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FIRE Committee's Embers

Embers December Newsletter

December 15, 2023



With no room in the inn, St. Joseph found a secluded spot in Bethlehem, away from curious eyes, for the Blessed Mother to give birth to the Messiah in a stable used by animals. Christ’s divinity was first revealed by angels to humble, poor shepherds and their families. We suggest meditating on the humility and poverty of Jesus Christ this Advent as we cry out, “Oh God we need You! Do not forsake us!”

Our theme for this month is Perseverance Under Persecution. Today our Jewish brothers and sisters are suffering terrible persecution. The barbarism shown against innocent men, women and children because of their faith is horrifying. The cheers by the Hamas terrorists over their evil deeds is unconscionable. In an almost simultaneous but separate celebration of death, a constitutional amendment in Ohio codifying the killing of the unborn (with loose language that could lead to abortions up until birth) was passed by the majority of voters.

Our country was consecrated to Our Lady in 1792 by the first Catholic bishop, Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, with this prayer. She is the patroness of America under her title, the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8). Maryland, named after Our Lady, will also be considering a constitutional amendment to legalize abortion in 2024, and we have been asked to say three Memorares every day for its defeat. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was known for her “Flying Novena” of ten Memorares in emergency situations.

Our next CMA Virtual Prayer Group will be held Sat. Dec. 9 at 2:00 PM EST. Come pray with us!

The Thomistic Institute offers a short lecture on Form and Matter in its Aquinas 101 series. We also suggest meditating on Fr. Christopher Kubat’s piece in the Pulse of Catholic Medicine on the importance of reading the Psalms.

The saints we are highlighting this month include Juan Diego (12/9), who revealed Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her intercession converted millions of pagans to Catholicism. This culture had been involved in human sacrifice and cannibalism. The day after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of St. Stephen the Martyr (12/26), whose sacrifice brought about the conversion of St. Paul. The Feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28) honors the martyrdom of all the male children, 2 years old and under, in the region of Bethlehem by the order of Herod the Great. In Jeremiah 31:15 we hear, “Thus says the LORD: In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing, bitter weeping! Rachel mourns for her children, she refuses to be consoled for her children—they are no more!” May these little saints intercede for all the unborn children at risk of abortion. St. Thomas Becket (12/29) lived from 1118 to 1170. He served as chancellor to Henry II, but as Archbishop of Canterbury, he stood up against the king’s attempts to intrude on the Church. He paid for it with his life and is the patron saint of Roman Catholic Diocesan Clergy.

If you have not participated already, we recommend Bible in a Year and Catechism in a Year through Ascension Press for your spiritual growth. Looking for Christmas gifts for children? Consider any of the books in the Action Bible Series and Saintly Creatures: 14 Tales of Animals and Their Holy Companions by Alexi Sargeant (Word on Fire). We also recommend The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell by Fr. Martin Von Cochem and Paul A. Boer, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict and Devotions to St. Thomas Becket by John Hogan.

The FIRE Committee wishes all our CMA family a blessed Advent and a very Merry Christmas!


Chair: Kathleen M. Raviele, MD

Vice-Chair: Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre, MD, PhD

Chaplain: Fr. Christopher Kubat, MD

Donna C. Dobrowolsky, MD

Richard Florentine, MD

Jennifer Johnson, MD

Christina Chan, MD

Marie-Alberte Boursiquot, MD

Kevin Murrell, MD

Deacon Bruno Schettini, MD

Robin Pierucci, MD

Maria Martinez Ramos, MD

Sister Edith Mary Hart, RSM, DO

Chris Moon, MD