February 26, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

The writer Emilie GrifÞn offers the following introduction to Lent: Lent in some sense is a plunge into a thicket, a sustained time in a wilderness place. But few of us can put aside forty daysor forty-seven daysas a time of full retreat. Instead, we visit the wilderness without leaving our daily lives. We spend an intentional time with Jesus, entering his wilderness, walking with him, and Þnally, sharing his Passion. Lent is a time when we deepen our faith in a journey not of grand gestures but small surrenders.

She continues, Externally, Lent is a time of doing without. It is a time of self-denial, a penitential time, a time of repentance. But inwardly, Lent is a time of drawing closer to Jesus. The idea is to go with Jesus into the desert and journey with him there during his time of trial. Not for one day, but for an extended time: a biblical forty days.

The season of Lent is a special time of year when our hearts are unusually receptive to Gods grace and guiding presence. He helps us to let go of hurts, resentments, and unhealthy attachments in order to live with a greater sense of freedom. His spirit also helps us to embrace those sometimes challenging invitations to love which lead to a deeper faith. All we have to do is make time in our lives for God to Þll us with his presence.

The new processional cross and candles that we are using this season of Lent were purchased
with funds from last years La Fête des Bayous. We are using the smaller original altar to empha-
size the simplicity of the season and to allow space for the candlestands. I will mostly use Eucha-
ristic Prayer for Reconciliation I at our Lenten Masses.

The Way of the Cross will be prayed each Friday of Lent at 6:00 p.m. in the church. When I am available, I will try to offer confessions during the Stations, but it wont be every Friday. The Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters, or Men of the Cross will be serving seafood dinners on Fridays in Lent from 5:30 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Center.

We are excited to offer a two-night Lenten Mission this year led by Father Stephen Kramer, SJ, a native of St. Louis currently assigned to Jesuit High School in New Orleans. The Mission will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21 & 22, beginning at 6:45 p.m. each night. The themes for his talks are Sin and Gratitudeon Tuesday evening, and Christian Self-Masteryon Wednesday evening. We look forward to his visit to our parish and the opportunity to strengthen our faith and deepen our love for God.

I am inspired by so many of you who regularly receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and I encourage those of you who have not been in a year or more to come to confession sometime during this Lenten season. I am in the confessional 30 minutes prior to our daily Masses, and at 3:00 on Saturdays. Communal penance services will take place throughout the month of March in our
deanery, and the Penance Service here at Holy Rosary is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. Five other priests will join us for the service.

In Christ,
Father Matt