LENT: We are days away from entering into the “desert” of Lent. If you’ve been with us on that journey in the past you know that we make profound changes to the celebration of the Mass. Since the beginning of my priesthood I have been a FIRM believer that the Sacred Mysteries should reflect the particular Liturgical Season in which they are being celebrated. Thus, during Lent, the liturgy is much more austere whereas during Easter we pull out all the joyful stops.
As an aid to those new to our community, particularly the parishioners of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga - and as a refresher for everyone else for whom this is old hat - this week’s bulletin features an insert offering a more in-depth explanation of what we do and why.
Next week there will be an insert detailing all the spiritual offerings Our Lady, Queen of the Yough community will be providing to help enrich our experience of this important season of the Church’s year. Lent is a time we are challenged to do MORE, to go DEEPER, to reach HIGHER. Hopefully everyone reading this - if indeed anyone DOES read this drivel! - will take advantage of these opportunities for spiritual growth.
SAINT RITA SCHOOL BUILDING: When Connellsville Area Pre-School closed and we regained use of the
old Saint Rita school building I was thrilled to have all that extra meeting space. But oft-times silver-linings are surrounded by dense CLOUDS!
And the clouds in this case quickly showed themselves. As youth ministry - DESPERATELY in need of more space - took up residence within its walls it became clear that if we are going to fully utilise the space some renovation will be necessary. We have already made preparations to replace the roof; now we are beginning the process of identifying and prioritising the other needed renovations. What ultimately happens will depend on the COST. I am hoping that we CAN accomplish this; there is NO DOUBT that we need the space. I have some ideas as to how the necessary funds might be obtained. Please pray that I am successful!
COVER PHOTO: Before anyone FREAKS OUT and lodges an official complaint because their baptism photo didn’t make the front page, let me assure you that I am NOT playing favourites. NO parishioner’s baptism photo has graced the front cover. This one is an exception because the people pictured are NOT parishioners (they live outside of Baltimore); it is only because I made the pic that it gets top billing! (In case you missed it, that was A JOKE!)
Seriously, here is the story … back in June, when I was holidaying with one of my best friends in Deep Creek he and his wife asked me to be Godfather to their not-yet-born daughter. We and their two sons were chilling in the swimming pool at the time and I was rendered SPEECHLESS. (Surely you can imagine what a miracle THAT was for a loquacious chap like me!) But how could it have been otherwise? Never before had anyone bestowed such an honour on me.
At the 4pm Saint Rita Mass last Saturday my Goddaughter Sadie Rose Meyer was baptised. I celebrated the Mass but since I couldn't be both Godfather AND Minister of the Sacrament Fr. Dan graciously concelebrated the Mass and performed the baptism. I messed up the whole Mass rotation and am EXTREMELY grateful to Fr. Dan for his willingness to adjust. And for the WONDERFUL job he did with the baptism. I learned a few things from him!
Jon and I go way back. His father was the Director of Religious education at Saint Barbara in Harrison City (for 35 years!) where I served as a Deacon in 1995-96 and then as Parochial Vicar from 1999-2005. (I had always wanted to go back for a third go-round, taking the one remaining role - head honcho - but that was BEFORE I alighted in the Jewel of the Yough!) He has truly been a GREAT friend, overlooking my own friendship fails. I have been honoured to witness his marriage to Meghan (the technical term for a priest “celebrating” a wedding; remember, the COUPLE THEMSELVES are the ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony), to baptise his sons Chase and Lincoln, and now to be Godfather to his daughter. Good friendships are one of the ways I keep myself SANE in the midst of my crazy life as a priest!
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