Always on the First Sunday of Lent, we hear Jesus being tempted by the devil during the forty days he spent in the desert. We too are beginning a forty-day period during which we are challenged to repent and reorient ourselves toward God. We face temptations every day that distract us from following the Lord or lead us away from God. May our gathering together to celebrate the Eucharist inspire us and nourish us in the weeks ahead.
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. Sunday, March 24, we will begin our Parish Mission. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will meet in the church at 7:00 p.m. Fr. James Hurlbert, pastor of Ascension Parish in Oak Park, will lead us through these days. Here is Fr. Hulbert’s profile.
Rev. James Hurlbert grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and Chicago. He was ordained in 1990 and has been pastor of Ascension parish in Oak Park since July of 2015 and Dean of the fourteen surrounding parishes since March 2017. Early assignments were as associate pastor at St. Pascal in Chicago and St. Anne in Barrington. He served as a chaplain at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (a home for orphans and at-risk children) in Guatemala from 2013 – 2015; before that, he was the pastor for thirteen years at Saint Alphonsus, a parish composed primarily of young adults, in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. His book, New Stars for Navigation, is available from amazon.com.
On Tuesday, March 26 there will be a chance to experience God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of the service. Parishioners from St. Luke, River Forest, and Ascension, Oak Park are invited as well. It will give us an opportunity to pray and reflect our lives together.
At all the exits you may find The Little Black Books and Operation Rice Bowl materials. If you didn’t have a chance to take them last weekend, feel free to take one today. They are very helpful in practicing prayer and almsgiving during Lent.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for all involved in the preparation of our decorations for the St. Patrick Parade. Thanks to 10 parishioners who were not discouraged by cold weather and joined me in marching in the parade. It was a lot of fun. The float was decorated very well, and I think our presence as a parish in the parade was a good message sent to all who attended it. Big thanks to Larry Moskos from H&R towing for helping us. Well done, thanks!
At 10:30 mass our RCIA members, Jessie Babcock, and Sarah Brooker will be sent to Holy Name Cathedral to be recognized by the bishop as candidates to the full communion with the Catholic Church. Please keep our candidates in your prayers.
This week our special collection supports the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Your donation today helps restore the Church and build the future in more than 20 countries still struggling to recover in the aftermath of communist rule. Funds from this collection help support reconstruction, education, formation, and outreach to alleviate poverty. Please, be as generous as you can.
May God bless us for this season of Lent that supported by his grace we may stay away from our sins and be faithful to the Gospel.