Fifth Sunday of Lent

03-17-2024From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. Antony Arockiadoss

Dear Family!

We are just one week away from Holy Week. Jeremiah 31 has some of the prized treasures of scripture in the whole Bible. The establishment of the New Covenant is one of the pivotal moment in our history of salvation. The Torah (Old Covenant or Testament) was supposed to have found its way into the human heart, but sin took hold of our hearts.

God’s new covenant will be more individualized than it was in the past. The New Covenant compels people to take individual responsibility for their sins rather than blaming past generations. It also leads us from external observance of the law to inward movement of repentance and works of kindness and compassion.

The effects of the new covenant is witnessed in the Gospel as Greeks (outsiders) who came to ‘see’ Jesus as opposed to the disciples (people of the Covenant) who ‘know’ where Jesus is. Let us approach the palms with repented hearts and a renewed spirit of the New Covenant.

Third (last) Scrutiny for the RCIA Candidates
On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent, Catholic Churches with adults preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil will perform three successive rites called “the Scrutinizes”. These rites, with roots dating back to the early Church, are part of a larger process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) or by the new name since 2021, Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA). In our parish, we pray for our three Catechumens Preston Cryan, Emmanuel Sostre & Tairina Paul as they prepare themselves to receive baptism. Please remember all the candidates who are receiving their sacraments at Easter Vigil. For Scrutinizes, the readings from YEAR A are used at mass.

Bible Study on The Acts of the Apostles:
All are welcome! As you probably know that it takes hours of preparation to put together the Bible Study. I am thankful for all of those who have signed up for these studies. The more you show interest, the more I am encouraged to cater to your needs. Lent is a good time to begin something of this nature - to reflect and pray with the Word of God. Every Thursday at 1:30pm in Mercy Hall we gather to study the scripture. It is never too late to join the study. Every time you participate you will appreciate the rich treasures of the Wisdom of the Word of God. This will be in preparation for the Easter Season 2024.

As you are aware that we have confessions on Saturdays both in the morning and in the afternoon, I extend the invitation to all to the Sacrament of Confession during the week also. It is never too late to go to confession. The priests are available during office hours on weekdays. Please call the parish office for more information.

Eucharistic Renewal:
I thank the 72 Disciples ministry for hosting the last Eucharistic Renewal Seminar. The next Seminar will be on April 10th, 6:30pm. The topic we will reflect and learn together is “Eucharist is a Community Prayer” presented by Monsignor John Gordon. As I always encourage all of you - community learning is integral to our faith. Please make an effort to be part of the community and learn together. We started the Eucharistic Revival Seminars in our parish in May of 2023 and the next seminar will complete one full year of community learning. We will continue to spend this precious time every month for prayer and reflection.

Ordinary Maintenance Projects:
We have formed a volunteer group to paint the front doors of the church in the Spring. I thank all the volunteers who signed up for this project. Our chapel renovation will be starting soon as we are working to get the schedule ready to relocate adoration opportunities for parishioners. Now that the floor of Mercy Hall is repaired we have started to renovate the bathrooms on the 3rd floor. I thank all the volunteers who were part of this project yesterday (last Saturday) for their handwork. It is an old building and in need of constant maintenance. Skilled people such as painters, electricians, plumbers and carpenters are all welcomed to volunteer in these projects. We all want the best for our community!

Be assured of my love and prayers for you and your family,

Fr. Antony