Lent and the Year of St. Joseph
Lent is a privileged time to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection and triumph over sin and death. Easter is and will always be the greatest celebration of our Christian faith! Even though we are having to adapt things due to Covid-19 this year, I encourage every member of our parish to truly enter into this most holy of seasons and to take advantage of all the spiritual benefits it has to offer. May God continue to bless our St. Dominic Church community!
Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are tried and true ways to purify and prepare oneself for the celebration of Easter. What to pray for? Pray for yourself, your loved ones, our world and Catholic Church in all its needs and our parish community, especially those persons in our RCIA program and our young people preparing for their first communion and confirmation. Take up the discipline of the days of fasting during Lent and consider making a commitment to fast one day a week. Fast from food but also consider fasting from television, social media and other distractions. In almsgiving consider supporting the various works of charity occurring through our parish and our diocese and in our larger local area. Our Lenten Malawi sister parish tree will be placed in the church vestibule throughout Lent.
Ash Wednesday – our Mass schedule will be 6:00 a.m., 8:15 a.m. (school community only), 9:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (bilingual).
Sacrament of Reconciliation – due to concerns regarding Covid-19 we will not be having a Lenten Penance service. Rather, a priest will be available every Wednesday evening of Lent beginning February 24th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. to hear confessions. This is in addition to our normal time for the sacrament offered every Saturday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Lenten resources – daily Lenten prayer books and Rice bowls will be placed in the church vestibule the weekend of February 13/14. Please also check our parish Facebook page, website and our parish Formed account for other ongoing and worthwhile resources.
Faith formation – A seven-week series on the Biblical Basis for Catholic Beliefs will begin on Tuesday, February 16th. Beginning on Thursday, February 25th, a weekly video reflection will be offered by Fr. Michael on different aspects of our Catholic tradition that sustain and strengthen us as we walk our pilgrimage of faith. On Friday, February 26th a virtual (via Zoom) study of “33 Days to Merciful Love” by Fr. Michael Gaitley will begin. The study will conclude with a consecration to Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Health opportunity – our parish nurse, Delores Bertuso, has organized, “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus: A Challenge for Lent” as an opportunity for parishioners to get outside while exercising both body and spirit.
Stations of the Cross – Stations will be offered in-person every Friday of Lent at 12 noon in our church. Virtual Stations in both English and Spanish will be offered every Friday of Lent at 7:00 p.m. via our website and Facebook page.
Friday Fish Fry – the Knights of Columbus Council will once again be offering a fish fry ever Friday of Lent beginning on February 19th. Due to Covid-19, this year will be take-out only.
The Year of St. Joseph – Pope Francis has designated this the Year of St. Joseph. Beginning at all the Masses on February 13/14 we will offer a prayer to St. Joseph right before Mass starts as a way to mark this year. We will continue this prayer throughout the year. We have also acquired a statue of St. Joseph for our parish. This statue will be placed in our Chapel of Divine Mercy where it will stay throughout the remainder of the year. We will also place prayer resources in the chapel and we encourage parishioners and ministry groups to visit the chapel – maintaining safe distance - and take the opportunity to spend time reflecting on the witness of St. Joseph and asking for his intercession over this year. At the close of the year, the statue will be moved to a suitable location on our church campus. Another tradition associated with St. Joseph is providing food for the poor. A bin will be placed at the entrance to the chapel and people are encouraged to leave canned and boxed food items that can be used in our St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. Throughout the year we hope to highlight other opportunities to grow in relation to this humble man who was privileged to be the foster father of our Lord Jesus and who is recognized as the Patron Saint of the Universal Church.
The Church is open – our parish church generally remains open every day until around 9:00 p.m. Persons are always welcome to stop by and spend time in prayer.
(For more information on any or all of these items please check the bulletin or contact the parish office.)