Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear People of God,

We welcome Dave Baranowski this weekend to speak to us at the Masses about Stewardship. Dave and I are friends and we serve on Annual Catholic Appeal and Stewardship committees together. We have all heard about Stewardship, but I rarely hear the concept presented in a cohesive fashion where it is attractive to me. Dave can do this. There are blessings for us when we live God’s way, and Stewardship puts all the Bible and Catechism instructions together in a practical, “doable” format. Dave is practical, coming from the “real” world of Anheuser-Busch and he will teach us things that will work in our personal worlds.

This Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we begin Lent. A parishioner in the sacristy told me last Sunday “I just love Lent!” He said he feels closer to God during Lent than any other time of the church year. Well, with more opportunity for prayer, some fasting, maybe attending a spiritual program, Penance and walking to Calvary with Jesus in our prayers, yes I can see how he would “love” Lent. I expect Pope Francis will have an inspirational interview or two with the media for us as well.

Please be advised that we will distribute ashes two times this Wednesday, at the morning Mass, 9:00 am and at the evening Mass, 7:00 pm. Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of obligation; if you miss Ash Wednesday it is not a sin. However, there are two times during Lent that we must fast, this Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; meaning one regular meal, and two smaller meals together not to exceed a regular meal. Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent we must avoid meat. Yes, chicken is considered meat. Seafood is not considered meat. Please, in the spirit of sacrifice, do not eat lobster, shrimp and other seafood delicacies on the Fridays of Lent. Eat those delicious items another day! This is for us who are fourteen years or older, up to fifty-nine years old. Of course someone sick or pregnant, or with another medical condition is not invited to this spiritual exercise.

May God Bless You This Lent!

Fr. John-Paul