Dear Parish Family,
My name is Sister Barbara. Many of you know me from teaching your child in Religious Education. For the past several years I have had the privilege of preparing my second grade classes for the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. It is the joy of my heart to help the children to know and love Jesus. At present, they are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Penance on February 4 and 5. They will receive First Holy Communion in May.
In Pope Benedict's Apostolic Letter: Porta Fidei he begins by saying, "The door of faith is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church." This reminds me of the great joy I have experienced working in the Care of the Sanctuary in Saint Magdalen's church. This ministry which I head up is made of teams of faithful parishioners who decorate the church for our great feasts such as Christmas and Easter. Also, these people express their faith by lovingly attending to the daily changes in the sanctuary such as colored altar clothes, candles, and flowers. These subtle changes help to express the richness of our liturgy by reflecting the rich cycle of memorials and feasts. Faith is alive in the people of our Parish! I am so privileged to see this first hand, day in and day out! It is such an honor for me to serve with so many unseen and faith-filled servants who help all of us to grow in our faith by making our church so conducive to prayer. We are so grateful for the expression of faith to which you provide witness in your hidden service.
This summer I was so blessed to be able to participate in our Parish Pilgrimage to Italy. A Pilgrim is invited to grow deeper in their faith. I experienced this first hand as we walked through the different religious sites we visited. Many of our parishioners are not able to participate in a European Pilgrimage but, I know that all are invited to our local pilgrimage site right here at St. Magdalen's. Our Care of the Sanctuary teams make our church conducive to this experience through the many varied ways they dress our church. Just think of the past Christmas season and how many of you became pilgrims to our Manger scene!
Pope Benedict XVI has called all of us during this Year of Faith to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus our Savior. We pray that the way our church is adorned, will help lead us to Jesus. The door of faith is always open to us and we pray that you remember to open the door of your heart every time you enter our holy ground.
Mary our Mother, help us to open the door of our hearts and trust as you did.
Jesus Our Hope,