Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Feb 22, 2024

As we begin this second week of Lent, we know that we have some time ahead of us that we can use to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus.  We must always realize that what we try to do during Lent is not just confined to the Season of Lent but is something we should try to do always in our lives as Christians.  Renewed efforts at prayer, receiving the sacraments, reading the scriptures, improving a relationship, going to Mass more during the week, doing more to help those in need, or any number of things we can do to become more like Jesus in thought, word, or deed.  You will find some suggestions that I came across recently that you may find helpful.  Please feel free to share with others.  Have a holy Lenten Season.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a very important part of our spiritual lives and also helps us in our relationship with God and others, but we do not use this sacrament as often as we should.   On the evening of Wednesday, February 28th, from 5-8 PM, ALL of the churches in the eight counties of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will open their doors and offer the Sacrament of Penance…confession.  Catholics across the Diocese are asked to invite someone who may have been away from the faith for whatever reason to participate at this special time as an occasion to return.

Our parish Communal Penance for Lent will be on Monday, March 11, 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 that evening.

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 with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament 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.

Catholic Men’s Fellowship of Northeast Ohio is sponsoring its annual conference for men of the Cleveland diocese and surrounding communities. The theme of this year’s conference is “Experiencing Jesus in the Eucharist”. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2024, and returns to its previous location, the Holiday Inn Rockside, 6001 Rockside Road in Independence. Part of our mission is to evangelize the faithful to build a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. This conference is one way to encourage our men to do just that! I hope that you will enthusiastically support it. Key speakers include Father Thomas Blau OP, an “itinerant preacher” in the Diocese of Columbus.  He has led over one hundred parish missions in Ohio alone. The other is Joe Heschmeyer, a staff apologist for Catholic Answers; a popular author, blogger, and podcaster, he joined the apostolate in 2021. Bishop Woost is also expected to speak as well as celebrate the closing Mass.

The Chapel of Divine Mercy is a great blessing for our parish as it has been for almost 30 years.  Praying before the Blessed Sacrament is the best place to pray outside of Mass.  Of course, we can pray anywhere, but to come to the chapel and spend time in the presence of Jesus is a great way to enhance our prayer time.  This is all from our perspective.  When we take time to go out of our way to spend this time with Jesus our prayer will certainly have a greater impact on our own hearts and help us to become even more deeply aware of the love and presence of God even when we leave the chapel.  Many of our parish family members and even people from other parish communities come to our chapel for adoration.  Still there is always room for more.  How beautiful it would be to have three or four people in adoration around the clock.  Lent is a great time for us to ponder giving that hour to spend with Jesus in prayer.  As He asked His disciples in the garden the night before He died, ”Could you not stay wake and pray with Me for one hour?”  I ask that you consider spending an hour a week in adoration during the rest of Lent and see for yourself how it will change your life.

THANK YOU!!  Speaking of the chapel, I do hope everyone is pleased with the new carpet in the chapel.  It turned out to be very beautiful.  I am very grateful to the family that made an anonymous donation for the new carpeting.  Thank you very much and may God bless you for your generosity and sacrifice.

Fr. Joe Labak