Bulletin (February 18, 2007)

There is a lot happening in the coming days, and I want to use this column to bring you up to date on some of these events. I cannot mention everything, so I ask you to please read carefully the entire bulletin, particularly, Principal Glen Lutz’ column for School News.

This week we begin the holy season of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. You will find the full schedule of Masses and services in another part of this bulletin. The English Masses will be at 8:30 a.m. (with the presence of our school children) and at 6 p.m. Also, we will have a bilingual Mass at noon. The imposition of ashes on the foreheads of Christians is an ancient Christian practice. Biblically, ashes are a symbol of purification and penitence (see Numbers 19:9, 17; Hebrews 9:13; Jonah 3:6; Matthew 11:21, and Luke 10:13).

An important part of the observance of Lent is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Children who are receiving their First Holy Communion after Easter will have a service for First Reconciliation on March 3. At Holy Family Parish, we have regularly scheduled confessions on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m., Wednesday evenings at 7:45 p.m. and First Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. This Lent Fr. Ramon and I will be available for confessions on most Friday evenings at 7 p.m. (March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30).

On the level of the Archdiocese, there will be a marvelous opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on March 24. That Saturday will be the Archdiocesan Day of Reconciliation. Archbishop Brunett, Bishops Elizondo and Tyson, as well as many priests, will be available in St. James Cathedral from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. That same day we will have our annual Cathedral Walk. I invite you to join me and many other parishioners at 7 a.m. in front of our church. We will walk together to St. James Cathedral, stopping along the way for rest, refreshment and prayer. In past years we have taken around three hours to do the seven mile walk. Mothers with baby carriages as well as senior citizens have participated in this event. Many of those walking have obtained financial sponsors in order to donate for parish needs and for the Mary Bloom Center in Peru.

This coming weekend we will host the Father Corapi Retreat. You are probably aware that we have a sold-out crowd. Besides many Holy Family parishioners, people are coming from Canada, Oregon, California, and even further away. I am grateful to our Knights of Columbus, St. Martha’s Sodality, and all the others from Holy Family who are helping host this event. Also, seven or eight other priests (in addition to Fr. Ramon and myself) will be here for confessions. Those who will be attending the retreat are seeking spiritual renewal in their lives. Although I cannot invite any more people for the talks, parishioners would be welcome to come for confessions, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday evening and all day Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Besides the regular confessionals, there will be confession stations in the vestibule and west sacristy. Also, you may come to the parish hall to purchase inspirational tapes and videos by Fr. Corapi. We have a Fr. Corapi CD in the stand in our church vestibule titled, Millionaire to Roman Collar. On that CD Fr. Corapi tells his conversion story. It is an amazing testimony.

On the First Friday of March, we will have a very special event. After the 8:30 a.m. Mass, we will have the dedication of the pre-K classroom in honor of Al and Nell Wheeler. Please set aside this time. I will write more about it in next week’s bulletin.

This Sunday we have the Rite of Sending at our 11 a.m. Mass. It will involve a blessing for our RCIA candidates and their sponsors who will participate in the Rite of Election on Thursday evening in St. James Cathedral. Please pray for these people as they prepare for the immersion in Christ through the Sacraments of Initiation. During Lent we also have the three Scrutinies which will take place at the 5 p.m. Mass on March 10, at the 8 a.m. Mass on March 18, and at the 11 a.m. Mass on March 25. By having the Scrutinies at the three different English Masses, it will give all parishioners the opportunity to pray for these catechumens and candidates.

Next weekend after the 11 a.m. Mass, we will have the blessing of the south portable. As you know, our Hispanic Community has volunteered labor and materials for this project. The portable will provide a space for meetings of around a hundred people, for school band practice, and for receptions after funerals. Please plan on attending this blessing.

Next weekend will be a busy one. Besides the Fr. Corapi Retreat and the blessing of the south portable, we will have the presence of Bishop Eusebio Elizondo at our 6:30 p.m. Spanish Mass. That evening we will have a special rite for the men and women who participate in all night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It will be a beautiful event and, even though it is in Spanish, any parishioner may attend.

Este miércoles comenzamos el tiempo de la Cuaresma. Habrá misa a las 7:30 p.m. con la imposición de la ceniza. Además habrá servicios durante el día, dirigidos por el Diacono Abel. El horario completo está en otra parte del boletín. Una parte importante de la Cuaresma es el Sacramento de Reconciliación. Hay confesiones todos los miércoles, después de la misa de 7 p.m., el día sábado a las 9 a.m., y el primer jueves de marzo (1 de marzo) de 6 a 8 p.m. También el Padre Ramón y yo estaremos disponibles los viernes de marzo (2, 9, 16, 23 y 30 de marzo) a las 7 p.m. (durante el tiempo de la Vía Crucis). Y este año habrá un Día Arquidiocesano de Reconciliación el 24 de marzo, de 10 a.m. a 5 p.m. en la Catedral de St. James. Ese día habrá la Caminata de Holy Family hasta la Catedral, saliendo de nuestro templo a las 7 a.m. Todos son invitados a participar.

La Cuaresma es un período de cuarenta días reservado a la preparación de la muerte y resurrección de Jesús durante la Semana Santa. La ley del ayuno obliga a hacer una sola comida durante el día, pero no prohíbe tomar un poco de alimento por la mañana y por la noche. La ley del ayuno obliga a todos los mayores de edad hasta que hayan cumplido cincuenta y nueve años. Son días de ayuno y abstinencia el Miércoles de Ceniza (21 de febrero) y el Viernes Santo (6 de abril). La ley de la abstinencia prohíbe el uso de carnes, pero no el uso de huevos, lacticinios y cualquier condimento a base de grasa de animales. La ley de la abstinencia obliga a los mayores de catorce años. Son días de abstinencia los siete viernes de Cuaresma. Estas mortificaciones mínimas de ayuno y abstinencia deben ser completadas por cada uno según las personales necesidades y exigencias espirituales. La Cuaresma no es sólo tiempo de mortificación. Es, además, tiempo de retiro espiritual en el que la meditación y la oración personal deben ser intensificadas para lograr la renovación espiritual que se anhela conseguir durante este tiempo.