Good things to do for Lent!

03-31-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was wonderful to see so many people at the Evening of Spiritual Awakening! Many people commented not only on the good crowd, but also on the evening itself. It was a prayerful and inspiring experience – and a good thing to do for Lent.

I want to thank the choir members and music ministers who provided such inspiring music for the evening. It really helped to set a prayerful tone. Thanks also to all the people who took time out of their normal schedule to spend extra time in prayer.

Remember that we will have our parish Lenten Penance Service this Monday, April 1, at 7 PM in Church. Many priests will be on hand to hear Confessions and help you experience God's loving mercy. While a lot of people went to Confession at the Evening of Awakening, I know that a lot more still need to make a good Confession this Lent. Coming to the Penance Service is another good thing to do for Lent.

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24 Hours for the Lord

03-24-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This Friday our parish will host 24 Hours for the Lord. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in our Church (rather than the chapel) from 9 AM Friday until 9 AM Saturday. People are invited to come and spend some quiet time with our Lord that day and night. You may come and stay for as long or as little as you like. It would be great if you could spend at least an hour with Jesus.

There will be some special prayer services during this time. A special Holy Hour at 9 PM Friday evening, and prayers at 8:30 AM Saturday morning. Confessions will be heard after Stations of the Cross Friday evening and at 9 AM Saturday morning. Stations of the Cross will be prayed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament at 3 and 7 PM Friday, and the Daily Masses will be offered as usual.

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Awaken Your Faith

03-17-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Rite of Election at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral. It was a special prayer service in which our Bishop prayed with the catechumens and candidates of our diocese. Catechumens are unbaptized persons who are preparing for Baptism. Candidates may be baptized non-Catholics or Catholics who were Baptized, but never received First Communion or Confirmation.

Several catechumens and candidates from our parish took part in the Rite of Election. They are preparing to be received into Full Communion with our Holy Catholic Church this Easter. Please keep them in your prayers as that day draws near.

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Christian Spring Training!

03-10-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today is the First Sunday of Lent. My favorite analogy for Lent is Spring Training. Just as baseball players get in shape during Spring Training, Catholics use Lent to get in better "spiritual shape". The traditional ways to do this are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We are encouraged to do a little more praying, fast as a penance for our sins, and be generous to the poor. What follows are some suggestions for doing this.

Try to get to Daily Mass during Lent. If you can't get there every day, at least try to get to Daily Mass at least once a week. The Mass is the most powerful prayer we have, and we do well to make good use of it. Another good way to pray this Lent would be to attend the Parish Lenten Mission on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM. Each evening will include time for prayer, as well as a Lenten homily, followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I would especially encourage families to come to these evenings – at least once this Lent – just to expose your children to the beautiful practice of Benediction.

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Here comes Lent!

03-03-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Believe it or not, this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. Masses will be offered in our Church that day at 6:45 and 8:00 AM and at 12:10, 5:00, and 7:00 PM. Ashes will be blessed and distributed at all those Masses.

There are several ways of looking at Lent. Some people see it simply as a time of penance. We give up treats we like to show that we are sorry for our sins and want to do better in the future. This is a good way of looking at Lent.

Other people look at Lent as a time to do something extra for God. They go to Daily Mass or practice extra charity as a way of going the extra mile for God during this holy season. This is also a good way of looking at Lent.

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