I encourage you and your families to celebrate this sacrament in preparation for Easter and to make it a regular practice throughout the year to seek the healing graces of this sacrament. The Sacrament of Reconciliation calls us to reflect on the love and mercy God offers us, and the healing and forgiveness we receive when we are contrite of heart.
This week, Tuesday, March 9, has been designated in the Rochester Diocese as a Day of Penance and Mercy. The Sacrament of Penance will be offered throughout the diocese at all the churches on that day.
The schedule at our four churches is as follows: at St. Michael, Union Springs, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Our Lady of the Lakes, King Ferry, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at St. Patrick, Moravia from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and at St. Patrick, Aurora from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The two remaining Communal celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be held at St. Michael, Union Springs, on Monday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m., and on Sunday, March 20, at St. Patrick, Aurora at 7:00 p.m.
We are only two weeks from Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. The times of the Holy Week services are listed in this bulletin. I encourage you and your families to attend the Holy Week services as we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord. Please note the changes in the weekend Mass schedule for Easter weekend. This year the Easter Vigil we be held at St Patrick Church, Aurora, at 8:00 p.m., and the Easter Sunday Mass at St. Michael Church in Union Springs will be at 9:30a.m. There will be no Saturday evening Mass at St. Michael Church on March 26th. On Easter Sunday there will be Masses at St. Patrick Church, Moravia, at 8:30 a.m., and Our Lady of the Lake, King Ferry, at 10:30 a.m.
This week we will celebrate two Feast Days. March 17 is the Feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint at our Aurora and Moravia churches. The Feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Universal church, is March 19. It was thirteen years ago on this Feast Day that our country went to war with Iraq. In that time the lives of many soldiers and civilian have been lost and conflict and division still plagues the daily lives of the people living in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now war is a daily experience for people in Syria, Libya, Iran and many other countries around the world. As we journey through the remaining days of Lent I encourage you to try to spend an hour in prayer for peace. You might consider praying before the Blessed Sacrament or praying a family rosary for peace at home, asking Mary, Our Lady Queen of Peace, to intercede for peace in our lives and in our world. You might offer daily prayers, fasting and sacrifices for peace as we head towards the celebration of Easter. As Christians we are called to be ambassadors of peace and allow the peace of Christ to reign in our hearts. To do so we must continually hear the voice of the Lord calling us to conversion of heart. As we reflect on the Sunday scripture readings for Lent may we look into our hearts to see if there are areas of anger, resentment, malice, or jealousy, that rob us of peace in our lives. May we pray for each other during this holy season that we are delivered from such vices and spirits. And pray that the Holy Spirit will transform our hearts and fill us anew with God’s love.
During these remaining days of Lent may we also pray for all of our men and women in the military service and for all those who are in harms way throughout the world. Please also pray for President Obama and all leaders of nations throughout the world that they have the grace to clearly discern and carry out God’s will for the common good of all God’s children.
May Christ’s Peace abide in your heart,