FROM THE PASTOR…..
MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this Wednesday we celebrate ASH WEDNESDAY, the beginning of our journey through Lent to Easter. Over the next forty days, the church encourages all her members to prepare their hearts for the great Paschal Feast of Easter. Through prayer, fasting and almsgiving and with other works of penance, it is hoped that each Christian heart will be receptive to the New Life promised to us by the Risen Lord. To begin our journey we will have the distribution of ashes at each Mass on Wednesday – 7:00 and 9:00 AM, 12:05 and 6:00 PM. I pray that many parishioners will also avail themselves of the spiritual practices offered by the church – Stations of the Cross, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayerful private Lenten meditations and possibly daily Mass. A collection will be taken up at all Masses with the contributions going to the Global Solidarity Partnership with the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica. May we journey through this season and be open to the many graces God will avail to us.
As some of you might have seen already, there will occasionally be an added envelope in your offering packets for 3 special outreach programs aided by the parish – ST. VINCENT DEPAUL, THE GABRIEL PROJECT AND INTERFAITH HUMAN SERVICES. These agencies and programs truly fulfill the mission of our Holy Father Pope Francis when he states that the church must get out from behind the desks and be with the people of God. OLV has a reputation of being a church supporting many charitable groups and charities. I personally feel that these three organizations and our support of them will make a huge impact of the lives of many of God’s children. When these envelopes do appear in your packets, please use them and let us continue being a church where the presence of God can be found and the Kingdom is already present upon this earth.
This past week I received the ANNUAL LETTER FOR THE ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL which will begin in the Diocese starting March 16th – announcement Sunday. The goal for our parish is $138,976.00 with all monies over the goal being returned to the parish. I normally do not like to talk about money to a parish; I believe that when God is served by priests and parishioners, God will insure that the particular church will have enough resources to continue His work. That is not presumption on my part; it is faith. From being in the northern part of the Diocese over many, many years, I have seen and understood that the generosity of OLV parishioners towards their church is noteworthy and praiseworthy. More information will come in future bulletins and I will publish the Bishop’s letter to us in a few weeks, encouraging us towards a successful appeal.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - An inexperienced preacher was to hold a graveside burial service at a pauper's cemetery for an indigent man with no family or friends. Not knowing where the cemetery was, he made several wrong turns and got lost. When he eventually arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, the backhoe was next to the open hole, and the workmen were sitting under a tree eating lunch. The diligent young pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Feeling guilty because of his tardiness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in style. As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say to the other, "I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years and I ain’t ever seen anything like that."