November 17
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



St. Roque González y de Santa Cruz (Feast Day November 17) 

November 17, 1576 – November 15, 1628 

Roque González y de Santa-Cruz was born in Paraguay in 1576 as the son of noble Spanish parents. He was an unusually good and religious boy who eventually became a priest. He ministered to the Natives of Paraguay, seeking them out in remote places to evangelize and instruct them in Christianity. After ten years he joined the Society of Jesus. 

These were the days of the beginnings of the famous "reductions" of Paraguay. The “reductions” were settlements of Christian Natives run by the Jesuit missionaries, who served as their guardians and trustees. These settlements remained autonomous and isolated from Spanish colonists and Spanish rule. A major factor attracting the Natives was that they were afforded protection from enslavement and forced labor.

Fr. Roque played an important part in establishing the reductions. He labored for nearly twenty years, grappling patiently with hardships, fierce tribes and with the opposition of the European colonists. He threw himself heart and soul into the work. For three years he was in charge of the Reduction of St. Ignatius, and then spent the rest of his life establishing other reductions, half a dozen in all, east of the Parana and Uruguay rivers. He was the first European known to have penetrated into some districts of South America. In 1628, Fr. Roque was killed by natives in an attack on his mission.

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·       Have you ever thought about Jesus coming back to earth? Why or why not?

·       What would it be like to see Jesus in all his power and glory?

·       In today’s Gospel, Jesus helps us to prepare for changes we will experience in our lifetimes and at the end of time. Is change easy or hard for you?  Explain your answer.

·       St. Roque González was a member of the Society of Jesus and was a peacekeeper. How do you bring peace into your home, school, or workplace?


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Cloud Watching

Jesus says he will come back in the clouds. Spend some time today looking at the clouds, sharing what shapes you see, and trying to see what others see. Here is a fun poem:

This is a game you can play-

oh, what a marvelous thing

wherever you may be or go!

Needing only clouds and a day,

some like to go up in a swing

or lie on the grass below.

Find creatures as they drift away-

 Imagination and clouds will bring

your very own circus show!

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Fig Marmalade and Fig Crostini Appetizer 

Large shady fig trees were plentiful in the time of Jesus and are still found in Israel today. This sweet dish is fitting as we reflect on today’s Gospel. 

Fig Marmalade:

2 lbs dried figs

1 pound of sugar (2 cups)

½ Tbsp. anise seeds

3 tsp unflavored gelatin

¾ cup of water


Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes. Add dried figs and anise seed. Cover and let simmer on low heat until figs are well cooked. Add Gelatin dissolved in 1 Tbsp of warm water and stir thoroughly to thicken, it will thicken as it cools. Pour while hot into clean glass jars. Seal immediately and refrigerate.

Fig Crostini Appetizer:

1 baguette

1 log of goat cheese

1 small jar of fig marmalade jam


Slice baguette and toast slightly in single layer on baking sheet. Spread a layer of the softened goat cheese on each slice of bread and top with a dollop of the fig marmalade. Simply delicious!

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Act of Faith


O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and

that he will come to judge the living and the dead. Amen.

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The Memorial Acclamation is said or sung after the priest says, “The mystery of faith.”  Which of these three options were used at Mass today in your church?

a) We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.

b) When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.

c) Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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St. Roque González y de Santa Cruz worked to protect the native people he served from slavery. One of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching is to respect the dignity of work and the rights of workers. Resolve to learn one new thing about this aspect of Catholic Social Teaching this week.

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Figs blossom on the inside of the fruit so you won’t see any blossoms on their branches. In Michigan, fresh figs are in season August through October. 

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