Lent is Fast Approaching

The Lenten season has a double character. It prepares both catechumens and the baptized faithful to celebrate the Paschal Mystery. The catechumens are prepared for their reception of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. On the other hand, the baptized faithful are prepared through penance and prayer for the Easter celebration.

This year, the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday (March 6, 2019) and ends on Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019). In addition to our regularly scheduled Masses and Lenten liturgies, our mission church offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a Lenten Retreat and Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent. Our library and gift shop have books and other items available for private devotions. Come and make this season of Lent a time for spiritual renewal in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Ash Wednesday

March 6, 2019 is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. The practice of imposing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful is normally done during Ash Wednesday, reminding us that it is a special time for repentance. According to the Gospels, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan; accordingly, the Lenten Season was first observed as a period of fasting for 40 days in preparation for Easter.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

The Month of March is devoted to St. Joseph

In the Catholic Church, the month of March is devoted to St. Joseph. St. Joseph, the foster father of Our Lord, is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew (1:16,18-20,24; 2:13,19), Luke (1:27; 2:4,16; 3:23,24; 4:22) and John (1:45; 6:42).  He was a just man (Matthew 1:19), a man of humble obedience and strength.

St. Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers and is associated with various feast days. In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church. St. Joseph is also the patron of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died peacefully in the presence of Jesus and Mary. The two major feast days are the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19, and the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st.

St. Joseph is also regarded as a model for fathers and husbands, and he is our model of what it truly means to live the vocation of marriage. How can you honor St. Joseph this month? If you’re married, you can pray for your husband or wife daily. If you have children, you can pray for your children. Those who are not married can pray for their parents. Finally, all the faithful are called to pray so that our culture would understand and accept the value of marriage as a sacrament.

Fr. Dennis Callan, SVD will visit our church and conduct a Lenten Retreat in Chinese on March 16-17, 2019. The main topic will be the Eight Beatitudes based on Matthew 5:1-12.

TODAY! Parish Council meeting at 12:30 pm and Finance Council meeting at 1:30 pm.