Just over a month ago we were still celebrating the Christmas season. In another few days we will begin the season of Lent. This section of Ordinary Time is quite compressed. But it gives us enough time to complete the first chapter of Mark, which we do today. We meet the leper who, cured of his leprosy, cannot keep quiet about what Jesus did for him. He provides an example of the believer testifying to Christ’s power.
Reflection booklets for Lent called “The Little Black Books” are distributed this weekend. It is an excellent and practical “tool” for making the season of Lent more reflective and spiritual. Please take one booklet per family.
Every Lent the Catholic Relief Services invites us to participate in Operation Rice Bowl. This is an excellent faith-
in-action program that invites Catholics to live in solidarity with our most vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world through the three Lenten pillars of praying, fasting and almsgiving. Rice Bowls may be found at each of the exits. Please take one bowl per family and bring it back on Palm Sunday.
Here at St. Bernardine Parish we have many events which give us a chance to sacrifice some time for prayer and so- called spiritual exercises. Every Friday we will have Stations of the Cross at 7:00 P.M. in the Church. At all masses next weekend, we will invite everyone for our Parish Lenten Mission. It will take place from Monday, February 19th through Wednesday, February 21st. We will meet in the church at 7:00 P.M. The mission will be led by Rev. William T. Corcoran, Ph.D., pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills. Please save the dates and keep Fr. Corcoran in your prayers.
Saturday, February 17th will be the day of Kingdom Retreat. Soup for the Soul will take place on Thursday (3/8) and Tuesdays (3/13 and 3/20) at 7:00 p.m. in Fearon Hall. On Wednesday, March 21 will be our Lenten Reconciliation Service.
On this coming Wednesday we will begin a very special season in liturgy – Lent. We will have three Masses on Ash Wednesday: 6:30 A.M., 12:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. Please come to church and receive ashes as an outward sign of penance and conversion.
I have received a letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Archdiocese thanks all of you who supported National Disaster Relief Appeal. Our gift of $1,855.00 was used for the charitable purposes of Catholic Relief Services’ relief and support efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
I pray for all of us that observing prayer, fasting and almsgiving may transform us to be more holy, which is our common vocation.
God bless you,