Letter from Fr. Faustino
Dear Faithful in Jesus Christ,
Knowing that Lent is at hand, I want to address you about both the meaning of this liturgical season and the resources we have to increase our faith and love for God. You know that Lent is a time of reinforcing our prayer and penance in order to prepare for the feast of Holy Week. Each one of us may think of a short list of sacrifices to be offered to our Lord Jesus Christ, like fasting or being more patient or dedicating more time to the sick and the elderly and so on. The Catholic Church establishes that every Friday of Lent is a day of abstinence (no meat) and Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are both days of fasting and abstinence. This is just an example of things we may do in order to show how much we love God.
Besides these offerings, I would say that the most beautiful way to show our love for Jesus Christ is by coming to Mass every day and receiving the Body of Jesus Christ, if that is possible in your schedule. As you know, we have daily masses during weekdays at 6:30am, 8am, and 5pm. On weekends you have a lot of options to participate in the celebration of Mass. If you wish, you might try to promise Jesus Christ your participation at daily Mass. I remember many people doing so in the old times when I was a little boy a long time ago! I can tell you that the reception of the Body of Jesus Christ at the beginning of the day makes your day! It is not you alone but God with you facing the many problems that come to you, some expected and others unexpected.
Needless to say, a loving and sincere confession of our sins will help a lot to get us closer to God. Do not be afraid of coming to confession. The Devil doesn’t want you to do that because he knows how happy you will be in getting rid of a heavy burden. You will enjoy that moment of the forgiveness of your sins through the infinite mercy of God. Besides, the Devil knows that by confessing your sins you will love God more and more out of gratitude. If you want to experience it, every day, before our Holy Mass we have an hour of confessions plus on Thursday there is extra time, as noted in the bulletin.
Every Tuesday of Lent, after 8am Mass, in the Hospitality Room, we will talk about the 12 topics that are proposed to prepare for the World Family Meeting in Philadelphia this coming September. I will lead that meeting and explain the teaching of the Catholic Faith to all of you who want and have time to come. In the evenings, every Tuesday of Lent, at 7pm in the Hospitality Room, we will have a cultural talk about topics that are truly important in our modern world, like “Creation and Science”, “Creation and Evolution” and so on. The list of topics is posted at the entrance of each door of the Church.
Finally, I know how generous you are and the tremendous sacrifice you are doing for our Church. And I really do not like to ask for money. But if you see that you can increase your weekly donation to the Church, no matter how much, without hurting what you need for your living and for your family, that would be excellent. In the past finance meetings we are seeing that the collection is going down and there are many bills to pay every month. If you want to know more about the incomes and the expenses of our parish, feel free to talk with our bookkeeper, Connie Koeller, or the Head of the Finance Committee in Saint Mary, Lee Eggers. I have not asked for an increase in the weekly donation since I came to Saint Mary’s three years ago. But again, only if you see you can do so without hurting your family and your needs.
I hope all of you are doing well. I am truly happy with my 10th grade religious education class. I hope the students are happy with me too. We are learning a lot.
Every day I pray for you as well as for people who do not belong to our parish. I include in my prayer all the people who left our Church and I wish all of them to return to the great family of Saint Mary’s.
May God keep blessing all of you and your families.
Fr. Faustino Ruiz, your Pastor.