I am writing this note on Ash Wednesday. Today, we join Catholics from around the world in beginning the penitential season of Lent, the season of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to prepare us to celebrate the sacred liturgies of Holy Week culminating in the joy of Easter Sunday
The following are several points concerning prayer and the sacraments:
- I again urge everyone who can to attend Mass more frequently in person during Lent and to receive Holy Communion physically. Confessions are available on Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. and by appointment in the Rectory.
- This Lent is during the time of the National Eucharistic Revival. Here in Holy Name of Jesus Church, we have Eucharistic Adoration all year on Thursdays from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.. During Lent, we will also have Adoration as part of our 7 p.m. Monday Holy Hours and at 6:35 p.m. before each of the evening sessions of our Parish Lenten Mission on March 13, 14, and 15.
- We will have Stations of the Cross in English as part of our 7 p.m. Monday Holy Hours and after the 9 a.m. Mass on Fridays; and in Spanish at 7 p.m. on Fridays.
- Our Small Faith Sharing Groups will be meeting weekly. Contact Diane Larkin via email at email@example.com for details.
- Our Parish Lenten Mission will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13, 14, 15 and after the 9 a.m. Masses on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, March 14, 15, 16.
- We will have a special Spanish Lenten Holy Hour (including Stations and Adoration) at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 3, and a Spanish language Lenten Retreat Day on Sunday, March 26.
Concerning fasting and abstinence, Catholics in good health from ages 18 to 59 are required to fast and to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting consists of eating only one full meal and two smaller meals that together should not equal an additional meal. Catholics aged 14 or older are required to abstain from meat on all Fridays in Lent as well as on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Concerning almsgiving, please continue to contribute to our Sunday Mass collections. Lent would be an excellent time to request parish envelopes or to enroll in online giving through Faith Direct. Also, please support the 2023 Annual Catholic Appeal which begins this weekend. As you know, the ACA provides critical assistance to many people and programs throughout the Diocese. It also provides critical support to HNJ parish since all dollars donated above the Diocesan goal are returned to the parish where we use them to reduce our debt. The students from our Religious Education program and from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Academy are on vacation this week. When they return, we will distribute Catholic Relief Service Rice Bowls to them and to the parish at large (via placement on the tables in the Church vestibule).
As you can see from the above, a lot will be happening at HNJ parish to help us all make this a good Lent. Please pray for me and I will pray for you during this special time. Also, please pray for peace in the Ukraine and for all those who died in, or are suffering because of, the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
– Fr. Larry Ryan, Pastor