Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Called and Gifted Workshops Begin

The Called and Gifted Workshops began on the evening of Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. with talks (pre-taped) by Dominican Father Michael Sweeney, O.P. and Sherry Anne Weddell, co-founders of the Catherine Siena Institute, dedicated to the formation of lay Catholics for their mission in the world.

Each participant received a booklet on the Small Group Process and a copy of the Spiritual Gifts Inventory to review and complete at home.  A discussion of the inventory will be held at next week's meeting on March 4. The talks reminded all of our baptismal vocation as lay people of being sent by Christ into the world to be apostles, sent out to be Christ's witnesses wherever we go and whatever we do.  The reason why we are anointed in baptism and confirmation is to be sent out to share Christ's love, to share our faith in Christ with others and to transform the world.
The Called and Gifted Worskhops help lay people to identify their spiritual gifts for service to the Church. Upcoming workshops will be held on the following Mondays: March 4, 11, 18 and 25, all at 7:30 p.m. in the church following the 7:00 p.m. Mass.

For more information, please contact the parish office. Join us and discover how YOU are being called to serve God and the Church!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Confession from a Priest's Point of View

Preparing to go to confession this Lent? 

Ever wonder what it is like for a priest hearing confession?

A priest shares his thoughts in this post "My Side of the Confessional."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blessed Sacrament Parish Faith Formation Needs Survey

All parishioners are invited to help us plan for future faith formation programs by participating in our Blessed Sacrament Parish Faith Formation Needs Survey.  You can fill out this brief survey online or pick up a copy at the parish office.

Take a few moments today and complete this brief 10-question survey:

You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday Mass Times and Some Resources for Lent

Ash Wednesday Masses at Blessed Sacrament today:
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., Noon, 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (Spanish)

Here are few resources for Lent:

Pope's Ash Wednesday audience message

AmericanCatholic.org article on the history of Ash Wednesday

Book by Fr. Scott Hurd, The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent 2013

Lent Challenge 2013 from Father Jonathan Morris

CRS Rice Bowl (formerly Operation Rice Bowl) - Arlington Catholic Herald reports on diocesan participation

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI's Statement on His Feb. 28 Resignation "Due to An Advanced Age"

Pope Benedict XVI announced today he will resign on February 28.  Below is his statement:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Think Outside the Box for Lent

Approach Lent with realistic expectations, adjust your attitude towards Lent and think outside the box when it comes to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, recommended Fr. Scott Hurd, author of Daily Devotions for Lent 2013.

Father Hurd spoke in Quinn Hall on the evening of Feb. 6 on "From Ashes to Living Flame: Keeping a Meaningful Lent for Busy Adults" and shared ideas and pastoral suggestions on how to grow in our relationship with God in Lent.

Lent comes from an old word English word “lecten” which means springtime. Fr. Hurd noted that as spring is a time of renewal, the Holy Spirit brings a renewal in our relationship with God and the result of that can only be joy. We are encouraged to look at Lent as an opportunity to make room for the Holy Spirit to bring forth joy, not to see the Lenten season as a dreaded ordeal we must go through each year.

Sometimes people can get into a “Lenten rut,” almost like “punching a ticket to get to Easter,” he said. “Invite the Holy Spirit in prayer to help you think outside the box” to approach Lent in a new way, said Fr. Hurd. Maybe you will make an intentional effort to de-accumulate extra stuff you no longer use and have yard sale and donate the money raised to the poor. This can liberate you from things you don’t need and help you to live with Gospel simplicity.

Prayer can be brought into a variety of brief moments throughout the day, “little crumbs of time,” Fr. Hurd said, such as offering a prayer before and after your daily commute, when dropping off or picking up the children from school, or even before and after a daily cup of coffee. All of these are opportunities to raise our minds to God, give thanks and ask his help throughout our day.

Even two minutes a day of prayer is a good goal to start with for Lent, he noted. Quoting Catholic psychologist and author Robert Wicks, Fr. Hurd said, “Simple constant deeds are always more meaningful than rarely fulfilled great promises.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Year of Faith Reflection: The Church is Communion with Jesus

From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings. Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him: "Abide in me, and I in you. . . . I am the vine, you are the branches." And he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."
When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit.  As a result communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: "By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation." 
The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body. Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ are to be more specifically noted: the unity of all her members with each other as a result of their union with Christ; Christ as head of the Body; and the Church as bride of Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 787-789)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time and Blessing of Throats

On this Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we hear Jesus say in the synagogue, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place."
We also will have the blessing of throats for the Feast of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, Feb. 3.

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.