All posts by Patti Lombardo

Pentecost Novena

Pentecost Sunday is June 9th. Join the universal church in praying for a renewed outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost Novena will begin Friday, May 31st.  The Pentecost Novena follows…


This novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church.  In 1897, Pope Leo XIII asked the whole church to renew its devotion by praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit in the nine days leading up to Pentecost (Divinum Illud Munus). He asked that this novena be done every year in every parish throughout the world. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.  It focuses on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You  and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.



FIRST DAY (Friday, May 31)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!*

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”


Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SECOND DAY (Saturday, June 1)

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!*

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. “They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”


Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever-Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


THIRD DAY (Sunday, June 2)

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow. *

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FOURTH DAY (Monday, June 3)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe. *

The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, June 4)

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill! *

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth–in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”


Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, June 5)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn’d to ill. *

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”


Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, June 6)

Heal our wounds–our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt* away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”


Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, June 7)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray! *

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.


Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them forever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

NINTH DAY (Saturday, June 8, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen *

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.


Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


Taken from the Sequence for the Solemnity of Pentecost


NOTE: This Novena was adapted from the following website:



Scott Hahn’s visit to Holy Family

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Don’t miss Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center at Holy Family Catholic Church in Jacksonville on Saturday, September 14, 2019. Study Scripture with one of the Church’s most renowned biblical scholars today.

Go deeper into the riches of our Catholic faith—register now!


Holy Family Catholic Church
9800 Baymeadows Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32256

Fr. David Keegan’s Homily, May 5, 2019

Fr. David Keegan’s Homily, Sunday, May 5, 2019

I was asked by a number of parishioners if it would be possible to share my homily from last weekend. As you know, I don’t use a written text, but I do record them. Here is an edited transcription:

We know that often times in our Christian Life we face paradoxes, such as when Jesus says that in order to save your life, you have to lose your life, or the last shall be first … we see this often in the scriptures, and we have all known it in our own lives as well. And even in the life of a priest there are times that we face conflict. Even in the middle of this joy-filled season of Easter that we are in; there is conflict in my heart…

We prayed in the opening prayer that we are waiting with the confident hope of the resurrection. Yesterday morning, I was at the Cathedral where 4 of my brothers were ordained to the sacred priesthood, and earlier today at 11:30 am, newly ordained Fr. Eric was here for his Mass of Thanksgiving and newly ordained Deacon Jared preached at the 9:30 am Mass.  We are basking in the joy of the resurrection; we pray every day that we are “overcome with paschal joy”.

But also, every day we are overcome with news of the persecution of the church. We know about the bombings in Sri Lanka, and now Mass is cancelled there indefinitely because it is not safe to come together as Catholics.  In Nigeria something like 900 churches have been destroyed recently. There is constant persecution all throughout the world; every day we are reading about this in the news. And every day as your pastor I hear from you about the pain that you carry because of the sex abuse crisis in the church. And the absolute failure of the bishops’ and their response then and even today. I hear you, I know your pain. This heaviness that I carry with me and that I know many of you are carrying seems to weigh more than the joy of the Easter season.  This is what we bring some times to the Mass.  I have heard from many parishioners who have left the Church: “I’m  not coming back, or I’m coming but not supporting in any way.”  So many people are hanging on by such a thin thread of faith.

But when I come and read the scriptures that we have today, I am filled with hope, in spite of the darkness and the pain. When I hear this story about Peter and Jesus; basically this episode is what we call, “the primacy of Peter”, when Peter is entrusted with the mission of the Church to feed and tend the sheep.

There was a catch of 153 fish and somehow the net that didn’t tear. This signifies the 153 known nations at this time. The symbolism is that this net is the Church, and that Peter is in charge of caring for and feeding the whole world. Peter is clearly the leader, and is given this charge and this command. And this is one of the reasons why the sin and the crime of the priests and bishops hurts so bad. Because they are supposed to be tending us and feeding us.  And we know the prophecy from Ezekiel where he says, “woe to you shepherds who feed yourself on the flock.” So many of my brothers have done just that, and it makes me angry and sad for all of you who you have to face this.

The one thing the devil wants to do is destroy our hope, to put us in despair, to think it is all for nothing and just to give up. But I am filled with hope

Yesterday 4 men laid down on the floor to give up their life for you, so that you can go to heaven. And just a few weeks ago at the Easter Vigil, I baptized 9 people and confirmed 19: I have hope. I have hope because Peter who so completely rejected Jesus on Holy Thursday was restored in the very passage we have today. And that this man who was afraid to even admit that he knew Jesus, is very same man in the first reading who tells the same people that he cannot not speak the name of Jesus, that he can’t obey man, and that he must obey God.

And this is what we are celebrating in this Easter Season and every day. We are celebrating because Christ has conquered death, and sin has no more reign over us; no matter how dark it may look from the persecution from the outside, or the rotten filth on the inside – no matter what, Christ wins!!  And this is our hope, and this is why we can pray that we look forward with confident hope to the Resurrection. Because we know how it ends. It ends with the reading of the Book of Revelations today, with the whole world praising around the altar in heaven. St. John was writing during a time of persecution, and way before the disciples went to the ends of the world. And still John had the vision that every creature was around the altar praising God.  This is our hope and this is what we look forward to. And every time we come to Mass this is what we enter into. Because the story about Peter is our story. Who among us hasn’t denied Christ is some way or other?

The scriptures today are so layered with imagery: (1) Jesus is standing on the stable shore, while the apostles out on the water, rocky, turbulent, uncertain – Christ is our rock of certainty; (2) these fishermen go out and catch nothing – in Luke Chapter 5 same thing happened: Jesus was there for the miraculous catch of fish. (3) Charcoal file – there are only two times in the new testament that we have a charcoal fire – Peter denies Jesus at the charcoal fire on Holy Thursday and he is restored with Jesus at a charcoal fire today. We can say in a way that Christ has taken Peter back to those moments, that moment when he was called on the shore when he caught nothing, that moment when he denied Christ, to remind him that Christ has been with him this entire time.

Because this is the trap that we so often we fall into, thinking that is that it is too late for me. I’ve done too much; I’ve gone too far there is no way back. Peter gives us hope today. In this beautiful conversation between Jesus and Peter:  Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Do you love me more than these? Whenever Jesus asks these questions in the Gospel, we must allow Him to ask them to each one of us. So, “Fr. David, do you love me more than these?” “What these are you talking about, Jesus?”

To Peter Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me? Do you love me Peter, more than you love these other disciples? Do you love me Peter more than you love these fish? We don’t know what the “these” is. But we all have a “these”.  What are the “these” in your life that Christ is asking you about? Can he be your number 1 regardless of how many times you rejected him in the past?

And even when we look at the original text, the Greek words here are very telling for us. You know in English there is only one word for love. I can love God with my whole heart, mind, and strength, and I can love Oreos.  The same word is used but with completely different meanings.  Greek has four words for love. So, when we read what Jesus says, he says “Simon, do you love me with a crucifixion type of love? Do you love me to the point where you will give your life for me?” And Peter/Simon says, “Yes Jesus, you are my friend.” The second time Jesus says “do you love me with a crucifixion type of love? Peter says “yes, I love you like a friend.”  The 3rd time, Jesus says “Simon, do you love me like a friend?” “Yes, Lord, you know everything, I love you like a friend.” and Jesus responds to Peter and to each one of us, “Maybe you are not ready for crucifixion kind of love, maybe you just simply are hanging on by a thin thread of faith and barely making it to Mass. And you don’t know what it will take you to drive you off the edge, but Christ is coming to you today, and he says “walk with me, let me walk with you”.

This is who Jesus is. He calls us to greatness but he walks with us from wherever we are and brings us to greatness.  Because this is what that ending of the passage means.  “Amen, amen I say to you, when you were younger you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.  He says what kind of death he would have to glorify God;” We know that Peter was crucified: he eventually got to that point where he was ready for a crucifixion type of love.

So I beg, don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on the Church, don’t give up on Jesus. Yes, it is dark. It is dark outside, and it is dark inside. But the light of the Easter Candle is shining. Just like on Easter Vigil when this church was pitch black and the light of Christ came and illuminated the entire building – this is what Christ will do for your life.

We are a people of hope, this is what it means to be a Christian, to be a Catholic, to have my life re-orientated towards Christ towards the promises of heaven trusting that they will come true no matter what.  So, like the apostles in the first reading I can count on pure joy when I get to suffer for the sake of the name. That is the crucifixion kind of love. That’s the love that Christ has invited each one of into, with our baptism and every day we live this life of faith.

“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” Allow Jesus to ask you that question, and pray for the grace that we too can say “yes Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” Amen.


Holy Week Schedule

Monday, April 15th, Tuesday, April 16th, and Wednesday, April 17th

Confessions at 6:00 pm followed by 7:00 pm Mass


Wednesday, April 17th

Tenebrae Service at 8:00 pm in the Church

Tenebrae, which is Latin for “darkness”, is a celebration that dates back to the 9th century. During the service, candles are gradually extinguished following scripture passages and musical reflections, which call us to meditate on Christ’s ultimate sacrifice the Cross.


Holy Thursday, April 18th

9:00 am Morning Prayer

7:00 pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper, followed by Procession and Night Prayer

As part of our Lenten almsgiving, we will be having a Food Drive for Holy Thursday. Please bring nonperishable food items to the Narthex. A sample of the donations will be presented in the Offertory Procession at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening. Thank you in  advance for your generosity!


Good Friday, April 19th

9:00 am Morning Prayer

3:00 pm Passion of the Lord, followed by Confessions

7:o0 pm Living Stations of the Cross, followed by a Soup Supper


Holy Saturday, April 20th

9:00 am Morning Prayer, followed by Blessing of the Easter Food

8:30 pm Easter Vigil


April 21tt, Easter Sunday Mass Times

Sunday 7:30 am (please note time change), 9:30 am, and 11:30 am, and 5:00 pm Mass.


Incense will be used at the following Masses:

Holy Thursday,7:00 pm Mass

Saturday Easter Vigil, 8:30 pm Mass

Easter Sunday, 9:30 am & 11:30 am Masses




“Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1160).

To help prepare our hearts for the Easter Season, parishioner Nick Yovanovic will be displaying his collection of over 20 Icons and sharing his knowledge of how this      ancient art form can lead us to a deeper awareness of God’s love.

Please join us Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 pm in the Parish Life Center, Room 217. All are welcome!


Calling all Youth and Parents of Holy Family Parish!

We would like to extend a personal invitation to members of the Holy Family Youth Group and

Parents to attend, as our guests, a private   showing of the  movie Unplanned. This is an incredibly-powerful story of Abby Johnson, a former Director of Planned Parenthood turned into a pro-life warrior.

Saturday, April 6th, 10:00 am, at Cinemark Tinseltown 4535 Southside Blvd

We hope you will be able to join us!  To reserve your spot, please e-mail, Stael Dante, Director of Youth  and Young Adults, at Seating is limited and reservations are on a first-come-first-served. There is no cost to attend.


Join us for our Lenten Parish Mission – March 11 -14

Holy Family Lenten Mission March 11-14

Come join us for our Lenten Mission with Fr. Felipe Scott on “How to no longer live as orphans but as favorite sons/daughters in the HOUSE of the Father.

 The days of the mission are March 11th through 14th , after the 9:00 am Mass and again at 7:00 pm.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Mission!