Pastor's Blog - March 30, 2014

Fourth Sunday in Lent

News and Notes: It happened last weekend at St. Maria’s.  This weekend it is Our Lady’s turn to host the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for our tenth graders.  Our teens from both parishes are receiving the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit, which completes their initiation into the Church by bestowing on them the full outpouring of the Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost.  Contrary to common practice, Confirmation does not constitute a graduation from faith formation and permission to excuse oneself from Mass and the sacraments if one chooses.  Rather, the grace of Confirmation equips us with spiritual strength to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ.  Among many blessed effects, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of the grace of our baptism; it unites us more firmly to Christ and fortifies our bond with the Church.   Thanks to Collin McBride, our Collaborative Coordinator of Confirmation and Youth Ministry, his OLA assistants Andrea Gagnon and Joe Gill, and all those in both parishes who helped to prepare our young people for the Sacrament of Confirmation this year.  Congratulations to our teens for completing their Christian initiation…we look forward to their active and fruitful participation in the life and mission of our parishes!  Here is an update on the 2014 Catholic Appeal:  As of March 19, 107 Our Lady’s families had pledged $27,365 which is 51% of the OLA goal; St. Maria’s families had pledged $10,795, which is 36% of the SMG goal.  If you have not as yet made a pledge to this year’s Catholic Appeal, please do so soon, and help support the 50+ Central Ministries of our local Church.  Once again this year, if a particular parish exceeds its fair share assessment, that parish will receive back 60% of the excess funds donated to the Catholic Appeal.  Blessings to all of you in the week ahead!