A Message From Fr. Pat...
To my dear St. John Neumann Parish family:
One of the most beautiful times of Holy Week are the hours immediately following the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, when the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the Parish Hall as we recall the Lord’s agony and prayer in the Gethsemane. Immediately following the conclusion of the liturgy that night, a few dozen people stay for a few minutes of prayer. Some stay as long as a half hour, or an hour. Then, as the time gets later, fewer and fewer people remain. I am always a bit saddened by that. Jesus wanted his friends to stay awake with Him. They could be excused because they didn’t fully understand what was about to happen. But we know the truth. How come we can’t “stay awake?”
But this year was different. On the Lord’s behalf, I asked you to “watch and pray” with Him. And you did. Throughout the night, up until midnight, there were almost 40 people with Jesus “in the Garden.” I don’t know what you prayed for. But I know that you prayed. Maybe you thanked the Lord for His sacrifice. Maybe you asked Him to give me strength for the Triduum liturgies. Maybe you prayed for a son or daughter who has fallen away from the practice of the faith. Maybe you prayed for the people being slaughtered in Nigeria, Yemen, and other volatile parts of the world. The important thing is that you united your prayers to those of Jesus, who is always praying for us. I felt the power of the Church’s prayer that night. I realized that thousands of others were joined with us in those hours. And I know, in faith, that those prayers changed lives.
Each Friday, we have Eucharistic Adoration, a sacred time to join your prayers to His. Won’t you make time this Friday, and as many Fridays as you can, to visit with the Lord and join Him in His eternal work of salvation? How can the Lord NOT respond to your humble offer of love?
P.S. Next weekend’s 2nd collection is to offset Diocesan Assessments. Previously, we had one envelope each quarter for the Catholic News Herald, for which the parish is assessed by the Diocese. We’ve dropped that to a “once a year” collection and replaced it with the “Diocesan Assessment” envelope during three of the quarters (same number of collections, just named differently). Your contribution will be applied to the various assessments throughout the year, including the Catholic News Herald, Priest Retirement and Benefit Fund and the Administrative Assessment. Offsetting these costs helps keep our regular offertory for the direct ministries here at the parish. Thank you in advance for your generosity!