March 12, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

I hope the season of Lent has been fruitful for you so far. The changes we make to our daily schedule during Lent do not have to be large in order for us to experience an extra measure of Gods grace. The simplicity of the season coupled with the fast arrival of spring is a natural balm for our souls.

Please include prayers for vocations with your Lenten prayers and activities. We try to pray for vocations year-round, but this is an especially fertile period to implore Gods assistance in providing ministers for our Church. Father Josh Johnson recently emailed a reminder of a Come and Seeretreat taking place at St. Joseph Seminary College the weekend of March 31 April 2 for young men aged 16 years and older. I attended many of those when I was vocation director and its a nice opportunity to experience Palm Sunday at St. Joseph Abbey with the seminarians.

Ideally, every young Catholic should consider a call to the priesthood or the consecrated religious life. That way it would not come as such a surprise when God nudged one or two members of each class to try out the convent or seminary. It would be powerful evidence of the vitality of our parishes should we start sending more young people off for religious discernment and training. Right now that witness is lacking in most of our communities.

I continue to be 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 this Lent. Communal Penance Services are scheduled in area churches throughout this month of March, including here at Holy Rosary on March 15, St. Mark on March 16, St. Joseph on March 29, and St. John the Evangelist on March 30, all at 6:30 p.m. A total of six priests will be present at our service on Wednesday.

A priest from Boston recalled a line he heard in a homily years ago which has stuck in his mind and heart: If you cant always be with the Lord through virtue, you can always be with the Lord through mercy. Even in our failures there exists an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord. As Catholics, we strive to lower our guardduring these 40 days so as to allow the healing spirit of Christ to touch us.

Our two-night Lenten Mission led by Father Stephen Kramer, SJ, is a little over a week away. 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 Gratitude on Tuesday evening, and Christian Self-Mastery on Wednesday evening. We look forward to his visit to our parish and the opportunity to strengthen our faith and deepen our love for God.

St. Patricks Day is this Friday, March 17, so remember to wear a little green in honor of this great saint and Apostle of Ireland.Prayers and blessing to all members of our community of Irish descent!

In Christ,
Father Matt