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.
Our 6 Month Financial Report is very positive. First, income increased $75,000.00 compared to the same 6 months of the previous fiscal year. Secondly, we paid the Ville loan off, which will help lower expenses in the second half of the year. Third, we went from being about $62,000.00 in the hole in our parish account to having $62,000.00 positive in the account. We still will need to be careful with our spending in the next 6 months since income is always lower as there is only one December each year. However, my hope is we can end up with not only a balanced budget, but with a little cash on hand at the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. We also will end up with significantly less debt as we paid off the Ville in October and are quickly paying off the 2009 stewardship debt as well as the HVAC loan. Thank you for your generosity that not only balances our budget, but even more provides for our ministries to youth and adults.
The 2016 Annual Fund projects have been selected with the help of the staff, finance and development committees. First, we plan to re-stain and seal the Ville floor including the entrance. Almost all of the stain and sealer have been worn off in the Ville over the last 10 years because a lot of use and cleaning. So we need 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. 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 shed will be just north of the Ville and near the back door to allow easy access. The youth have asked for things like tables and chairs to use outside and my primary struggle was the problem of where to store any 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. Finally, we will continue to use the remainder of the Annual Fund to pay off the heating and air system for the north side of the building.
ReMembering Church continues this Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 PM in Room 1A. It is a place to ask your questions “why” and reconnect more deeply with the Church here at St. Vincent’s. Come join us. No reservation is needed.
The Life Event on Sun. Jan. 31st and Feb. 3rd will feature a teaching from Fr. Robert Barron on “Paths to Holiness.” Life has its ups and downs. The challenge is to remain grounded in Christ as the source of our security and happiness. Reserve your place this week on the parish web site, by calling the office, or by signing up under the LIFE banner in the gathering space. By the way, there are no football playoff games on Sunday Jan. 31st.
ReMembering Church begins this Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 PM in Room 1A. It is a place to ask your questions “why” and reconnect more deeply with the Church here at St. Vincent’s. ReMembering Church is one of the ways we seek to be a Church with “open doors” in words of Pope Francis. Come join us. No reservation is needed.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is always open and heated for those that want a quiet place to come and pray. The outside door is the north door on the west side of the worship space. There is a combination lock by the handle, but it is never locked. You can just come, turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat and spend as much time as you like in prayer. On Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place in the chapel. Anyone can come during those Tuesdays, but other people will be there at those times.
An Annulment Workshop is this Thursday, January 21st at 7:00 PM in the Daily Mass Chapel. All are invited. No reservations are needed. I am willing to help anyone that wants to get an Annulment.
The Life Event on Sun. Jan. 31st and Feb. 3rd will feature a teaching from Fr. Robert Barron on “Paths to Holiness.” Life has its ups and downs. The challenge is to remain grounded in Christ as the source of our security and happiness. Reserve your place on the parish web site, by calling the office, or by signing up under the LIFE banner in the gathering space.
Good Wine ministry to those 70 and better and their spouses will be this Thursday, January 21st at 11:00 AM with a presentation by Fr. Kent. Lunch follows at 12:00 noon. All those 70+ are welcome. No reservation is necessary. Just come join us in the Ville.
High School Students planning to go to a Catholic High School next year need to contact the parish office within the next couple of weeks to schedule an appointment to complete the Parish/Family/Student agreement for 2016-2017.
Pope Francis calls for a “missionary option” to transform the Church in every place. But are we afraid to share our faith? We do not want be overbearing or to impose our beliefs on others. However, is there another way of sharing faith that is not overbearing and imposing? How can we in the words of Pope Francis “offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ?” Perhaps, we need to begin by listening to the needs and concerns of others. Then if they are grieving we might share how faith gives us hope of eternal life—how we imagine heaven—how we hope to be reunited with our loved ones. If the other person is struggling with relationships, we can listen and share our insights and what real love means to us. The list could go on, but can we start by listening, and then share our experience of life that has been shaped by faith not in an overbearing way, but with love. We start by listening without judgment, but with the acceptance that Jesus showed to the tax collectors and prostitutes.
Pope Francis is Okay with a “Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty from being out on the streets”—a Church that offers understanding rather than judgment. Pope Francis says, “If something should rightly disturb us, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.” Can we find loving ways to share our gift of faith with others?
Quilt Bingo is this Sunday, January 10th starting at 2:00 PM in the Ville. There will be a luncheon from 12:00 noon to 2:00 in the Ville before the Quilt Bingo.
The Life Event on Sun. Jan. 31st and Feb. 3rd will have a fun carnival feel, which will feature a teaching from Fr. Robert Barron on “Paths to Holiness.” We will look at where we are on the ever spinning wheel of life & what it takes to stay grounded in the Lord. Reserve your place on the parish web site, by calling the office, or by signing up under the LIFE banner in the gathering space.
High School Students planning to go to a Catholic High School next year need to contact the schools and the parish office within the next couple of weeks. The enrollment process begins this month. I will be meeting with all families of Catholic High School students in the 2016-2017 school year. Call the office to schedule an appointment to complete the Parish/Family/Student agreement for 2016-2017.
The Baptism of the Lord reminds us of our baptism and the gift of faith rooted in a relationship with Jesus. Faith is living with a trust God will be with us and care for us always. Faith leads us to experience God’s infinite love for us, which leads to joy and a desire to share that joy with others.