Pastor’s Letter: April 16, 2023

Pastor’s Letter: April 16, 2023

Pastor’s Letter: April 16, 2023

14 Apr 2023 | Posted by: chadmin

The April 16 bulletin is available online.

Dear friend,

I hope you had a Blessed Easter Celebration. We had truly beautiful celebrations at St. Philomena. It’s always great to see so many people come to Easter Mass. Christmas and Easter are not only pinnacle feast days of our faith, but also great opportunities to celebrate the gift of life and relationships with our loved ones. As we conclude the Octave of Easter and continue our celebration of the Easter Season, I am overjoyed by the parish celebration of the Lenten and Easter seasons. Each year it seems to pass so quickly, but each year brings a new experience of the Passion. As a liturgical people, Catholics repeat the high feasts year after year as a means of deepening our understanding and allowing God to consistently move us in the right direction. We officially welcomed new members to our parish community at the Easter Vigil. Accompanying these individuals on their faith discovery is one of the great joys of the priesthood. The Church is constantly talking about the importance of evangelizing the culture. This is something we all have a role. I certainly wouldn’t be a priest if I didn’t believe in the truth of the Bible and our Church Tradition, guided by the Holy Spirit. The process of walking with new Catholics as they discover a personal relationship with Jesus and the truth of the Sacraments is a very humbling experience. At our last class on Tuesday, our new members had the opportunity to personally express aspects of their journey. Part of me wishes that the whole parish could hear the profound expressions of gratitude, wonder, forgiveness, acceptance and belonging. Many of them reflected not only on the discovery of truth, but also on the genuine expression of love of humanity at our parish. Year after year, this is consistently one of our great strengths as a community. We all keep it going by generosity, friendship, embracing truth and a true welcoming presence at church liturgy.

This is the 2nd Sunday of Easter, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. For hundreds of years, the prayers of this Mass have recalled the mercy of God. In the early 1900s, Jesus appeared to a Polish sister named Faustina. Jesus entrusted to her an image and a chaplet that called on his Divine Mercy. Over a period of years, Faustina had visions of Jesus. He talked with her about her own spiritual journey and about His desire for the world to be saved. If you are interested in these apparitions, they are recorded in “Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina.” While there are many elements and levels to the visions, the main aspect of the message from Jesus is for the world to “trust” in His Divine Mercy. Jesus appeared to St. Faustina one day in a particular way and He asked that an image be painted that resembled His image. A picture of this hangs in our vestibule all year long. If you look at the picture, you will see Jesus touching his heart with two rays, one white and one pale, flowing from his heart to the world. The rays denote blood and water that came forth from the side of Jesus when the soldier pierced his side on the Cross.  The water makes our souls righteous and the blood is the life of our souls. They symbolize the tender mercy of the heart of Jesus. While the whole message is too much to recall here, the image and the chaplet prayer call us to trust Jesus and embrace his mercy by living a holy life.

We will have a Divine Mercy hour of prayer at 3 pm on Sunday April 16, 2023. Please join us for Adoration of the Eucharist, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

God bless

Father David