April 2, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

The offcial title for todays feast in our new Roman Missal is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. I imagine we will continue to call it Palm Sunday for brevitys sake, but the longer title reminds us that the central focus of Holy Week is always Christs passion. We are all anxious to conclude the sobriety of Lent but we cannot afford to bypass this Þnal stage of our annual Lenten journey. We unite ourselves with Christs suffering on the cross in order to inherit the glorious crown he won for us.

In his homily for Palm Sunday in 2002, St. John Paul II said: The reading of his Passion sets us before Christ, living in his Church. The Easter Mystery that we will relive during the days of Holy Week is always present. Today we are contemporaries of the Lord and, like the multitude in Jerusalem, like the disciples and the women, we are called to decide if we are to be with him, or flee, or just be spectators at his death. Every year in Holy Week the curtain rises once again on the great scene in which the deÞnitive drama is decided, not only for one generation, but for all humanity and for each one.

Bishop Duca celebrates the Chrism Mass at 10:30 a.m. this Tuesday at St. Joseph Cathedral. This is the Mass where the Bishop blesses and consecrates the holy oils to be used in all parishes this coming year. Jessica Dardeau and Alysha Holmes will represent our parish to receive the holy oils at the Mass, and everyone is welcome to attend.

The Mass of the Lords Supper on Holy Thursday evening is at 7:00 p.m. We have selected twelve parishioners representing various walks of life to participate in the washing of the feet at Mass. Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament will continue for one hour following the Mass.

On Good Friday, we have the annual pilgrimage starting at the very early hour of 5:00 a.m. The Celebration of the Lords Passion with the veneration of the cross is at 3:00 p.m. Remember that Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence.

On Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil begins after nightfall at 8:00 p.m. as required by the Church. The Vigil begins in front of the church with the blessing of the Easter Þre and the lighting of our new paschal candle. This is the service where we welcome our new Catholics into the Church. Our Masses on Easter Sunday will be at the regular times of 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 a.m.

In her book Small Surrenders,Emilie GrifÞn writes: Two thousand years later, the ancient story moves us. No matter how often we hear it, it stirs up another meaning. Sometimes this Passover time may coincide with some life crisis of our own. Sometimes Holy Week comes at a flat and restless time...It is a story we can barely grasp, yet it is meant for us. The story draws us in.Be assured of my prayers for you this week.

In Christ,
Father Matt