Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Lent. The readings this week remind us to keep our eyes fixed on heaven. God asks Abram to look up at the sky and count the stars. Philippians reminds us our citizenship is in heaven. Peter, James and John’s eyes are fixed heavenward as they climb the mountain and witness Jesus’ transfiguration. Where are our eyes fixed? On our electronics, on what others have? Let us ask for the grace to fix our eyes and hearts heavenward.
Next week will be the Third Sunday of Lent. As we soon enter the midpoint of Lent, our readings become more uncompromising and candid about how we are to live our lives. Through our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we must continue to cultivate good habits that will last long after Lent has ended. How is your Lenten journey going?
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all who are Irish … and those who wish they were! Obviously this isn’t just a time for partying, but, rather, a time to acknowledge how important he was to the growth of Catholicism in the British Isles … not just Ireland! Most likely from Wales he was captured and
sold as a slave into Irish captivity. Having escaped he returned home. Studied in France, was ordained a priest, and returned to his land of captivity where he spent the rest of his life evangelizing the pagans in Ireland. Made Bishop of Armagh he established other sees throughout the Emerald Isle. Rather than just a day for drinking, may we remember the importance of this holy man and emulate his faith.
Saint Joseph’s Day is this coming Tuesday. We know precious little about this great man, except that he was a “just man,” one of the highest compliments the Bible can pay anyone. He was also the husband of Mary, the de facto father of the human Jesus Christ, probably an accomplished carpenter, and (presumably) a respected citizen of Nazareth. A faithful Jew he went to Jerusalem for Passover each year, as Saint Luke tells us. It was there that his son decided to stay behind and was found, three days later, in the temple, talking with the elders of the people.
Lent is upon us! I hope that you are having a good Lent. One of the wonderful things I can do when I’m gone to Mexico is to catch up on reading and seeing some videos that reflect the season. I’ve been reading Dr Edward Sri’s Into His Likeness these first few days of my time there. (He is one of the pro- fessors at the Augustine Institute, which provides much of our FORMED.ORG material.) It is a short book but a good one to read in the sun as a time of reflection.
I have to admit that the attendance at Daily Mass the first five days of Lent (Ash Wednesday through Monday, March 11) was rather underwhelming. I have never been at a parish with so few people attending Daily Mass during Lent. While I know that Spring Break is this coming week for our school, I’m not depending upon school parents, many of whom work, to be the bulk of the people at Daily Mass. However, it is an opportunity to recharge one’s batteries with the Eucharist and ALL of the wonderful readings that are provided for us during this season. Take a check on your own lives and see if Daily Mass, at least during Lent, might be a good practice to take up.
Stations of the Cross: I was impressed that there were almost thirty parishioners at Stations on Friday, March 9. Thank you. Even though school is on Spring Break this week, there will be Stations (as advertised) at 2:00 P.M. this coming Friday. We will use “the adult” version of the Stations this coming afternoon! I hope many of you would come and spend time journeying with Jesus on His way of the Cross.
Logo / Branding: We currently have six different logos in various use around the parish. At both the School Board meeting and Parish Council, both held last Tuesday evening, there was discussion about going to one “brand” for Saint Monica. Since I wasn’t “there,” I don’t know what the results of the meetings were. However, the proposal that was going forth was one main logo that could be slightly adapted for the school and the athletic program that we have. Also part of the logo was to be a stylized “STM,” with the Church steeple as the “T” for envelopes, business cards, etc. So, I presume I’ll have more on that next week and (perhaps) copies of the logos. I think we needed to consolidate all the various “brands” into one central proposal.
The New Elevator, building addition, and hall renovation: The bids for these came in last Tuesday afternoon. I will admit that I was rather taken aback when I saw them. They were generally much higher than I had hoped. Wednesday, March 13, there was to be a meeting with the Architects, the Archdiocese, the asbestos abatement folks (covered last week, although we got news of even MORE asbestos that had not been previously remediated, and we don’t have a bid from them yet), and our building committee. This is written prior to that meeting, but I’m going to join that meeting via telephone from here in Cancun. I hope we have something to tell you next week. Meanwhile, please keep on praying for a successful building process, even though the bids were higher than I expected.
The Rite of Election: The Rite of Election celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, March 10, was (as always) a very impressive ceremony. Seeing the Cathedral Sanctuary FULL of catechumens (now “the Elect”) and candidates, along with their godparents / sponsors, is one of the most beautiful ceremonies of the entire year. We congratulate Alex Cass, Robbie Campbell, Brendan Fuqua, Cameron Fuqua, William Kost, and Skip Moreland, as they continue their journey to the Easter Sacraments. Please pray for these men (and two children) as they are baptized / received into the Church on Holy Saturday.
Have a very fruitful and prayerful Lenten Season. Please consider attending Daily Mass during Lent. Faithfully yours,
Fr Joe Weber