This Week – April 12, 2019
Extra blessings for every parishioner as we head into the year’s holiest week. Be sure to check the section below and the parish bulletin for times for all our Holy Week services. Greatest thanks, in advance, to the scores of people who make the Triduum so beautiful around here. What a grace it is to pray with all of you – the helpers and the entire congregation. I hope you can block out some extra time to quietly and sincerely recall what He has done for you and your loved ones. Blessed be.
THIS WEEK IN PRAYER
Palm Sunday – Please take palms on the way into church this weekend. Hold them good and high for the blessing at the start of the Mass.
Holy Week – Services are as follows:
Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 7:30 pm.
Holy Thursday – Adoration, 9:00-11:00 pm.
Good Friday – Passion Liturgy, 3:00 pm
Good Friday – Stations of Cross, 7:30 pm
Holy Saturday – Blessing of the Easter food, 9:00 am (Hospitality Room)
Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil (begins with fire in front of church) 8:00 pm
Easter Sunday – Masses at 7:15 am, 9:30 am and 11:30 am.
Easter Sunday – NO 6:00 PM MASS
April 7, 2019 — Fifth Sunday of Lent
A Deeper Our Father? Part 5: “Deliver us from evil"?
To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.
To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.
THIS WEEK IN SERVICE:
SPRING CLEANING – Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 27, the Saturday after Easter. Check out the projects pictured and described in the gathering space this weekend and next. Then pick one. It is a great day for the workers and (weather permitting) a gigantic help to the parish.
Ministry Recruiting – GREAT blessings for all who signed up for new ministries. Get this – 111 people (one hundred and eleven) committed to new ministries this year. That is an amazingly beautiful thing.
Virtus Training – Please complete the training if you can – and surely if you hope to work with children or vulnerable adults. Bob Ferretti will be offering two sessions on Wednesday, April 17 – one at 9:30 am and another at 6:30 pm. Register online today!
THIS WEEK IN COMMUNITY:
Trivia Night – Who knew it would be such an outstanding night? More fun than I could have guessed. The table decorations were a riot – and the seeds are already planted for next year. Thanks to Bob Ferretti for taking a chance with a new fellowship event to subsidize our youth. GREAT work.
Blue Storm Banquet(s) – Yes, the turnout was once again so strong that the organizers had to have two banquets on Sunday for our basketball players, their coaches and their families. Blue Storm truly is an enormous credit to the parish. Thanks to all who made the season and the banquet happen. And thanks, and thanks again to our players for using so well the gifts God has given you. You inspire us.
Seven New Names – How is that going for you? I have heard rumors that there will be “cash and prizes” for the fold that does the best at learning each other’s names. I do not comment on rumors!
Becca’s Friends (BF) – What great fun that was – the Easter Egg Decorating Morning last Saturday, April 6. The BF gang had a great time decorating the eggs and enjoying a delicious brunch compliments of Janet Pescinski, one of the coordinators for BF. 7th Grade confirmation students, as well as the BF Ministry members, enjoyed a fun morning enjoying each other and decorating eggs. You can see the finished project in the Parish Hall on the white trees on the stage.
SAGES MINISTRIES – Our “Sages Ministry,” our new parish ministry to identify and address the pastoral, spiritual, educational and recreational aspirations of our wisest parishioners (i.e., 55+) is off to a rollicking great start. The first go-round of programs begins right after Easter. Each of these most promising gatherings is on a Wednesday (the least active day of the week) from 2-4 pm (the least engaged time of day): April 24, old comedy clips; May 8, wine and painting (ZERO talent required); May 22, daytime game night, and; June 5, activities fair (learn more and voice preferences about upcoming programs). BE THERE.
A Parish Columbarium? – Learn more about the possibility of a Parish Columbarium. The first draft of the plans make it look quite beautiful. The financials make it look quite do-able. Plan to attend an information session: Sunday, April 28 at 10:45 or Monday, May 13 at 7:00 pm
Confirmation Reception – GREAT and overdue thanks to the folks who organized the reception after last week’s celebration of Confirmation. Big thanks to the 7th graders who made the reception beautiful. Special thanks to Ryan Sahns and his mom, Cindy, who led the charge. The 8th graders and their families truly appreciated everyone’s efforts!
Derby Party – If you are a 4:45 person, plan to stick around church on May 4 to watch the Kentucky Derby with your Mass-mates. There is talk of hats. Could be fun. Definitely BYOB and munchies.
Your Pastor’s Brag – This week it is all about folks with musical talent!
Musical Theatre Prize – Bravo for HHS freshman Kelly Irwin (11:30 S 4) who last week placed first in the musical theatre junior category at the Mid Atlantic Music Teacher’s Guild competition. Congratulations Kelly. May you break many legs for many years!
Many Drummers Drumming! – Lauren Ellis (6:00 S CHOIR) has been drumming since she was a little kid and now that she is a big kid she is keeping up the great work, for our 6:00 pm Mass and for Immaculata High School. Most recently, Lauren was part of the group that won the USBands Indoor Percussion Championships. How blessed are we to have Lauren drumming for us?
Please email me some of the good news you know about parishioners for “The Pastors Brag.”
April 7, 2019 — Fifth Sunday of Lent
A Deeper Our Father? Part 5: “Deliver us from evil"?
We Catholics end the Lord’s Prayer with a bit of urgency as we pray “deliver us from evil.” Sunday’s readings invite us to wonder what we mean when we say that. They also invite us to wonder what God wants us to mean when we say that.
The readings suggest that God wants to deliver us from both the evil that comes to us and the evil that comes through us. God wants to lift us above all participation in evil, both the evil others do unto us and the evil we do unto ourselves and others.
Sunday’s first reading (Isaiah 43) describes two colossal events in Israel’s history. The first, the Exodus, lay in the past. The other, the return from Babylon, had yet to occur when Isaiah was written. Both the Exodus and the liberation from Babylon are stories of God delivering people from the evil others did unto the Israelites and the evil the Israelites did to themselves and others.
The flight from Egypt rescued the Israelites from the horrors of slavery that Pharaoh inflicted on them. The forty years of desert wandering were then years of purification when God dialed down the Israelites’ evil inclinations to worship false gods, to torment Moses and others, to gripe about God, and to perform other evils. The Exodus delivered the children of Israel from both external and internal evil.
The Liberation from Babylon is a similar story. God used Cyrus of Persia to deliver the exiles from the evils Nebuchadnezzar and his minions did to the Chosen. And God used the time in Babylon to purify the exiles of their worst tendencies to sin as they did before the exile. God delivered the Israelites from the evils others did to them and the evils they did to themselves and others.
The gospel story (John 8) Follows the same pattern. The religious leaders were eager to stone to death the woman caught in adultery. Jesus rescued her from their wicked intentions. He also rescued the woman from the evil she did to herself. After dismissing her accusers, Jesus told the woman, “Go and from now on do not sin anymore.” He delivered her from the evil that came to her and the evil that came through her.
What about you? From which evils do you really want God to deliver you? What evils do you have in mind when you close the Our Father? What evils do you suspect God wants you to have in mind when you close the Our Father? More specifically, from which evils committed by other people do you want God to deliver you? Are there people who seem out to hurt you? Are there situations in the world that hurt you, and those responsible for the hurt don’t even know you exist? Which evils in the world seem most threatening to you and your loved ones and your larger community?
And which of your misdeeds seem to require God’s intervention? Do you have some dopey little sinful habits that you seem unable to escape? Perhaps you have addictions that hurt yourself and others? From which participations in evil do you want God to liberate you?
We praying people ask God so frequently to “deliver us from evil.” What might be your next two or three steps in meaning that more? When you stop and think about it, from which handful of evils – both those that others commit and those that you commit – do you most want to be delivered? And as you gain clarity on your intentions, can you sense God gaining delight in your prayer?