Greetings in Christ, all! A reminder that, as you read this, I am serving as a priest and emcee for a Catholic Marriage Retreat held on a cruise ship. Dad is with me, as are more than a few Holy Family and St. Mark parishioners. Please pray that God restore marriages in his name and pray that I do a good job. I’ll be back on Sunday night, January 16. I’ll pray for you guys every day.
I have some sad news for you all…I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but between Holy Family and St. Mark, we have had a lot of funerals. We have so many at this point that we are actually scheduling funerals as far out as late January. The biggest impact on you all is that we simply can’t find a way to continue our Saturday morning Confession times for this month. We can’t find priests to help and Fr. Le and I are just pushed as hard as we can be (joy-fully!). We will resume Saturday confessions in February.
So, what can you do? First, don’t sin during January. This one is big. 🙂 Second, be conscious of making a good act of contrition every Sunday at Mass; remember that active participation at Mass absolves us of our venial sins.
Third, pray that God provides us with more priests.
Fourth, don’t hesitate to ask other local parishes to increase their confession times; between St. Mark and here, we offer almost 10 hours a week because we think this is one of the most important things we can do. If we can get other parishes on board, it might take some of the heat off our lines.
If you have been thinking of getting to confession and it’s been some time, please do not let this news push you away. I can’t overstate the importance and value of this wondrous Sacrament.
The last thing is a big note about our flowers at Mass. We’ve had a policy at our parish on flowers, but our growth has compelled us to change the policy so as to accommodate more opportunities to honor more people at Mass. I’m pretty excited about it and I think you will be too. Please note the following: Your $50 donation for your specific month will help us provide flowers at the altar and around the sanctuary to beautify our worship space. Your loved one’s name will be listed in the parish bulletin for that entire month. We hope this new format will allow more people to be able to participate each month and help beautify our new worship space even more. We will continue to have Easter and Christmas memorial collections as well. During Lent and Advent, there will be no flowers in church. The link to purchase altar flowers is: https://hfgbaltarflowers.pushpayevents.com/. You can find it on our website as well.
Thank you for letting me be your priest.