September 8
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



St. René Goupil (Feast Day October 19) 

May 15, 1608 – September 29, 1649 

St. René was born in 1607 and entered the Jesuit novitiate in Paris, France, but his deafness prevented his joining the order. He then studied medicine, and in 1639, offered to work as a medic for the Jesuit missionaries in America. He was a missionary to the Huron Indians, working as a layman without pay. After working in a hospital in Quebec for two years, he assisted St. Isaac Jogues on his missionary travels.

He was captured and severely tortured by the Iroquois, enemies of the Huron, for making the sign of the cross over a child’s head. This gesture was mistaken for some type of curse. While they were in captivity, Fr. Isaac received René into the Jesuits as a religious brother. He was the first of the order in the Canadian missions to suffer martyrdom. In his letters, Fr. Jogues, called him "an angel of innocence and a martyr of Jesus Christ." He was killed by a blow to the head, and as he died, he invoked the name of Jesus.


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·       Imagine you are the man in the story. What is it like to encounter Jesus so intimately?

·       Consider the people who brought the deaf man to Jesus. How are we called to be like them?

·       Why do you think Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone about the healing?

·       St. René Goupil had plans to join the Jesuits but he was unable to originally. However, he was open to God’s plan and God was able to use his gifts in a different way to build the kingdom of God. Are you open to God’s plan for your life? Why or why not?


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Incredible Accomplishments


Today, help your family appreciate two people in history who experienced hearing loss and have done great things. 


Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most famous composers that ever lived. He was profoundly deaf, but that didn’t stop him from composing his world-renowned music. Beethoven had lost 60% of his hearing by the age of 31 and became completely deaf at 46. Beethoven continued to write music even when deaf. He wrote his famous 5th Symphony as he was losing his hearing. You can listen to a 7-minute excerpt of this piece here: https://www.classicsforkids.com/lesson-plan/ludwig-van-beethoven/


Thomas Edison was quite possibly the greatest inventor of all time. Many of his inventions have improved the quality of our modern day lives. During his career Edison’s inventions included the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. Thomas Edison was completely deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other. He believed that his deafness was a benefit to his work, as it would help keep conversations short so that he could have more time for work! Plan a trip to Greenfield Village to see Edison’s laboratory and more!

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Banana Cake

1 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup shortening

3 eggs

1 ¼ cups bananas (ripe and mashed)

2/3 cups buttermilk

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

1 ¼ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cream shortening & sugar. Add eggs, bananas and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

Pour into a 13x9 or 2 8-inch round pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Check every 5 minutes after that until toothpick comes out clean in middle.

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5 Finger Prayer

We hear in today’s Gospel of Jesus using his finger to heal the deaf man. Pope Francis created a 5-Finger prayer where each finger has a specific intention. Name the intention for that finger and then allow family members to share any intentions they have in that area.

·    Thumb: Pray for those closest to you.

·    Index Finger: Pray for those who heal, instruct, and teach you, that God may help them as they direct others.

·       Middle Finger: Pray for those in authority, like our government leaders, that God may guide them.

·       Ring Finger: Pray for the weak among us—the poor, the sick, the excluded, and those facing other difficulties.

·       Pinkie Finger: Pray for yourself. It is easier to pray for your needs once you have prayed for the other four areas. 

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The lectors and the priest or deacon proclaim the Word of God from the ambo. Where is the ambo located in your parish?

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Look for opportunities this week to defend someone who is being treated unfairly.

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The first Sunday after Labor Day was designated National Grandparents Day in 1979. Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade championed the effort to create this holiday. As a Church, we celebrate the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly on this day as well.  

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