FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, even though we have already begun our Lenten Journey, there have been some questions about the RULES FOR FAST AND ABSTINENCE. Therefore, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. All Friday’s of Lent are days of abstinence. FASTING refers to only one full meal, with two small meals and no eating otherwise for the day. ABSTINENCE refers to not eating meat at all during the day. All those who have reached their 14th year are obliged to abstain. The Church directs the holy fast to all those in their 18th year until their 60th year. The ancient practice of fasting and abstinence can occur throughout the other days of Lent. This is not obligatory and can take a variety of forms distinct from food.
This Sunday afternoon our Candidates and Catechumen will be attending the RITE OF ELECTION OF CATECHUMENS AND THE CALL TO CONTINUING CONVERSION OF CANDIDATES with Bishop Mark at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona. This important step with the Bishop signifies the church’s election of those not baptized entering the Catholic Church and the church’s call for continued conversion on part of those who have already been baptized. I am very proud of these men and women who of their own free choice want to become part of our Catholic family and who want to participate fully in our sacramental system. May God bless them and please keep them in your prayers today as we travel to celebrate with the bishop.
Just a reminder to parishioners that STATIONS OF THE CROSS will be celebrated every Friday during the season of Lent. Stations of the Cross (for the school) takes place at 1:30 PM (when school is in session) and 7:00 PM. For parishioner information, the question may surface as to the reason why we do not have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during Stations of the Cross like “we did in the past.” The answer is given through our Liturgy Office, and I quote, “Proper devotional practice would encourage each prayer for to be distinct and separate, i.e., Benediction and Stations of the Cross would occur at different occasions and NOT AT THE SAME TIME (MY EMPHASIS).”
Last weekend I got up and looked at the temperature where it registered -5 degrees on the computer. Because it was so bitterly cold, I would like to make 2 observations: one you already read about from previous bulletins and one to bring to your attention. First, as we have experienced in the past few weeks, Mother Nature has decided to remind us that it is still winter time. With that reminder come the extreme cold, snow, sleet and freezing rain. I would like to state once again, that IT IS NOT A SIN TO MISS MASS due to the weather conditions. At times I will hear in the confessional that someone missed Mass due to the bad weather and or driving conditions. Please know that I am sure God would want you home safe and sound instead of causing an accident and getting hurt or hurting someone else or slipping on the ice breaking a hip. If you do have to stay home, please make an effort to watch the Mass on TV for the day and know that the obligation is fulfilled. Again, there is no need to confess missing Mass due to the bad weather we get now and then. Second, I would like to thank the maintenance crew of OLV – Mark, Ron and Barry – for their work. They were out plowing our property before 6:00 AM last Sunday in the bitterly cold weather so that parishioners would be able to get to Mass. So often we take things for granted, like the plowing of the property. I hear at times, “Well, that is what they get paid for.” True, but that does not take away the effort and sacrifice to do things that “we take for granted” for the betterment of the parish. Maybe if you see them, a simple THANK YOU for their work would mean a lot to them.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A farmer was driving along the road with a load of fertilizer. A little boy, playing in front of his house, saw him and called, "What've you got in your truck?" "Fertilizer," the farmer replied. "What are you going to do with it?" asked the little boy. "Put it on strawberries," answered the farmer. "You ought to live here," the little boy advised him. "We put sugar and cream on ours.