Monday, June 25, 2012


Cover of biographical pamphlet by Dr. Erna Putz

At the suggestion of our pastor, Fr. Brian, this year's Jagerstatter Novena coincides within the U.S. Bishops' "Fortnight for Freedom" which will end July 4th.  There is a need to balance the church's stance on freedom of conscience and personal morality, with our moral responsibility in a society so much dedicated to violence and war.  Please join in praying the novena with us.  Below are the two sides of the parish bulletin insert for this year 2012.

Side 1
Yearly Novena of Prayer, begun at our Holy Trinity parish Port Huron, MI in 2008, this year June 24 to July 2, moved from August to occur within the Fortnight for Freedom.  The prayer below is prayed at every parish gathering and liturgy for the nine days.  In addition to praying for our religious freedom from political mandates relating to our healthcare and immigration ministry, we pray Jesus to free us from our mandates that support the disastrous violence of war. 

Lord Jesus Christ,               
You filled your servant Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter
with a deep love for you, his family and
all people.
During a time of contempt for God and
humankind you bestowed on him
unerring discernment and integrity.
In faith, he followed his conscience, and
said a decisive NO to the Nazi regime
and unjust war.
Thus he sacrificed his life.
We pray that you may glorify your
servant Franz, so that many people may
be encouraged by him and grow in love
for you and all people.
May his example shine out in our time,
and may you grant all people the
strength to stand up for justice, peace
and human dignity.
For yours is the glory and honor with
the Father and the Holy Spirit now and
forever. Amen.

(Prayer from the Diocese of Linz, Austria)

We choose June 24, feast day of St. John the Baptist to begin our Novena  He prepared the way of the Lord, preaching truth to power and repentance to all, and was beheaded as was Franz.  The Novena ends on July 2, feast of St. Oliver Plunkett, an Irish bishop of the 17th century persecutions who had brought the Gospel to the poor and was executed.
Side 2 
{This is a short history of Franz' life, a family man's refusal to take part in Hitler's unjust wars.  It can be read in my July 29, 2011 web article --- K of C version of this linked here.}

Franzisca Jagerstatter, Franz' widow, 95 years old, with his ashes at beatification ceremony in 2007

"People who dont' read will never be able to stand on their own feet , and will all too easily become a football for the opinions of others."  -- Blessed Franz Jagerstatter
In this election year 2012, let us not be lead into the temptation of becoming political footballs.

In reality -- it is.

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