.  We give because we want to have the attitude of Christ who became a servant for all by giving his life for us on the cross out of obedience to the Father.

The Lord asks us to prayerfully consider if the attitude I have towards my giving is as Christ-like as he wants it to be.  Am I giving God the glory he deserves by putting him first in all things, especially in my giving?  by Deacon Frank J. Mercardante

7th & 8th graders are invited to join in “The UpRising”

A dynamic community is forming this Fall

All youth in grades 7 & 8 are invited to join in “The UpRising”, where we “Raise up disciples for Christ”!

This community will provide a variety of ways to learn, to grow, to meet people, make friends, ask questions, discover answers and HAVE FUN! From creative projects, to scavenger hunts to reaching out to our wider community, you will find a place to belong.

Please sign up in advance in the Religious Education office.

 No more sitting around. Rise Up!

Orientation for youth AND their parents in September.

For more information or to volunteer to help, please contact Jennifer McClintock in the Religious Education Office

Calling All Youth! St. Mark’s Youth Groups Are Now Forming for the Fall

syc 2012There are three active youth groups at the parish: Youth for Christ, Genesis, and A.I.M. present every young person with the opportunity to grow in their Catholic faith, serve others, and have an amazing time with their friends in the meantime. Check out all three youth groups on the parish website at http://stmarkscatholicchurch.org/content/view/110/438/lang,english/ and see who and what The Way is all about on their Facebook group page called The Way.

For more information call:  Fwaz in our Youth Office:  760-744-5429

Visit our Youth Page Link

The Christian Education of Our Children

IT IS TIME TO REGISTER FOR FALL CLASSES:
Classes start September!

Classes for all age groups meet weekly during the school year to teach the Catholic faith in a systematic way. All children who do not attend a Catholic school should be enrolled in religious education classes, even when not preparing for a Sacrament.

Sacramental preparation is offered at the appropriate time in the child’s development. Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist is generally a two year process beginning in first grade. However, it is never too late to begin.

Jesus Christ is at the center of all of our catechesis, because it is through Him that we come into communion with the Triune God.

“Christocentricity” in catechesis also means the intention to transmit not one’s own teaching or that of some other master, but the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Truth that He communicates or, to put it more precisely, the Truth that He is.

At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, “the only Son from the Father…full of grace and truth,”(Jn. 1:14) who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever. It is Jesus who is “the way, and the truth, and the life,”(Jn. 14:6) and Christian living consists in following Christ…

For more Information and registration call  : Jennifer McClintock, English Coordinator of Religious Education

Teresa Gonzalez, Spanish Coordinator of Religious Education

(760) 744-1130 fax (760) 744-3828 Forms can be downloaded:

CHECK OUT OUR HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS: http://stmarkscatholicchurch.org/content/view/109/439/lang,english/

There are three active youth groups at the parish: Youth for Christ, Genesis, and The Way present every young person with the opportunity to grow in their Catholic faith, serve others, and have an amazing time with their friends in the meantime. Check out all three youth groups on the parish website at http://stmarkscatholicchurch.org/content/view/110/438/lang,english/and see who and what The Way is all about on their Facebook group page called The Way.

For more information call:  Joseph Cunningham at the Youth Office:  760-744-5429

High school students should enroll for the sacrament of Confirmation at the youth office Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm with our Youth Ministry Coordinator.

R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

Please contact our Pastoral Assistant in the main office.  We have meetings with new parishions  starting up twice a year.  To inquire and or enroll in this class please call our parish office for more information.  (760) 744-1540 and speak with John.

If you are currently a practicing Catholic we are in need of sponsors!

It is such a spiritual experience to sponsor a candidate and share their venture as they learn the Gospel and our Catholic life as a community.  Sponsorship requires very little time, but the rewards are plentiful.  If you can help, come join us and our candidates on their journey.  Their spiritual growth is your spiritual reward.

For more information please call Patrick & Mary Quigley:  (760) 510-9587

We also offer our RCIA program in Spanish.  For more information call:  (760) 744-8216.