A Good Finish To Lent

04-03-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s hard to believe, but next Sunday is already Palm Sunday. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all of the Masses. Please take some Blessed Palm, and treat it with respect since it is a Sacramental we use to praise God, be reminded of His presence, and disposed to cooperate with His grace.

With Easter coming soon, we should all take a few minutes to reflect on how much we’ve grown this Lent. Have you kept your Lenten resolutions? Have you practiced charity? Gotten to the Stations of the Cross? Made a good Confession? If not, this is a good time to get back on track and make a good finish to Lent.

Next Saturday, Fr. Gilbert and I will be in the Confessionals at Church from 9 – 9:30am and 3:15 – 4:15pm. If you have not yet made a good Confession this Lent, this would be a good time to do so. These will be the last regularly scheduled Confessions this Lent. If you cannot make these times and still need to get to Confession, please give one of our priests a call and we will be happy to help you!

This would also be a good time to start planning for Holy Week. The schedule of Masses is listed elsewhere in this bulletin. Please make an effort to be at Mass on Holy Thursday, the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, and, of course, Mass on Easter.

Please also remember that the Saturday evening Mass on Holy Saturday is at 7pm. This is due to the Church’s ancient tradition of celebrating that Mass as a true vigil – during the night. It is filled with themes of light and darkness that speak to us of Jesus Resurrection and triumph over death. While it runs a bit longer than a usual Mass, it is quite beautiful and well worth attending.

Several converts will be received into the Church during that Easter Vigil Mass this year. They have been preparing all year, especially by meeting most Sunday mornings for instructions in our faith. Please keep them in your prayers as they follow God’s call in their lives.

It was great to have so many of our parish’s Liturgical Ministers at last week’s Lenten Wednesday. They joined the regulars who have been coming for Benediction on Wednesday evenings. Praying with these people – mostly lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, choir members, acolytes, ushers, and even those who help decorate – was very inspiring. We owe them a great deal of thanks for all they do for our parish. I also want to thank the Baking Committee for the great refreshments afterward.

Thanks to all who joined Bishop Checchio as he joined Pope Francis in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to our Blessed Mother online last week, and to all who attended Mass that day. Please continue to pray for peace on earth – especially by means of the Holy Rosary. We do well to heed her call!

Please also pray a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. Our prayers for each other, and our world are a great source of blessing and grace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John