March 26, 2017
This week we welcome Bishop Arturo Cepeda to our parish for the sacrament of Confirmation, on Thursday, March 30, at 7:00 PM. Please pray for our candidates as they prepare to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are proud and inspired by these young members of our parish who will take another giant step forward in faith. Many, many thanks to their catechists and the parents who worked with them, their sponsors who support them, our priests who have helped them, and the parish who have prayed for them. They have studied and prayed; traveled forward in their journey of faith, which began at Baptism, and continued with Eucharist and Reconciliation. But, this sacrament is not only about and for these recipients; it celebrates the power and presence of the Spirit in our parish community and in our own lives. In the sacrament of Confirmation, the church affirms the view that growth in the Spirit is a continuing, lifelong journey. Confirmation is NOT a reaching of spiritual maturity, or an endpoint of learning and being formed in our faith. We do not miraculously “graduate” into adulthood, but Confirmation celebrates and deepens the ongoing initiation into the new life with Jesus which started at Baptism. So, Confirmation readies a person for all the conscious growing and ministering that is ahead in life. It is part of the beginning, and continuing, of a person's faith journey. Confirmation also calls us to serve our world with the talents that God has given each of us. Our Confirmandi have been doing service in their communities as they show their understanding of the lifetime call we all share for service.
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, awaken my soul to the sound of your voice.
Come, live and grow in me.
Draw me into your light and guide me along the way.
Be my hope when I am fearful and the source of my joy.
Be my inspiration for works of love and above all,
Teach me the wisdom of the present moment. Amen
Last week, our second graders, who are preparing to celebrate First Eucharist, had what we call a "Tasting Celebration." In prayer, story, and song, they learned more about this wonderful Gift of Jesus. They experienced the "giftedness of wheat" as they tasted many wheat products. Generous parents helped the children sample products ranging from donuts to crackers, cereal and breads. They also enjoyed grapes and white grape juice. The children practiced how to receive Jesus in Communion, as they practiced with unblessed hosts. They heard the story of Jesus’ appearance at Emmaus, and how the followers recognized Jesus "in the breaking of the bread." The children were invited to share this story with their parents, and took home a small roll so they could also bless and break bread with their families. Again, many thanks to all who helped in the set-up, clean-up, and generous donations.
Another Look At Fasting and Abstinence
People often don’t look forward to Lent. Childhood memories of giving up candy or sitting through weekly Stations of the Cross come immediately to mind. Words like “sacrifice,” “discipline,” and “self-denial” are often used in ways that suggest that Lent is something to be endured rather than a time of grace and spiritual growth Have you ever thought of Lent as a yearly second chance? Each year the Church gives us six weeks to take a long, loving look at our lives to see if our values and priorities are in line with God’s desires for us. Since most of us find that we’ve wandered from God’s path, Lent becomes that second chance, or do-over, to “return to God with our whole heart.” Fasting and Abstaining –refraining from quantities and kinds of food-are historical practices that are still emphasized today. These penitential acts take on enriched meanings in families when we learn to fast or abstain from certain behaviors and attitudes. Here are some suggestions that might trigger other ideas for your family:
-fast from too much “screen time” by turning off televisions and computers for an extra hour each day.
-abstain from complaining, and look for ways to affirm one another.
-fast from overload by cutting down outside activities, and seeking time together as family.
-fast from unhealthy practices, such as indulging in too much sugar or junk food, and focus on eating healthy foods.
-abstain from criticizing or judging others, and pay attention to their good qualities instead.
Have a Blessed week of Lent,
Mrs. C the DRE