Pope Benedict as declared this year to be a Year of Faith. Faith is a gift from God and for many of us, a gift which grew through our families. This year, especially in our Religious Education Program, we have been stressing the role of the family in encouraging Faith. Families have been meeting with their children to foster growth of Faith within the family. During Lent, I encourage everyone, every family, to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). It will be in this context – the family – that the children of the parish will be receiving their Frist Reconciliation during Lent.
Begin planning for Lent. You have another week before it begins. Begin considering a good Penance for yourself and try to do something as a family. Remember the three pillars of Lent are PRAYER – FASTING – ALMS GIVING. I’d like us to do something as a Parish for Lent. I’d like us to give a gift of alms to the Missions. This is something you can do at home individually or as a family. I’ve ordered traditional Lenten Folders and some Lenten Offering Cans. These can be used at home, each day, to remind us to help others and to do good for others. At the end of Lent, we will have two missionaries with us – Fr. Carlos Morales, from Central America, and Fr. John Heinz, who has served in Peru and is caring for our Province Mission in Viet Nam. Your Lenten alms giving will be given to them and will help the Church in two very challenging areas of our world. Fr. Carlos works in an area where the poverty is great — people earn $2.00 per day. Our Mission in Viet Nam has great poverty and many, many challenges dealing with the Communist Government. Plan to have a good Lent!!