FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY…..
Each year during Lent (for the past 28 years), I offered an adult education course to parishioners. The courses were not academically orientated. They were more on a spiritual nature and how to live a more spiritual life within the teachings of the course. I have decided to do the same here at OLV this Lent. The course is entitled THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO MARK. We will explore in depth the last 2 chapters of Mark, look at the passion of our Lord and apply it to our daily lives. The class will last one hour and will begin on Monday February 17, from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. They will be held in the Activities Center Gardiner Social Hall. This is 2 weeks before Lent actually starts; but I need to start early due to the fact that we will be having penance services once again in the Northern Deanery and I do not want to have a class during those weeks and Holy Week if I do not have to. So if you are interested in a little more penance this Lent, please feel free to come and listen to me for one hour beginning on the 17th.
AN OBSERVATION – As you all know, the Northern Deanery has multiple penance services during Advent and Lent at the various churches. During the Lenten season, the Bishop comes up and celebrates the ceremony with us. I was impressed at one of the earliest services when Bishop Adamec and now Bishop Mark stated that the sacrament of reconciliation is for the forgiveness of sins by Christ through the ministry of His priests. And then they added, “It is not necessarily a time for counselling sessions.” They added that if more time is needed, please call the priest and have a session in their office. I wondered why they said that until I noticed that many penitents would occupy the time of a priest for 15-20 minutes during their confession. I think the Bishops were trying to be fair to those who are waiting in line and to the other priests hearing confessions. I thought about that and agree with the Bishops. At Our Lady of Victory, our time scheduled for reconciliation is for just that – confession of sins, absolution and penance. If more time is needed we would be happy to meet with you “outside the box.” I say this because with Mass following the Saturday evening confessions, it is not comfortable for the priest to keep looking at his watch, getting nervous about setting up and preparing his mind for the celebration of the sacrament. It is also not fair to the many people standing in line for the forgiveness of their sins if someone is in the box for an extended period of time. I would hate to have someone leave the church not having celebrated the sacrament due to time constraints. I know that one time I had to leave the box at 4:55 PM stating that I needed to leave and get ready for Mass and that I would hear after Mass. Few, few came back. Again, this is not meant to sound critical; but it is meant to help your priests better serve the needs of ALL PARISHIONERS at the time when a reconciliation with their God is needed. Thanks for your understanding.
This Wednesday, Bishop Mark will meet with the priests of the Northern Deanery to discuss with us the process of implementing a REGIONAL BOARD of governance for our Catholic Elementary Schools. Hopefully, as you have read in the Catholic Register, this process has been going on for over a year. According to the Bishop, “The idea is to find ways in which Catholic Schools in each region (4 of them) of the Diocese can better maximize their resources and better meet the needs of students.” Please keep us and all involved in your prayers as this will impact our school in the future.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - This kindergarten teacher is walking around the room watching her class complete a drawing project in art class. One little girl is hard at it, carefully creating her picture with her crayons and the teacher says "What is your picture going to be, Sarah?" The girl says "I'm drawing a picture of God!" Teacher says "Well honey, no one knows what God looks like." The little girl replied "Well, they will in a minute!"