Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we celebrate the Third Sunday of Lent. During this Holy Season we are asked to examine and reflect upon our lives and call on God for aid. There are times in our lives … and this may be one of them … when we feel alone or abandoned. We make ask, as the Chosen People of Israel did, when thirsting in the desert, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” As we grow weary crossing the deserts in our lives, may we remember Jesus’s words: “I am with you always.” (During the 9:30 Mass we will have the first of the “Scrutinies” of our Elect. A brief ceremony it asks the Lord to continue to guide them on their way to the Easter Sacraments.

Next week we will celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent, also known as Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday. As we continue our journey through this season of Lent, we will be met with the question of “who is worthy in God’s eyes.” Based on false expectations the Israelites and the Pharisees never thought David would be chosen king or that Jesus would heal the man born blind. Worthiness may be found not in reputation or pedigree or appearance, but in one’s heart. (The Second of Three Scrutinies will be celebrated next weekend.)

The FLU (and Coronavirus): As I write this there is one confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Saint Louis County. However according to a doctor friend of mine many of the hospitals are nearing capacity because of influenza, both type A and type B. So please keep up your guard. We will still not offer the Precious Blood at Mass this weekend and I urge you to please be cautious when exchanging the sign of peace or greeting anyone here or wherever you might be.

I have seen in the news that there are some “drastic” things being done in various parts of the world to keep people safe. Public Masses are banned in Rome until April 3. More quarantines are happen- ing throughout the world. Please be careful. As I put in last week’s bulletin, and it is worth repeat- ing, the State of Missouri has a website set up for information

https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/

Of course the CDC also has a website and so does the National Institute for Health. So, just be sensible and wash your hands! Avoid any undue physical contact with others. Again, for the Sign of Peace, just make a nod, smile, or wave to the people near you. As you saw last week, the Arch- bishop is suggesting a “three feet buffer zone” from others. Obviously it will be difficult to stay three feet away from people … but try not to “infect” them. Thank you.

Please remember the special EVENING OF REFLECTION on Monday, March 23, a week from Monday: Healing Our Woundedness: An Evening of Reflection with Sr. Kathryn Hermes, FSP. Sr Kathryn, author of “Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments” will lead us on a spiritual path for healing the wounds we all carry. The evening will last from 7:00 -9:00 P.M. in the parish hall and will consist of a talk, prayer and reflection. Sr. Kathryn will be available to sign her books. (There is no charge but a free will offering will be taken up. Thank you!)

West County Interfaith Alliance Educational Tour of United Hebrew Congregation. All the Members of the parish are invited to attend an educational tour of this Jewish Congregation on Saturday, March 28, 2020, from 4:00 P.M. until 5:30 P.M. The address is 13788 Conway Road … at the corner of Highway 141 and Conway Road. While we have had an ongoing relationship with Congregation Shaare Emeth, at the corner of Ballas and Ladue, this would be a nice way to see another Jewish Congregation’s “home.” It would also be a great opportunity to learn about the Jewish faith’s key concepts, beliefs, practices, praying methods, and their significance, and gain an appreciation for the faith and its followers. As several of the Popes have said, “we are spiritual Semites,” meaning that, because of the source of our faith in Judaism we all acknowledge Abraham as “our father in faith.” If you need more information please call Ram Lakshmanan at 314-308-3764, or write him at Ram.Lakshmanan1@gmail.com

The Building Renovation and new Elevator: HOPEFULLY “the end is near.” Not the end of the world but the end of the construction. I know I’ve mentioned dates before so I won’t now, but if you have been a casual observer of the absence of a lot of construction tools, dumpsters, trucks, concrete mixers, etc., you know that “the end is near.” PLEASE pray that it might be over SOON! Thank you.

Sacrament of Penance: Just a reminder (from several weeks ago) that on Monday, March 23, beginning at 1:00 P.M. we will have the Lenten Penance Service for our school students. Members of their families and other parishioners are also invited to attend. We will have several priests available for Confessions that afternoon. Other times include 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 25th, when we will have PSR Confessions for grades 2, 3, and 4, and 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 1 when the rest of the PSR as well as the entire parish will be invited to celebrate this wonderful life-giving Sacrament.  Of course we have Confessions every Saturday afternoon from 3:30 until 4:30 and on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 until 4:30.

Have a blessed Lenten Season,

Fr Joe Weber

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