Dear Friends in Christ,
What a blessed time of year. I hope you are having fruitful Lent. I know it is hard to change our lives, even for a little bit, but I encourage you not to slack on the Lenten penance. Let God bear the fruit He desires in HIs time. Do not be anxious about results. Just be faithful.
We are very blessed to have some Baptisms in the next couple of weeks. We have Noah Shreier (IHM), Cassidy Sandhurst (St. Gabriel), and Keegan Jenniges (St. Anthony). We also want to welcome Emma and Lincoln Arnold (IHM) who were Baptized by Father David at the hospital. They are still in the hospital so keep them, and all of our new borns in prayer. Looking at them, I don’t understand how they can be seen as a “choice.” They are human beings who deserve the chance to live just like everyone else. Even during this penitential season of Lent, we celebrate the gift of life. Throughout the whole Bible children are always seen as a gift from God, a blessing; never a burden or an expectation. Married couples are called to participate in God’s on-going creation of eternal souls, of human persons.
All of this new human life reminds of the new spiritual life we have in Christ. No other time of the year do we celebrate that more than at Easter. To get there we have to go through Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. The Passion of Christ is very much a shadow of our own lives. One moment we are celebrating Jesus as King of our lives. Then the next moment we don’t want anything to do with Him. We reject Him and then crucify Him with our sins, especially our mortal sins. Venial sins can be forgiven through prayer, through the Mass, through receiving the Eucharist. However, mortal sins can only be forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This year, instead of having one communal Reconciliation Service, I am going to offer Reconciliation throughout the day on a certain day at a certain place. So the schedule is St. Anthony on Wednesday, April 9th: 6:30-8:20 AM, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, 4:30-6:30 PM, and 7:00-8:30 PM; IHM on Tuesday, April 15th: 6:30-8:30 AM, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, 4:30-6:30 PM, and 7:00-8:30 PM; and St. Gabriel on Wednesday, April 16th: 6:30-8:00 AM, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, 4:30-7:00 PM, (7:00 Rosary and Stations,) and <Finish of Stations>-8:30 PM. My inspiration comes from St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests who is said to have spent 16 hours or more hearing Confessions every day. I hope to see/hear you there. Come, clean your soul. If you have forgotten how to go to Confession, don’t worry; the priest will walk you through the steps. Don’t let fear keep you from receiving God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.
I pray and hope for continued blessings upon your Lenten transformations. Stay strong. Then come Easter, we can celebrate all the more the new spiritual life we have received in Jesus’ resurrection.
May God bless and keep you,