Bulletin (March 4, 2007)

I want to begin with a public word of thanks to all those who worked on last weekend’s Fr. Corapi Retreat. Parish Administrator Gary Samaniego and event coordinator Tony Ritchie kept track of more than a thousand registrations and communicated with many others whose registration we regretfully had to return because the event sold out over a month ago. Gary and Tony worked with many volunteers to coordinate this Herculean effort. Obviously, I cannot mention all the individuals and groups, but particular thanks goes to St. Martha’s Sodality for providing hospitality on Friday and Saturday, our Knights of Columbus who oversaw parking and security and our parish choir for their magnificent hymns and chants. During the retreat ten priests heard confessions, just one of many indications that the retreat was a life changing event for those who attended. Fr. Corapi will be taking a year off from traveling for prayer, contemplating and writing, but we hope that in the future we will again have him back at our parish.

Also, last week the Rite of Election took place at St. James Cathedral. From Holy Family we have some twenty people who will be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. On the next three Sundays, we will have the Scrutinies, which are exorcism prayers to prepare catechumens and candidates for the Easter Sacraments. In order that all parishioners will have the opportunity to pray for them – and receive the spiritual benefits of the Scrutinies – we will have these prayers at the following Masses: First Scrutiny on March 10 at the 5 p.m. Mass, Second Scrutiny at the 8 a.m. Mass on March 18 and the Third Scrutiny at the 11 a.m. Mass on March 25.

Speaking of sacraments, I again encourage you to set aside time on March 24 to participate in the Archdiocesan Day of Reconciliation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. James Cathedral. Please also consider joining our annual Cathedral Walk that same day. We will leave from Holy Family at 7 a.m.

In the vestibule you will find Our Sunday Visitor pamphlets on a number of topics such as How to Get More out of the Mass, Top Ten Reasons to Come Back to the Catholic Church, Annulments, Vatican II and How to Form Your Catholic Conscience. These high quality pamphlets cost forty cents each. I ask you to place your donation in one of the strong boxes or in the Sunday collection. In the vestibule we also have Lighthouse CD’s, Catholic Answer’s pamphlets, vocation information, youth booklets and other helps to understanding and growing in one’s faith. This is so important because we live in a culture which is often hostile to our faith.

Speaking of our culture, did you see the report on the evening news about an Academy Award-winning director who has made a controversial documentary on the tomb of Napoleon? It turns out they have discovered a new tomb of Napoleon with inscriptions indicating that he was actually married to Betsy Ross and they had a son named Abraham Lincoln. The tomb was discovered twenty-seven years ago, and since then, archeologists did not give it much importance, but finally, this Hollywood director had the courage to make a documentary for the Discovery Channel. The director says he has statistical and DNA evidence to back up his sensational claim… Of course, you did not hear about this documentary because no news network would risk its reputation by broadcasting such nonsense. However, if the documentary were about Jesus instead of Napoleon, the networks would remove all restraint – and they did! On the bulletin boards, I have posted a couple of articles which expose the bogus claims regarding this supposed tomb of Jesus. The real tomb of Jesus, by the way, is in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – and it is empty. As we celebrate in each Mass, Jesus not only died for our sins – he rose bodily from the dead.

While the news media have become increasingly negative toward Christianity, occasionally something positive does shine through. Time magazine had a magnificent picture on the cover of its February 26 edition. It shows a hand holding four fetal models between seven and tenth weeks of gestation. The article describes the work of crisis pregnancy centers – such as Birthright, which has a satellite office here at Holy Family. We can be justifiably proud of the life-saving work that these centers perform.

In the bulletin this week, you will find additional information about Birthright. I ask you also to pay particular attention to the School News section regarding the Auction and Annual Fund. These efforts are vital for our children and for the future of our parish.

The season of Lent reminds us that we are in a life or death struggle – not just for the smallest of our brothers and sisters – but also for eternal souls, including those who have become cold or hostile toward Jesus. We have only four weeks until Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Let’s use this time well.

Como estos niños, muchos de ustedes participaron en la anual Caminata a la Catedral. Este año salimos el 24 de marzo a las 7 a.m. Como se puede ver el la foto abajo, en el camino rezaremos el santo rosario y otras oraciones. Los que participan en esta peregrinación pueden recibir una indulgencia plenaria. Ese día habrá confesiones desde las 10 a.m. hasta las 5 p.m. en la Catedral para el Día de Reconciliacion. No lo pierdan.

Los próximos tres domingos, durante la misa de 12:30, habrá los Escrutinios. Favor de rezar por los jóvenes que preparan para los sacramentos pascuales de bautismo, confirmacion y Eucaristia. Igualmente rezamos por los niños que recibirán su Primera Comunión el 19 de mayo. Nos faltan solamente cuatro semanas hasta el Domingo de Ramos, comienzo de la Semana Santa. Favor de aprovechar de este tiempo de misericordia y sanación.