Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Mar 8, 2023

Our parish Communal Penance for Lent will be on Monday, March 13, at 7 PM in the church.  Do not be afraid to approach Jesus in confession.  He is waiting for you, and He is calling you to come to Him with all His love.  Immerse yourself in His ocean of mercy just as He told St. Faustina.  In the bulletin this week you will find an insert to help you prepare to go to confession.  There will be some visiting priests here to help hear confessions.

Today at the 5 PM Mass we conduct the First Scrutiny for those who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil.  The prayers of this rite urge the participants and all of us to look closely at our lives and our relationship with Jesus.  We might ask ourselves what is my relationship with Jesus like and how can I deepen that relationship with Him through prayer and the sacraments.  This is what the holy season of Lent is all about.  As these catechumen look forward to their baptism we are asked to look back at our own baptism and ask the Holy Spirit to help us make it a deeper sharing in the life of the Trinity in the way we love God and others.  Two more scrutinizes will follow on the next two Sundays.  Please keep praying for these catechumens and the candidates during their final weeks of preparation for the Easter Sacraments.

This third week of Lent always offers us the challenge of remaining firm in our Lenten resolutions.  I suppose we may feel very blessed because we got through the first two weeks, but as we look to the next four weeks, we can become a little discouraged.  Many times, this discouragement has much to do with our whole attitude about Lent.  Often, we look at it as if it were a great burden or something we HAVE to do.  We must try to look at it as a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to God and spend more time with Him.  This does not mean that we have to be in church several hours a day.  We can spend much time with the Lord in many different ways.  The best way is to go to Mass or make visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  There are also many ways that we can spend time with the Lord by ourselves or with our families.

Consider this:  How many Catholic magazines or newspapers do we have coming into our homes?  How many Catholic books on scripture or the sacraments are on our bookshelves?  How many books or videos do we have on Jesus, Mary, the saints, or other Catholic topics?  How many Catholic web sites do we visit in a given week?  How many Catholic prayer aps do we have on our phones or ipads?  Lent is a suitable time to build a Catholic library in our homes, on our computers, phones, or ipads.  The technology that is available today is an amazing gift given to us by God.  As any gift from God, I am sure He means it to be used so that we can better know, love, and serve Him.  It may be a good idea to search a few things out and use them during the season of Lent for ourselves or with our families.

The Women’s Lenten Mission last Sunday was a beautiful and prayerful time for the fifty or so women who participated.  The day was conducted by Jennifer Ricard, Founder of Theology of the Body/Cleveland.  Jennifer talked on embracing authentic femininity.  There was also time for discussion and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  We are grateful to Jennifer for spending this time with the women of our parish and to Fr. Pat, Jess Allen, and all who helped to plan the day.  May God bless you for your efforts and generosity.

Remember that during the season of Lent we pray the Stations of the Cross each Wednesday afternoon with the school children, the times will vary because of the school schedule so check the bulletin for the correct time.  We also pray the Stations of the Cross on Friday evening at 7 PM in the church.  The Stations of the Cross are a very sacred tradition in the Church and a very prayerful way to remember the sufferings and death of Jesus, which He endured for love of us.  Mark your calendar:  The Living Stations will be performed by the 8th Grade class of Sacred Heart School on Friday, March 31 at 7 PM.  We have been doing this for many years and it is always a very prayerful and beautiful depiction of the Stations of the Cross.

Fr. Joe Labak