FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this week, we will enter into the HOLIEST WEEK OF THE CHURCH YEAR. Christians throughout the world remember the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. It is my hope and prayer that all parishioners will walk with the Lord throughout the days ahead, entering into the saving events that opened the gates of heaven to people everywhere. Please take note of the times throughout this week when our liturgical remembrances will be celebrated and plan to be with us.
- PALM SUNDAY – Regular weekend Mass schedule, with procession at the 12:00 PM Mass. This will be followed by our PENANCE SERVICE at 2:00 PM with at least 12 priests hearing onfessions. Please note that this will be the last scheduled time for the hearing of confessions at OLV. This will allow your priests to prepare themselves for the Holy Week celebrations.
- MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK – The priests and deacons will gather with Bishop Mark in Altoona for the celebration of THE CHRISM MASS. Please remember your priests who will be renewing their ministry during the Mass.
- TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK – Masses at 7:00 and 9:00 AM. There will be no evening Mass since the priests will be celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation on the PSU Campus.
- WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK – Masses at 7:00 and 9:00 AM, with no scheduled confessions in the evening. The Youth Group will be performing the LIVING STATIONS once again in the school gym at 7:30 PM.
- THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK – No morning Mass. Morning Prayer at 9:00 AM. We begin our SACRED TRIDUUM with the EVENING MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER at 7:30 PM followed by adoration until 11:00 PM.
- FRIDAY OF HOLY WEEK – No morning Mass. Morning Prayer at 9:00 AM. STATIONS OF THE CROSS at12:00 PM, followed by the CELEBRATION OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD at 1:00 PM. TENEBRAE will take place at 7:30 PM.
- SATURDAY OF HOLY WEEK – No morning Mass. Blessing of Easter food will take place at 11:30 AM in the baptistry. Our EASTER VIGIL will begin at 8:30 PM.
- EASTER SUNDAY – Masses at 7:30, 9:30 and 12:00 PM. PLEASE NOTE – THERE WILL BE NO 5:00 PM MASS THAT EVENING.
As we journey through this week, I pray that our hearts may be open to the wonders of God that we will be remembering. God is never outdone in generosity. If we give Him our time and ourselves, we get something back in greater measure – HIMSELF.
And on a personal note, the celebration of the EASTER VIGIL is THE celebration of the Liturgical Year. The Vigil will be celebrated with solemnity, bringing into the church the candidates and catechumen who have been preparing for this special moment in their lives. Please note that the Vigil will be a bit longer than a regular Mass. If you are planning to come, please come with open hearts and participate fully. I say this because as I sat up on the presidential chair last year, after the baptisms and professions of faith, I looked up and saw ¼ of the church head for the exits – before the Offertory! I could not understand that unless those people believed the Vigil was going to be just a “regular Mass.” The Vigil is not a “regular Mass.” It is the highest Liturgical Mass that we celebrate. Please, if you are planning to come, stay for the entire celebration. 1 ½ hours to 2 hours is not a very long time when compared to what we will spend at other events.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - An elderly pastor was searching his closet for his collar before church one Sunday morning. In the back of the closet, he found a small box containing 3 eggs and 100 $1 bills. He called his wife into the closet to ask her about the box and its contents. Embarrassed, she admitted having hidden the box there for their entire 30 years of marriage. Disappointed and hurt, the pastor asked her, "WHY? The wife replied that she hadn't wanted to hurt his feelings. He asked her how the box could have hurt his feelings. She said that every time during their marriage that he had delivered a poor sermon, she had placed an egg in the box. The pastor felt that 3 poor sermons in 30 years was certainly nothing to feel bad about, so he asked her what the $100 was for. She replied, "Each time I got a dozen eggs, I sold them to the neighbors for $1."