As we move into the second month of the new year, it seems that the ordinary tasks of life are beginning to replace, once again, the spirit of optimism that accompanies the early part of the year. Interestingly, since the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany, we have entered the season of “Carnival” that leads up to Mardi Gras and is meant to break up the bleak days of winter before we enter into the Paschal Fast of Lent that starts on Ash Wednesday, March 6!
Hopefully, we have been able to continue with the celebration of the joyful nature of these days, relish the gift of our humanity, and find solace in the knowledge that God became One with us for our salvation. The Prophet Jeremiah ((1:4-5, 17-19) tells us of this nearness even from “the womb” and of our dedication by Him to be a “prophet to the nations.”
God of salvation, in your son and prophet, Jesus the Christ, you announce freedom and summon us to conversion. As we marvel at the grace and power of your word, enlighten us to see the beauty of the Gospel and strengthen us to embrace its demands.
In the weeks before Lent, we will begin our annual Our Catholic Appeal. This year, our portion of diocesan stewardship amounts to $298,181 from Blessed Sacrament and $11,095 from Mission Santo Toribio Romo. In the next week, if not already, you will hear from both myself and Bishop Noonan asking your participation and pledge commitments. In the past few years we have been able to “slide into” home plate by just maintain what we have done in the previous year, but this year I ask that we extend ourselves a bit farther and implore a greater number of participants in this important endeavor.
Bishop Noonan will be with us at the 5:00pm Mass on Sunday, March 3 to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. I would ask that you please remember the confirmation candidates in your prayers during these special days of preparation.
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!