What's Happening at St. Helens Catholic Church this week !?!

Confession- 30 minutes before Mass and Mass is at the Rectory Chapel 829 NE Chester Ave Topeka Kansas 66616 unless otherwise stated. (Please call ahead to confirm days and times for any event: (904)- 742-9781


Abstinence means refraining from eating the meat from mammals or fowl, and soup or gravy made from them. Fish is allowed, hence Fridays are known as "Fish Fridays." Traditionally, the laws of abstinence apply to all aged 7 and over.

Partial Abstinence

Meat and soup or gravy made from meat may be eaten once a day at the principle meal.


Fasting is the taking of only one full meal (which may include meat) and two smaller, meatless meals that don't equal the large one meal. No eating between meals is allowed, but water, milk tea, coffee, and juices are OK. Meat is allowed at one meal (assuming abstinence isn't also expected on a given day). Traditionally, everyone over 21 years of age and under 59 years of age is bound to observe the law of fast.


Week of November 22nd, 2021

Monday 22nd: Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Mass 8:30 am

Rosary After Mass

Mass 6:00 pm

Altar And Rosary Society 3:00pm


Tuesday 23rd: Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr

Mass  - 8:30 am

Rosary After Mass                                                                                                                                             

Hospital Visitation and Shut-ins

Altar And Rosary Society 3:00pm


Wednesday 24th: Saint John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church


Rosary After Mass

Altar And Rosary Society-3:00pm

Mass 6:00pm / Bible Study 7:00pm: Leviticus-The Holiness Of God 

Thursday 25th: Saint Catherine, Virgin and Martyr

Mass -8:30am

Rosary After Mass

Chrysostom Bible Institute 9am-12pm- NO CLASSES

Altar And Rosary Society-3:00pm

Mass 6:00pm / Catechism Classes 7:00pm- No Mass or Classes

Friday 26th: Saint Sylvester  -Abstinence

Mass -8:30am 

Rosary After Mass

Chrysostom Bible Institute 9am-12pm- NO CLASSES

Altar And Rosary Society-3:00pm- WILL NOT BE MEETING

6:00pm  Mass- NO MASS

Rosary After Mass

Parish Meal (Soup and Salad) 7:00pm- NO MEAL


Saturday 27th: Ferial Day

Mass 11:00am

Rosary After Mass

Soup and Sandwich 12:00pm

Door To Door Visitation 1:00-3:00pm

Altar And Rosary Society-3:00pm


Sunday 28th: First Sunday in Advent

Mass 9:00am ( Lighting of the Advent Wreath)

Catechism Classes-10:00am







November: Praying For The Dead

II Maccabees 12:43-46: "And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

Those who've died in a state of grace are not truly "dead"; they are our beloved in Heaven or in Purgatory (on their way to Heaven) and will forever be, world without end, part of the Communion of Saints -- the Church Triumphant (the Saints in Heaven, whether or not they are beatified or canonized), the Church Suffering (the saints in Purgatory), and the Church Militant (the saints on earth).

Because, aside from those the Church has beatified or canonized, we can't know who is already in Heaven, who is in Purgatory for a time, or who is damned, we pray for the dead for the rest of our lives -- assuming they are in Purgatory, while hoping they are in Heaven and not damned. This has been the practice of Christians since the beginning of the Church, as attested to by inscriptions found in the catacombs, such as this one found in the Catacombs of  Domitilla:

"Ut quisquis de fratribus legerity, roget Deum ut sancto et innocent spiritu ad Deum suscipiatur." ("If any of the brethren reads this, let him ask that this holy and innocent soul may be received by God.")

We also ask those who've died to pray for us. While those whom the Church has deemed to be of the Church Triumphant (the canonized Saints) are in Heaven for certain and are, therefore, in no need of our prayers for them, we've always asked for them to pray for us.

As to the Church Suffering in Purgatory (the "poor souls"), Aquinas teaches that they are not able to know, by themselves, our prayers; however, it is piously believed, and taught by St. Alphonsus Liguori, that God makes our prayers known to them -- not directly, as they are deprived of the Beatific Vision until they enter Heaven, but by infusing this knowledge into their souls. St. Bellarmine teaches that because the Church Suffering is so close to God -- much closer than we are and having the great consolation of knowing they are saved -- their prayers for us are very effective. So, as you pray for your dead loved ones, ask them to pray for you, too! This practice, too, is attested to in the ancient catacombs, these coming again from the Catacomb of Domitilla:

"Roges pro nobis" ("Make petition for us")
"Pete pro parentes tuos" ("Pray for your parents")
"Pete pro sorore tua" ("Pray for your sister")
"Succurrite cum judicabitis" ("Help us when you come to the judge")

As to the damned, there is no hope; no prayer can help them and we can't pray formally for those in Hell. The problem, of course, is that we can't know who is damned, and so we pray generally for "all the faithful departed." For those who've died outside of visible Communion with Christ's Church or for those Catholics who've died seemingly without repentance and in scandal, public prayer cannot be offered, but we can most certainly still pray privately with the hope that they've died in a state of grace. Those who are denied a Catholic funeral can't be prayed for liturgically, publicly, but they can most definitely be prayed for -- and should be prayed for -- privately. Priests can even offer Masses for such people privately, without naming them.

Private Prayers For The Dead

Private Prayer
for the Dead

In addition to having a Mass said on the anniversary of a loved one's death as mentioned above, there exists an old Christian custom of fasting, burning a candle for 24 hours, and praying for them on this day and on future anniversaries of the loved one's death (this custom was adopted by Jews in the Middle Ages; they call it "Jahrzeit" -- also spelled "Yahrzeit" --  as did the medieval German Christians.) Any orthodox traditional or improvised prayer can be prayed at this time, but the Rosary is always appropriate and can be prayed now (or any time) for the dead, offered in the same way it is at Catholic funerals -- i.e., with the Fatima Prayer replaced by the Eternal Rest Prayer. The Eternal Rest prayer is also prayed by itself, offered any time for the dead, when visiting grave sites, and when passing cemeteries. It is a prayer every Catholic should know by heart:

Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.


Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen.

We also pray for our dead every time we eat if we pray the After Meal Blessing, another prayer every Catholic should know by heart:

We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, Who livest and reignest forever. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis, qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

The Penitential Psalms -- i.e., Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142 -- are also prayed for the dead, especially the 129th Psalm, known as De Profundis (Out of the Depths):

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord: Lord hear my voice.


De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine: Dómine, exáudi vocem meam.

Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.


Fiant aures tuae intendéntes: in vocem deprecationis meae.

If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?


Si iniquitátes observaveris, Dómine: Dómine, quis sustinébit.

But there is forgiveness with Thee: because of Thy law I wait for Thee, O Lord.


Quia apud te propitiátio est: et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Dómine.

My soul waiteth on His word: my soul hopeth in the Lord.


Sustinuit ánima mea in verbo ejus: sperávit ánima mea in Dómino.

From the morning watch even until night let Israel hope in the Lord:


A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: speret Israel in Dómino.

For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption.


Quia apud Dóminum misericordia: et copiósa apud eum redémptio.

And He shall redeem Israel, from all their iniquities.


Et ipse redimet Israel, ex ómnibus iniquitátibus ejus.


The Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Another prayer Catholics should be familiar with is that of St. Gertrude the Great (A.D. 1256-1301/2), who was told by Our Lord in a private revelation, that when the following prayer is prayed earnestly, 1,000 souls will be released from Purgatory. This is not an official Catholic teaching, mind you, and the revelation may have only applied to St. Gertrude's prayers; but the prayer is a good one nonetheless. Because of the desire to unite the prayer with the merits of the Mass, it is most powerful:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood Of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my own family. Amen.


Heroic Act of Charity
An "Heroic Act of Charity" is the offering of the satisfactory value (not the merits) of all of our sufferings and works of our rest of our lives and of any time we may spend in Purgatory for the relief of the souls in Purgatory. We do this by first deciding to do so, and then praying (using our own words or the more formal prayer below) to offer these things to God through Mary's hands.

Doing this is not a matter of taking a vow; it doesn't bind under pain of sin, and it is revokable (unless one vows never to revoke the Act). But it is a tremendous sacrifice, hence the name. It is truly heroic, a giving up of one's own earned relief from the temporal effects of sin -- even relief of the sufferings of Purgatory -- for the good of others.

In addition to asking God to use their satisfactory works for the souls in Purgatory, those who make this Act also receive a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions) for the souls in Purgatory each time they receive Communion, and each time they hear Mass on Mondays for the sake of the departed. Words to a formal Act of Heroic Charity are as follows:

O Holy and Adorable Trinity, desiring to aid in the relief and release of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, through my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I cede and renounce, on behalf of these souls, all the satisfactory part of my works, and all the suffrages which may be given to me after my death. In their entirety, I offer them to Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God, that she may use them, according to her good pleasure, for those souls of the faithful departed whom she desires to alleviate their suffering. O my God, deign to accept and bless my offering which I make to Thee through the most august Queen of Heaven and Earth. Amen.