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From The Pastor's Desk - April 7, 2011

Dear Parishioners,
As we draw nearer to Easter, and, on this weekend of the Fifth Sunday of Lent, hear of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel reading, we are reminded of the following by Pope Benedict XVI in his Lenten Message:

On the fifth Sunday, when the resurrection of Lazarus is proclaimed, we are faced with the ultimate mystery of our existence: "I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?" (Jn 11: 25-26). For the Christian community, it is the moment to place with sincerity – together with Martha – all of our hopes in Jesus of Nazareth: "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world" (Jn 11:27). Communion with Christ in this life prepares us to overcome the barrier of death, so that we may live eternally with him. Faith in the resurrection of the dead and hope in eternal life open our eyes to the ultimate meaning of our existence: God created men and women for resurrection and life, and this truth gives an authentic and definitive meaning to human history, to the personal and social lives of men and women, to culture, politics and the economy. Without the light of faith, the entire universe finishes shut within a tomb devoid of any future, any hope.

The promise of eternal life that Jesus makes to us is our very hope, the very consolation and strength that we need in this world marred by sickness, suffering, violence, and death. We cannot save ourselves. If we were to depend only upon our own human means, there never will be any salvation, any lasting happiness and peace. We need Jesus as our Savior.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he was not only showing us that he has power to bring our bodies back to life, but, even more importantly, to bring our souls back to life from the death of sin. While we await the resurrection of the body on the last day, there is a resurrection that we can already share in: the resurrection of our souls. This first took place in Baptism, and, if we fall into mortal sin after Baptism, our souls are brought back to life from the death of sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation when we honestly confess our sins. Also, we come to this sacrament of his mercy for our venial sins that, while not bringing us spiritual death, make our souls weakened and sick, and in need of healing. Therefore, spiritually speaking, new life is available now through the Sacrament of Penance.

This coming Thursday at 7:00 P.M., April 14, we will be having our parish Lenten Penance Service with the opportunity for individual confession. Fr. Chuck and Fr. Ralph will be here to help me hear the confessions. I encourage all of you to take advantage of this opportunity if you have not already received the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this Lenten season. Of course, there will be additional times for individual confessions that I have scheduled for Holy Week or you can go to confession at another parish. With this week’s bulletin, I have provided an examination of conscience sheet to help you in preparing to go to confession.

Have a blessed, great, and 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.

ACTIVITIES IN THE PARISH
Tues., Oct. 17, Ladies Guild, 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 18, RE, 6:15 p.m.