Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing Fr. Rob's Weekly Message

April 10, 2022 Palm Sunday

Dear Friends,
The "Walk On Holy Ground" makes its entrance into Jerusalem!
This is our Palm Sunday! This is the beginning of the most sacred and holy week of the entire year!
You and I are invited, if we will it, to accompany Jesus Christ in the days before us.
It wasn't so long ago we heard a "heavenly multitude" singing above shepherds in a field "Glory to God in the highest!" This very weekend it is not the heavenly multitude but the crowds at the gates of Jerusalem shouting aloud "Glory in the highest!" as Jesus makes His entrance into the city.
Two moments of joy and enthusiasm.
And so quickly, the tide will change from Hosannas to “Crucify Him”! My heart is always heavy with the turn of events and revisiting our sacred texts addressing the Passion of our Lord.
If you are in town, I hope you will join us at our parishes for this week's liturgical celebrations.
As I mentioned in my homily last weekend, on Holy Monday we will have a Reconciliation Prayer Service at 7 PM at Saint Catherine of Siena. Recalling last Sunday's Gospel speaking of the Woman caught in adultery, we too have an opportunity to know that Jesus focuses on the sinner and not the sin. He desires for us to experience forgiveness and embrace a new freedom from the misery of our sins. The gift and grace of compassion and mercy is ours to behold.
Following the Reconciliation Prayer Service, you will have an opportunity for individual reconciliation. Seven priests, Fathers Bausch, Bradshaw, Clifford, Cool, Mannara, Palumbos and myself will be available for this sacrament. It will be an evening of blessing.
Holy Tuesday, the Chrism Mass will be at 6 PM at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The sacramental oils we will use in the coming year will be blessed at this mass. All are welcome to attend.
On Holy Thursday we will gather at 7 PM at Saint Catherine of Siena for the Mass of the Holy (Last) Supper. This is a most beautiful mass that commemorates the greatest gift we have ever received, the sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow the mass in the chapel until 10 PM. Adoration will also take place at the Church of the Transfiguration Chapel until 10:30 PM. Perhaps some of you recalling the tradition of visiting various churches on this holy night might include both of our parishes in your church visitations.
This Good Friday, there will be services celebrating the Passion of the Lord at both parishes. The Church of the Transfiguration will have a service at 2:30 PM and Saint Catherine of Siena will have one at 3 PM. There will also be a "Simple Stations" taking place Good Friday night at 7 PM at the Church of the Transfiguration.
Holy Saturday will offer some early day events. Saint Catherine of Siena will host an Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30 AM. Both adults and children will have their own egg hunt. After the past two years without the egg hunt, it will be fun to return this popular happening. Come with your Easter basket and look for the golden eggs to win various prizes. Remember, this event is for both children and adults!
Then at 11:30 AM, Saint Catherine's will return to offering a prayer service to bless Easter Baskets filled with foods from your home that you will use at your Easter Sunday's dinner. It is a strong tradition among the Polish and Ukrainian peoples, but anyone can participate. It is always fun to see the different baskets people bring and what they have prepared.
Then, Saturday night we will have our Easter Vigil at 8 PM at the Church of the Transfiguration. This liturgy tells the whole story of who we are, our origins from the beginning of creation, our legacy from ancestors in the Old Testament, to the life and promises of Jesus Christ documented in the New Testament. It is the story and life of our salvation given to us by the life, death and resurrection of our Lord. This is a most beautiful mass and I hope you will come. Once you have experienced this liturgy you will want to come back year after year.
On Easter Sunday, there will be two masses at both churches. The masses will be at 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM. Again, just this Sunday, there will be TWO masses at each parish.
Throughout Holy Week, "Shadow Stations" will be offered at the parish center of Saint Catherine's. The times for your convenience are Palm Sunday, Noon - 8 PM, Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday, 3 PM - 8 PM, Holy Thursday, 3 PM - 10 PM and Good Friday, 2 PM - 8 PM. This is the second year this gift is being offered. It is a beautiful way for you to walk with the Lord as He meets His cross and burial.
Please join your Parish Staffs and faith communities as we journey on "Holy Ground" towards our Easter Day!
With prayer for Ukraine, peace in our communities and world and for you,
Father Rob


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