From the Pastor’s Desk, February 18 Bulletin

 

Greetings in Christ!

A blessed and holy Lenten Season to you all!  For the next 40 days, we are challenged to "take it up a notch": to focus on fasting, prayer and almsgiving (charity).  This is a time to be conscious of our sin (not other people's sin!) and make sure that we abstain from meat on Fridays during this season.  It's also important that we get to confession and, as a result, there are tons of options in our area to make sure we don't wait till the last minute or miss it entirely.

I'm going to try something new for this Lenten Season: I'm going to preach Themed Homilies.  The idea of a themed homily is a minor custom in the Church where the priest prayerfully chooses a theme for a Season and preaches that theme as opposed to focusing on a particular reading.  I was going to do this last year, but it involves a lot more preparation time than I had so I spent the last year tinkering on and off with a schedule and prepping the homilies so that I would be ready for this year.   God is so good...He really helped and guided me on this and I'm blessed.

 

So...what's the theme? …..."The 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Cardinal Virtues".  Here's how it will look:

Feb 18 - Greed & Gluttony/Generosity & Abstinence

Feb 25 - Envy/Gratitude

March 4 - Anger/Patience

March 10 - Lust/Chastity

March 18 - Pride/Humility

March 25 - Sloth/Diligence

A couple notes on this: When we look at Lust/Chastity, I found I was uncomfortable preaching it in congregations that have little ones, which would be every congregation.  As a result, I chose to do it for the March 10th weekend because I will be away.  What I'll do is, instead of preaching a homily, I'll write one and send it to the bulletin so you can read it at your leisure.

Palm Sunday is a tough one: it is one of the longer masses of the year and even without a homily, is going to be close to impossible to preach anything substantial because I'll have to fly out of Church to get to the next mass on time. So, that is the Sunday I'll preach on Sloth/Diligence and again, most of it will probably be written, unless I figure a way to trim it more than I have already.

I'm excited about this and hope that God bears great fruit in all our lives as a result.  I know that, just working on these and praying about them, I was convicted of a lot of sins in my life that I had lost track of...praise the Lord!

As everyone and their brother knows, its flu season and, according to the CDC, its one of the worst on record.  As a result of that, I'm going to do one thing and ask you to do two:

First, I'm going to set aside the Precious Blood for now.  I hate doing this, but it really seems like something we need to do.  Normally, I'm a fan of trusting people to not go to The Cup if they are sick, but it seems that, with this virus you can be sick for four days before you even know it.    If you are scheduled to offer the precious blood, please come forward as usual.  We will replace the Precious Blood with two more stations of the Sacred Body.

The two things I'll ask you to do are:

Not hold hands during the Our Father.  I'm not a fan of this practice and I don't want my motives to get muddled up into the problem.  However, I've had a couple people tell me that, when they don't hold hands at the Our Father because they are sick, they get "a look" from others that indicates they are offended.  I assume that we all have more than enough drama in our lives that we don't need more, so we'll just say "No" to holding hands during the Our Father.  According to the rubrics, the appropriate posture during the Our Father is our hands together near our heart.

The second thing is that, during the Sign of Peace, please either bow to each other or accept that some people are not going to shake hands/hug because of their sickness or desire to not get sick.  It's not a rejection of you or your desire to share a sign of Christ's Peace: its more a practical thing to keep us all as healthy as we can.

So...there it is!  I hope you read this section in the spirit I am offering it: a spirit of affection and respect.

I pray that God bless and convict each of us to enter into this Lenten Season with our whole heart, mind and soul!

fjk

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our new Website!

Welcome!

We have been working diligently on creating a new website to bring you as much information as possible for Sacred Heart Church and School.  You are currently set up to receive weekly updates!!

Please take a few minutes to look around our website.  We are continually adding and updating information.

May God bless you during this Season of Lent.

 

Prepare for Lent

 

To preview our 2018 Lenten Schedule, please click on the link below.

Lenten Schedule

 

Journey to the Foot of the Cross – 10 Things to Remember For Lent

Journey to the Foot of the Cross:
Bishop Ricken Offers 10 Things to Remember For Lent

Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, former chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers “10 Things to Remember for Lent”:

  1. Remember the formula. The Church does a good job capturing certain truths with easy-to-remember lists and formulas: 10 Commandments, 7 sacraments, 3 persons in the Trinity. For Lent, the Church gives us almost a slogan—Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving—as the three things we need to work on during the season.
  2. It’s a time of prayer. Lent is essentially an act of prayer spread out over 40 days. As we pray, we go on a journey, one that hopefully brings us closer to Christ and leaves us changed by the encounter with him.
  3. It’s a time to fast. With the fasts of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, meatless Fridays, and our personal disciplines interspersed, Lent is the only time many Catholics these days actually fast. And maybe that’s why it gets all the attention. “What are you giving up for Lent? Hotdogs? Beer? Jelly beans?” It’s almost a game for some of us, but fasting is actually a form of penance, which helps us turn away from sin and toward Christ.
  4. It’s a time to work on discipline. The 40 days of Lent are also a good, set time to work on personal discipline in general. Instead of giving something up, it can be doing something positive. “I’m going to exercise more. I’m going to pray more. I’m going to be nicer to my family, friends and coworkers.”
  5. It’s about dying to yourself. The more serious side of Lenten discipline is that it’s about more than self-control – it’s about finding aspects of yourself that are less than Christ-like and letting them die. The suffering and death of Christ are foremost on our minds during Lent, and we join in these mysteries by suffering, dying with Christ and being resurrected in a purified form.
  6. Don’t do too much. It’s tempting to make Lent some ambitious period of personal reinvention, but it’s best to keep it simple and focused. There’s a reason the Church works on these mysteries year after year. We spend our entire lives growing closer to God. Don’t try to cram it all in one Lent. That’s a recipe for failure.
  7. Lent reminds us of our weakness. Of course, even when we set simple goals for ourselves during Lent, we still have trouble keeping them. When we fast, we realize we’re all just one meal away from hunger. In both cases, Lent shows us our weakness. This can be painful, but recognizing how helpless we are makes us seek God’s help with renewed urgency and sincerity.
  8. Be patient with yourself. When we’re confronted with our own weakness during Lent, the temptation is to get angry and frustrated. “What a bad person I am!” But that’s the wrong lesson. God is calling us to be patient and to see ourselves as he does, with unconditional love.
  9. Reach out in charity. As we experience weakness and suffering during Lent, we should be renewed in our compassion for those who are hungry, suffering or otherwise in need. The third part of the Lenten formula is almsgiving. It’s about more than throwing a few extra dollars in the collection plate; it’s about reaching out to others and helping them without question as a way of sharing the experience of God’s unconditional love.
  10. Learn to love like Christ. Giving of ourselves in the midst of our suffering and self-denial brings us closer to loving like Christ, who suffered and poured himself out unconditionally on cross for all of us. Lent is a journey through the desert to the foot of the cross on Good Friday, as we seek him out, ask his help, join in his suffering, and learn to love like him.

Deacon’s Corner 2/18/18

Did you know by the 2nd Century, Christians prepared for the annual celebration of Easter by fasting for two days?  This was the natural thing to do in preparation for the holiest of times when the Early Christians expected Jesus’ immediate return.  By the 3rd Century, this fasting was extended to all of Holy Week.  The 40 days of Lent, we know it today, began sometime in the early 4th Century.

Lent is that time of year when we buckle down, don’t eat meat on Fridays, and “give up something”.   We call this “penance”.   We do penance to remind us that suffering a little bit can make us a better person.  Through this suffering, we come to appreciate what we have and realize we can really do more with less.  Our Catechism tells us penance “can be expressed in many and various ways…above all three forms:  fasting, prayer, and almsgiving (CCC 1434.)”

When looking for something to “give up” during Lent, let’s remember the goal is to acknowledge our weaknesses so we can undergo a spiritual revival to grow closer to God.  Doing penance without reflecting on how it can change us for the better misses the whole point of Lent.  If we deny ourselves a favorite food to develop the self-discipline for spiritual renewal – that’s good!  But if we “give up” that same tasty treat during Lent as a motive to lose a few pounds, well, we should probably think again.

Lent emphasizes three very specific aspects of personal choice for spiritual renewal.  These are prayer, fasting; and recalling our Baptismal Vows to remember what it means to belong to God’s people.  “Giving up” something can include giving up our time to do Corporal Works of Mercy – feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, giving to the poor, and burying the dead.  Burying the dead can be as simple as attending a funeral for someone you don’t know, especially if their funeral is not well attended.  Doing Corporal Works of Mercy helps foster conversion of our heart by instilling a greater love for God and others.

Lent is a time of preparation to help us find our ourselves and encounter God.  May you have a Blessed Lenten Season with our Lord!  Deacon John