Dear Parish Family:
This coming week we are called to engage the great season of Lent. Lent is the Church's annual g retreat that we all can go on to seek renewal and to get awakened to what is critically important to our life, our relationship with Jesus and His Church. It is amazing to think that God is not finished with us yet. Not until we take our last breath in this world.
We would do well these days leading up to Ash Wednesday to consider where we are on our spiritual journey. Maybe we realize we have gotten into some bad habits due to some bad thinking or attitudes. We cannot change ourselves by our own strength. No, we need God's grace and a willingness to surrender to His grace, in the same way that Mary our Blessed Mother was willing to surrender to God's will in her life. St. Joseph had to surrender to God's will in his life. He had to trust that God's plan was being worked out as he accepted Mary into his home and welcomed her as his wife and chose to be a father to Jesus. The gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus was obedient to Mary and Joseph, and so grew in age and grace. The Holy Family is a good reminder to us that doing God's will takes place in relationships. The family is frequently the place where we can discover the places that God is calling us to greater holiness. In living out Christian life in the home we discover our need for conversion and to be more generous, patient and present to one another. May our Lenten practices help us to be more of the radiant witness that God calls us to be.
I want to invite everyone to set aside important time to re focus on the spiritual pathway of our lives. This next weekend we will begin a Lenten parish mission. We will welcome Father Dan Pattee, who is a Franciscan Friar from the Franciscan University of Stuebenville, Ohio. He brings many of God's gifts with him to preach a message of renewal which we all need. I am very happy he has agreed to come, considering a heavy teaching schedule and many other talks and ministries he is involved in. We will once again have Eucharistic Adoration throughout the day and night. I encourage you to sign up for personal time to come and be present to the Lord, who is the one who truly renews us. I ask you to pray also that we will one day soon have our own Chapel dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration at all times. I know this will bring many blessings to our parish, vocations to the priesthood and religious life, healing in marriages and a sense of mission and purpose for seeking souls. We hope to get all the necessary approvals as soon as possible in order to move forward with the Chapel.
Please look at the titles of the talks and the events that will accompany each night of the parish mission. The pastoral council and parish commissions have tried to listen and incorporate many ideas to help make the mission be time of engagement and renewal on every level of parish life.
I look forward to celebrating the mission with you and to beginning Lent with a desire to please God and grow closer to His Son, who came to bring us life.
Peace of Jesus,