A Letter From Our Pastor

02-19-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

This Wed, Feb 22 is Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. I encourage you to start your Lenten journey celebrating Mass that day. Masses will take place at 8:15am, and 6:00pm. In addition to Mass, our church will be open to welcome all people from 6:00am to 8:00pm, during which time they will be able to receive ashes, go to confession, or spend time in prayer alone before the Blessed Sacrament of Eucharist displayed in the chapel or pray/chat with a Stephen Minister who will be available to provide support to anyone who might need to talk. We’ll have several different pamphlets and books available for you to take and use for your personal prayer and reflection.

If you know of anyone who may feel disconnected from the Church, or is hurting in some way, or is searching for more in life, invite them to come to our Day of Open Doors here at Holy Family this Ash Wednesday to help them reconnect and deepen their relationship with Jesus and His Church. It’s a wonderful way to make a new beginning as we start this special season of spiritual renewal.

How do you plan to observe Lent? Lent is an annual period in the Church year when Catholics prepare for the celebration of Easter - when we’re invited to renew our baptismal promises, reject Satan and all his empty promises and renew our commitment to follow Christ more closely. During Lent we work at transforming our lives so that we can be more authentically Christian, and as a result, experience a true joy, peace and spiritual integrity. This effort culminates in the celebration of the new, risen life of Jesus at Easter. With the power of the risen Christ, our Lenten practices will lead us into a death to selfishness and sin, and to a resurrection to new life. We’re invited to get rid of the distractions, which blind us to the deeper truths of our lives and what is really important. One vital way to do this is to build silence into every day – a few minutes just to be quiet and invite the Lord to express His love to you, to provide an insight, and to incline you to some action. The traditional spiritual practices of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving (charitable works). Consider being creative and positive in the ways you put these into practice? Attending daily Mass is a valuable way to reflect on the Word of God, and be renewed by the Lord’s divine life in Eucharist. Perhaps it’s fasting from activities and habits (e.g. smartphone) that prevent you from being attentive to the needs of others close to us. What might you and I do to give of ourselves rather than merely send a few dollars to charity? Start the season of Lent by making a good Confession to help you experience the Lord’s mercy and peace, and to be blessed in a special way to reflect more genuinely the image of Christ. Pray for yourself, your loved ones and everyone on this Lenten journey, that the Lord will do powerful things in us and through us.

God bless you!

Fr. Bob