Easter Bulletin - April 15, 2001

They say that there are three questions we all ask of ourselves at one time or another, "Where do I come from?" "Why am I here?" and "Is it really necessary to leave?" Most of us wish we didn't have to say, "Yes" to the third, but we do. Easter means because He lives, we also shall live. A reason for living and our hope in dying.

Columnist Gary Thomas gave this reflection on the Easter meaning of life and death:

“Back when George Bush was vice president representing the United States at the funeral of ex-Soviet head Leonid Brezhnev, he was profoundly moved by one of the most courageous acts of civil disobedience ever recorded in human history. As soldiers prepared to close the lid over Brezhnev's body, his grieving widow quickly reached out and made the sign of the cross on her departed husband's chest.

“There in the citadel of atheistic power, Mrs. Brezhnev offered a desperate prayer that everything her husband stood for had been a lie, that there was an existence apart from this world, a realm of authority that goes beyond the idealistic efforts of men and women, a world that is entered only through the sacrificial death of a radical Jew who died 2,000 years ago.

“Brezhnev expended all his efforts trying to create a utopia on earth while trying to stamp out any evidence of heaven. When he died, his wife hoped that he had been misguided.

“Will death prove our own lives to be a waste, chasing after something that has no meaning once we're gone? When my body is being laid in the ground, will my wife be praying that God will have mercy and "overlook" my own ambitious efforts?” (Gary Thomas, The message of the Dying, World Magazine, December 28, 1996)

Easter is a moment when we ask about the meaning of our lives. With John and Peter we peer into the empty tomb and wonder what it signifies. Like them we do not receive the answer in an instant. It takes some time. That is why Easter Sunday inaugurates a fifty-day season culminating in Pentecost (June 3). It is enough today to note the well attested fact – the tomb of Jesus is empty. What it means will become clearer as we open ourselves to the gifts he wishes to offer: the forgiveness of sin and, above all, the Holy Spirit. I invite you to join us at Holy Family in this Easter journey.

In the coming weeks we will be pulling together to address some common needs in our parish. Our school parents have already had their annual auction that netted a substantial amount. Next Saturday we will have an alumni gathering to seek the ongoing support of those who received their education at Holy Family School. The following Sunday a couple from our parish will give a testimonial in relation to the Annual Catholic Appeal. This year we will once again dedicate what we receive over our parish goal to building needs. As you may be aware, we are addressing the seismic needs of our school. Thanks to some outside donations, a successful Fall auction and the ongoing generosity of Holy Family parishioners, we were able to replace the old porch. This summer we hope to put the glass canopy on it and pin bricks that are in danger of falling from the front of the building. This work, as well as the inner seismic retrofitting and the elevator will require the support of all.

I ask not only for your financial support, but a renewed dedication to prayer. Our Ailbe House chapel is now open round the clock for Eucharistic Adoration. This is a most beautiful way to draw near our Lord and to be a channel of his blessings for your family, your parish and your community. Eucharistic Adoration flows naturally from our participation in the Mass. Even while we attend Mass, there are some in prayer in the Ailbe House chapel. They, of course, have already attended Mass themselves or will attend a later Mass either at Holy Family or another parish. Over five hundred people are currently giving at least one hour a week to prayer before Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. As we begin this Easter season, why not consider joining them?