I encourage you to make some personal decisions as to how you might grow in your faith and in your relationship to God during Lent. Some things to consider doing during Lent might be: participating in a weekday Mass, spending some time each day in personal prayer, visiting the church and praying before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time as a family to reflect on Bible stories or readings, praying the Stations of the Cross, praying together as a family or as a couple, learning more about injustices in the world and what you can do to address them, reaching out to a person in need, visiting a housebound parishioner or neighbor, participating in the Ecumenical meals and reflections, participating in the Wild Goose Series. Pray about what you could do and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to discipline yourself to do it. You might find that the discipline of Lent will fill your lives with many blessings and your hearts with peace. A schedule of Lenten events is enclosed in this bulletin. To assist you in your daily prayer a devotional booklet, The Black Book is available at our churches, as well as The Word Among Us that includes the prayers and Mass readings of the day and daily meditations.
is once again our parish Lenten alms giving program. Operation Rice Bowl is a Lenten program of prayer, fasting, education and almsgiving. This Catholic Relief Services Lenten program helps people in developing countries to break the cycle of poverty by developing skills and means to provide for their families. Experience how families around the world live, work and play in a series of short stories and videos on www.crsricebowl.org. This year the stories focus on three girls from around the world. Maria Anais is a 16 year old from Honduras who dreams of becoming a nurse. Trinh is 12 years old and lives in Vietnam. She rides her bike to school every day. Yvone is 11 years old and speaks Kiswahili and English. She lives in Kenya and has a brother and twin sisters. I encourage you to view these online during Lent. Each Rice Bowl comes with a Lenten calendar with daily activities and recipes for dishes from around the world. It is suggested that you put the Rice Bowl on your dinner table at home and during Lent to set aside days to fast as a prayer sacrifice for the poor and hungry of the world. The money that you would normally pay for a full meal you are encouraged to put into the Rice Bowl as a sacrificial gift. If you give up items for Lent, such as candy, chocolate, desserts, movies, or that glass of wine,you are encouraged to give the money that you would spend on such items to the Rice Bowl. At the end of Lent the Rice Bowl donations will be collected at the parish and sent to CRS through the Propagation of the Faith. Catholic Relief Services will distribute 75% of the funds to address world hunger and 25% of the funds will come back to be used locally to help the three food pantries in our parish. Please pray for the people this program assists and give your generous support.
While Operation Rice Bowl series of short stories and videos helps us to meet our global family during Lent. The Wild Goose Series will help us to know and experience the Holy Spirit and our relationship as members of the family of God. The Wild Goose Series is fourteen independent segments dealing with different experiences of the Holy Spirit. This series can be found on-line at www.theWildGooseisLoose.com. The series, presented by, Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR, has been created to be a blessing to an individual who watches alone or for groups who view and reflect on the videos together. Whether you watch the videos alone or in a group an important part of the series is to spend time alone in prayer and reflection. Also, whether you watch the videos alone or in a group you are encouraged to discuss the contents of an episode with people, friends, family or couples in the parish. If you wish to watch the series in a group, I will be offering the series after the 4:00 p.m. Saturday Mass at St. Michael Church, Union Springs, during Lent, beginning February 29th, (A good day to leap into it), and also on Tuesday mornings during Lent at St. Patrick, Moravia, after the morning Mass in Moravia. You are also encouraged to consider sharing this series with others, either in your homes or at one of our churches. If you are willing to host a group or lead a group to view this series, please give me, Father Bill, a call at 315-364-7197 or email me at Fr.Bill.Moorby@dor.org.
May we all have a blessed Lent and may the Holy Spirit help us each day to live our lives in Christ’s love.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill