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From the Pastor's Pen

As part of Lent, I’ve been reviewing my service to the parish, the wider church, and the world. God points me in directions for this. Just since Lent, I’ve done the Sunday homilies, with an even deeper focus than normal. I gave two Nights of Recollection on the Trinity living within us—our Inner Treasure—and how to let that help us move and serve through each day. People were relieved to hear this. I went on the ACTS retreat with 30 of our women, and gave 4 Masses with preaching, including the return Mass Sunday. I gave the homily at the Ecumenical Service last Wednesday. I’ve also given two sessions to the 2nd Grade First Communion Class at school.

All this takes time to prepare. It seems there is always something urgent that wants attention; but without us priests taking time to prepare these public services, the parish is not well served. This preparation time is unseen service, like the submerged part of an iceberg. Fr. Steve and I have other things too besides these public events and the preparation. I have the administration of the parish, and financial work. We have evening meetings on school, liturgy, and all the parish work; and emergency anointing's, along with funerals. Fr. Steve has guided us into leadership on justice dialogues.

I’m glad God guides us to do our core priorities for the parish, and many beyond. We like doing other things around the parish as well; but we are most responsible for these core duties. Thanks for supporting us in this.

Benedictine Father Nocent says “our sacrifices, self-denials and fasting during Lent are valid practices only on certain conditions. The first is union with our brothers and sisters through fraternal love; . . . the second condition is authentic union with God through prayer that is selfless.” One of our school students said this week he wants “a brand new me” for Easter.

It’s not too early now to make sure we’re making something special of what remains of Lent, and look to the time of Holy Week next week. This is a special once-a-year time to join with Jesus in his suffering and in his triumph. We priests are starting that already, and by next weekend, with the deacons and others, we will be pretty exclusively preparing for the Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday.


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