We invite you to our Lenten events:
Stations of the Cross :
- Friday, March 24, Stations of the Cross at 6:00pm in the Church with Soup Supper following in Spooncer Hall
- Friday, March 31, Soup Supper at 6:00 pm in the Parish Center Gym followed by Living Way Stations of the Cross in the Church, a re-enactment by Youth Ministry students accompanied with live music performed by John Angotti.
Men’s Lenten Faith Sharing group – Thursday mornings 7:00 am-8:15 am in Spooncer Hall on February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 discussing the book “Die with Zero”
Retreat Evenings, “Keeping Time … Sacred” with Fr. Brendan and John Angotti.
You can watch the videos on our YouTube presentations channel. Links below:
Monday, March 13 LiveStream Link Time Worksheeet Link and Handout 1 Prayers
Tuesday, March 14 LiveStream Link
Wednesday, March 15 LiveStream Link
May this Lent be a time of conversion, a time of renewal, a time of healing, a time of prayer, a time of fasting, a time of giving alms … a sacred time. Please join us on the Lenten journey.
Third Sunday of Lent – excerpt from Fr. Brendan’s Blog
This retreat is all about the challenge of being present to this current moment…not tomorrow, not yesterday, but NOW. We will focus on keeping this time…sacred and examine how we can invest our time with more sacred ventures that will pay dividends for the rest of our years and indeed for all eternity. John and I will banter back and forth with words of wisdom from the saints and scripture and John will infuse music and lyrics that draw us into a mystery beyond ourselves. Words alone cannot draw us into the mystery of God’s love for us, so we will use sacred music to help us fall upwards into God’s loving arms.
We will close the three days of retreat with a Taize Prayer service on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00pm. We have invited several parishioners from different generations to share 4-minute witness talks about a time of conversion, a time of renewal, a time of joyous reunion with God in their lives. We hope these reflections inspire you to remember your own memories of divine interruption and open yourself to more possibilities during the remaining weeks of our Lenten journey. We encourage you to invite a friend to these sessions and bring them with you. If you cannot travel at night, then join us via our livestream and invite friends to watch with you.
Second Sunday of Lent – excerpt from Fr. Brendan’s Blog
It is so easy to get thrown off the path even within these short 40 days. In fact, right now many of us are struggling to keep up with our Lenten commitments, even with our prayer stones in our pockets as a reminder! Please do not give up. Stay the course. Lean into Lent. St. Ignatius shares a remedy for when we find ourselves straying from our commitments, one that I have found to be profoundly successful in my own life—to double down on our commitments and increase them slightly to emphasize our determination to beat the Devil. If we promised to give up alcohol for 2 days a week, then we would increase it to 3 days a week and work with more diligence. If we promised to pray for 10 minutes extra and we find ourselves slipping down to 5 minutes, or not at all, then we would double down and make the commitment to 12 minutes and time ourselves. It is a snub to the Devil who thinks he is winning the battle for our hearts. Make coming to your prayer each day a priority even if you fall asleep when you get there. Make it a priority to come to Church on Sundays and add one more daily Mass to your routine “to sharpen the saw.” Just don’t give up, no matter how many times you fail. The effort and intention are more important than the success. The Lord knows our intentions better than ourselves.
It also helps to focus on the goal or purpose of our Lenten challenges and indeed our discipleship as a whole. The purpose of our discipleship is to follow Christ in action more clearly and to love God more dearly. In reading the book “Die with Zero” (Perkins) with the Men’s Group on Thursdays, many of us are struggling with the concept of “creating experiences that you will remember” as if all great experiences can be “created” or “planned and purchased.” We readily acknowledge that in our own lives many great experiences “happened to us” at the most unusual times and they often involve people who are not our closest friends. So “being open” (or being mindful to the present moment) to the potential of great experiences in our lives is as important as trying to create them. Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ summed it up well in his recent book “Seeing With the Heart.” He writes, “To live with purpose means that we pilgrims focus on our destination so we stay on course while also paying attention to our experience on the journey so that we can appreciate its meaning or beauty…Wisdom or insight unfolds, sometimes very gradually.”
The journey of Lent mirrors the pilgrimage of life in that we try to pay attention to God who is already present in our lives. We strive to see God in every moment, even in the sad and joyful ones. We seek to bring Christ to others through our actions of kindness, gentleness, and love. It is through these actions we are able to accept that the beauty of life slowly unfolds to us, even when we find it difficult to appreciate the meaning of things as they happen. That is why prayer and reflection are so important; God reveals even more to us when we are silent and open to learning rather than running headlong into life. It is my hope that we allow ourselves to slow down and pray more during Lent. Most importantly, we open our hearts to silent prayer and listen for that gentle voice of God that often comes to us in a quiet whisper.
First Sunday of Lent – excerpt from Fr. Brendan’s Blog
Lent is about admitting that in our discipleship, we often get lost, and we need to take a U-turn. Fundamentally, we lose our way a little, we are all sinners and Lent is the time to admit it. We can say, “I am lost. I need to take a U-turn” turning back to God. We call this turning “metanoia” and it literally means, “turn around.”
On Ash Wednesday, when we put ashes on our forehead, we were proclaiming to the whole world that we are sinners, and we are repenting and turning back to God. The Church gives us three ways to help us stay on task: Prayer, fasting and almsgiving. They are interconnected realities. When we pray, we are asking for insight to see our sins, to see the errors of our ways. When we fast, we deliberately do without something we enjoy so we can be reminded how blessed we are and to think of those who go without the basics of life. Those two practices lead us to give alms, to serve others who are in need.
We do all this because we know that we can get distracted from leading a life of a good disciple. Even though we come to Church each week, say our prayers and try our best to be good and do good deeds, we still lose our way. We may find ourselves caught in the bad habit of saying some wrong words to people. Or maybe we find ourselves being lazy and selfish, and not willing to help others. We all get lost a little differently.
As we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent and listen to the gospel of Matthew’s rendition of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, we also submit to 40 days of Lent. Let us acknowledge the temptations and mistakes in our lives and admit “I am lost” and “I am a sinner.” As a physical reminder of that sinfulness and lost state, we have prayer stones for every person at the doors of Church. Please take one and keep it in a prominent place in your house or car. Put it on our desk at work or at home, your purse or wallet, in your pocket or your shoe! Put it somewhere you see it every day and remind yourself of your promise of Lent to turn back to God. Let the stone become a reminder of keeping this time…sacred.
Ash Wednesday – excerpt from Fr. Brendan’s Blog, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
We begin our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday. This year we have adopted the theme “Keeping Time…Sacred.” Lent is a time to do the annual spring cleaning of our hearts, and it is a time to look at the priorities of our lives and ask some deeper questions about how we are spending our time and how we can use our time for a better purpose. Let’s try to take the time to get ourselves out of the autopilot we often find ourselves in because of the busyness of our lives.
We invite you to join us for our Lenten events:
- Stations of the Cross – Fridays at 6:00 pm in the Church followed by Soup Supper in Spooncer Hall on February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31
- Men’s Lenten Faith Sharing group – Thursday mornings 7:00 am-8:15 am in Spooncer Hall on February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 discussing the book “Die with Zero”
- Lenten Retreat, Keeping Time … Sacred with John Angotti and I on March 13, 14 and 15, 7:00 -8:30 pm. On Monday and Tuesday we will reflect on the gift of time and how we can be better stewards of our time.
- Taize Prayer Service will close the retreat on Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00 pm with several members of the community sharing four-minute reflections on their personal witness stories of times of conversion and discipleship.
This Lent journey with us and take some time to reflect on your life. On Ash Wednesday we will be distributing small stones and invite everyone to take one home. It serves as a reminder for you on your own journey of Lent for the next 40 days. Please place it somewhere where you will see it every day to remind you of your Lenten commitments. Put it on your prayer desk, kitchen counter, bathroom counter, or in your car, purse or pocket. Every time you see it, be reminded of how precious your time is. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- How much time do I spend with my spouse, children, parents, or friends?
- When I do spend some time with them, am I creating good memories for myself and them so these memories can pay memory dividends for years to come?
- Do I spend some time praying and growing my friendship with Jesus and God?
- How can I be a better steward of my time as my precious commodity?
Every year the Church offers us a Lenten journey as a time of conversion. It is a time to reflect more deeply on the value of life while giving us three priorities to act upon: praying, fasting and almsgiving to hone our listening skills. But for any of these to be effective we have to consciously make time for them. So maybe the first thing we can do is commit some time to prayer and reflection. I invite you to begin each day with a few minutes of prayer and examination of your time. Use the “Give Us This Day” prayer booklet or “Holy Moments” book, or use one of the many cell phone prayer apps.
This Lent we also invite you to join us at daily Mass and bring along your family, friends and neighbors to join us. We have daily Masses at 6:30 am and 8:30 am every day. Perhaps sharing these 40 days of Lent in prayer and reflection with us can be a gift you give yourself to grow closer to God. Let’s begin our Lenten journey of faith by keeping time…sacred.