Growing in faith is a life-long process. God continually invites believers into a deeper relationship. Our GO FORTH opportunities will challenge you to dig deeper into your Catholic faith in a variety of ways and put your faith into action.
His mercy endures forever. –Psalm 118
Past Months –Link to activities and replays from previous months
Live Your Faith
We each have a vocation and state of life. We are young, old, and somewhere in between. We are single, married, parents. We are consecrated religious, others are ordained. We all know the lyrics of the old familiar song, “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love.” How we live touches the lives of others, whether or not we take notice. How do we live our Catholic faith out in the world? Here we offer some ideas and suggestions to influence our world or make a difference in the lives within our community by simply living our faith.
- Pray along with the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm on Iowa Catholic Radio or with this sung version.
- Watch the 75 minute documentary Ocean of Mercy on Formed.org.
- Consider adding St. Faustina’s Diary or Divine Mercy for Children to your library.
- Practice Virtues of Faith, Hope & Love
Meet the Saints
One of the beautiful things about our faith is the saints. As Catholics we respect and honor the saints and consider them to be heroes of the Church. The saints are timeless examples of how to live a Christian life, providing endless hope. Not only were they sinners who kept trying to grow closer to God, but they also exemplify ways a person can serve God. The Church emphasizes that they were ordinary people from ordinary families and they were totally human. We will highlight a different saint each month of Together in Faith.
St. Faustina & St. John Paul II
St. Faustina and St. John Paul II, two saints from Poland have been models of love and mercy and are our saints for April.
Helena Kowalska, born in 1905, felt stirrings from the age of 7 to a religious vocation. She joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925 and took the name of Sister Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. While at the convent, she received many revelations and visions from Jesus which she recorded in a diary. Among the revelations she received was instructions to create a devotional painting which we now call “Image of the Divine Mercy” and a prayer we know as the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy.” Sister Faustina died at age 33. Pope John Paul II canonized her on April 30, 2000 and declared the second Sunday of Easter as “Mercy Sunday.”
Karol Wojtyla was born in 1920. In 1942 during the German occupation of Poland, he began his priestly studies in a secret seminary run by the archbishop of Krakow. After World War II ended, he finished his religious studies at a Krakow seminary and was ordained in 1946. He became a cardinal in 1967 & was elected Pope John Paul II in October 1978.
Pope John Paul II placed a strong and significant focus on the Divine Mercy message and devotion received by St. Faustina. Through encyclicals, homilies, beatification and canonization of Sister Faustina, and visits to her tomb, Pope John Paul II confirmed and strengthened the Divine Mercy message. Given his connection and devotion to Divine Mercy, it is fitting that he died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.
Learn more about St. Faustina, St. John Paul II and Divine Mercy with these free resources on Formed.org:
- The Face of Mercy
- Divine Mercy with Fr. Michael Gaitley
- Formed Now: Misery meets Mercy
- Pope John Paul II
- John Paul II: The Man, The Pope and His Message
- John Paul the Great by Jason Everet
- The Divine Plan
Serve the Lord
The Church is known for its emphasis on social justice and the importance of service to express the love of Jesus Christ to the world. Our faith teaches us that we should serve others, showing love and kindness to everyone. Those who learn how to serve others grow in many ways: empathy, awareness, concern, and closeness to Christ. There are many ways to serve Jesus by serving others and the Church. Below is one opportunity
Spiritual & Corporal Works of Mercy
This month of Together in Faith, our theme is Love and Mercy. We encourage you to serve one another by practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy During the COVID-19 Pandemic with this resource from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sing His Praises
Music is a beautiful way to elevate our prayer and express our faith in God. Enjoy and pray with these resources:
- Music with Miss Emmy and Fr. Mark, (for the young and the young at heart)
- Enjoy this audio recording of Come Thou Fount by members from the St. Francis Schola choir.
- April Spotify Playlist