FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, as we enter into this HOLIEST WEEK of the church year, I pray that we all may come to know of God’s love for us in a more personal and intimate way. For from John 3:16, we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The celebrations of this week will come to show that those words are fulfilled in the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. Please plan to attend as many of our services this week as possible. The Lord is rich in mercy and compassion. His grace flows from His Most Sacred Heart. May our hearts be open this week as we journey with Him so that our Easter Celebration be filled with joy, peace and love which comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Sunday afternoon we will have our LENTEN PENANCE SERVICE AT 2:00 PM. There will be a total of 12 priests hearing confessions so hopefully waiting will not be long. This will be the last scheduled opportunity to celebrate the sacrament in preparation for our Holy Week journey. Please plan to be with us this Sunday afternoon.
Next weekend we begin our CELEBRATION OF HOLY WEEK. Please take notice of the HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE below. I know people like to plan, so here it is:
· PALM SUNDAY – Regular Sunday schedule with the procession at the 9:30 Mass. Our Penance Service
will begin at 2:00 PM. This will be the last scheduled opportunity at OLV.
· MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK – 7:00 and 9:00 AM Mass. The Chrism Mass with Bishop Mark at the
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona will be celebrated at 11:00 AM with the priests and
deacons in attendance.
· TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK – 7:00 and 9:00 AM Mass
· WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK - 7:00 and 9:00 AM Mass. There will be no all-day adoration due to the
fact that we will have adoration after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday.
Tenebrae will be prayed at 7:00 PM. Please note the day change from last year!
· THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK – There will be neither a 7:00 nor 9:00 AM Mass. Morning Prayer will be
prayed at 9:00 AM. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at 7:00 PM followed by
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 10:00 PM. Incense will be used at Mass.
· GOOD FRIDAY - There will be neither a 7:00 nor 9:00 AM Mass. Morning Prayer will be prayed at
9:00 AM. Stations of the Cross will be held at 12:00 PM followed by the Celebration of the Lord’s
Passion, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion at 1:00 PM.
· SATURDAY OF HOLY WEEK – There will be no 9:00 AM Mass. Morning Prayer will be prayed at
9:00 AM. The blessing of Easter Food baskets will take place at 11:30 in the baptistery.
THE EASTER VIGIL WILL BE CELEBRATED AT 8:30 PM. Incense will be used.
· EASTER SUNDAY – REGULAR SUNDAY SCHEDULE.
· Due to the above schedule, the RECTORY WILL BE CLOSED from noon on Holy Thursday through
Easter Sunday. We will reopen on Monday at 9:00 AM. This will allow priests and staff to prepare
themselves for the celebration of the Sacred Triduum.
· A NEEDED REMINDER - In anticipation of the EASTER VIGIL, I would like to ask many parishioners to plan to attend this wonderful celebration of the Easter sacraments for our Elect and Candidates. So often I hear that since it is a bit longer, many do not want to attend. Yes, it is a bit longer, but it is the most beautiful and meaningful Mass that the Church celebrates all year. It will begin at 8:30 PM and probably will take about 1 ½ hours. But the beauty and meaning found within the Vigil surpasses all time. Not only that, your presence at the Vigil will be a wonderful show of support for our Elect and Candidates. Please mark it on your calendars, take off your watches when you come and just enjoy celebrating this wonderful Vigil with your parish family. And by the way, the time for the Easter Vigil is set by the Diocese. All churches in the Diocese will begin their Vigil at the same time. I say this because there are still some people who come expecting a Mass at 4:00 (our usual time on Saturday) and end up disappointed.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A fifth grader looked downcast, so her teacher asked, "What's the problem, Carol? I hope it's not homework again." "Well, uh, yes, it is." replied Carol. "I was stupid and made my homework paper into a paper airplane." "Carol, you're right, that wasn't a very bright thing to do," said the teacher, "but this once I'll let you just unfold the paper and hand it in." "Oh, but that won't work," said Carol, looking even sadder. "You see, the plane was hijacked."