Dear Parishioners:Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! NOT! Enough already of the white stuff that seems to fall every other day lately. Last weekend as you can see by the Weekly Budget results many of our parishioners didn’t make it to Mass due to the snowstorm. It snowed again on Tuesday and now we await the next snowfall! Pray that it ends! The bad weather lately reminds me of an incident in World War II. In 1944 when General George Patton’s Third Army was poised for the breakthrough across the Rhine River, foul weather threatened to postpone the attack.
One morning Patton phoned the Head Chaplain of the Third Army, Father James H. O’Neill, and said: “This is General Patton; do you have a good prayer for weather? We must do something about the weather if we are to win the war.” After hanging up the receiver, Father O’Neill looked out at the bad weather which had plagued the Third Army’s operations for the past three months. As he searched through his prayer books, he could find no formal prayers pertaining to weather so he composed an original prayer, which he typed on a note card: “Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.” Father O’Neill quickly reported to General Patton’s office. After reading the prayer, Patton returned it to O’Neill and directed him to “have 250,000 copies printed and see to it that every man in the Third Army gets one.” Let us pray to end the snow and cold sooner rather than later!
In the midst of all this snowy weather I must offer thanks to Paul Anderson and our OLM Maintenance Staff for working so hard in shoveling and plowing the snow. They do a great job ensuring our parking lots and sidewalks are cleared of snow and safe for those coming to Mass. I am most grateful for their dedication to this tough assignment.
By now I hope you have seen the two statues recently put up in our Church. The St. Joseph statue next to the Blessed Mother Shrine was donated last year in memory of Monsignor Lolio and had been in the Candle Room. Also the statue of the Sacred Heart was recently restored to its original beauty and repaired of the damage to its hands. It too has been given a much more prominent place in Church. This statue was part of the old Our Lady of Mercy Church on Main Street and is nearly one hundred years old. It was made in Germany most likely in the early 1900s. We hope to put up some new lighting to highlight these beautiful statues. May good Saint Joseph and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus protect us and guide our parish.
We have recently restored and refinished some of the ciboria we use at Mass for Holy Communion. They are nearly fifty years old and some of them were made in France. We also refinished some our candle sticks and are making a new processional cross out of the cross from the high altar of the old OLM Church. These items should be ready for Easter. All of these restored or refinished items are available to be memorialized in memory of a deceased loved one. As the month of February ends, we look forward to March and the Holy Season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is March 5th as we begin the solemn fast of forty days once again.
In preparation of Ash Wednesday, we ask you to please bring your blessed palm branches from last year to Mass next weekend. They are to be collected and used to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday. Containers will be available at the entrances of Church so you can deposit these old palm branches. More about Lent next week, but mark your calendar now for Stations of the Cross of Fridays and a Lenten Mission which begins the week of March 23. More details about it next week. God Bless.