Bulletin (April 4, 2004)

Welcome to Holy Week! I encourage you to take home your blessed palm and place it behind a crucifix or other sacred image. As we walk with Jesus in His passion, the palm reminds us of His ultimate victory. Please join us on Thursday evening for the bilingual Mass of the Last Supper at 7 p.m., on Friday evening at 6 p.m. for the Veneration of the Holy Cross and on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for the Easter Vigil.

One of the beautiful ways of receiving the graces of Easter is by making the Divine Mercy Novena. Beginning on Good Friday until the Sunday after Easter, using the beads of your rosary, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy: 1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, one Our Father, one Hail Mary and The Apostles’ Creed. 2. Then on the Our Father Beads, say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. 3. On the ten Hail Mary Beads, say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all five decades). 4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are: DAY 1 - All mankind, especially sinners; DAY 2 - The souls of priests and religious; DAY 3 - All devout and faithful souls; DAY 4 - Those who do not believe in Jesus, and those who do not yet know Him; DAY 5 - The souls of separated brethren; DAY 6 - The meek and humble souls, and the souls of children; DAY 7 - The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy; DAY 8 - The souls who are detained in purgatory; and DAY 9 - The souls who have become lukewarm.

One of the ways of receiving the Divine Mercy is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will have confessions this Tuesday, April 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and from 3 to 5 pm. On Holy Saturday (April 10), the church will also be open for “Condolences to the Blessed Virgin.” In recognition of the death and burial of Christ, the Blessed Sacrament will not be in the tabernacle during that time, but there will be a beautiful image of our Sorrowful Mother. Easter will have a more profound meaning if you accompany the Blessed Mother in her time of great sorrow. As a priest I have often been with parents at the loss of a son or daughter. There is a special tragedy when a child dies before their parent. That was the case at the funeral last week of Carmen Delgado. Not only were Carmen’s children and grandchildren present, but also her elderly mom.

When a parent loses a small child or an unborn child, we feel an even greater sorrow. Last week on March 25, we celebrated the Day of the Unborn Child. Significantly, on that very day, the Senate passed The Unborn Victims of Violence Act making it a crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. This is sometimes referred to as the Laci and Connor Peterson Bill. As one journalist said, “I hope that the sad and tragic fate of Laci Peterson and her little son, Connor, will help America wake up from its long, shameful national nightmare.”

I remember last spring when the news broke about the murders of Laci and Connor; one of the people who commented on it was Sharon Carriere. As many of you know, Sharon was passionately pro-life. She predicted that this case would help everyone see the reality of unborn human life – that these little ones are human beings who not only require, but deserve our full care and legal protection.

I am looking forward to the renaming of the Ailbe House Library in memory of Sharon Carriere which we will do in just two and a half months. It is not part of my job description to beatify or canonize anyone, but I can testify that Sharon was one of the most remarkable and dedicated people with whom I have worked as a priest. We pray for her eternal rest and also remember her beautiful witness as a wife, mother and dedicated parishioner.

Along with the rededication of the Sharon Carriere Library, we will also be renaming many of the other rooms in the Ailbe House in honor of saints. I have asked different groups in the parish to take responsibility for specific rooms. I will also be naming one of the rooms in honor of a “Blessed.” We are working on refurbishing the Ailbe House for the June 20 rededication. There is much work still to be done on carpets, doors, windows, etc. Also, we face major projects such as roof repair, asbestos abatement and payment of the boiler debt. I am hoping that we will be able to address some of those needs as part of the Annual Catholic Appeal.

Regarding the other major needs of the parish (school and church roofs, seismic retrofit, renovation of school basement, parking lot, portables, etc.), we will be undertaking a Capital Campaign. On Monday we had an initial meeting of representatives for a steering committee. The minutes of that meeting are posted on the bulletin board.

If you have not yet seen The Passion of the Christ, please do so during Holy Week. Fr. Ramon and I went to see it on Wednesday. It was my second time seeing the film, and I can attest that the impact was even more profound. So even if you have seen it once, see it again during Holy Week. With its emphasis on the sacraments and the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Passion of the Christ is a wonderfully Catholic movie. It is ironic that Evangelicals have done more to promote and take advantage of the movie than we have. For Catholics who want to gently evangelize, I recommend A Guide to the Passion. Almost a million seller, it answers one hundred questions from curiosities such as the significance of the “demon baby” to fundamental matters like why Jesus had to die. It also gives a concise case for the divinity of Christ and membership in the Catholic Church, as well as prayers which one can say as a response to Jesus’ love. Copies are available in the vestibule for $2.50 each.

¡Bienvenidos a la Semana Santa! Favor de llevar a su casa un ramo bendito y ponerlo detrás del crucifijo u otra imagen sagrada. Al caminar con Jesús en su Pasión, el ramito nos recuerda de su victoria final. Favor de venir el jueves para la misa bilingüe de la Ultima Cena a las 7 p.m., el viernes a las 7:30 p.m. para la Veneración de la Cruz y a medianoche el sábado para la Vigilia Pascual.

Una Linda manera de recibir las gracias de Pascua es hacer la Novena de la Misericordia Divina. Comenzando el Viernes Santo hasta el Domingo Después de Pascua, rezar todos los nueve días La Coronilla de la Divina Misericordia. Usando una camándula del Rosario empezamos con: El Padre Nuestro..., Ave María..., El Credo...,Al comenzar cada década decimos: Padre Eterno, te ofrezco el Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad de Tu Amadísimo Hijo, Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, para el perdón de nuestros pecados y los del mundo entero. En cada cuenta pequeña decimos: Por Su dolorosa Pasión ten misericordia de nosotros y del mundo entero. Al finalizar las cinco décadas de la coronilla decimos: Santo Dios, Santo Fuerte, Santo Inmortal, ten piedad de nosotros y del mundo entero. (tres veces)

Almas por las cuales se reza cada día esta Novena: 1er. día >> por toda la humanidad, especialmente los pecadores; 2do. día >> por los sacerdotes y religiosos; 3er. día >> por todos los devotos y creyentes; 4to. día >> por aquellos que no creen en Dios y los que aun no conocen a Jesús; 5to. día >> por aquellos que se han apartado de la Iglesia; 6to. día >> por los mansos y humildes y por los niños; 7mo. día >> por aquellos que especialmente veneran y glorifican Su misericordia; 8vo. día >> por las almas del purgatorio; 9no. día >> por aquellos que se han vuelto tibios e indiferentes.

Estamos trabajando para renovar la Ailbe House para la re-dedicación de la Biblioteca en honor a Sharon Carriere el 20 de junio. Hay mucho que hacer en las alfombras, puertas, ventanas, etc. Además tenemos proyectos mayores como reparación de los techos, reducción del asbestos y el pago de la deuda del calentón. Tengo la esperanza que podemos tener el dinero por estas necesidades por medio de la Petición Anual.

En cuanto a las otras necesidades principales de la parroquia (techos de la escuela e iglesia, reforzamiento sísmico, renovación del sótano de la escuela, estacionamiento, portables, etc.) vamos a tener una Campaña Capital. El día lunes tuvimos una reunión con representantes para el comité de respaldo. Las minutas de la reunión están a las entradas de la iglesia.

Si todavía no han visto La Pasión del Cristo, hágalo durante la Semana Santa. El padre Ramón y yo fuimos el día miércoles. Para mí fue la segunda vez y puedo decir que el impacto era aun más profundo. Con su énfasis en los sacramentos y la Virgen Maria, La Pasión del Cristo es una película maravillosamente católica. La ironía es que los evangélicos han hecho mas que nosotros para promover y aprovechar de esta oportunidad. Hay un libro en ingles que puede ayudar mucho A Guide to the Passion. Con casi un millón de copias vendidos, contesta cien preguntas desde curiosidades como el “bebito diabólico” hasta asuntos fundamentales como el por que Jesús tenia que morir. Da un caso conciso para la divinidad de Cristo y membresía en la Iglesia Católica, en adición a oraciones que uno puede decir como respuesta al amor de Jesús. Se puede comprar por $2.50 en la entrada de la iglesia.