This last Sunday in the winter section of Ordinary Time means that the Season of Lent is at hand! This week, we begin this holy season on Ash Wednesday. Today will be the last Sunday we will hear the Alleluia until Easter time and except for the Feasts of St. Joseph on March 19th and the Annunciation on March 25th, this will be our last Gloria too! Fasting from these beautiful hymns of joy, we will long for their return at the Easter Vigil. The Season of Lent brings forth some of the most beautiful and tangible devotions of our Catholic Faith. Ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday, devotion to Mary in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Way of the Cross (beginning this Friday), Taize Prayer, the blessing of food for the poor on St. Joseph Day, blessed palm branches on Palm Sunday are among the many devotional ways we keep Lent. Please see today’s bulletin for the schedule of Lenten Devotions and decide which ones will help you and your family observe Lent in a way that will be spiritually enriching.
I especially invite you to attend our Soup and Study sessions this Lent. We have invited four of the friar professors at the Franciscan School of Theology to share with us insightful topics each Thursday evening of Lent beginning on March 14th. Please see the bulletin today for more information about these rewarding presentations.
Last Sunday afternoon, the Pastoral Council called a gathering of young married couples with or without children to discuss some ways that you can get to know each other better and share ways to grow in Christian faith. We got off to a slow start with only one couple in attendance, but lots of great ideas indeed. We are planning more gatherings so please watch the bulletin. Childcare seems to be a major concern and so we will offer it as often as we can!
In closing, I wish to thank all of you who so far have given to the Diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal. Our parish goal is $76 thousand dollars and whatever is pledged beyond that goal will be returned to our parish. And so, you see that we are helping both the diocesan ministries of outreach and our own parish as well. If you haven’t made your pledge, contribution envelopes are available at the doors of the church. You may fill them out and return them in the offertory or in the mail. Once again, on behalf of Bishop McElroy and all those served by your generosity, thank you very much!
Love, Fr. Vince