FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this weekend we begin the HOLIEST WEEK OF THE CHURCH YEAR. Over the next week we will begin to journey more intimately with our Lord through His passion and death, leading to His resurrection. For me, this week is my favorite week for it reminds us so much of God’s total and unconditional love for His children. If we ever needed proof of God’s love, it is found in this week and seen in the various liturgical actions that we will celebrate at OLV. Please review the Holy Week schedule found in the bulletin and try to make as many of the services as possible. Always remember, our Lord will not be outdone in generosity. If we give Him a few moments of our time, He will give us His time, leading us to eternal life.
And a final reminder to parishioners that there WILL BE A PENANCE SERVICE at OLV this Sunday, April 13 at 2:00 PM. In past years, there was not a penance service for Lent at OLV. However, I feel there should be so that our parish may be ready to celebrate Holy Week with hearts renewed. THIS SERVICE WILL BE THE LAST SCHEDULE SERVICE FOR LENT. Once again, with all the penance services just celebrated and with the concluding penance service at OLV on the 13th, it is our hope that everyone will have celebrated God’s mercy and forgiveness, ready to journey throughout Holy Week to a blessed Easter, including your priests! We hope to have a total of 13 priests hearing confessions, so waiting will be at a minimum. Plan to attend if you have not attended a service as of today. Remember, this is the LAST SCHEDULED CONFESSION SESSION.
This Monday, the priests and deacons of the Diocese will be attending the CHRISM MASS with Bishop Mark at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. The purpose of this Mass is two-fold. First, the Bishop will bless the oils that will be used within all the respective liturgical rites of all the churches of the Diocese. They will be brought back to the parish by parish representatives and presented to the parish on Holy Thursday Night. Second, it is the time once again when all the priests will renew their priestly ministry. It is a time when each priest will once again pledge their lives and hearts to the Lord by ministering to His people. Please keep all priests in your prayers. It is not an easy ministry. With the numbers of priests decreasing and with the additional responsibilities given, the life of a priest is not a life of leisure. It is such a comfort to know that his parishioners appreciate what is done for them and to realize that they are praying for him and his work. Every time I attend a gathering of priests, I see our numbers shrinking. But I also see dedicated men who are willing to pour themselves out for their parishioners, many times in thankless moments. As someone said, without our priests, how would we receive our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist? I do appreciate all the care and concern our parishioners give to us, and I hope that we can continue to grow together as God’s family UNITED AS ONE.
A reminder that the Rectory office will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – A teacher was testing the children in her Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven. She asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into Heaven?" "NO!" the children answered. "If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?" Again, the answer was, "NO!" Now she was smiling. Hey, they're getting it, she thought! "Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?" she asked. Again, they all answered, "NO!" She was just bursting with pride for them. "Well," she continued, "then how can I get into Heaven? A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."