Welcome to St. Therese Parish


Wwelcome you to join with the Faith Community at St. Therese Parish as we gather together to celebrate the Eucharist, the Sacraments or a time of prayer. We welcome back members of St. Therese Parish who have been away for a summer time visit to family and friends in the North! Our special welcome is extended to all who are visiting from the area and also to those who are vacationing in southwest Florida. To those who will be traveling this week – travel safely.

Our parish is a vibrant, welcoming and prayerful parish.  Our parish has lived of and proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the North Fort Myers area. Our diverse community is indeed a microcosm of the universal Church. Here we seek to live the Gospel through the active celebration of the Sacraments, lifelong faith formation, and a continuing commitment to our brother and sisters. We look forward to praying with you, praising Jesus Christ with you, celebrating with you, and spreading the good news of God’s love for all with you!

Make a commitment to pray with and to join in the spiritual journey of those who gather at St. Therese Church by taking time to register.  If you have recently moved into our area or have been here for a long time, but have not registered in the parish, please do.   Making oneself known also makes it possible for others to minister to us when the need arises.  Join with St. Therese Parish by returning a completed registration form (found at the main entrance of the church) or by coming to the parish office.

Season of Advent

Happy NEW CHURCH YEAR!! As we begin the season of Advent, we are again faced with the challenge to find a place where we can be stilled and at peace in the midst of our daily activities. It is not always an easy task. We often look for a “place” to go which is physically distant from where we live - but, that is not always possible. Our real challenge is to find stillness and peace WHERE we live! Finding time to pause two or three times a day to become deeply aware of God with us opens our spirit to the gift of peace and the acceptance of his ever-present love. God's love must always be first... for we cannot give a love we do not know. Allow this Advent time to be a time of being loved – a discovery in the moments of stillness.

I encourage you to consider attending Mass each day during the Advent journey. Not only seek to grow in your love relationship with the Lord, but also encourage others by gathering with them in daily prayer. Do your best to be faithful in reading the daily reflections in the Advent booklet, “Open Your Heart.” Allow this time to be an ADVENT-ure into God's love.

 

 

The Advent Season invites us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus into our world in new ways. Each of us is called to use this time to consider how we can take small steps to change ourselves and the world. When Pope Francis addressed the U.S. Congress on September 25, 2015, he said: “All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and religion. Our response me be one of hope and healing, of justice and peace. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.”

 

Advent Prayer

 

 God of Love,

Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.

He is a sign of your love.

Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,

As we wait and prepare for his coming.

We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.

Amen.

 

Advent Week I – You Do Not Know the Time

Mark 13:33-37

Jesus tells his disciples to “Be watchful! Be alert!” because they do not know when the Lord will come. As we begin the season of Advent, we are reminded that we, too, must be watchful as we wait for the coming of the Lord.

• What am I waiting for this Advent?

• How can I make this Advent season a new beginning?

• How can I pay full attention to the grace of the present, while remembering the past and anticipating the future?

Advent Week II – They Acknowledged Their Sins

Mark 1:1-8

John the Baptist appears in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah that a messenger would appear ahead of the Messiah. One of his messages was to acknowledge humanity’s sinful nature and encourage repentance. This same call is extended to each of us this Advent.

• How can I use this Advent season as a way to grow more deeply in my faith?

• How long has it been since my last confession?

• Am I more caught up in the cultural expression of the “holiday season” than I am of the “holy day season”?

Advent Week III – Make Straight the Way of the Lord

John 1:7-8, 19-28

When the priests and Levites demanded to know who John was, he didn’t answer them in the way they wanted. Instead, he quoted Isaiah, saying that he was “the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”

• Where am I in my journey of faith this Advent?

• What are some ways that I can express the joy of Gaudete Sunday with my family and friends?

• What is one thing I can commit to praying about this Advent season?

Advent Week IV – Son of the Most High

Luke 1:26-38

Mary said “yes” when Gabriel announced she had been chosen to be the mother of the Savior, even though she had no real idea of what lay ahead. She was willing to accept God’s plan for her life.

• Is there something in my life I am resisting? How can Mary’s example help me become more accepting of God’s plan?

• What can I do this last week of Advent to prepare myself for the mystery of Christmas?

• What habits or attitudes have I developed this Advent that I would like to take with me for the rest of the year?

  

Advent's Urgent Prayer

Advent's Urgent Prayer

The collects for the season push us to grow in wisdom Msgr. Michael J. Begolly

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas often find us running in many directions with lots of things to do. Long lists and longer lines sometimes can try our patience! In the breathless rush of preparing for and celebrating the holidays, the Church, in her wisdom, gives us the season of Advent.

Pope Francis on Advent

“In this season of Advent, we are called to expand the horizons of our hearts, to be amazed by the life which presents itself each day with newness. In order to do this, we must learn to not depend on our own certainties, on our own established strategies, because the Lord comes at a time that we do not imagine. He comes to bring us into a more beautiful and grand dimension.” — Angelus, Nov. 27, 2016

Acting Righteously

With its twofold character of remembering the First Coming of Christ and looking forward to his Second Coming at the end of time, Advent is a time of “devout and expectant delight,” according to the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year. Pregnant with the promise of a world turned upside down, the Scriptures of the season come alive with almost magical imagery: the desert blooming and the winding ways made straight, mountains made low and valleys filled in; the blind seeing and the deaf hearing, the lame dancing and the brokenhearted healed, swords turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, a peaceable kingdom with its shepherd-king.

This is a world of dreams and hungers and yearnings, where fear and darkness are put to flight, sins are forgiven, and God’s lavish mercy is poured forth on those who fear him. The lowly are lifted up, the proud cast down, the hungry filled with good things.

As she waits in wonder for these promises to be fulfilled, the Church cries out her urgent plea on the First Sunday of Advent:

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, 

the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ

with righteous deeds at his coming,

so that gathered at his right hand

they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. 

In these opening words of the Advent season, the Church proclaims the coming of Christ and his kingdom and lays out for her followers a way to enter the Kingdom — namely, a life of righteousness. As we run the race of life with our hearts set on the heavenly kingdom, we must do our part here and now to make this world an image, an icon, of the heavenly Jerusalem. Putting our faith into practice and meeting Christ as he comes to us here and now in our sisters and brothers, we prepare to greet him when he comes in glory.

Mindful that what we do to the least of our sisters and brothers, we do to Christ, we set out on a way of life that reflects the mercy of God: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries and bearing wrongs patiently.

Grateful for the First Coming of Christ in Bethlehem, and looking forward in hope to his Second Coming at the end of time, we pray for the grace to recognize Christ in the many ways that he comes to us each day, in word, sacrament and one another. Lest we focus simply on the coming of Christ at Christmas, the opening prayer on this initial Advent Sunday helps us to keep the big picture in mind. It also serves as a reminder for Christmas and the season beyond, that the works of mercy are lifelong and bear a continued remembrance in our prayer, our preaching and our daily living.


Growing in Heavenly Wisdom

On the Second Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist makes his appearance, crying out: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths.” A voice in the wilderness, camel’s hair clothing, locusts and honey, winnowing fans and threshing floors, a brood of vipers and unquenchable fire, all remind us that Advent is a wild season: a season of surprises and warnings, expectation and puzzlement, a world turned upside down with the coming of the Lord’s Anointed. He follows in the prophetic tradition of keeping the promises alive, even when the promises grow old and the people lose heart.

Clearly he is not talking about the babe in the manger, but the coming of the One who will fulfill the promises of old. This is God-with-us, who comes with power, who rules with his strong arm. Yet with compassion and tenderness, he feeds his flock, gathering the lambs and leading the ewes with care. This is the mighty One of God who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Enlightened by the same Spirit, the Church earnestly cries out and prays for strength and perseverance on the Second Sunday of Advent:

Almighty and merciful God,

may no earthly undertaking hinder those

who set out in haste to meet your Son,

but may our learning of heavenly wisdom

gain us admittance to his company.

Having set out to meet Christ with righteous deeds, we continue our journey in haste, as we grow in our learning of the heavenly wisdom handed down to us by the prophets and apostles. We are told: Fear not. Cast off the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Be blameless in holiness. Conduct yourselves so as to please God. Do not worry. Do not quench the Spirit. Abstain from every evil.

By living in this manner in this world, we prepare to take our place in the new heavens and new earth that God is preparing for us. As on the First Sunday of Advent, the Church reminds us that this season is not simply about preparing to celebrate Christmas once again. Rather it is about deepening our relationship with the One who is coming through our prayer, reflecting on God’s word and a life of service. These are the real gifts of the season that we must value day by day.


Worshiping with Glad Rejoicing

As we move to the Third Sunday of Advent, the focus shifts from the Second Coming of Christ and the preparations we are to make throughout our lives for that coming, to the approaching feast of the Lord’s Nativity and the joy that this annual celebration brings.

Isaiah captures this sense of joy in the words that Jesus proclaimed in the synagogue:

“He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God” (61:1).

In his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes that “the joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all those who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness” (No. 1).

When we experience that joy, we are impelled to share this joy and the good news of God’s love with others in all we say and do.

Each week as the Church gathers to pray, we are sent forth as missionary disciples, nourished by word and sacrament. The Eucharist, the source and summit of our spiritual life, becomes the Advent prayer of the Church, par excellence. Gathered together by God himself, we listen to God’s Word, who became flesh for our salvation.

In gratitude for this gift, we offer the Church’s great prayer of thanksgiving. God, who is never outdone in generosity, transforms our gifts into the body and blood of Christ and gives them back to us, so that we who receive them might become what we receive. Sent forth as living members of the Body of Christ, we put our faith into practice by our lives of loving service.

Therefore, to our righteous deeds and our learning of heavenly wisdom, the Church now adds solemn worship and glad rejoicing as a way to both prepare for and celebrate the gift of salvation in Christ:

O God, who see how your people

faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,

enable us, we pray

to attain the joys of so great a salvation,

and to celebrate them always

with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. 

In addition to preparing the liturgical environment and the music for the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, we must be sure that the proclamation of the prayers at Mass reflect both this call to solemn worship and glad thanksgiving. Our preparation for the feast of the Lord’s Nativity might therefore include some time for prayer and reflection on the prayers we lead and a proclamation that reflect not only solemn worship, but also glad rejoicing.


Living the Paschal Mystery

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we pray the prayer that is used to conclude the Angelus, a prayer that recalls the Angel’s visit to Mary and her response.

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,

Your grace into our hearts,

that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son

was made known by the message of an Angel,

may by his Passion and Cross

be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.

This prayer sets the stage for the events surrounding the Nativity. The annunciation and visitation, Mary and Elizabeth, a barren womb no longer empty and the virgin with a child, Zechariah and Joseph — it all bears witness to a world turned upside down. God who is mighty has done great things, and holy is his name!

But this prayer also reminds us of the deeper meaning of the Incarnation. The focus of the entire Advent/Christmas season is not the infant lying in the manger, but Christ who comes with the gift of God’s salvation. This great gift was not simply the birth of Jesus, but his entire life, death and resurrection — the Paschal Mystery.

While specific aspects of the Paschal Mystery are celebrated at their own distinct time during the liturgical year, this prayer reminds us that each Sunday the Church celebrates the fullness of the mystery of God’s saving love revealed in Jesus Christ. This insight reminds us that there is so much more than the birth of a baby to be pondered and celebrated during the Advent and Christmas seasons, and throughout our entire lives.

As we pray these collects and prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ, may we strive to act righteously and grow in heavenly wisdom, so that our worship and glad rejoicing may lead us deeper into the mystery of God’s love, revealed in the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord.


MSGR. MICHAEL J. BEGOLLY is the pastor of Mount St. Peter Parish in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

Christmas Mass Schedule

FORMED - The Catholic Faith On Demand


St. Therese’s has subscribed to a dynamic and exciting new online platform called FORMEDThis “Catholic version of Netflix,” FORMED, is the revolutionary digital platform that gives you unprecedented access to the best Catholic content there is - video-based study programs, feature films, audio presentations, and eBooks from the Church’s foremost presenters. Whether fallen away or deeply engaged, at the parish or on the go, FORMED will help you grow in your faith, find deeper peace with God, and share what you believe with others.  This wonderful program was donated to St. Therese Parish.  We are grateful for this generous donor for this wonderful gift to our Faith Family.

All parishioners have 24/7 FREE access to the best Catholic content on any device, including your computer, smartphone and tablet with internet access through this access code for St. Therese parishioners.


 

To get your free account started,

-      Go to the FORMED website at formed.org - and sign with our parish access code: BG6HWX.  Enter your email and create a password.

-      Click this link www.sainttheresechurch.formed.org - Enter your email and create a password.


This Catholic media library is a FREE gift to you as a St. Therese Parishioner and includes books, programs, DVDs, CD’s etc. that will help you dive deeper into your faith.

If you have any questions about FORMED or have trouble accessing your free account, please contact Nelson Perez at (239) 567-2315 ext. 203 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Unlimited Use for Our Entire Parish

300+ episodes of video-based study programs

35+ feature films and movies

45+ audio presentations

25+ eBooks

Available in English and Spanish!

Available 24/7

 

STUDY PROGRAMS

300+ episodes of transformational video-based study programs including accompanying study guides essential for discipleship

AUDIO PROGRAMS

48 life-changing Lighthouse Talks™ for evangelization made easy

MOVIES

40 captivating full-length feature films bring families together

EBOOKS

Dozens of inspiring eBooks to enliven the faith of both individuals and groups

 

Compelling and Trustworthy Teachers

 

You can see what’s on FORMED by checking out the trailers below. 

What is FORMED.org?

https://vimeo.com/139714262

 

How can FORMED help my marriage?

By providing you with beautiful testimonies from other Catholic couples and the life-changing teachings of the Church through videos like Beloved that you and your spouse can watch together at home and then discuss and pray about together.  See the trailer below!

https://vimeo.com/153162904

 

How can FORMED help my kids?

By giving you awesome Catholic speakers who know how to talk to kids about the Faith right at your fingertips and on their mobile devices.  See the sample below!

https://vimeo.com/139714995

 

How can FORMED help me get closer to God?

By showing you through formation series like Lectio how to pray so that your prayer time is a genuine encounter with God that you experience personally.  Check out the trailer below!

https://vimeo.com/153162929

 

How can FORMED help me invite my loved ones back to the Church?

By sharing videos like this with them that they can watch right on their smart phones.  They’ll hear things about the faith they never knew before or “never heard explained this way.” Check out the compelling trailer below!

https://vimeo.com/153516243

 

Testimonies

“FORMED provides Catholics of all ages access to excellent Catholic resources. In a parish, school, or home setting, utilizing the best in current technology, FORMED becomes a powerful evangelization tool for the modern world.”

Bishop Gerard Bergie, D.D.  |  Ontario

“God be praised for FORMED. . . . Folks who hadn’t been to Confession in years were moved to return to the sacrament . . . one person returned after 40 years!”

Fr. Joseph Cooper  |  New Hampshire

“FORMED has been an invaluable resource in my journey . . . and it has helped bring me closer to our Lord Jesus Christ and our Blessed Mother. What else could anyone ask for?”

Christian  |  Colorado

 

KofC Monthly Parish Dinner - January 11

 

 With the sponsorship of the Knights of Columbus, St. Therese Parish will be having the next monthly dinner on Friday, January 11.  The main entrée will be Ham.  Tickets ($12.50) may be purchased at weekend Masses, at the 50/50 table or in the Parish Office no later than Monday, January 7 at 10:00 AM.  Doors open at 5:30 PM and dinner begins at 6:30 PM.  Join with others for a great dinner and a time for socializing.    

Knights of Columbus Hall

16351 Slater Road ~ North Fort Myers, FL

 Join us at this month's parish community dinner!

 

2018-2019 Schedule

Mark your calendar for the following dinner dates:

Friday, January 11th - Ham Dinner

Friday, February 8th - Pot Roast Dinner 

Friday, March 8th - Shrimp Scampi Dinner

Thursday, April 4th - Meatloaf Dinner

 

 

Faith, Hope & Love 50/50 Raffle Winners

 

Raffle Winners ~ November 2018

Ticket # 290514

Ticket # 321264

Ticket # 386580

Winning Tickets must be claimed no later than December 31, 2018.

Thank you to all who participated.

 

Advent Season Study

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” or, at least that’s the assumption based on that familiar holiday song.  But what does that look like at your house? Most of us anticipate the great sales at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving, string lights on the outside of our house, and decorating the inside of our homes.  But how exactly are we preparing our hearts for the greatest gift we’ve ever been given?  Through an exploration of the mystery of the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the events surrounding the arrival of Jesus, this Advent study offers an opportunity to experience the joy of the true meaning of Christmas.

Sessions and Times

- The series will begin on Wednesday, November 28, at 2:00 PM in the church and will continue on December 5, 12 and 19.

- Includes video, discussion and questions for reflection.

- Deadline: December 28th

The topics are:

Session 1: Prepare the Way

Session 2: Trust in God

Session 3: Watch and Pray

Session 4: The Gift

If you are not able to join us, follow this program at FORMED.org.

If you registered, thank you!  To get your free account started,

- Go to the FORMED website at formed.org - and sign with our parish access code: BG6HWX. Enter your email and create a password or

- Click this link www.sainttheresechurch.formed.org - Enter your email and create a password.

For more information or to register, please contact Nelson at 239-567-2315 ext. 203 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Parish Office.

I look forward to exploring the Advent Season with you.