Welcome to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ellsworth, Maine! We are happy you found us online.
Through these pages we seek to introduce you to our active faith community. Our Parish is a Catholic community of hopeful and loving people, schooled in compassion, who support one another on our journey of faith. As disciples of Jesus Christ, in lifelong ministry with the poor of the world, we are being made new through God's spirit. As bread is broken open and shared, we freely witness to the Reign of God.
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Sunday: 8:00 & 11:00 AM
Daily Mon-Thurs: 8:00 AM
Community Prayer: Fri 8:00 AM
Confession: Sat 3:30 PM Parish Hall
Summer Missions (July - Labor Day)
Saturday: 4:00 PM St. Margaret, Winter Harbor
Sunday: 9:00 AM Our Lady of the Lake, Green Lake
Sunday: 10:00 AM Bay School, Blue Hill
Check the bulletin (below) for changes
Sat & Sun: CLOSED
Please call 207-667-2342 before you come!
The Parish Office closes for major holidays.
Ordinary Time -- Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
During November, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ, but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels, and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for us to be a follower of Christ. During Ordinary Time we can concentrate more on the saints and imitate their holiness as Christ's followers.
The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St. Paul warns us that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, "even as others who have no hope ... For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven ... and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.
The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought "well and religiously concerning the resurrection." It was believed that "they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them" and that "it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.
Excerpted from Liturgical Meditations, The Sisters of St. Dominic
Duration of Purgatory
Purgatory is not eternal. Its duration varies according to the sentence pronounced at each particular judgment. It may be prolonged for centuries in the case of the more guilty souls, or of those who, being excluded from the Catholic communion, are deprived of the suffrages of the Church, although by the divine mercy they have escaped hell. But the end of the world, which will be also the end of time, will close for ever the place of temporary expiation. God will know how to reconcile His justice and His goodness in the purification of the last members of the human race, and to supply by the intensity of the expiatory suffering what may be wanting in duration. But, whereas a favourable sentence at the particular judgment admits of eternal beatitude being suspended and postponed, and leaves the bodies of the elect to the same fate as those of the reprobate; at the universal judgment, every sentence, whether for heaven or for hell, will be absolute, and will be executed immediately and completely.
Offering Prayers and Sacrifices
The Catholic, therefore, is jealous to expiate and suffer for the "poor souls," especially by offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice, wherein Christ's infinite expiation on the Cross is sacramentally represented, and stimulating and joining itself with the expiatory works of the faithful, passes to the Church Suffering according to the measure determined by God's wisdom and mercy.
— Karl Adam
By the practice of Indulgences, the Church places at the charitable disposal of the faithful the inexhaustible treasure accumulated, from age to age, by the superabundant satisfactions of the saints, added to those of the martyrs, and united to those of our Blessed Lady and the infinite residue of our Lord's sufferings. These remissions of punishment she grants to the living by her own direct power; but she nearly always approves of and permits their application to the dead by way of suffrage, that is to say, in the manner in which, as we have seen, each of the faithful may offer to God who accepts it, for another, the suffrage or succour of his own satisfactions.
— The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.
A plenary indulgence, again applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.
A partial indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest (Requiem aeternam) is prayed. This is a good prayer to recite especially during the month of November:
Rejoice and be Glad
In the Light of the Master
100. I regret that ideologies lead us at times to two harmful errors. On the one hand, there is the error of those Christians who separate these Gospel demands from their personal relationship with the Lord, from their interior union with him, from openness to his grace. Christianity thus becomes a sort of NGO stripped of the luminous mysticism so evident in the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and many others. For these great saints, mental prayer, the love of God and the reading of the Gospel in no way detracted from their passionate and effective commitment to their neighbors; quite the opposite.
101. The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist. Or they relativize it, as if there are other more important matters, or the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend. Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a
human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection. We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.
109. The powerful witness of the saints is revealed in their lives, shaped by the Beatitudes and the criterion of the final judgement. Jesus’ words are few and straightforward, yet practical and valid for everyone, for Christianity is meant above all to be put into practice. It can also be an object of study and reflection, but only to help us better live the Gospel in our daily lives. I recommend rereading these great biblical texts frequently, referring back to them, praying with them, trying to embody them. They will benefit us; they will make us genuinely happy.
WORSHIP & SPIRITUALITY COMMISSION
This commission nourishes and gives direction to the liturgical and communal prayer life of the community. The members collaborate with the pastor and staff in this area of mission on liturgy preparation, the training and formation of various liturgical ministers and the formation of the assembly about sacraments and liturgy.
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMISSION
This commission discerns and responds to the needs of persons in the parish, the wider community and the world by identifying resources to meet their needs and enlisting the active cooperation of parishioners. The members collaborate with the pastor, staff and other organizations and agencies in service, advocacy, justice education and empowerment of people. The commission may have committees such as pro-life, meal program and food pantry.
EVANGELIZATION & FORMATION COMMISSION
This commission promotes and develops opportunities for lifelong faith formation aimed at personal conversion and growth in faith. The members collaborate with the pastor and staff in this area of mission on all programs of evangelization and catechesis. The commission may have committees such as evangelization, child ministry, youth ministry, young adult ministry, adult and family ministry and vocations.
This commission educates and promotes the giftedness of all parishioners and the responsibility of disciples to steward all resources. The members collaborate with pastor and staff to develop strategies and practices which invite all parishioners and the parish organization itself to share time, talent and treasure.
Papal Prayer Intentions
Universal: In the Service of Peace
That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.
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