This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - Mar 23, 2017

Dear All: 

Christ’s peace! And think “Confession” and “Fish Fry.”

This Week in Prayer

Carpe Kindness” – loosely translated, “seize the opportunity to be kind.” Three weeks ago, it was about being kind to the ancestors, living and deceased. Two weeks ago, it was about “thiNNk,” about asking ourselves “Is what I am about to say true, helpful, important, Necessary Now, and kind?” The emphasis was on the “Necessary Now” consideration and wondering if it might be more kind to postpone my words. Last Sunday it was about the setting in which we speak the challenging word.

In the story of “The Woman at the Well,” Saint John indicates that Jesus challenged the woman when no one else was around. He challenged her about her faith and he challenged her about her moral choices. But Jesus did all that at noon, when it was too hot for other Samaritans to be at the well. Only the woman was there, perhaps because she wanted to avoid her neighbors. And he did that when his disciples had gone to town to shop for food, perhaps because he didn’t want the lady to feel like she was surrounded. Jesus took advantage of a rare solitary moment to challenge the woman. We know that Jesus’ strategy worked. The woman immediately became a true evangelist. 

What about you? Can you recall how you felt when someone challenged you in front of others? Maybe you still wish it had not happened that way. Might it have been better if the other had been more discrete in speaking the challenging word? Might you have been more available to their challenging words if they had spoken to you in private? And what about a situation in which you feel your faith calls you to speak the challenging word? Have you thought through the best setting in which you might speak your truth? Have you thought about how to be as kind as possible when doing your prophetic work? If you were in the other’s place, in what setting would you like to be challenged? Chances are that social media declarations don’t align with God’s hopes. Chances are that bold proclamations with many witnesses will not work. Jesus’s words and examples affirm the old notion “commend in public, challenge in private.” Where might Jesus be asking you to keep that in mind as he urges us to “Carpe Kindness?”

  • Our Parish’s Lenten Penance Service is especially for adults (i.e., those already confirmed). It will be held on Tuesday April 4 at 7:30 pm. Who cares how long it’s been since your last confession? Like Hosea says, “Don’t let fear keep us apart.” Between now and then, in addition to your regular examination of conscience, try to name (a) one habit God wants you to leave in the dust and (b) one habit God has been wanting you to take up. The confessors are all good guys. The music is always excellent. The gift of absolution is terrific.

  • Confessions will start early on the two Saturdays before Holy Week. On April 1 and April 8, confessions will start at 3:30 instead of 4:00. Confessions will end at 4:25.

  • If you want to make an appointment for confession at a time that is more convenient for you, great! Email me at fhilton@loyola.edu. No time like Lent to leave the spiritual crud behind.

  • The next meeting of the Cornerstone Men’s prayer group is Monday, March 27 at 7:30. The inspired group is just getting going. The program has a great way of lifting men into a higher appreciation of God’s action in their lives. While it provides ample opportunity to speak to God in petition and in song, it emphasizes the call to listen to God by noticing God’s actions in our own lives and hearts and souls.

  • Congratulations to the 70 young people who were confirmed last week. May the gifts of the Holy Spirit become ever more apparent to you and be the source of great consolation in your beautiful lives.
     

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This week in service:

  • Thanks to all who enabled us to bring the “in-pew” portion of the Bishop’s appeal to successful completion. Special thanks to all who covered last weekend’s logistics and extra special thanks to Dottie, George, Avelina, Dianne, Larry, Carl, Suzanne and Monica for sorting out the cards, affixing the labels, etc. We got quickly to closure because of you.

  • Saturday’s morning of recollection was a most memorable gift for an impressive group of parishioners and others who take care of loved ones. GREAT thanks to the organizing committee for your excellent work. You certainly are making Jesus’s love apparent to people who need a little help.

  • CALLING ALL MEMBERS OF ALL LITURGICAL MINISTRIES AND ALL PARISH COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES. The morning of recollection on Saturday April 8 is all for you – to help you (a) appreciate God’s appreciation for your great work and (b) connect with fellow ministry members to discuss matters both logistical and lofty. TO PREPARE FOR LUNCH, WE NEED THE LEADERS OF EACH MINISTRY TO GIVE US A HEAD COUNT BY SUNDAY APRIL 2. Please email your headcount to Suzanne Kral at skral@stjosephsparish.com 

  • The parish’s Spring Blood Drive is Fryday during the Fish Fry. Give a pint and eat a perch!

This week in community:

  • CALLING ALL FISH EATERS – Join your fellow parishioners for some elbow-rubbing and fine K of C marine cuisine tomorrow – FRYDAY March 24. The first fish will appear at 4:30. The last will show up at 8:00. 

  • CALLING ALL FANS OF IRISH STEP DANCERS – Come to the Fish Fry on Fryday. The first show will start at about 5:30. The second starts at about 6:30.

Hoping that you started to feel rejuvenated on Mondaymorning at 6:29 am. And to think it coincided with the re-located feast of Saint Joseph. Doubly nice.

All best blessings – especially as you consider fish and confession.

Fr Hank.