Dear People of St. Joseph-St. Pius X Parish, Here we are at the start of a new cycle of life; the season we call spring! It is glorious and so invigorating after this horrendous winter. I am happy just for the fact that I have made it through winter alive (and sane?). Spring is a time for planting and getting out. It is a time for cleaning and airing out. It is a time to get together with friends and family for no reason except that it is nice outside. In our church it is a time when we celebrate Easter, Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings and Ordinations.
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Dear people of St. Joseph-St. Pius X Parish, this week I continue to reflect upon the Sacraments by discussing the greatest of them, the Eucharist. Eucharist means to give thanks, so what is it that we are giving thanks for? It is in gratitude that my faith, hope and love have been more free to grow and flourish. I have come to believe that one cannot be a believer in God unless one first knows God. We need to come to a place in our lives which enables us to want to know God. When I was younger I knew of a God who was angry, strict and vengeful.
Hello again everyone, To continue with my explanation of the Sacraments, I will now discuss the differences between the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony. First and most obvious difference is the living situation after the celebration of the Sacrament. The Deacon, Priest or Bishop will not have to change his position in the bed after the Holy Orders is celebrated, because if he is married he will still be married and if he is not married he will remain unmarried after receiving the Sacrament.
During the weekend of March 13th and 14th we will reach out with an In Pew Commitment for the 2015 Partners In Charity Annual Appeal. Once a year we commit ourselves to this ongoing work by supporting this life giving appeal. We reflect on God's great generosity and respond with generous giving of our own.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads this Wednesday, we begin the forty day season of Lent. We bear those ashes with humility and in truth to show God and the world that we are sinners in need of repentance. We also bear those ashes with faith and trust in the mercy and forgiveness of God.
While Lent is a time of repentance marked by deepened prayer, penance and almsgiving, it is also a time of renewal. What begins with ashes and repentance ends with new life and joy as we celebrate Christ’s triumph at Easter.
Haiti Bowls will be available again this Lenten Season on Ash Wednesday. Please take a bowl & prayer leaflet. Your Lenten sacrifices and use of the Haiti Bowls remain the major source of funding for the projects we support at St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish in LeCayes. The bowls may be returned during Holy Week or during the week after Easter. Direct donations are welcomed at any time during the year by marking them “for Haiti” and placing them in the offertory baskets at any Mass. Remember a little goes a long way in Haiti!
Hello again to all, I write to you this week about the Sacrament of Penance, Reconciliation, or Confession. The names are many but the purpose is the same as all of the Sacraments: to enable us to receive the great gift that God gives us so freely and lovingly, his forgiveness and our salvation. This Sacrament is probably one of the most misunderstood of all of the seven. It is frequently avoided by us in our day and age because we fear the judgement of God and humans. The reality is that the Sacrament is meant to convey not God's judgement, but rather God's mercy.
Dear fellow Pilgrims, I use that word “pilgrim” in its original meaning, not those fellows who came over on the Mayflower. The word pilgrim means traveler. We as Catholics use it whenever we speak of journeying to a holy place i.e. pilgrimages to Rome, Fatima or Jerusalem. The folks who go on those pilgrimages are pilgrims. We as Christians frequently refer to our spiritual Life as a pilgrimage or journey. We are moving towards the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven or to spiritual and physical union with the Body of Christ and with the person(s) of God.
Happy New Year to All! Here we are in a whole new Year some 2015 years after Jesus the Nazarene walked the earth. It is amazing. One of the reasons that I find it amazing is that at the time after Jesus’ Ascension one of the first crises the young Christian Church faced was that people were losing faith because the second coming was delayed. They expected Jesus to come very soon after the Ascension. He was to come defeat all evil and injustice and his followers would reign with him forever.
Hello to All of you, we again are quite near the end of the year or (if you prefer) the beginning of the new year. Whichever your preference, this time of year is always one of reflection and expectation. Many businesses will count inventories at the new year. It is a good thing for all of us to do as well.