By the time you are reading this we will have ‘hosted’ some of the biggest Mass crowds of the year on Ash Wednesday. It speaks to the power of symbols done well in a Catholic liturgical celebration.
In a culture that so often encourages us to elevate ourselves and avoid aging and dying with such fervor, it’s fascinating that we gather so faithfully to be reminded that ‘we are dust and unto dust we shall return.’ You probably couldn’t sell too many cars or soft drinks or cosmetics with that slogan. A company using this slogan would probably have a ‘branding’ problem. Or in a culture that is becoming less and less Christian (according to many surveys), why do we yearn to have someone tell us to ‘REPENT and believe in the Gospel.’ Repent of what, and why?
It seems that on the deepest primal level we humans know we need mercy. We know we are not God and that we want God’s presence and direction in our lives. There’s something very liberating about knowing that we are not God, even on a subconscious level. We all have times when we feel helpless and loveless, as individuals and as a society and even as a species. It’s hard to imagine anyone, anywhere in the world saying, “OK we have finally got things figured out. We have finally applied all the knowledge we derived from the Tree of Knowledge from which our first ancestors so enthusiastically ate.” I think that probably, as much as anytime in human history, human beings are acknowledging that we do NOT have things figured out and that we really wish there was a benevolent God. There is. And we have full access anytime we want it.
We have recently sent out a post card to over 1000 parishioners, active and inactive, which is a way of saying ‘come back home’ or ‘welcome home’. We would love to see you every weekend and throughout the week. The rotary on our website says very prominently “Welcome Home.” But, to actually welcome someone home we need to be genuinely present to the returnees and help them remember who we really are as a Catholic family. Our Vision statement (see website) reminds us that we are a Eucharistic People, i.e., a people who experience each other on a deep spiritual level and as a people with a common mission. Are we ready to be that people? Perhaps a good Lenten project would be to review the fundamentals of our faith. We should be ready to explain why we have remained Catholic all these years or why we have come back. These are bound to be very interesting conversations. AND invite them to the Mission/Retreat on March 11 and 12.
February 23, Friday. Soup Supper (hosted by RCIA team)- serving 5:30 - 7:00 pm. Stations of the Cross at 7:30 pm.
March 2, Friday. Stations of the Cross at 7:30 pm.
March 6, Tuesday. Parish Reconciliation Service. 7:00 pm.
March 9, Friday. Fish Fry Dinner (hosted by Knights of Columbus)- serving 5:30 - 7:00 pm. Stations of the Cross at 7:30 pm.
March 11 and 12, Sunday and Monday. Parish Mission / Retreat.
March 16, Friday. Stations of the Cross at 7:30 pm.
March 23, Friday. Fish Fry Dinner (hosted by Knights of Columbus)- serving 5:30 - 7:00 pm. Stations of the Cross at 7:30 pm.
March 25, Sunday. Palm Sunday. Masses: Saturday-5:00 pm, Sunday- 8:30 am and 11:00 am.
March 29, Thursday. Holy Thursday. No 9:00 am daily Mass. Liturgy of the Lord's Supper at 7:00 pm.
March 30, Friday. Good Friday. No 9:00 am daily Mass. Stations of the Cross at 3:00 pm. Liturgy of the Lord's Passion at 7:00 pm.
March 31, Saturday. Easter Vigil. Mass at 8:30 pm.
April 1, Sunday. Easter. Mass at 8:30 am and 11:00 am.