March 6, 2016

Our Lenten Reconciliation Service is this Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 PM.We will have several priests here for confessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness. Be healed by God’s mercy and love.

Daily Mass is now each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We plan to continue this Wednesday evening Mass after Lent is over because of the remarkable response. We have had 60+ people these first couple of weeks and have moved to the Worship Space to accommodate everyone.

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.

We have begun plans to remember the 25th Anniversary of the Andover tornado on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016. We are working with community groups here in Andover. The remembrance will be here at St. Vincent’s. If anyone wants to help organize this event, please let us know in the office.

Signs for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel have been installed. Pope Francis urged us to have the doors of the Church always open as a place for people to come and pray. While it is not practical for the whole Worship Space to be open 24 hours a day, we do have a wonderful Blessed Sacrament as an intimate place for people to come and pray. The Chapel is never locked and is heated and cooled 24 hours a day. It even has its own bathroom. Unfortunately, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has been hidden to many parishioners, not to mention people that might be passing by. So we placed signs at the main entrances to the Gathering Space and on the Blessed Sacrament Chapel door. Hopefully, these signs will welcome whoever is looking for a quiet place to pray. As this Chapel is a place of prayer, I encourage those coming to Mass to avoid using it as an entryway. We always have the West set of doors on the North side of the Worship Space open before Mass.

The 2016 Annual Fund:  We received approval from the Andover Site Planning Review Committee for our new storage shed, so that project should be happening in the next few weeks. We also have someone fixing up some of the damage to the walls of the Ville at this time. I also am getting more bids for the Ville floor and exploring other options since that project looks to be more expensive than expected. We will fix the floor, but we are exploring the best option for the long term. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to accomplish these important projects. Please return your pledge cards by March 12th.

February 28, 2016

Our next LIFE event is about how the Holy Spirit renews the Church and our lives in surprising ways.  Come and learn more about the Holy Spirit. The LIFE event is next Sunday, March 5th or Wednesday, Marcy 9th. Sign up now.

Lent: What can God do for us? We begin Lent considering what we plan to do for God and what we will give up for God. However, the more important question is, “How do we need God’s help to heal our human brokenness?” Christianity is about more than self-improvement; even doing self-improvement for God. Our faith recognizes we need God’s help and God’s grace so we can become more grateful, generous and loving people. We usually do not seek God’s help until we have become so frustrated with our own efforts that we give up. Then we turn to God to ask for a particular virtue or a particular grace to heal or strengthen our hearts. We also can invite Jesus into our prayer, imagining Jesus is with us healing what needs to be healed within us. Or we can ask Jesus to take away the pain that stands in the way of forgiveness. Lent is a time to pour our hearts out to God, asking for healing, not simply a time to fix ourselves.


The 2016 Annual Fund:  The really new project in the Annual Fund is the plan for a 24 x 30 foot storage shed. I have seen the need for more storage for a couple years. When I finally put the storage shed on a list with several other needs, the staff put the storage shed at the top of the list. The shed will cost about $16,000 with some extra concrete work outside the shed. We also will need to purchase some good storage shelves for the inside. The extra storage will help us with everything from storing Ville tables and chairs to Karate equipment to Volleyball and youth equipment for outside fun and games. We also will need some space to store things like snow blowers and ladders that cannot be stored inside. I will be going to a meeting this week with the Andover Site Planning Review Committee. With their approval, we hope to have the shed built within the next couple of months. This year, we actually hope to have all our Annual Fund projects done in the next couple of months with the exception of the Ville floor. The Ville floor must wait until July when we have an 11 day window with no activities when the work can be done. Thank you for your generous support which allows us to not only maintain our buildings but even add to them as our ministries grow. 

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM.

Daily Mass is each Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.We also have Daily Mass at 8:10 AM on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week. 

February 21, 2016

Our next LIFE event is about how the Holy Spirit renews the Church and our lives in surprising ways.  Come and learn more about the Holy Spirit who we too rarely talk about in the Catholic Church. The LIFE event is Sunday, March 5th or Wednesday, Marcy 9th.

Lent is an opportunity to draw closer to God. We do that by getting rid of things that pull us away from God and adding practices that lead us to God and make us more loving. However, I suggest not trying to change everything at once. If we are successful at adding one positive practice that leads us to God and eliminating one negative habit, then our Lent is a great success.

The 2016 Annual Fund materials were sent out this week. Please return your pledge forms in the next couple of weeks. First, the funds will allow us to re-stain and seal the Ville floor including the entrance as well as touch up some of the walls. Second, we plan to build a 24 x 30 foot storage shed north of the Ville. Third, we plan to re-stripe the parking lot. Finally, we will continue pay off the loan for the heating and air system for the north side of the building. Hopefully, we can count on your continued support to maintain our beautiful building and to add storage space to support our parish ministries. Thank you for your generosity.

We now have a Daily Mass in the evening at 5:30 PM each Wednesday. This is a short daily Mass that lasts less than 30 minutes. The first week’s attendance was 55-60 people, which was at least twice what I was expecting and more than the Daily Chapel holds. So we will move the evening Mass to the Worship Space as long as we have so many people. We do want people to sit together in the two sections facing the Altar so we do not lose the sense of community.

Stations and Soup are every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM. We start by praying the Stations of the Cross together and then we share a simple meal of Soup and Salad together in the Social Space.

February 14, 2016

An Evening Daily Mass will be offered 5:30 PM each Wednesday starting this week, February 17th. This will be a short daily Mass with just 2 readings that lasts less than 30 minutes. We plan to have the 5:30 PM Mass consistently on all Wednesdays at least through Lent. Hopefully the response will be sufficient to make this a permanent part of our schedule. During LIFE nights, people will be able to attend Mass and still make it to the dinner that starts serving at 5:45 PM. We also will continue to celebrate Mass for Harvest House on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 11:30 AM.

Stations and Soup will be every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM. We start by praying the Stations of the Cross together and then we share a simple meal of Soup and Salad together in the Social Space. We use a different version of the Stations each week that allows us to connect Jesus passion with our lives.

The 2016 Annual Fund materials will be sent out this week. The funds will provide for several projects. First, we need to re-stain and seal the Ville floor including the entrance. The last 10 years of use have worn off almost all of the stain and sealer. So we plan to refinish the floor and touch up some of the walls that have minor damage. Second, we plan to build a 24 x 30 foot storage shed north of the Ville. We need more 1st floor storage space for everything from ladders to tables and chairs to volleyball nets and other equipment for the youth and other groups. The youth have asked for things like tables and chairs to use outside and my primary struggle has been the problem of storing additional equipment. Hopefully, this shed will solve many of those problems as well as replace the existing small shed that needs more repairs than it is worth. Third, we plan to re-stripe the parking lot. Finally, we will continue pay off the loan for the heating and air system for the north side of the building. Hopefully, we can count on your continued support to maintain our beautiful building and to add storage space to support our parish ministries.

February 7, 2016

Ash Wednesday is this Wednesday, February 10th. We will have Masses at 8:00 AM and 6:15 PM. Mass on Ash Wednesday is a great way to kick off Lent.

An Evening Daily Mass will be offered on Wednesdays at 5:30 PM starting February 17th, the week after Ash Wednesday. This will be a short daily Mass that has just 2 readings and lasts less than 30 minutes. We plan to have the 5:30 PM Mass consistently on all Wednesdays at least through Lent. Hopefully the response will be sufficient to make this a permanent part of our schedule.  I want to thank all those that responded suggesting the best time for the Mass. During LIFE nights, people will be able to attend Mass and still make it to the dinner that starts serving at 5:45 PM. We also plan to continue to have the Mass for Harvest House on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 11:30 AM.

Lent starts this Wednesday. Consider what you want to change in your life to be a better disciple of Christ as you plan your Lenten practices. Perhaps those Lenten practices will mean fasting from some food. But it might also mean fasting from TV or video games. It might mean serving at the Lord’s Diner. It might also mean starting a new prayer practice, such as reflecting back on your day asking God to help you see moments of grace and moments of sin. Or it might mean coming to daily Mass once a week. Or it might be a family night once a week through Lent. It however is important to make a plan otherwise Lent passes us by and we have missed this opportunity for God’s grace to touch our lives.
We Catholics also have the common practice of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent and fasting if you can on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Do not worry about sinning when we fail to abstain from meat on these days, but consider this practice as an opportunity to show solidarity with all Catholics throughout the world and especially with those who are poor and persecuted.

Stations and Soup will be every Friday of Lent (except Good Friday) at 6:00 PM. We start by praying the Stations of the Cross together and then we share a simple meal of Soup and Salad together in the Social Space.