Due to the weather the Men’s Lenten Challenge is cancelled for Monday, March 4th

Please come to the church next Monday, March 11th at 6:45 AM to participate in the Men’s Lenten Challenge: the Beatitudes.

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by Susan Dugary

Lent Begins…

On Ash Wednesday, March 6th, we enter the Season of Lent; a time of prayer, fasting and alms giving.   Remember to participate fully in as many Lenten activities as possible so that you are well prepared to enter into the Triduum and Easter.

Ashes will be distributed at all Masses on Wednesday, March 6th:  8:00 AM, 12:05 PM and 7:30 PM.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence, while all other Friday’s of Lent are days of abstinence.   The list shown below is taken directly from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website and should assist you in understanding the difference between abstinence and fasting:

Questions and Answers about Lent and Lenten Practices

 

Q. Why do we say that there are forty days of Lent?  When you count all the days from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, there are 46.

A. It might be more accurate to say that there is the “forty day fast within Lent.”  Historically, Lent has varied from a week to three weeks to the present configuration of 46 days. The forty day fast, however, has been more stable. The Sundays of Lent are certainly part of the Time of Lent, but they are not prescribed days of fast and abstinence.

Q. So does that mean that when we give something up for Lent, such as candy, we can have it on Sundays?

A.  Apart from the prescribed days of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and the days of abstinence every Friday of Lent, Catholics have traditionally chosen additional penitential practices for the whole Time of Lent.  These practices are disciplinary in nature and often more effective if they are continuous, i.e., kept on Sundays as well.  That being said, such practices are not regulated by the Church, but by individual conscience.

Q. I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I’m not sure what is classified as meat.  Does meat include chicken and dairy products?

A.  Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat.  Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden.  However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste).  Fish are a different category of animal.  Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.

Q. I’ve noticed that restaurants and grocery stores advertise specials on expensive types of fish and seafood on Fridays during Lent.  Some of my Catholic friends take advantage of these deals, but somehow I don’t feel right treating myself to the lobster special on Fridays during Lent.

A.  While fish, lobster and other shellfish are not considered meat and can be consumed on days of abstinence, indulging in the lavish buffet at your favorite seafood place sort of misses the point.  Abstaining from meat and other indulgences during Lent is a penitential practice.  On the Fridays of Lent, we remember the sacrifice of Christ on Good Friday and unite ourselves with that sacrifice through abstinence and prayer.

Q. I understand that Catholics ages 18 to 59 should fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, but what exactly are the rules for these fasts?

A.  Fasting on these days means we can have only one full, meatless meal.  Some food can be taken at the other regular meal times if necessary, but combined they should be less than a full meal.  Liquids are allowed at any time, but no solid food should be consumed between meals.

Q.  Are there exemptions other than for age from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?

A.  Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes.  Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women.  In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.

MAKE IT A “GOOD” LENTEN SEASON!

Forty Hours will begin on Sunday, March 10th, immediately after the 10:30 AM Mass, and continues through Tuesday evening, March 12th.  Please take some time during your day to visit with and adore Our Lord.  Be sure to join us each evening at 7:30 PM, as Father Thomas O’Donald helps us to enter this Lent in the proper frame of mind.

 

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by Susan Dugary

2019 Catholic Charities Appeal

Please click on the link shown below to view this year’s Catholic Charities video hosted by Archbishop Charles Chaput.

https://vimeo.com/308180138

God bless your generosity!

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by Susan Dugary

‘Love is patient, love is kind:’ you know these words!

Chiara Lubich in 1943 founded a movement in Italy called (Hearth) “Focolare.” She spread her message of unity in the crucified and abandoned Christ around the world. A few years ago, she gave in Rome, an insightful meditation on the state of the world:

Humanity suffers from deafness, she said.  It can no longer hear the Word of God through speech because there is too much noise in the world. Parents and children are too busy to listen to Christ’s message. They have no time to listen for ways to heaven. They no longer hear the sounds of people crying or suffering even in their own homes.

We have to admit that our attention span becomes shorter every time we tune in to social media, TV News networks, and the like. So much information we can hardly grasp it all. Silence is becoming something we fear, because we feel alone and empty in quiet.

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by Father Cioppi

Let His Word be your spirit and life!

In the Gospel, we are at the beginning of the pastoral ministry of Jesus. He wants to lay out for us the scheme of things so we can understand the context in which he preaches by word and by deed.

He first tells us that it is the Spirit of the Lord that directs Him. The Spirit has anointed Him for a reason and that reason is ‘to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives; recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners.  He is to announce a year of favor from the Lord.’

These are radical changes in any kingdom but for the kingdom of God these are words and actions reflect the true nature of God.

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by Father Cioppi

Reminder

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Be astonished by what you see and hear today. God is near!

Jesus performed miracles in order that we may believe that “God is near.” When we meditate on the Wedding Feast of Cana, we discover the Face of God in very ordinary ways.

Consider Jesus and His mother being invited to a wedding.

Jesus asks if He can bring some friends along, so the wedding was open, usually lasting a whole week. Everyone having a good time. Men stood on one side of the room and women on the other.

Consider now Mary gathered with the women, talking, sharing funny stories about their husbands or their children, the price of food or the communal well. Suddenly, the mother of the bride seems anxious.

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by Father Cioppi

THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

 

The Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan begins the reflection of the great mystery which is incarnated through the Gospels and sacramentalized through the Church. It connects us with our own Baptism and our responsibility to announce and witness the mission of the Son of God.

 

The living water of baptism initiates the soul into the family of God and establishes a common goal, which is eternal life in Him.

 

The Gospel, spoken today, in every church, in every city across the world announces with great joy that this Jesus Who we behold on our Altar is indeed “my beloved Son;
in Whom I am well pleased.”

 

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by Father Cioppi

EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD

Since the beginning of Advent, we have become like the Magi, searching for the promised One who changes our lives and the life of history. Matthew says, “And on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage.” (Mt 2: 11).

Outwardly, their journey was over. It seemed as though they had reached their goal.

However, at this point a new journey began for them, an inner pilgrimage which in fact does change their lives. These men were not expecting to see a child. They were expecting to see a man, a King! They were coming from a world of chaos looking for peace! What they found was a vulnerable Child lying in a manger offering ways to peace.

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by Father Cioppi

HOLY FAMILY -’don’t be afraid of the quirks’

Each family is an icon or a reflection of the Holy Family. Often, we can identify some part of our lives with theirs. Other times they can serve as a model for us to imitate.

Joseph is righteous before God, he has a good work ethic that he passes on to his son, and he is a faithful loving husband, who brings stability to his home life and to the community in which he lives. Mary is humble, nurturing, and directive. She treasures in her heart everything about her Son and she worries.

Jesus is an obedient son, loyal to tradition, faithful and caring for his parents. He is a willing student so He may become a better Teacher.

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by Father Cioppi