A Parish Mission can be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual healing and renewal. 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, April 8th to Wednesday, April 10th we are privileged to host a Lenten Parish Mission presented by Joe Farris, who will offer morning and evening sessions. Joe is an internationally recognized mission presenter and lay Catholic missionary who weaves stories into an engaging, passionate message of hope. He will focus on “The Church Fully Alive” as he inspires us to more fully live and boldly proclaim our Catholic faith.
Following the Mission, we will have our Penance Service on Thursday, April 11th. As we know, during the season of Lent we are challenged in a special way to acknowledge our sins and shortcomings and seek God’s mercy. Our Penance Service will provide us with a great opportunity to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can examine our conscience and acknowledge the ways in which we may have compromised our spiritual integrity. We also offer the sacrament four times a week and by appointment. At times we need to be reminded that the Sacrament is here to heal, not to condemn. It is here to get us closer to the Lord who loves us. Pope Francis stated, “In confession, Jesus welcomes us with all our sinfulness, to give us a new heart, capable of loving as he loves.” He also reminded us that, “Confession is the Sacrament of the tenderness of God, his way of embracing us.” He urged those who have been away from the Sacrament to not be afraid to reach out to the Lord who will receive you with open arms.
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 get back on the right spiritual course as we cleanse our souls and 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, as well as from the Parish office and website. I hope that you will prayerfully consider participating in the Parish Mission and in the Penance Service and avail yourself of great opportunities to enhance your spiritual life during this special season of Lent.