Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
This Wednesday we crash into Lent having just put away the Christmas decorations. Easter comes early this year (March 27) for that same reason it comes late some years. The date of Easter is not fixed like Christmas but calculated much the same way that Passover was calculated in the first century. Easter for the Catholic world is the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. So for instance this year the first day of spring in the Northern hemisphere is March 19/20. The first full moon occurs on March 23 and the following Sunday is March 27 therefore Easter. If there had been a full moon on March 18 we would have had to wait another lunar cycle for the next full moon and that would push Easter into the middle of April.
But before we get to Easter we have to travel through Lent. This year Lent begins on Wednesday February 10 and ends on the evening of Thursday March 24 with the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Though it is important to note that during the period of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) the Lenten Fast still continues. So over the next few days consider what Lenten Practices you will undertake. Since we are celebrating the Jubilee Year consider incorporating some of the Corporal or Spiritual works of Mercy in your Lenten practice.
Please also take note of the following opportunities during Lent:
Tuesday March 1 @ 7pm Communal Penance Service (please note the other dates for Communal Penance Services at the Parishes in our Deanery listed in the Bulletin or on the website if you are unable to attend at Mt. Carmel).
Saturday February 20 @ 7pm Celebration of the Lord's Day Dinner (there will be two others on April 2 and 21st). This is to introduce you to a wonderful way to prepare for Sunday, the Lord's Day at dinner on Saturday evenings. Come and learn this ancient practice, which helps to bring much more fruitfulness to your Sunday worship and rest. (See bulletin and website for more details).
Friday/Saturday March 4/5 "24 Hours For the Lord". Pope Francis in his letter announcing the Jubilee of Mercy asks Churches world wide to remain in prayer for the 24 hours on the first Friday of March. Our Bishop has asked this to occur in one parish in each of the Deaneries in the Diocese. This will include Mass, Adoration and other prayers. Please stay tuned for exact location in our Deanery.
Also each Deanery will hold a Mercy Night at one parish. Our Deanery will host one at Corpus Christi Parish on Oct. 4. For other dates for other Deaneries please see Diocesan website (www.dphx.org).
April 22-24 Men's Retreat (this is after Easter obviously) Men mark on your calendar a weekend retreat based on Bishop Olmsted's "Into the Breach" Letter. This will take place in Flagstaff, please stay tuned for more details and registration information.
Monday Evening Soup and Bread Meals continue this Lent in McCready Hall beginning at 5:30pm followed by Benediction in the Church. This year the alms collected will go to assisting some of our youth who will be attending World Youth Day in Poland.
Friday Stations of the Cross at 7pm in the Church. And of course beforehand don't forget the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry including their world famous Fish Taco's.
40 Days For Life will once again spend time in prayerful and peaceful protest at the PP Clinic on Apache Blvd. You can sign up for a time slot or just show up anytime between 7am and 7pm each day during Lent (www.40daysforlife.com).
Remember also the usual Lenten Practices apply: fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence from meat on the Friday's of Lent. Of course this is the minimal practice and you are encouraged to fast more often or abstain from meat or other foods more often as well.
The culmination of Lent is the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday Night. Please plan to attend as this is the night we welcome our newest members into the Church through baptism and confirmation and First Eucharist. During Lent please keep in your prayers all of our candidates and catechumens, as this is often the most intense part of their journey to make a commitment to Christ and his Church.
Fr. John B.