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Greetings!

As some of you may know, I was once a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict. I was a member of Saint John’s Abbey (http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/) in Collegeville, Minnesota from 1985 until when I came to the Diocese of Phoenix in 2006. My formation there is key to my spiritual life still today. Some parishioners were recently at the Benedictine Monastery of Melk in Austria (http://www.stiftmelk.at/englisch/index.html). Knowing of my religious roots, they kindly brought me a booklet about the abbey, which was related to Saint John’s by way of an exchange program between each monastery’s preparatory schools.

Reading through the booklet brought back, of course, many memories and one section of the booklet in particular reminded me of the Benedictine vows of obedience, stability and conversion. I now commend them to you as part of your Lenten experience.

Obedience: The word comes from Latin obedire, ob means “to” while edire means “listen“ as in today’s common word, “audience.” Giving ear to denotes to obey. Having heard, we obey. Of course, we may listen to and not obey; This is duly viewed as disobedience, akin to sin. For our parish observance of Lent, we might well pay attention to how we listen to each other in family, workplace and parish settings.

Stability: The vow of stability infers a particular allegiance to a place. In the monastic setting, this stability is devoted to the monastery. In the parish setting, stability is devotion to the sense of the parish being your faith community. Stability is not always easy as we see that Catholics these days move from parish to parish depending on music, clergy, Mass times, etc. While it is true that we observe stability in the larger Catholic Church, we often disregard stability for the sake of personal whimsy. Stability in a parish ensures a cohesiveness that deepens with time. I am reminded here of parishioners who tell me that they remember when a server at Mass was once a little boy or girl who sat in a pew in front of them. They marvel at the passage of time, but more importantly at the gift of stability, which allows one to grow spiritually through thick and through thin.

Conversion: This means to not only change, but to progressively grow. Conversion is most often seen as personal, but a communal dimension is also at work. Our Lenten observance has an effect in us, but also in those around us. The practical dynamism of conversion is simple: love begets love; silence begets silence; hope begets hope. My efforts at personal conversion affect those around me as much as it affects me. Lent is a good time to think deeply about our personal sense of self-control and how it plays a role in the lives of those around us.

These three vows are always goals for the monk and they can be goals for us as well. After all, we are all part of communities. As a parish of individuals, let us enter Lent with an intention to listen to God and to others; be committed to your parish and Church, family and neighborhood, and to make a real effort to grow, not just to change.

Lenten Blessings,
(Rev.) Thomas J. Hallsten Parochial Administrator

Calendar of Events – Lent and Easter 2019 – St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church

Wednesday, March 6 – Ash Wednesday – Masses with Imposition of Ashes at 8:00 a.m. (sung Mass), 12 Noon (spoken), and 6:00 p.m. (choral Mass) (Church).

Fridays of Lent (excluding Good Friday) Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass.

Saturday, March 16 - Knights of Columbus St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance (Piper) at 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 14 – Palm Sunday – Masses and blessing of Palms at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and the Saturday Vigil Mass at 5:00 p.m. Palm Processions before Mass at 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. on John XXIII Patio.

Thursday, April 18 – Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 6:00 p.m. The Chapel opens for quiet prayer after Mass until 10:00 p.m.

Friday, April 19 – Good Friday – Chapel opens 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. for visitation at the tomb. Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion at 3:00 p.m. in the church.

Saturday, April 20 – Holy Saturday – Chapel opens 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. for visitation at the tomb. Blessing of Easter Baskets (Piper) at 10:00 a.m.; Easter Vigil (Church) – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 21 – Easter Sunday – (all Masses in the church) 6:00 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, April 28 – Divine Mercy Sunday – Celebration of First Holy Communion and Confirmation at 11:00 a.m. Mass. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Celebrant.

The Parish Office will be closed Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday

The Chapel will be open the following times:
Holy Thursday 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Good Friday 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Holy Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Closed Easter Monday

Lenten Confessions: Saturdays from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Thursday mornings following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass (except Holy Thursday)

 

A Prayer for My Parish

Almighty God,

My parish family is composed of people like me.
I help make it what it is. It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a parish family of loyalty, love, fearlessness and faith, and a parish with a noble
spirit, if I - who make it what it is - am filled with these same qualities.
Therefore, with the help of God, I will dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want
my parish family to be.
Bless my journey, Lord God, that I might build the Church through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.