Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Feb 28, 2024

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT:  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 your bookshelves?  How many books or videos do you have on Jesus, Mary, the saints, or other Catholic topics?  How many Catholic web sites do you visit in a given week?  How many Catholic prayer apps do you have on your phone or iPad?  How often do you as a family utilize the FORMED app provided by the parish at no cost to you.  This app enables you to access movies, a variety of talks, and presentations on a wide variety of topics concerning our Catholic Faith.  There are many items for all ages that can help us to understand and grow in our Faith.  Our parish sign in code is 2QC77G.  Lent is a suitable time to build a Catholic library in your home or on your computer, phone, or iPad.  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 us or with our families.

Our parish Communal Penance for Lent will be on Monday, March 11, at 7PM 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.  There will be some visiting priests here to help hear confessions.

Remember that during the season of Lent we pray the Stations of the Cross with Benediction each Wednesday afternoon with the school children at 2:30PM.  We also pray the Stations of the Cross on Friday evening at 7PM 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 22, at 7PM.  We have been doing this for many years and it is always a very prayerful and beautiful depiction of the Stations of the Cross.  It is a very prayerful way to spend a little time on a Friday evening in Lent.

Flix Pick:  I have not done one of these movie reviews in quite some time mainly because there has not been very much to write about, and I really have not been to the movies much since covid.  Anyway, there is a wonderful new movie that starts in the theatres on Friday, March 8.  The movie is “CABRINI” and it tells the story of Mother Cabrini (the first American citizen to be canonized a saint in 1946) who founded a religious community of women and then came to New York to minister to Italian immigrants.  Although in somewhat poor health, she is a woman on fire with the love of Jesus in her desire to care for the immigrants and help them to know the love of Jesus in their lives.  The movie has already received rave reviews and would be a grace filled opportunity for a Lenten outing.  It will be playing in almost all the theatres in our area.  Just check for times and places or just google “CABRINI”.   Rated PG-13, for thematic material, some violence, language, and smoking.

Fr. Joe Labak