Dear People of St. Andrew the Apostle:
Welcome to the Season of Lent. We have embarked together on a six-week journey to the Cross and beyond the Cross to
Resurrection. May this be a time of great spiritual enrichment for you and your family.
During Lent we are challenged to remember that we are both body
and soul. Our soul is that part of us that
differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is a place deep within us where the Holy Spirit dwells. Lent is a
time to focus on how we nourish our soul: to foster spiritual growth in ourselves and others through:
* Prayer * Almsgiving *Fasting
Jesus invites us into a personal relationship with Him. We accomplish this through renewed efforts at prayer. Prayer is
the sacrifice of time to be with the Lord. Sometimes prayer is personal – we pray quietly seeking God's presence around
us. Sometimes prayer is in community – we pray and worship together. Many things can tempt us away from prayer, and
from keeping God focused as the center of our lives. Lent is a great time to renew our commitment to Sunday Eucharist,
and to offer the Lord time in quiet Adoration on Wednesdays—our parish's day of prayer.
Jesus invites us to live out our faith through generous giving. Almsgiving is the sacrifice of our material goods for the sake
of others. In almsgiving we acknowledge that God has blessed us and we choose to share our blessings with others. In
doing this we become Christ-like. There are many ways to give alms—our parish is encouraging us to consider sponsoring
the children in our overseas mission in Haiti, and to use the Rice Bowl as a way of giving thanks to God.
Jesus invites us to draw close to Him through fasting. Fasting can occur in many ways. One example is to give up
something (chocolate, sweets, desserts, TV, etc.) for Lent. When we sacrifice something we could otherwise have, we
create an empty space for the Lord to fill … and we express our solidarity with the poor, especially when the value of what
we give up is given away. Even more important, I think, is that fasting can open us up to deeper hungers, deeper needs,
and a deeper sense of happiness in our lives. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting – but we can certainly
expand that to other days as well if we choose to do so.
Another form of "fasting" is "abstinence" or not eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all of the Fridays of Lent. This is an
ancient practice. Even if we replace the meat with something we enjoy, the decision to not eat meat (beef, chicken, lamb,
pork, poultry, game, etc.) reminds us of the importance of sacrifice in our lives – we sacrifice something we could have in
order to remind ourselves that there are way more important things in life than our desire for meat.
We have some great things planned to help us observe Lent. I extend an invitation to you to participate in all or as much
as you can:
- Fridays of Lent – SOUP AND STATIONS – Join the Knights of Columbus and other parishioners in the Hall for a
simple meal of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and then celebrate the Stations of the Cross in Church.
On March 21 the Crosier community will lead us in Taize Prayer around the Cross in place of the Stations of the Cross).
- Stations of the Cross – March 14- led by Life Teen –7:00pm in the church
- Saturday, March 17 – 6:00pm – St. Patrick's Day Dinner and Celebration – in the Hall $13 per person
- Wednesday, March 19 – 7:00pm – Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Thursday, March 27 – 7:00pm, Friday, March 28 after Stations of the Cross, and Saturday, March 29 (times to be
announced) - Faith and the New Evangelization – presented by Casting Nets Ministries, from Wichita, Kansas
May this Lent be a time of grace and growth for us all.