Third Sunday of Lent 2014
My brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
On Wednesday morning we celebrated the very special Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Blessed Virgin Mary; many of you were at the celebration praying for all men in our parishes and for me and many who have chosen Saint Joseph as their patron saint. Thank you so much for praying for us. On this day we had 3 to 5 inches of snow but by noon it was all melting. Many of you were not worrying too much about the snow because you know it will not stay too long. What is exciting is that Spring is coming and many more exciting things are waiting for us. Such as we are courageously walking with His grace this Lenten season; we will have time for reconciliation preparing for the Risen Christ; we will have our first Faith Renewal – Parish Mission involving both parishes together; we will celebrate Easter together and for me my first time as pastor.
Regarding the Faith Renewal – Parish Mission, it will be conducted by Father Lon Konold, OMI (Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate). Fr. Lon will celebrate and preach at all the weekend masses at both St. Boniface and St. Mary of Czestochowa on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6. He then gives his first talk on Sunday April 6 at 7pm, (please refer to the schedule in the gold or white envelope you had picked up or was mailed to you). On the days of the Faith Renewal – Parish Mission, beginning with the weekend masses until Thursday April 10, I expect all of us at both parishes to attend at least one event each day; we will offer masses at both parishes in the morning; we will offer adoration at mid-day at St. Mary Czestochowa and ultimately the talk each night at 7pm at St. Boniface. On these days all we do is for the sanctification of all of us. It is the most important single event given to us by God’s grace in 2014. I am expecting all of us to be together, invite your friends and neighbors to come and join us on these holy days.
Because it is new to us, many of you have asked me what is Faith Renewal – Parish Mission? The compiled notes below may help you a little bit, but you must Come and See:
Parish Mission or Faith Renewal began in the eighteenth century. Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a priest of the Diocese of Naples, made significant contributions to the development of Parish Mission or Faith Renewal. The Redemptorists brought them to America in the early nineteenth century.
A Parish Mission or Faith Renewal is a preaching event conducted on consecutive evenings. The preaching centers on the Word of God as well as Catholic doctrine and Catholic practice. This preaching emphasizes an individual’s personal relationship with the Lord, a deeper sense of the parish community, and a greater consciousness of service within this community.
A Parish Mission or Faith Renewal allows you to take some time to look at your life, values, and direction. It encourages you to ask: “What is really important to me? What am I doing with my life? What values do I have? Where does God fit into my life? What does my faith, my Church, mean to me?”
People seeking spiritual renewal, both as individuals and as a parish, are strongly encouraged to talk to their pastors, parish councils, and other parish members about having a Parish Mission or Faith Renewal.
For this first time event we have our theme, it will be: God’s Wondrous Love. Please set aside things we do on a daily basis and come to this event, I am expecting each of you to join us at this time of grace.
Let us humble ourselves asking God for the success of the Faith Renewal or Parish Mission event that will put us all in God’s grace.
Rev. Joseph-Quoc Vuong