From the Pastor:
God’s blessing to you as we begin the first full week of Lent! As I mentioned last week, Lent is an essential part of the Christian life. It offers spiritually to us what training camps offer physically to athletes. In both cases, growth and development is directly related to the level of commitment the person has to the training program. Successful athletes don’t focus on the challenges and difficulties of the training, but instead on what these will produce within themselves. The same should be true of us Christians with Lent.
One of the spiritual resources being made available to everyone from our three parishes will begin in two weeks. The goal of the multiday event is to help us recognize and experience the Presence of the Living Christ among us. The meaning of these words are more profound than most people realize, even after they take time to study and reflect on them. What is being said is that the crucified, resurrected Christ is alive in our midst, and not just in a communal way, but personally to each person through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Can anything on earth be more profound than this?
Our multiday spiritual event will begin Saturday and Sunday (March 11-12) with Fr. Stephen Hayes, O.P., preaching all the weekend Masses. After he finishes his marathon task, he will rest that Sunday afternoon while Bishop Thomas comes to Mansfield for afternoon prayers (3:00-4:30pm) in St. Peter church. During that time, Catholics from our Diocese will gather to sing, hear the Word of God, and be inspired by the message of Bishop Thomas. Then there will be time for quiet prayer in the presence of Christ followed by benediction. The goal, once again, is to help us recognize and experience the Presence of the Living Christ among us.
After plenty of rest and fellowship at the rectory, Fr. Hayes, O.P., will preach our 3-day mission Monday through Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 7:30pm. As is the case with any parish mission, each evening will build on the previous evening. The sacrament of Confession will be offered Monday and Tuesday evenings. Then on Wednesday evening, after Fr. Hayes, O.P. concludes his 3-day presentation, there will be a reception with refreshments in the parish hall.
With this being a tri-parish mission, each parish will host an evening as follows: Monday @ St. Peter, Tuesday @ St. Mary, and Wednesday @ Resurrection. For each location, the spiritual talks will be in each parish’s church building. Attendance is free. Feel free to invite a friend.
Lent is the time for spiritual growth and development. Please consider attending these spiritual opportunities. They will be occurring during the middle of Lent, which is often the time when we need a spiritual boost to stay committed to our Lenten plan of growth. Please pray for the success of our efforts to help us all to better recognize and experience the Presence of the Living Christ among us.
Yours in Christ,