Saint of the Day and Daily Meditation


The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month of March falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. All saint days that are usually Memorials are shifted to Optional Memorials during the season of Lent.

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of MARCH 2023

For victims of abuse: We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering. (See also

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Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Other Commemorations: Bl. Berthold of Mount Carmel (RM) ; Other Titles: Berthold of Calabria

It is one week before the end of Lent, a week from Spy Wednesday. This Mass reminds us that the hatred against Christ was growing, and the plot to kill Him was developing. The three young men in the fiery furnace are a reminder of what Jesus will endure. —The Vatican II Weekday Missal

Today the Roman Martyrology honors Blessed Berthold of Mount Carmel (d. 1195). He was a soldier who fought in the Crusades. Following a vision of Christ, Bertold gave up the military life and became a hermit on Mount Carmel, trying to live like Elijah the Prophet. His community gave inspiration for the founding of the Carmelites.

Today’s Station Church >>>


The debate between Jesus and those participating in the Feast of Tabernacles continues in today’s gospel reading, with the focus now on God’s truth and the breadth of its reach. Jesus declares that those who hold fast to his word “will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” His listeners—some puzzled, some indignant—respond that, as they are the stock of Abraham, they “have never been in bondage to anyone.” How is it, they demand, “that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” The discussion deteriorates from there, with Jesus’s interlocutors mistakenly imagining that he is calling them bastard children. Yet, in their confusion and misapprehension, they bring us to the heart of the matter, proclaiming, “We have one Father, even God.” To which Jesus responds that, in that case, they ought to esteem him, for “I proceeded and came forth from the Father; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.”

The Son, the Light of the world, is teaching those in the Temple, and us, that salvation history has entered a new phase: while Israel remains in the truth that belongs by right to the descendants of Abraham (for God does not renege on his covenantal promises), the truth first revealed to Abraham is now being offered universally. And in the Kingdom that is breaking into history in Jesus’s person and mission, abiding in covenantal truth will no longer be a matter of lineage but of faith—an act of faith that, in principle, is open to everyone, thanks to the grace of God offered to all by the Son of God. The power of Trinitarian love and the truth about God’s relationship with his human creation cannot be confined, even if the distinctive role of Israel in witnessing to this truth will remain an essential part of salvation history. Now, however, there will no longer be “Jew or Gentile…slave or free” [Galatians 3:28]. All who adhere to the Son, who reveals the truth about the Father, will be one.

This truth that Jesus offers is not something his disciples possess—as, for example, Peter, Andrew, James, and John “possess” certain “truths” about fishing on the Sea of Galilee. On the contrary, the truth of God in Christ seizes and possesses the disciples, reshaping their lives, reordering their priorities, configuring those who embrace it in the imitation of the Son. This is truth with power, and its power is evangelical: this is a truth that must be offered to others and lavishly expended in mission. For the paradox of the truth that Jesus offers is that his presence within us conforms us more closely to him, and its grasp upon us increases the more we give his truth to those who have not yet received it. There are no zero-sum games in the economy of salvation, which is the expression in time of the ever-giving, ever-receiving truth, goodness and beauty of the Holy Trinity.

—George Weigel, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches

Bl. Berthold of Mt. Carmel

Blessed Berthold seems to have had a connection with the beginnings of the Carmelite Order. He was a relative of Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch who was installed in Antioch during the crusades. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine, and Berthold gathered them together, founded a community of priests who settled on Mount Carmel, and became their first superior.

There is a legend that he was born at Limoges in France, studied in Paris, and was ordained a priest there. According to the legend, he accompanied Aymeric on the crusades and found himself in Antioch when it was being besieged by the Saracens. Through his urgings, the Christians in Antioch turned to prayer and penance, and the city was delivered.

What is known for certain is that Bl. Berthold directed the building of a monastery and church on Mount Carmel and dedicated the church in honor of the prophet Elias, who had defeated the priests of Baal there and seen the vision of the cloud out over the sea. This is confirmed in a letter of Peter Emilianus to King Edward I of England in 1282.

Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death about 1195. His example and way of life stamped the beginnings of the Carmelite Order, leading to the drawing up of the order’s rule by St. Albert, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, about 1210. That rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226 and it is this primitive rule that is considered the foundation of the Order of Mount Carmel.

But it seems to have been Berthold who first organized the monastic life of the hermits on Mount Carmel and governed them until his death. St. Brocard, who apparently was his successor, petitioned Albert to compose a rule for them, undoubtedly codifying and completing the work begun by Berthold.

—Taken from

Highlights and Things to Do:

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Station with San Marcello al Corso (St. Marcellus at the Corso):

The Station today is at the church of St. Marcellus at the Corso. Legend claims that Pope St. Marcellus (308-309) was sentenced by Emperor Maxentius to look after the horses at the station of the Imperial mail on the Via Lata, where the Via del Corso now lies. He was freed by the people, and hidden in the house of the Roman lady Lucina (see also San Lorenzo in Lucina). He was rearrested, and imprisoned in the stables.

For more on San Marcello al Corso, see:

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.


March 29, 2023 (Readings on USCCB website)



Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent: Enlighten, O God of compassion, the hearts of your children, sanctified by penance, and in your kindness grant those you stir to a sense of devotion a gracious hearing when they cry out to you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Daily Meditation: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Daniel 3:95)

Miriam was having a hard time. She had lost two close friends within the same month through tragic, unexpected circumstances. Shortly afterward, without warning, her landlord chose not to renew her lease. She found herself homeless and had to sleep on friends’ couches while planning her next move. Meanwhile, her ailing parents required her financial and emotional support. But through it all, Miriam found strength from God in prayer. She continued her after-school program for at-risk youth, and her brave resilience gave hope to her students.

Like Miriam’s story, today’s reading about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego can remind us where our strength comes from. God didn’t ask these men to muster up from within themselves the courage to face the inferno. Rather, he himself became their refuge, their hope, and their deliverer. Through their trust in the Lord—and despite King Nebuchadnezzar’s threats—the three young men found the strength to persevere and the resilience to hold fast to their faith.

Just as God strengthened Miriam and helped Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he will provide for us. As we seek him each day, he offers us the grace we need for the circumstances of our lives. A single mother working a second job to provide for her family can find the strength to carry on. A widower struggling with grief can find a mustard seed of hope each morning. God longs to give each of us his abundant grace, no matter our situation.

When we rely on the Lord’s power rather than our own resources, beautiful things can happen. Not only can we find the strength to endure, but we may also discover that our witness produces faith in people around us. King Nebuchadnezzar praised God when the men emerged from the fiery furnace unharmed. Miriam’s students found hope through her trust in the Lord. In him, no suffering is wasted. Know that your faith can bring light to people in darkness, hope to those in pain, and grace to those who are struggling.

“Jesus, when I feel tired, weak, or alone, help me to find my strength and hope in you.”

(Psalm) Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

29TH MARCH 2023

Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52,53,54,55,56; John 8:31-42


Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.” John 8:42

▪It is not uncommon to see those who profess belief in God yet are filled with hatred for others. Most religious wars we wage against each other are often made in the name of God. The Pharisees and the scribes were still not open to accepting Jesus; they were, at this point, planning to kill Him for the sake of God. The question we must ask at this time is what kind of God we are worshipping, the one that sets people free or the one that puts people in bondage?

~ King Nebuchadnezzar is seen trying to roast the three young men (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) because they refused to worship his god. Just as Jesus told the Jews, if God were their Father, they would love instead of hating Him. In the same way, if our religion is God-centered, we would love instead of detest each other. Religion should be a means of emancipation from the slavery of hatred and fear instead of an instrument of enslavement into hatred.

~ Many worship god, not God, depending on the kind they worship. This is because we cannot worship God but still prefer to live in hatred, sometimes finding it difficult to co-exist. We cannot turn religion into a ground for unhealthy competition that is destroying the body of Christ instead of a unifying factor and still claim to be worshipping God. Most communities and families are divided today because many preachers have left the message of Christ to preach their fashioned messages, thereby sowing the seed of discords in the body of Christ. When we teach hatred that Christians see each other as competitors and rivals instead of cooperators who ought to work together for the glory of God, we cannot expect to see the fruit of love. Religious intolerance is often championed through this ugly seed we sow.

~ It is not enough to say we are Christians, or we are children of God, or we are children of Abraham, or children of “Daddy or Mama GOs” because none of these will save us or set us free. The only thing that will free us is the knowledge of the truth. When we come to this knowledge, we will overcome every hatred and fear because fear and hatred keep people in perpetual bondage. Having come to this knowledge, the three young men we mentioned above were ready to die instead of living in lies. God set them free through this truth.

▪Dear friend, if God is our Father, it can only be manifested in love and never in hatred. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). The only truth we can come to is the truth of love, which conquers and bears all things for the sake of God. Jesus did not stop telling the truth or stop loving because of those who refused to accept Him; He continued loving them notwithstanding. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not stop loving, nor were they afraid of standing up for the truth. Lent is a time of reenacting the events of truth and love. Is God still our Father? Then let us love and still stand with the truth.

God bless you

Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam


Our mission is to enable people to offer their money, goods, skills, time, or prayer, and through this involvement, provide the most effective help to those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities. We welcome all into the Mary’s Meals family and we believe everyone has something important to contribute to the realization of our vision.
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 In 1830, one of the apparitions sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church occurred in the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Rue de Bac, Paris. There were three visions given to Saint Catherine Laboure who, at the time of the first one, was a novice in the order. She was awakened at 11:30 PM on the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, by a “shining child” who led her to the chapel where she saw Our Lady, who spoke to her for two hours about the difficult task that lay ahead. Four months later, on November 27 Catherine had the second vision wherein she saw a three-dimensional scene of the Blessed Virgin standing on a white globe with dazzling rays of light streaming from her fingers and she heard a voice say:

“These are the symbols of grace I shed upon those who ask for them.”
“There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee’ Then the voice said: ‘ Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’ “
At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter ‘M’, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ‘ The ‘M’ with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.’ ”
This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady’s intercession for those who wore it.
Sister Catherine became Saint Catherine in 1947. The church instituted recognition of the apparition in which the Miraculous Medal first appeared for November 27, 1830. Millions of the Miraculous Medal have been distributed, and many graces and miracles have been received through this devotion to Our Lady.    
*Click on this link for a free Miraculous Medal


“Whosoever dies clothed in this

shall never suffer eternal fire.”

Virgin Mary’s promise to Saint Simon Stock

July 16, 1251″Wear it devoutly and perserveringly,” she says to each soul, “it is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”

The scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.


The blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular fromthe fires of Hell; She will also shorten their stay in Purgatory if they should passfrom this world still owing some temporal debt of punishment.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular said: “I, the Mother of grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

Pope Benedict XV proceeded to grant an indulgence of 500 days for each time the cloth Scapular is kissed”. On July 16th, the Scapular feast, while addressing the seminarians of Rome, Benedict XV said: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

Pope Benedict XV, addressing seminarians in Rome:“Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: The language, the sentences of the Gospel – the common armor, the Brown Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel which you ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege and protection after death.”The Brown Scapular | A SacramentalOne of the most remarkable effects of sacramentals is the virtue to drive away evil spirits whose mysterious and baleful operations affect sometimes the physical activity of man. To combat this occult power the Church has recourse to exorcism, and sacramentals” (The Catholic Encyclopedia., 1913, VXIII, p. 293).The Brown Scapular | A True StoryYou will understand why the Devil works against those who promote the brown scapular when you hear the true story of Venerable Francis Yepes. One day his Scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the Devil howled, “Take off that habit which snatches so many souls from us! All those clothed in it die piously and escape us!” Then and there Francis made the Devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of: the Holy Name of Jesus; theHoly Name of Mary and the Holy Scapular of Carmel.“Modern Heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular. They decry it as so much trifling nonsense.”St. Alphonsus LigouriMary, Mother of God and Our Mother“When Mary became the Mother of Jesus, true God and true Man, She also became our Mother. In His great mercy, Jesus wished to call us His brothers and sisters, and by this name He constituted us adopted children of Mary.” – St. John BoscoOver the years there have also been many miracles associated with wearing the brown scapular.

*If you would like a brown scapular click here:

Free Brown Scapular | Order Page

New Catholic Radio Station serving Chittenden County

Donna McSoley

Donna McSoley stands in St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski. She is the driving force behind a new Catholic radio station. Photo by Gail Callahan

WINOOSKI – In a state identified in a national study two years ago as one of the least religious in the country, a new Catholic radio station is being hailed by the market and people of faith.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio, which can be found at 105.5 FM, transmits 24-hour daily programming of the Eternal Word Television Network from the St. Francis Xavier Church property in Winooski. The station can be heard in the greater Burlington area and started broadcasting earlier this fall.

Donna McSoley, the driving force behind WRXJ 105.5 FM, said she is eager to begin producing some local programming after she learns more about audio editing software. McSoley said one of her ambitions is to air homilies from priests who serve the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

“I wanted to bring Catholic radio to Vermont because many people here have rejected Christianity without even knowing much about church history, the early church fathers, or never having read the Bible in its entirety,” said McSoley. “Our state is in crisis over heroin and other drugs, and many people are lost and are desperately searching for freedom from addictions and a greater meaning in life.”

In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted the Religious Landscape study, and Vermont tied as the 48th most religious state. The study found 34 percent of the Green Mountain State’s adults said they are “highly religious.”

A state’s spiritual devotion was measured by factors including “absolute belief in God and daily prayer.”

Lance Harlow

The Rev. Lance Harlow, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Burlington, records in WRXJ radio’s Winooski station. Courtesy photo

McSoley, a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Church, began the quest to secure a broadcast license more than five years ago when the Federal Communications Commission opened a small window to own a channel on the FM spectrum for a low-power station. It took about 18 months to secure the FCC’s approval.

McSoley accesses the station’s computers remotely from her Essex Junction home.

She said a radio station can reach people in ways other media outlets can’t. “Radio can be a great way to reach people in the privacy of their own car and where people are apt to ponder life’s great questions,” she said. “I think for that reason, radio can be a great way to explain the Catholic faith, which is largely misunderstood by the general public. … My hope is that the programs on the station can clear this up and we can foster greater unity within the Christian community here in Vermont.”

Ted Quigley, a practicing Catholic, embraces the organization. “105.5 FM is a wonderful change in my life,” he said. “I turn it on when I’m driving or when I’m home cleaning.”

The Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop of Vermont’s Catholics, recorded some station identifications that play through the hour.

Coyne, who was named by Pope Francis to shepherd Vermont’s Catholics nearly two years ago, said he welcomes the station, praising McSoley’s efforts. “The Catholic community in Vermont has been very supportive of the launch of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio,” said Coyne. “Right now, this is the only Catholic radio station in Vermont. I hope to see many more begin to broadcast soon.”

Coyne’s remarks regarding the dearth of religious broadcasting in Vermont underscore what many perceive as an absence of God from the public dialogue. The FCC said it doesn’t keep track of content when license applications come in.

The program director for a Christian radio network serving Vermont said religious-oriented radio outlets are filling a much-needed niche. Bob Pierce, of The Light Radio Network, said his Christian station reaches about 15,000 listeners in Chittenden County.

In a competitive market, McSoley said she is anxious for WRXJ’s message to spread. “Although Vermont is one of the least religious states in the country, I have great faith that people will always be able to recognize truth when they hear it, so my hope is that many people will turn on the radio and start the journey toward discovering God,” she said.