On Wednesday, February 18th, Catholics once again began the annual period of prayer and Penance which prepares for the Easter Triduum. The custom of “giving up” things during Lent can be manifested in three ways: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. But the more important “giving up” during the season of Lend is giving up sin in our lives. We are to give up sin, not only for Lent but forever. The discipline of Lend is a time to work through the conversion necessary to let go of whatever evil still finds a home in us.
As a means to make this Lent spiritually fruitful, we invite and encourage all of you to participate in our Parish Lenten Program for 2015.
FAST AND ABSTINENCE:
The Bishops of the United States prescribe the observance of fast and abstinence throughout Lent. This obligation applies to all persons fourteen years of age and older, and requires that they must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. Further, all persons eighteen years of age and older, up to and including their fifty-ninth birthday, are bound to fast by limiting themselves to a single full meal on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, while the other two meals on those days are to be light.
All the faithful are encouraged, when possible, to participate at Mass and to receive the Holy Eucharist daily, to celebrate frequently the Sacrament of Penance, to undertake spiritual reading, especially the study of the Sacred Scriptures, and to participate in parish Lenten devotions as well as Lenten education programs. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is especially recommended.
ASH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH: Masses will be celebrated at 8:00 AM, 12:05 PM and 7:30 PM – Ashes (symbol of our repentance) will be blessed and distributed within all Masses.
WEEKDAY MASSES: Monday through Saturday at 8:00 AM
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION AND BENEDICTION: As it does throughout the year, Eucharistic Adoration will take place each Tuesday immediately following the 8:00 AM Mass. Adoration will conclude with Benediction at 6:50 PM. In addition, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed immediately following the 11:30 AM Mass on February 22nd, March 8th, 22nd and 29th, and at approximately 1:30 PM on March 1st and 15th (due to Baptisms). Vespers will be prayed at 4:00 PM each Sunday.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Place yourself (in spirit) beside our Savior as He journeys to Calvary. Stations of the Cross will be held each Wednesday in Lend (except Ash Wednesday) at 2:00 PM and each Friday at 7:00 PM. Please note: Students of our Religious Education Program will present the Living Stations on Wednesday, March 18th at 6:30 PM. The Living Stations will be presented by the Fifth Grade Class of the Regional School on Friday, March 27th at 7:00 PM. All are welcome.
Forty Hours will begin on Sunday, February 22nd as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed beginning at 12:30 PM, Immediately after the 11:30 AM Mass. We will gather at 7:30 PM for our evening devotion; Father John P. Stokely will be our homilist. ON Monday and Tuesday the Blessed Sacrament will once again be exposed throughout the day, beginning after the 8:00 AM daily Mass providing an opportunity for prayer. Evening devotions will begin at 7:30 PM on Monday. The closing of Forty Hours will take place on Tuesday with evening devotions and Eucharistic Procession beginning at 7:30 PM.
SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
Confessions are heard every Saturday from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM and on Wednesday, March 17th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The Regional Penance Service will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday, March 26th at 7:00 PM. (Several visiting priests will assist with hearing confessions at Sacred Heart.) The final opportunity for confession prior to Easter will be on Monday, March 30th through Wednesday, April 1st from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. No confessions are scheduled for Holy Saturday.
“NO GREATER LOVE”
Please join us for a moving live performance on Palm Sunday evening, March 29th at 7:00 PM. “No Greater Love” is a vibrant musical drama that celebrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are pleased to present this play which was written by Janeen Stevens, directed and choreographed by Carol Ferrone, with Musical Direction by Gerard DeMan, Jr. and performed by the Xavier Company. The Xavier Company is a unique group of Christian performing artists in residence at Saint Francis Xavier Church in New York City. Don’t miss this captivating performance which brings to life the timeless and sacred story of the passion of Jesus Christ!
OPERATION RICE BOWL
Operation Rice Bowl focuses on the major Lenten themes: prayer, almsgiving, fasting and a renewed solidarity wit the poor of the world. The format is simple. On one evening of each week of Lent, families eat a light, low-cost meal. Before and after the supper, they give thanks for their blessings and pray for the hungry of the world. Money saved by eating a simple meal instead of a regular dinner is placed in a “rice bowl” on the dinner table. Cardboard “rice bowls” are available at the doors of the church. Every Sunday, families bring their contributions to Mass and place them into the Poor Boxes, located at the church doors. Your participation in Operation Rice Bowl helps Catholic Relief Services to support development and self help projects in 50 countries, including job training, agricultural development and maternal and child health initiatives. Twenty-five percent of the funds collected remain here in the Archdiocese and are used to purchase food to stock the local emergency food cupboards and soup kitchens.
Please note: Specific details regarding all of our Lenten activities can be found on a weekly basis in the parish bulletin.