April 30, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Congratulations to all of our second graders who celebrate their First Eucharist either this weekend
or next. The Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Easter are ideal times for our seven-year-olds to start re-
ceiving Christ in the Eucharist and thus nourish their growing intimacy with the Lord. Children are
already attuned to spiritual realities and may even be more sensitive to Gods loving presence than
many adults. Our sharing in this sacred meal gradually helps all of us to open our eyes to Gods
presence within and around us.

In last Sundays bulletin I reviewed some of the guidelines for receiving the Eucharist. I mentioned
that Catholics may receive the Eucharist either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each
communicant. This Sunday I thought I might say a few words about standing or kneeling to receive

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that the norm established for the Dioceses of
the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual
member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling.(GIRM #160)

So, the norm is that we receive Communion standing, but those who prefer to kneel are not to be
refused the sacrament. This is the reason why Bishop Duca asked that the kneelers be removed
from the foot of our sanctuary just prior to my arrival last July. The row of kneelers could be seen as
an encouragement for parishioners to kneel rather than stand to receive Communion.

I know that in recent years there has been a move in some parishes to encourage kneeling to re-
ceive Communion. A few pastors have even taken it upon themselves to restore the Communion rail
in church without seeking permission to do so. We may well be heading in that direction, but I think it
best to wait until we receive ofÞcial approval. In the meantime, continue to follow your conscience in
this matter.

The Bishops recently updated the English translation of the Order of Penance and made a couple of
small changes to the prayer of absolution. Instead of the priest saying that God sent the Holy Spirit,
the priest now says that God poured out the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. This change
took place on Divine Mercy Sunday so it will probably take a while for me to stop using the old words
which flow so easily from memory.

There have been many versions of the Act of Contrition over the years, and you are free to use
whichever version you wish. I have three versions available in the confessional so dont worry if you
have trouble remembering one. Everyone gets a little nervous when going to confession including

We will honor our Blessed Mother with a traditional May crowning ceremony on Sunday, May 14, at
the conclusion of the 9:00 Mass. We will walk in procession to our new Lourdes Grotto and then ask
one of our second graders to place the crown on Mary. We will then offer prayers and hymns to our
Blessed Mother as an expression of our love and devotion. This date was chosen to coincide with
Mothers Day since Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of the Church. In honoring her we
honor all of the mothers of our community on this special day.

In Christ,
Father Matt