Fifth Sunday of Lent

03-26-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

Since we have heard references to “the Jews” in our New Testament scriptures recently, and we will hear similar references when the Passion is read at Mass this coming Passion/Palm Sunday as well as on Good Friday, it was drawn to my attention by a parishioner that it would be good to clarify the Church’s position on how we should regard our Jewish brothers and sisters when such references may lead some people to a mistaken understanding about them. This clarification is particularly important nowadays since there is a greater incidence of anti-Semitism in our country, which we detest and cannot tolerate. So, I include below a statement made a number of years ago by the United States Bishops about this issue, which is also printed in our Breaking Bread hymnals after the Passion reading on Good Friday (page 108).


Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-19-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

How are you doing in your daily prayer this Lent? Besides the formal or rote prayers you may say, I offer you two saints’ reflections on what they did when they prayed that were helpful to them. Maybe you do these things already; or, maybe there’s something new you can try. What strikes me is the very candid, familiar and personal ways each one spoke to God as well as their emphasis on listening to God. That part takes discipline to be silent and to wait. Don’t analyze. Be attentive especially to what is engendered within your heart. Look for opportunities our parish will offer to help you develop a prayer life of this kind that will allow you to grow in your personal relationship with God. This is a necessary step to become an intentional disciple of Jesus. Let me know if you are interested.


Third Sunday of Lent

03-12-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

You may see startling images of poverty in the media and, for a moment, are moved by the reality depicted. But, how often does what touches your heart on these occasions result in a change in attitude and behavior? This is a central challenge provided by the Lenten practice of almsgiving. How are you doing in your effort to grow in your habit of charitable giving? Is it something you think much about? There needs to be an intentionality to charitable giving that calls us out of ourselves and includes sacrifice. This Lent, as we seek to reflect ever more the image of Christ in our world, two questions arise that invite a personal response: “If not you, who? And if not now, when?” Here are some statistics that prompted me to pose these questions.


Second Sunday of Lent

03-05-2023Pastor's CornerVery Rev. Robert J. Deehan, VF

How would you describe your approach to participation at Mass? Are you engaged with what’s being spoken and sung? Is your mind focused on prayer and worship, or is it somewhere else? Do you truly participate in the spoken and sung parts of the liturgy or just remain quiet during the parts that require members’ involvement? I admit, we can be easily distracted these days and look to be entertained any chance we can get. Unfortunately, that approach instills a passivity that more closely resembles going to the theatre or viewing a video on our devices – something very different than what is called for in church.