A few folks recently asked if Church was being left cold over the last week as a form of Lenten discipline. No its not. The boiler in Church broke down and we’ve had to wait for the part to arrive to fix it. Luckily while it was a little chilly in Church, the weather outside has been fairly mild.
The heat should be up and running now during the unpredictable weather of March. The boiler is five years old and this is the first problem we’ve had with it. The cost to fix it was over $4,000. I thank you for your generous support to the monthly Building and Grounds Collection which helps defray these unexpected expenses.
You may have noticed a crucifix hanging in the hallway by the sacristy. This crucifix hung for many years at the now closed St. Casimir Church in Providence. We were able to get it without cost and place it here at OLM. It is a beautiful image to behold as you enter that area of Church.
We also were able to get an even larger crucifix from St. Casimir Church. It is very large and beautiful but in need of some small repairs. This too was obtained without cost to the parish. We plan on hanging it in the OLM School Auditorium in the coming months.
The crucifix is always given a prominent placement in any Catholic Church and Catholic home. But it isn’t merely an object of devotion or a piece of beautiful art. The cross is call to us to a conversion to Christ. Such conversion, we are taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is done:
“ in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one’s brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one’s cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.”
We are called to conversion in our daily lives. Conversion is a major theme in the Bible. The Old Testament prophets, St. John the Baptist, and St. Peter preached about the call to conversion. Jesus began his public ministry with the words, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
The Lord’s first words were a call to conversion. For Jesus, we are all in need of repentance. We all need to recognize our failings and need to place our trust in God’s merciful love. Lent helps to do so.
This week we welcome our Parish Lenten Mission Preacher, Monsignor Doug Cook, who is preaching all the Masses this weekend. He is preaching a Mission Talk each night on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 7:00pm. Also each of those nights Confessions with four priest available begins at 6:00pm.
The theme of our Lenten Mission is “A Lent to Remember, An Easter to Celebrate.” This Mission is our opportunity as individuals and as parish to deepen our faith, take up the call to conversion and renew our commitment to Christ and His Church. The renewal from such a time of time of prayer and reflection should invigorate us.
So come out for the Mission. It is a time of grace, a time for repentance, for change, and for becoming a renewed disciple. Confession is an essential part of any good Lenten Mission. So seize the chance to go to Confession this week and receive God’s mercy. St. Alphonsus Ligouri used to say that the sign of a successful Mission was how many people came to Confession! I pray you keep the four priests busy in the Confessional this week!
I have been friends with Msgr. Cook since we studied together in the seminary at the American College in Belgium. He is an exemplary priest and an excellent preacher. He made the long journey to lead us on the Mission at OLM from sunny Southern California! We thank him for his presence and preaching in our parish.
Let’s make this a Lent to remember at Our Lady of Mercy, so we can truly celebrate Easter with renewed faith and great joy!! Come to the Mission this week! Go to Confession this week! Invite a friend and bring along a neighbor with you!! Do good. Be well. Repent and believe in the Gospel! See you at the Mission!