From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy:
A Parish Mission can be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual healing, renewal, and reconciliation. With an emphasis on love and mercy, it also can provide an opportunity to change hearts and transform lives as we renew and strengthen our relationship with our Lord.
This week from Monday March 25th to Wednesday March 27th we are privileged to sponsor a Lenten Parish Mission presented by Dr. Allen Hunt. He is well known Catholic author and radio host, who converted to the faith in 2008. He is also a dynamic speaker and conference leader who focuses on enhancing the spiritual lives of ordinary people. Dr. Hunt will speak about the themes of God’s promises and fulfilling God’s dreams. In a recent interview, he explained why it is important to recall these unique promises during Lent, a season of spiritual focus. He said, “The Passion of our Lord sets before us a living and vivid reminder of God’s purpose for our lives. This is also the time when Catholics pay more attention than ever to God’s hopes and dreams for their lives. So it is a perfect time to remember and experience…God’s great promises to each of us.”
Our Parish Mission, as presented by Dr. Hunt, will help prepare us for our Penance Service which will take place on Thursday, March 26th. One of our leading Catholic scholars reminds us that sin has a personal and communal dimension. Sin clouds the mind in moral confusion and closes the heart to God’s love and truth. But in God’s light, we see sin for what it really is. When we sin, it does not necessarily mean that we are bad people. It means that we are missing the mark and refusing to listen to God’s word and obey his will. As a way to get back on the mark and follow the light of Christ, our Church places a special emphasis on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are invited to use this time of Lent as a time to reflect on our choices, failures, and shortcomings, and address them. To this end, we will have our Penance Service. At the Penance Service we will have priests from various backgrounds, priests of various ages, priests with various perspectives but having some common purposes: to serve as instruments of the Lord’s pardon, mercy, and forgiveness, and to help us experience spiritual joy in our hearts. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can cleanse our souls as we prepare for the commemoration of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.
Details concerning the Mission and the Penance Service can be obtained from the Parish bulletin and website as well as from the Parish office. I hope that you will prayerfully consider participating in the Parish Mission and in the Penance Service, and avail yourself of these special times of grace.