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

Browsing Fr. Rob's Weekly Message

March 24, 2024

Dear Friends,

I was certainly blessed to have my good friend Father Simeon Gallagher with me for a whole week! For me, having Simeon here was a joy. I value our in person time when it can happen. To be able to catch up, share what has been happening, not happening and to get some spiritual insight is the best!

His retreat was certainly enriching for me. I hope it was for all of you who were with us for the entire experience or whatever time you could fit into your schedule. The retreat theme “Becoming A New Human Person: Christ’s Gift of Freedom” gave me much to ponder, reflect upon and bring to my prayer. I know with the remaining days of Lent, and now entering Holy Week, the past weeks’ prayerful experiences will add much to the days leading up to Easter.

This Palm Sunday we gather together to make our way with Jesus into Jerusalem! It is our destiny to share this sacred time with our beloved brother. As the Lord invited His friends to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane, He invites us to be present to Him and pray with one another during the coming days. I hope you and I will make an added effort to be present to Him this week.

The triumphant Sunday Palm celebrations will turn quickly to remind us of the life Jesus offered on the cross.

For such a great gift for the forgiveness of our sins, Holy Monday night, March 25th, we will have a Penance Service at 7PM at the Church of the Transfiguration. Fathers Bausch, Clifford and Palumbos will join me in offering you an opportunity for individual confession. This is an excellent way to gift yourself in preparation of Easter. Mindful of Jesus’s sacrifice of His life for the forgiveness of our sins, may we humbly avail ourselves to this evening of peace and reconciliation.

Holy Tuesday, March 26th,at 6 PM, the people of our Diocese are invited to gather for the Chrism Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral. During this sacred liturgy the oils of Sacred Chrism, the Oil of Initiation and the Oil of the Sick are blessed. Our candidates and catechumens will be anointed by these very oils at our Saturday Easter Vigil! Do come and support Cliff, Peter, Matthew, Oliver and Sabrina and they make this profound witness of their faith and are blessed with these new oils!

Holy Thursday, March 28th, has always been close to my heart since I was a kid and altar server. The evening is overwhelming in a beautiful liturgy of grace. Our mass will be at Saint Catherine’s at 7 PM. This evening, we will receive our parish oils that were blessed on Tuesday at the Chrism Mass. During the mass, our sisters and brothers from our two faith communities will set our altar in a way that can only be experienced in person. If you have participated in the past, you know what I mean. If you haven’t attended, do come. Your presence will be nurtured in the sacredness and solemnity of what we will share together. Following this wonderful mass, we will process with the Blessed Sacrament to the Chapel. The Sacrament will be exposed for adoration the remaining of the evening for personal prayer. This is another gift to give yourself to spend some one on one time with Jesus. At 10 PM, I will offer prayers with those who are present.

Good Friday, March 29th, we mark the Divine and Solemn liturgy of the Passion of Jesus Christ. We begin at 3 PM at Saint Catherine’s. The Liturgy of the Word, including the Passion Gospel, is followed with adoration of the cross and then holy communion. My heart is always heavy with grief in reliving what the Lord did for my salvation. I know the Promise of Easter is near, but the realization of what Jesus did for me (and you) is overwhelming to this person. Come and please, let us pray alongside one another.

The Easter Vigil will take place March 30th at 8 PM at Transfiguration. What a night!!! What a great moment to celebrate all that we are about as Roman Catholics! Darkness breaking into the bright flame of our Paschal Candle, passionate, triumphant music and song filling our hearts and souls with praise, five wonderful people coming into the church to be fully welcomed alongside us at the table of the Lord, you and me renewing the promise of our own Baptism and going forth alive in proclaiming the Good News entrusted to us! Wow! This is an evening not to miss. This is an evening where we are energized to shout out our ALLELUIAS!!! I cannot wait! I hope you will be right alongside me!

Easter Sunday, the last day of March, will have Alleluias continuing to be sung by us all! Yes, all of us can sing our Alleluias!! Masses will be at both Saint Catherine of Siena and Transfiguration. Two masses will be offered at each church at 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM.

Wow, what a great and blessed week ahead of us to celebrate the faith we know and share! I am looking forward to being with you. Please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers, as I do for each of you.

Blessings to all,
Father Rob



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