Dear Parishioners,

After last Sunday’s ice storm, I want to welcome all of you back to Church. Please, please, if you weren’t able to get to Mass last Sunday because of the ice, do not worry about it. The Lord doesn’t want you to break a hip, leg, (arm, as I did back in December 2016) because of the ice! I hope you spent some time in prayer. One person this week mentioned that his family “attended Mass” on EWTN last weekend! That’s ok for a weather problem like that!  Of course if you weren’t here, we could always use your donation to help us with our bills, including ice and snow removal!

Thank you.

Today we celebrate the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In these politically-charged times, we often question one another’s values. We assume we can identify our own, but it is not always easy. At some point, we all need to consider where our faith is rooted and what difference that makes in our life choices. This weekend’s readings address these centuries-old questions quite directly. They matter, because who and what we believe in undergirds every aspect of our lives. What would our personal inventories reveal?

Next weekend we will celebrate the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next weekend’s read- ings seem especially pertinent to us living in a climate of sarcasm and insults, offensiveness and bullying, violence and hatred. Sparing — let alone forgiving and loving — one’s perceived ene- mies, or refusing to judge others is hardly “natural” to most of us. But God sees it differently, and we are faced with the choice of whether we will too. Considering what this requires of us is a good way to enter the immanent season of Lent, beginning in just two weeks.

Principal Search: The Search Committee has been formed to seek our new principal. Mr. Joe Wientge is the chairman of the committee. This is obviously written prior to the “listening session” which was on Wednesday, February 13th, but I hope that there was a good attendance. There is another gathering with private conversations tomorrow (Monday) evening in the Library, from 6:00 – 9:00 P.M. Also now, more than ever, please join with us on Wednesday mornings at 7:45 as we pray the Rosary for the school: students, faculty, and staff. We also pray for the entire parish.

Our 40 Hours Devotion, is this weekend: February 17, 18, and 19. We will begin with Evening Prayer and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 17. Exposition will be all night, until prior to the 6:30 A.M. Mass. We will have the “normal” time between the 6:30 and 8:15 Masses, then, following the 8:15 Mass, around 8:45 A.M., we will have Exposition in the small chapel “Cry Room.” At 7:00 P.M. on Monday there will be a Holy Hour, with prayer and praise and an outreach to some of our younger parishioners who prefer that style of prayer. Following that there will be Exposition again all night, with the same schedule on Monday night, as we had on Sunday. All morning / early afternoon on Tuesday we will have Exposition again. We will close the 40 Hours with “Mid-Day Prayer” from the Divine Office and Benediction.

Weekly Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will resume on Wednesday, February 20, following the 8:15 A.M. Mass, until the evening when Deacon Jim Martin will repose the Blessed Sacrament at 9:00 P.M. There are sign up sheets for Forty Hours and a COMMITMENT to WEEKLY Adoration on Wednesdays available in the MAIN LOBBY of the Church. PLEASE prayer- fully consider spending some time with Jesus, not only during Forty Hours, but weekly. We are hoping that there would be at least two people per period of adoration. Thank you.

Following close upon this will be a PARISH MISSION, directed by Lay Evangelist, and member of Little Flower Parish in Richmond Heights, Mr. Hector Molina. The Mission will be Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, March 3, 4, and 5, just prior to Ash Wednesday, beginning at 7:00 P.M.

I hope you are praying for the Mission and its success … and a new way of spreading the gospel to our parish and area! More on that next week.

Pastoral Council: At last Tuesday’s Pastoral Council Meeting Mark Niesen was chosen to be the Chairman of the Pastoral Council for the coming year. Cherie Crowe offered to take the position of Secretary. We thank these members for “stepping up” and offering themselves for these leader- ship positions. We are still in need of at least one more member for the Council. Please call me if you might be interested. Thank you.

Parish Picnic and MonicaFest: At the Pastoral Council meeting the other day we discussed these two events. The Parish Picnic will be on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8, the First Friday of June and the Saturday following. Please mark your calendars now! Also MonicaFest will be on Friday, August 23 2019.   That is a little earlier than normal but the “normal” day, which would be in early September, will coincide with the Ladies ACTS retreat at Pallottine Retreat Center. Hence we couldn’t have both the same weekend. The Pastoral Council thought it would be best to go earlier than later … so August 23! Again, mark your calendars now!

PALMS to ASHES: Beginning next week we will have containers in the lobbies of church for you to return the palm from last year’s Palm Sunday that will be burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. Weather permitting they will be burned Monday, March 4, 2019, at 2:30 P.M., with our school children attending. All are, of course, invited to attend. We will gather near the “flag pole” at the West Entrance to school.

FAT TUESDAY LUNCHEON will be held this year, on “Fat Tuesday,” March 5, 2019. Sorry about the lack of information about this, but I know that it has been held for many years. The planning committee is meeting and complete details will be in next week’s bulletin. BUT SAVE THE DATE, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, TIME: Noon. PLACE: Msgr. Schneider Hall (Church Basement).

The FAREWELL TO THE ALLELUIA little prayer service will take place in CHURCH Tuesday, March 5, at 2:00 P.M. This is a custom originally from Europe and brought to the Saint Louis area by Msgr. Martin Hellriegel. The Sisters in O’Fallon still do it and Msgr. Nicholas Schneider (and the Precious Blood Sisters) brought it here to Saint Monica. While all the school children will be attending, all are invited.

Many things are happening here at Saint Monica. Stay tuned for important updates on the new elevator and renovation projects. May this week be a week of grace as we celebrate 40 Hours!

Faithfully yours,

Fr Joe Weber