Today begins the holiest of weeks within our church year. From the triumphal entrance with palms to the gift of Christ in the Eucharist; to His passion and dying on the cross; to the glory of his resurrection; we remember, we celebrate, we believe.
This year though is like no other for us in our world. Because of the COVID-19 virus we, as daughters and sons of Christ, will not be able to physically be present for our Holy week services. I do invite you though to join us as we live stream the sacred services of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. These days are an opportunity for us to fast and pray and attune ourselves to Christ’s paschal mystery. As we remember the wondrous love and desire for us that our God has even to the point of dying for us. We, as never before, need these days to give us time to absorb the saving actions of Christ and their true meaning for us. We believe, profess and proclaim, that our God is stronger than death, stronger than sin, that he has Risen and is the God of the living!
I would also like to thank all of you, our faithful and loving parishioners, for your prayers this past month and for the weeks to come. Many of us have felt at a loss; this is where your faith and trust has shown forth. Your prayers, your actions, your love reminds us that none of us can do this alone; that we need our Lord and we need the accumulative faith and gifts of humankind.
Lastly, let us pray for one another; let us pray for health and safety in our world, for our Pope Francis, for our Archbishop Robert Carlson, our Archdiocese, for all those separated from our church, and for all of us that we might live out the Easter promise. Then we can sing with the saints.
I can’t wait to have us, all together, gathered around the Eucharistic table of our Lord.
Hail thee, festival day!
Blest day to be hallowed forever;
Day when our Lord was raised,
Breaking the kingdom of death.
Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Msgr. John Shamleffer
While we are unable to receive the Blessed Sacrament during the next several weeks, we can take the opportunity to participate in Mass online, reflect on scripture, and engage in further spiritual reading. One excellent way to receive the blessings bestowed upon us is through a Spiritual Communion. Below is a copy of the prayer that can be used or distributed amongst the faithful.
SPIRITUAL COMMUNION Receiving the Blessed Sacrament in the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith, but during these unprecedented times and to ensure the health and safety of all people, it is not possible to receive the Sacrament during this time. However, there are still opportunities to draw close to Christ and unite with the Church during these difficult times.
Prayer of Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot receive You Sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if You have already come, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan
and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
Stewardship Reflection ~ April 5, 2020
“As they were marching out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.” (Matthew 27:32)
The Lord calls us to love God and to love our neighbor. Every day we are presented with opportunities to love our neighbor and help him “carry his cross.” These opportunities aren’t usually big events, they are usually ordinary occurrences like helping someone carry their groceries or holding the door open for them. The key is putting the other person’s needs before our own and not expecting anything in return.
We are St. Gabriel!