Pastor's Blog - March 22, 2015

The Fifth Sunday of Lent

and Notes:  Thanks for your support both of the annual Catholic Appeal and our special Winter Relief collection last weekend and Palm Sunday weekend, March 28-29.     Just to reiterate the severe impact of the winter storms on our parishes’ budgets, as of March 2, OLA had paid $56,820 in snow removal bills ($11,364 of that total comes out of the OLA School budget) and SMG had paid $41,810 for snow plowing/shoveling and an additional $8,352 to repair and replace leaky heating pipes in the Church Hall, with more bills pending.   The payment of all these bills (mostly in February) exhausted the maintenance and grounds budget in both parishes for the entire fiscal year.  We really need your help.  On Monday of Holy Week (March 30), Fr. Tony and I will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 6:30 to 7:30PM; one of us will be at OLA and the other at SMG.  If you have not experienced the forgiving grace of our Savior this Lent, why not take advantage of this additional opportunity?  No confessions are scheduled for Holy Saturday, April 4 at 3:00PM in either parish as we prepare for the Easter Vigil of the Holy Night at 7PM that evening, a liturgy that will be held this year at OLA.  As usual, the one and only collection at all the Easter Masses will be for the Clergy Funds, which supports the retirement, medical and financial needs of the priests of the Archdiocese.  Sincere thanks in advance from Fr. Tony and me for your generous response to this collection.  Fr. Isaac Mensah, a chaplain at the VA medical facility in Bedford and a weekend Mass celebrant in both parishes, has been appointed to a chaplaincy position in the Bronx, NY, and is no longer able to serve us.  Join me in praying for Fr. Isaac as he begins his new ministerial assignment.  He was a delightful and reliable addition to our rotation of visiting priests for over a year, and we will miss him.  We now have just one priest to assist us on a regular basis on our weekend Mass schedule, Fr. Jack Farrell, for whom we are very grateful.  Blessings to all of you in these remaining weeks of Lent!