We are just a few days away from initiating Lent. A powerful time within the liturgical year; it is a new opportunity that is given to us to create a deeper connection with God through the exercise of penance, prayer and almsgiving; three great ways that help us to unite more with God, to sacrifice our bodies and share with others the little that we have. Each Lent is an opportunity to change and turn to God. In this year within the Lenten season, I invite you to meditate on the apostolic commitment that we as parishioners must have, consider starting to participate in a ministry and become part of the living forces of the parish. In this Lent, may we all think about how we can further help the growth of the kingdom of God.
I thank those who made their commitment to the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal (BLA), it is a great opportunity to support our diocese. I remind those who have not yet made a commitment, you can also do it online by scanning the barcode that appears in the bulletin or on the church pews, but just like last Sunday, we priests will also remind you so that you take it into account . I invite you to make this commitment in faith and offer it as a sacrifice that God will richly reward. In advance our bishop thanks you for your contribution.
Next Wednesday, February 22nd, is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. I remind you that it is a day of fasting and abstinence, a day to pray and make sacrifice. In previous years some suggested to me that our mass schedules were not flexible for many and that is why they decided to go to another parishes; This year I have decided to add one more mass and change the afternoon mass schedule. The scheduled mass times will be 6:30am, 9:00am, 12:00pm (noon) and 6:00pm in English and 7:30pm in Spanish. We hope that everyone will come to receive ashes on their foreheads as a sign of penance and repentance.
Also as in previous Lents we will continue with the program The Light is on For You – every Wednesday one of the priests will be listening to confessions starting at 6:30pm. I hope many of you can attend and receive the sacrament the forgives of our sins. Throughout the weeks, I will be announcing other Lenten activities that will help us to enrich our faith and live our Lenten journey.
Don’t forget that starting Friday, February 24th (and every Friday during Lent) we will have the Stations of the Cross; in English it will be at 5:30pm and in Spanish at 7:30pm. If for personal reasons you cannot come to pray it in community, you can pray it in private. This devotion is an ancient practice of faith that moves us to join the path of the cross of Jesus; it is also recommended to pray the painful mysteries of the Holy Rosary throughout this penitential time.
Finally, don’t forget that next Monday the office will be closed due to Presidents’ Day. We will only have one mass at 9:00am and all activities in the parish are cancelled.
May Jesus and Mary bless you always.