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Spiritual Life

Saturday Morning Bible Study

Bible StudySaturday Morning Scripture Study, which began January 13, 2018,  will delve into Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians using “First Corinthians: The Church and the Christian Community”, an 11-part study from “The Great Adventure” series.  Come study, pray, learn and rejoice with us as we let God’s word through St. Paul reintroduce and make new for us the gifts of grace, the Church and the Eucharist!  See and save the full-page flyer in next weekend’s bulletin or at any church exit for more information and to register.  There is no prior study necessary and all are welcome.  Now is the time to explore God’s word in the Scriptures and let it transform your life!   

Contact:  Debra Head (615-851-1908) or Don Steinhilber (615-265-8375)

Sunday Morning Bible Study


Beatitudes Matthew 5: 3-10

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”    

During the month of March the focus of the Sunday Scripture Class will be on the second beatitude.

Hebrews 13:5         Psalm 23                 Psalm 44:10-13                    Matthew 9:14-15  

Matthew 18:20       Matthew 28:20         1Thessalonians 4:13-14


“What happens to good people when bad things happen to them? They become……better people! What is the cross… a minus turned into a plus! The good news is… the bad news can be turned into good news…… when you change your attitude! God comforts us by giving us courage, by giving us a sense of calm, by giving us companionship, by giving us compassion and by giving us a new set of commitments. Never look at what you have lost, look at what you have left!” Be Happy Attitude number two “I’m really hurting, but I’m going to bounce back!” To register or ask for information:

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Legion of Mary





Our parish "Legion of Mary" group is looking for new members.  We meet most Saturday mornings @ 9AM.  We pray the rosary together and report on our ministry of service. This includes Eucharistic visitations of the sick, aged or homebound parishioners. We hope that You would consider this Vocational Calling. The  Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church.  For more information contact:  Deacon Mike Kopczynski @ 615-772-7334 or .

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Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors







Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors (MAPW) are just ordinary Catholics trying to fight an extraordinary enemy (Satan) through prayer, fasting, frequent reception of the Sacraments and all the ordinary and extraordinary holy things done by Christians everywhere, who are attempting to practice their faith. We serve God according to our vocation in life, but prayer and fasting are our main weapons.  

1. “Jesus seems to…announce a mysterious law of the world of prayer, namely, that God, by His own decree, has somehow placed His power in the hands of persons who intercede, in such a way that unless they intercede, His power is withheld. This is the great attraction of the prayer of intercession: that as you practice it you get a sense of the tremendous power there is in prayer and having sensed this power, you will never give up prayer.”   Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J., Sadhana - A Way to God

This is about prayer, spiritual warfare, and not just talking about prayer,which can be highly narcotizing. We must be about the practice of prayer.

2. Our MAPW are devoted to spending a minimum of one hour each day in solitude and silence in some quiet place immersed in prayer and meditation. The Holy Rosary is the weapon of choice. The practice of praying the Liturgy of the Hours is also highly encouraged as is any Lectio Divina.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Ps 37:7 (NIV)

The practice of praying in a place which is quiet and away from the noisy world we live in is most important for our own spiritual health, but has grand implications for the Church which is The Body of Christ and for the world. Mass is not enough!         

There are no meetings, dues, or vows. We just take on an obligation with love to spend one hour a day in prayer and to fast on Fridays.

                                      St. Bruno Night Warriors

St. Bruno Night Warriors (SBNW) are Christians who practice the same prayer formulas that our MAPW’s practice in #2, but they pray during the nighttime ours, anytime between the hours of 8:00PM and 4:00AM. These are the hours when fewer Christians are at prayer in our portion of the globe. These are the hours when the greatest evil takes place, and there are fewer people at prayer. So, our Night Warriors fill this gap and continue the prayer relay. With the diminution of the contemplative and cloistered religious orders throughout the Church, you and I are seriously needed to take up the slack.

Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…” Isaac the Syrian  

“The faithful must get used to praying in the night, like Jesus. God carries out His works at night. In the night, all movement is transformed and grows by God’s strength.” Robert Cardinal Sarah

Brothers and sisters, please give this more than just a great deal of thought. Pray about this and make a decision to deepen and strengthen your love life for the Triune God, Mother Mary, all the saints, and for Mother Church. This will benefit the world in which she, the Church, ministers her loving benevolence.

             Michael the Archangel Prayer Warrior’s Preamble

"As we explore the art of prayer and examine our role in the spiritual life, we uncover a myriad of Christians who are hungering to know about that agency which foments and creates evil. Just as we have no ability to do good without the Holy Spirit as guide, instigator, and inventor, we have no power to create and instigate evil. Evil is a creative, negative option allowed by God so that we can have a freedom of choice and not be slaves (Jn 15:15). We must realize that we face an efficiency that is evil in itself; an existing evil, an evil that is a person; an evil that we cannot classify as a corruption of goodness. We are speaking of an affirmation of evil, and if this does not frighten us, it should." The Demonic – November 15, 1972 – Pope Paul VI from a General Audience in Italian.                                                         
The power of this prayer movement will be based on the power of the name of Jesus with particular emphasis on the Jesus Prayer and The Holy Rosary. The Scripture verse contained in Mathew, Chapter 6, verse 6 is what points to the pattern of prayer that Jesus Himself taught. We can call it the Route 66 method of solitary prayer. 

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.(Mt6:6) 

The next methodology is the A.S.K. formula or the Route 77 method found in Mathew’s Gospel, Chapter 7, verse 7  - Ask, Seek, Knock.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt 7:7)  
 The power in the name of Jesus is referenced by Jesus in Mark. In My Name you will... (Mk 16:17)

     And again in John…
       You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (Jn 14:14) 
     And again in John…
         … so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.(Jn 15:16b)

We can call these prayer coordinates, a latitude and longitude, if you will. It's where a person should want to be in their prayer mentality.
But it is in our expanded friendship with God that we find our true relationship.                               
    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
   Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I  learned from my Father I have made                 known to you.     (Jn 15:15)
Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors  

And so, the institution of  Michael, the Archangel Prayer Warriors came about because so many of the faithful were lacking in spiritual direction particularly with regard to prayer, and there was/is this necessity to intensify the power of prayer against Satan and his minions. 

Actually, we've had a group in some of our state prisons for a while, and with the advent of our O.S.M.B.'s ([Order of St. Moses the Black] - our prison ministry is under his patronage) we had gained some experience with both Catholics and non-Catholics. The great spiritual monastic disciplines of Silence, Solitude, Simplicity, and Service are still a necessity. These disciplines are the essence of the environment in which we should immerse ourselves and pray and will still be and are still called for because they are of centuries of monastic prayer practice and are made for spiritual warriors. They have a power in themselves to enhance Christian discipleship. These are Gospel disciplines. 

At this time, there are no proposed meetings, although we may sometime decide  in the future. We all have enough things to do or already have made commitments toward many other ministries, so we will not waste time in hearings or committees. Since we are about the business of prayer, most of our spiritual  encouragement should continue to come from our frequent reception of the sacraments, our daily prayer life, our families, loved ones, close friends, and parishioners who are also prayer warriors. All of these are channels of God's grace.

As an aside, one of the reasons the Hebrew Scriptures mandated the people’s participation in frequent assemblies and the Church has mandated the same thing in our Sunday worship services (Mass) under penalty of serious sin, is because of something we’ve talked about elsewhere. It is called “interpersonal neurobiology”. It is essentially group therapy that occurs just by all of us being together on one place for a particular purpose. This “we are the clay; You are the Potter” imagery that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures has a physiological basis called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means our brains are rewired and a great healing is taking place slowly as we continue to associate ourselves with other healing sinners. This is a complex subject, and there are some very good lectures on YouTube presented by some fine psychiatrists and other medical people on this subject should you wish to learn more. Start by looking for lectures on depression, but a better place to start might be PTSD. Dr Steven Porges has some lectures on this subject. Mindsight is a book wrtten by psychiatrist Dan Siegle that explains interpersonal neurobiology very well.

                                   Now what does it take to become a prayer warrior? 
You must be willing to set aside one hour of time each day for personal and intercessory prayer. For Catholics, this does not include the daily attendance at Mass; that is extra, if you wish to do this. This spend[ing] one hour with Me (Jesus) (Mk 14:37c)  is extra and of the highest importance. This is our private prayer time with the Lord, and it must be spent in silence and solitude.
That’s right. The discipline of silence and solitude coupled with our prayer, is the ground (playground) of our love affair with the Lord which will become much deeper, pleasureable, and attractive as one progresses with more experience. It can and will become the a premier desire of everything you do because you now  have this developed  friendship (Ps 25:14)  with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Mary and Joseph – two Trinities joined together with Christ as the center, like the image on a die which symbolically displays the number 5
Father and Spirit (Holy Divine Family) - top dots    
Son  (Divine and Human) - center dot                                               
Mary and Joseph (Holy Human Family) - bottom dots

No matter how you turn the face of this side of the die, you can see the two Trinities pointing to each other through the Son on the middle dot on the die, and as you begin spending more time in this “other world”, you realize that you it may appear that you're praying alone (in solitude), but you're praying in conference with these persons who are also in this world with you, although not necessarily perceptible.
This is about prayer and spiritual warfare, and not just talking about prayer, which can be highly narcotizing as can be a lot of committee work. Just because we talked about it, we may think we've done something about it. We must be about the practice of prayer which entails the discipline of setting aside time each day for this spiritual ritual.                
Church attendance is down, and some are searching for to churches where they can hear nice sermons which may titillate the ears - Gospels of prosperity, so to speak. Nothing required on the part of the participant - just show up. The spiritual journey is full of pitfalls and challenges. The power and time spent in prayer is what is needed for us as individuals and the Holy Roman Catholic Church.  
                                         St Bruno Night Warriors

Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of  daytime...Isaac the Syrian
It is highly desirable to have a plethora of troops in spiritual warfare since so many of the cloistered contemplative vocations have shrunken. We have a loss of prayer warriors on the front lines.

A nightly nighttime rendezvous with God in silence can and will become habit forming. The desire to meet the Lord in the silent darkness of the night will grow to the point that you will eventually find yourself carefully arranging your daily schedule so that you retire for the evening rest at the same time each night or as close to it as is possible. You will go about organizing your daytime schedule so that you will not be cheated out of your time with the Lord. 

You may find yourself needing less sleep. A number of the saints slept very little, but spent many hours in prayer. Certainly, the time for getting up for the regular night vigil will become easier as you intensify the practice. An alarm clock may not be necessary. Just a word said to your Guardian Angel will suffice. There can be times when remaining awake might be challenging. This becomes much less of a challenge as time progresses. A slight rocking motion of the head or body can help one stay awake. Or you can change to another prayer format or change prayer posture.

As you gain more experience in getting out of bed and going to the place of prayer, you might  notice your body’s temperature rising before even getting up, possibly to the point of sweating. This can aid a person in realizing the call to prayer has occurred, just as in the final minutes of prayer, you can become aware that the body is cooling down, as it readies itself for sleep once again. These temperature differentials are measurements are in tenths of a degree and would require a basel body temperature to register these variants.

The nighttime silence is a powerful, silent elixir for the spirit. It might even be intoxicating. It also is a profound weapon against Satan and his ilk.

Prayer At Night

“Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. Therefore all the righteous prayed during the night, while combating the heaviness of the body and the sweetness of sleep and repelling corporeal nature….There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…For this reason the devil smites them with violent warfare, in order to hinder them, if possible from this work [as was the case with Anthony the great, Blessed Paul, Arsenius, and other Desert Fathers]….But those who have resisted his wicked stratagems even a little, who have tasted the gifts of God that are granted during vigil, and who have experienced in themselves the magnitude of God’s help that is always nigh to them, utterly disdain him and all his devices….Which of the solitaries, through possessing all the virtues together, could neglect this work,   and not be reckoned to be idle without it? For night vigil is the light of the thinking, and by it the understanding is exalted, the thought is collected, and the mind takes flight and gazes at spiritual things and by prayer is rejuvenated and shines brilliantly".1 


When keeping vigil, especially the 3rd watch – midnight to three AM – if you ate your last meal around 6:00PM, you have a head start on a good 14 to 16 hour intermittent fast. If you are fasting on the days prescribed by the Didache, which are Wednesdays and Fridays, and are keeping the third watch, a 24hour fast is well within reach.

If you are concerned about a rapacious appetite while breaking the fast, be assured that it is not an abnormal experience. Scientists have found that most people only eat an additional 20% more calories than they would have had they not fasted. we can learn a great deal about moderation from fasting.

Fasting teaches many things including the ability to tolerate a little suffering in the form of hunger pangs. What a delight to offer these sufferings in union with Christ’s sufferings. These small pains make us aware of the poverty of our existence without God, and certainly more aware of the sufferings of the poor.

All of this should lead us to a simpler lifestyle. It reduces our desire for needless consumption of goods and food. Gospel simplicity is one of the frequent topics of our Blessed Lord. The warnings to the rich should be sufficient.

            Peace be with you.

1 From the Ascetical Homilies by Isaac the Syrian, ca 700, Feast Jan. 28. Quoted by Robert Cardinal Sarah in his book, The Power Of Silence Against The Dictatorship Of Noise.

May the All-Powerful, Triune God, continue to bless you, protect you from all evil, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen

Deacon ed  

All Scripture quotes are from New International Version

Music Ministry

Music MinistryMusic is integral to the celebration of any liturgical event.  Singing unifies and deepens our communal prayer.  Singing together, we become one body in Christ.

The gift of music is a treasure to be shared.  St. Joseph Music Ministries offers a wide variety of musical experiences for parishioners.  Whether you are interested in singing or are an instrumentalist of any kind, you can be sure that you will be joining a great group of people.

We invite you to join with us in making beautiful music for St. Joseph Church - it is an amazing vocation.  Any musical gift you have been blest with can be realized by joining one of our groups, whether it be one of the adult choirs or as an instrumentalist. 

Perhaps you have been thinking about joining one of the groups, but there has been that one thing holding you back.  Perhaps the choirs seem so close knit that you  feel you would be an "outsider" if you were to join.  Please be assured, one of our highest priorities is to foster a sense of community.  We love seeing new faces and welcoming them into our family.  I promise you will be put at ease at the very first rehearsal you attend. 

Perhaps you don't read music, so you think there is no way you could join.  Well...lots of our musicians don't read music!  Music is something that is heard, not seen.  In fact, music was being produced thousands and thousands of years before a single note was every written down.  Does an ability to read music help?  Yes, but it is not at all essential.  Please don't let this be the thing that holds you back.

If you feel you are too busy to make a commitment, you might be surprised at the kind of flexibility we can offer you.  If you are even somewhat curious about anything to do with music making at St. Joseph Church,

please contact the Director of Music Ministries: Jefferey A. Hall.

The Music Ministry at St. Joseph includes:

    *Sunday Choir (8:30 AM Mass)
    *Contemporary Choir (11:00 AM Mass)
    *Handbell Choir
    *Music for Weddings and Funerals