Wednesday, December 13, 2017
   
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From The Pastor's Desk - March 4, 2011

Dear Parishioners,
This coming Wednesday we begin the holy season of Lent as we celebrate Ash Wednesday. I hope that as many who are able will come for Mass that day. The Church provides us with the season of Lent for the purpose of being spiritually ready to celebrate the joy of Easter. It is a time for those who will be baptized at Easter, known as catechumens, and for those who are already baptized in another denomination who desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church to undergo final spiritual preparations to receive the sacraments of initiation. During Lent there are ceremonies that happen at some of the Sunday Masses for the catechumens and candidates for full communion, and we will have some of these happening here during Lent for a couple of persons who are in our parish RCIA. As these persons are readied for reception of these sacraments, all Catholics are challenged to renew themselves spiritually as well.

On Easter Sunday we will renew our baptismal promises to turn away from Satan and sin and to state that we believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and all that we profess in the Creed. To this end it is a season of increased prayer, more intentional penances and sacrifices, and concentrating on the doing of works of charity, especially towards the poor.

All Catholics have the serious obligation to do, at least, the minimum that the Church obliges us to do: first, those 18 to 60 years old are to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, eating only one regular-sized meal with the other two meals being much smaller and not adding up to a regular-sized one while not eating anything in between meals and, second, those 14 years and older are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.

From Ash Wednesday until Pentecost Sunday we are also obliged to receive the Holy Eucharist at least once, and, in order to worthily do so, if we are conscious of having committed any mortal sins, then to go to Confession. Of course, it is to be hoped, that all of us will seek to do more than just this minimum that we are required to do, terms of increased prayer, other penances and sacrifices, and works of charity. The most important thing is that we seize the opportunity of Lent to grow into a deeper love for God and our neighbor and seek to live the gift of our Catholic faith more fervently for that is the goal of all of our Lenten practices. Have a Happy Lent!

Also, as Lent begins, Deacon Dave Christensen, who has already now and then been at weekend Masses the past several months, will be here on a regular basis. I am pleased to announce that Archbishop Lucas has allowed him to transfer from having deacon responsibilities at St. Bernard Parish in Omaha to here at St. Joseph. He will not only be assisting at Masses, but also be involved in serving our parish in other ways as well. He is volunteering to do this and will not be receiving a salary, though I will provide him with a monthly stipend to express our gratitude for the ministry that he will be providing to us. We also will be blessed with having Dave’s wife Linda involved in the life of our parish as well in such ways as serving as a lector at Mass and helping Dave with some of his responsibilities. So, please once again welcome Dave and Linda to St. Joseph as they become a wonderful addition to our day to day parish life.

Hope all of you have a wonderful week.

God bless, Fr. Gutowski

This Week

Prayer Intention for the Week
For the sick: Joyce Cockerill, Kathy Ewing, Harriet Green, Ted Riha, Duane Poser, Sally Leyden, Chrissy Skinner, Jerry Martin, Dorothy Foged.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Sat., Dec. 9, Springfielder at Heart Dinner
Sun., Dec. 10, Christmas Open House 3 – 5 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 13, RE, 6:15 P.M.