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Dear fellow Lenten companions,

Shhhhhhh! It may not be hard to believe that one of the most often voiced complaints I hear in any parish where I have served is how noisy people are. It is an interesting comment, which is always brought up in the context of yesteryear when churches were very quiet before and after Masses. I am not sure why we have become noisier, but one possibility is that we no longer come from the same neighborhood where chitchat was daily in the streets, over fences, in grocery store aisles and parish events, which was the only show in town. Nowadays, we gather from various neighborhoods and we take the once-a-week opportunity to catch up on news when we meet our friends at Mass. Anyway, complaints still mount.

This year during Lent at Saint Maria Goretti, let us ‘give up’ friendly chitchat in the church not so much for the sake of silence, but for the sake of a communal discipline through which we all agree that we are in the church to attend to God. All of our liturgical ministers are going to make a concerted effort to be good examples. Outside of the church, you will, of course, be greeted with a friendly welcome, but inside of the church, ushers will be less conversational, the choir will minimize its decibel level, clergy and servers will also do their best to keep conversations to a necessary minimum. Having gathered in silence, we are asked to leave in silence. I think this will be a good discipline for all of us during Lent. Who knows? We may find we like the quiet and decide to keep it as a part of our life inside the church.

To this discipline, our liturgical processions at Mass will take on a sober pitch. As we have gathered in silence, the procession of the clergy and servers will also be in silence. We’ll try to keep pre-Mass announcements to a minimum and right after we greet one another, a crotolus (wooden clapper) will be used to signal the beginning of the silent procession. The penitential rite will call for us to kneel (if you not able, please sit) as a sign of our Lenten penitential spirit.

The schedule for liturgies during Lent is below, but allow me to call to your attention to some variances from previous schedules. 1.) The Stations of the Cross will be commemorated after the 8:00 AM Mass on Fridays of Lent (Friday night stations have been omitted); 2.) The liturgy for Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday) will be at 3 PM, not in the evening; 3.) On the evening of Good Friday all are invited to Evening Prayer (Vespers) at 6 PM.

I bring this letter to a close with warm concern for you, my Lenten companions. In silence and humility, let us go forth to hear God more carefully, to know our baptisms more intimately as a suffering that has meaning, as a death we have already experienced and as a resurrection that we believe is truly ours.

In silentio,
Rev. Thomas J. Hallsten, KHS
Parochial Administrator

Calendar of Events – Lent and Easter 2018

Wednesday, February 14 – 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). 40 Days for Life begin today until March 25.

Friday, February 16 – Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass. SMG Women’s’ Guild Rummage Sale (Piper Hall) 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 17-- SMG Women’s’ Guild Rummage Sale (Piper Hall) 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Friday, February 23– Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass.

Friday, March 2– Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass. First Friday Focus on Faith (topic: Church History, Part II) after Stations of the Cross and again at 6:30pm.

Friday, March 9-- Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass.

Friday, March 16-- Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass.

Saturday, March 17-- Knights of Columbus St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance (Piper) at 6:00 p.m.

Friday, March 23– Stations of the Cross (Church) following the 8:00 a.m. Daily Mass.

Sunday, March 25– 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, March 29– Holy Thursday – Mass of the Last Supper – 6:00 p.m. The Chapel will remain open for quiet prayer until 10:00 p.m.

Friday, March 30– Good Friday – 12 Noon. Church opens for quiet prayer. 3:00 p.m. Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion (Church) – 6:00 p.m. Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion.

Saturday, March 31– Holy Saturday – Blessing of Easter Baskets (Piper) at 10:00 a.m.; Easter Vigil (Church) – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 1 – Easter Sunday – Masses at 7:00 a.m. (Church), 9:00 a.m. (Church), 9:10 a.m. (Piper), and 11:00 a.m. (Church).

Sunday, April 8 – Divine Mercy Sunday – Masses on Saturday night 5:00 p.m., Sunday morning at 7:30, 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. With the promulgation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, all Masses celebrated this weekend are in commemoration of Our Lord’s Divine Mercy.

The Parish Office will be closed Holy Thursday through Easter Monday

The Chapel will be closed Holy Thursday through Easter Monday .

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

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.