This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - March 23, 2018


Dear All: 


Christ’s Peace!


Bring on the fish and bring on the step-dancers! Our Knights of Columbus will start serving the fish at 4:00this afternoon and will dish up the last meal at 8:00tonight. The Irish Step Dancing Troupe will perform at around 6:00 pm. 


We will also hear a brief word of thanks from the director of Feeding Hands – the agency that is delivering your truly amazing contributions of household and personal products to area homeless. You have done a truly remarkable job. You still have a chance to contribute. Just put your gifts in the bins at the fish fry. And get this – the project has already collected 300% (three hundred percent) of the original goal. You are one big gift.


Remember, if you are short on funds, just let me know. I will gladly give you a ticket. No one will know. No one should skip the fish fry because of funding. Also – new parishioners get free tickets.




  • Our Lenten Penance Service – Great thanks to Frank Viola for the music and thanks to our stalwart ushers for keeping everything moving along so well. Thanks to the priests who came to hear confessions and thanks to Carol Valone for organizing the evening. A special thank you to everyone who did such a fine job of maintaining the sacred silence and keeping the atmosphere prayerful. Thanks most of all for your witness. Your presence and participation speak of your great convictions concerning God’s kindness and mercy and the sacrament’s great graces. Blessings for all.

  • Extra confession times this weekend – If you haven’t had a chance to get to confession this Lent, maybe make time this week. I will be in the confessional from noon until 1 pmtomorrow and then again from 3:30 to 4:25. Don’t worry if it’s been ages and don’t worry if you are fuzzy on the logistics. Just come!

  • Our Little Black Books — What about Monday’s reflection on Simon of Cyrene? What about those crosses that are pretty much thrust upon us without our full buy-in? You’ve carried such unexpected crosses and done so gracefully and with kindness. When?

  • Stations of the Cross – We will be praying the stations tonight during the Fish Fry. It’s probably better to eat first – as the stations end just around the time the Knights strike the set. 

  • Meeting Christ in Prayer — Too bad about the snow boxing out the last meeting of the Wednesday groups. Let’s maybe plan one final session – for both Wednesday groups – at 7:00 pm this Wednesday. We’ll meet either in the Haustus Room or the Nursery. For members of the other groups, keep thinking of your next steps in prayer. What might the Lord be nudging you to do?

  • Holy Week Schedules – Be sure to get a copy of the Holy Week schedule from the Moses Table. The basics: Holy Thursday at 7:30, Good Friday at 3:00 pm, Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil at 8:00 pm. Easter SundayMasses: 7:15 and 9:30, more traditional music (with the extra musicians who made the Christmas morning masses so beautiful) 11:30, our Contemporary Praise Group. No 6:00 pmon Easter.

  • Sunday’s Homily – “JCBFF Part Five: He never holds a grudge.”

    • To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here
    • To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.


  • Good thing we rescheduled the Spring Cleaning! The snow banks would have complicated our efforts if we’d stuck to the original date (tomorrow!). Our new day is Saturday, April 28, the weekend after Earth Day. The lists of tasks will be available right after Easter and signups will be the weekends of April 15 and 22. The tasks are arranged so that each group will work for about two hours.

  • Great thanks to those who organized Saturday’s Morning of Recollection for Caregivers. You did a terrific job – in every way. The caregivers among us are doing God’s work and you do them a great service by bringing them together and supporting them as you do. Three cheers for our caregivers and three more for those who care for the caregivers.

  • More thanks to all who arranged Monday’swingding for the Feast of St. Joseph – yet another marvelous moment in community. The event was delicious AND informative – especially for all of us who did not grow up in Italian households where the Saint Joseph memorials were extra-powerful. Mondayclearly was the start of a wonderful tradition to celebrate our patron saint.


  • Remember – you can still bring your donations for the Feeding Hands project. All gifts will be happily received at the Fish Fry tonight.

  • We still need a few volunteers for the week of May 6 when we host the families of the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Please contact Sid Lentz and the other project leaders if you can help out.

  • Members of our Youth Group will be making their 30-hour famine in late April. Stay tuned for invitations about how you can support this very impressive effort.

  • Operation Rice Bowl is also in full swing. The Rice Bowl project offers a fine option for families with young children to become more aware of those who go without – and to come to their aid.

May God bless you abundantly during Holy Week. May it be a time of greatly graced prayer for you and your loved ones. 


Fr Hank 


Summary of this Week’s Homily:

“JCBFF Part Five: He never holds a grudge”

Do you recall the passages from scripture where Jesus rubs sinners’ noses in the reminder of sins they have put aside? Of course you don’t. Because there are none. Did Jesus threaten the apostles after the Resurrection – as in “You guys are worthless cowards?” No. He said “Peace.” And what about all those people who responded to his call to move from old ways to new ways? Levi? Peter? The Woman Caught in Adultery? Zaccheus? Did he hold grudges against them because of their old sins? Never. Their renunciation of those sins – in word or in deed – was all Jesus wanted.


Sunday’s first reading comes from Jeremiah 31, part of Jeremiah’s “Book of Consolation.” Referring both to the people of ancient Israel and to Jeremiah’s audience, God says “I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” Maybe we can hear God as telling them “you have done wrong but now you have sworn off your old ways and I will not hold a grudge. I will help you.” 


Sunday’s gospel, from John 12 suggests that Jesus holds none of the grudges his peers hold. He accepts the Greeks as equals of the Israelites. He has no intention of insulting the disciples who could not recognize His Father’s voice for what it is. He intends to draw all people to himself after He is killed. He wants only to steer us aright, not to punish us for old misdeeds that we have foresworn.


What about you? Are there sins you have confessed that keep haunting you? As they say in Brooklyn, God wants you to fuhgeddaboudit. Are there foolish moves in your past that, given the chance, you would never repeat? Fugheddaboutthem too. Satan wants us to dwell on old sins and mistakes. He wants to get us to rub our own noses in it. Not Jesus. He never holds a grudge. He never asks us to pay again for confessed sins and old mistakes. What makes you need to recall that? And what about people in your life? Who needs to be reminded that God holds no grudges. Move on.