Dear Parishioners,

On this First Sunday of Lent, a season of works of charity and self-sacrifice, we join with all the parishes in the Diocese of Orlando to begin Our Catholic Appeal. Initially, I was a bit taken back by the prospect of the joining these two distinct realities into one; however, the text from the Book of Deuteronomy (26:4-10) binds them together in a most effective manner. Even in the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, as their mistreatment and oppression grew stronger, they cried out to God for relief. Moses reminds them of God’s unmistakable care and exhorts them to offer first fruits in thanksgiving for deliverance! As Bishop Noonan exhorts us to be generous in our response, we are mindful that all that the Lord continues to do through His Holy Church!

The assessment for Blessed Sacrament this year is $268,241 which is a $1,729 increase from last year. In 2015, 1018 households of Blessed Sacrament participated in the appeal. We also exceeded our goal!

The assessment for Santo Toribio Mission is $18,271 which is a $5,253 increase from last year. In 2015, 119 households of Santo Toribio participated in the appeal. We came very close to fulfilling our goal for last year!

I am so very grateful for your support of the Bishop and of our cooperation with him in meeting the operational expenses of the Diocesan Office, of the Diocesan Schools and of Catholic Charities.

While only the First Sunday of Lent mentions a desert and temptations, we know that the reality of life often presents this as a daily confrontation. Thus we pray:

Lord our God, you alone do we worship, only your word gives life. Sustain your Church on its Lenten journey. When we walk through the desert of temptation, strengthen us to renounce the power of evil. When our faith is tested by doubt, illumine our hearts with Easter’s bright promise. May Christ Jesus ever be our deliverance and hope!

All the Fridays of the Lenten Season are also days of abstinence. Stations of the Cross will be on each of the Fridays of the Lenten Season as well, at 6:00pm in English and at 7:30pm in Spanish.

May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!

Fr. Bob

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