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  • Writer's pictureFather George

The final days of the Easter Season

The final days of the Easter Season, between the Ascension and Pentecost, have their own special character as a particular period of preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.  This weekend “places us between the departure of Jesus in his ascension and the arrival of the Spirit at Pentecost.  We gather with the disciples in the upper room of prayerful anticipation during the nine days that formed the original novena for the Church.” (2004 Soucebook for Sundays and Seasons, LTP, p. 158)   We rely on the Holy Spirit to animate our lives of faith; to guide the Church, the Body of Christ; and to intercede for us in heaven.  The following Prayer to the Holy Spirit is just a small suggestion for us to make good use of this original novena for the Church:

 Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your divine love.

 V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.

 R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

 Let us pray.  O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of your faithful, grant that by that same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in your consolation.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

 As we conclude the Easter Season next weekend with the celebration of Pentecost, commemorating the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and celebrating the birthday of the Church, I encourage you to wear red when you come to Mass next weekend since red is the color generally associated with the Holy Spirit.

 Our civic calendar brings us to Mothers’ Day this weekend.  It was first observed in Grafton, West Virginia in 1907, but the idea spread rapidly around the country.  It took just seven years from that first observance for President Woodrow Wilson to sign a presidential proclamation making the second Sunday in May Mothers’ Day in the United States.  One of my great pleasures in celebrating infant baptism is seeing the joy, the hope, and especially the love so evident in the faces of new mothers.  I see that joy and hope fulfilled as a mother celebrates milestones with her child, and I often hear that same love in the voice of a mother when she expresses frustration, fear, or concern about her child.  They are, for me, powerful moments of insight into the glorious vocation of motherhood.  To all mothers—both biological and spiritual—and especially to my own Mom, Happy Mother's Day; may God bless you today and always!  For those, like me, who are fortunate enough to have our mothers still with us in this life, let us love and cherish them for giving us life and love.  For those whose mothers have been called from this life, let us honor them and their memories by being the sons and daughters they taught us to be.

 The active phase of the 2024 Diocesan Lenten Appeal is winding down, and both parishes are doing very well…

¨ St. John has received $43,914 in pledges and gifts (94% of our parish goal of $46,825) from 130 households (51% of our parish).  Our parish share is currently $7089 and grows with each gift...100% of everything we raise for the rest of the year remains in our parish—assessment-free—to do work that we need to do here at the parish: to do some needed repair work to our main entry doors to the church and to add an automatic opener to improve access.

¨ Holy Family has received $112,610 in pledges and gifts (109% of our parish goal of $103,190) from 232 households (25% of our parish).  Our parish share is currently $39,420 and grows with each gift...100% of everything we raise for the rest of the year remains in our parish—assessment-free—to do work that we need to do here at the parish: updating of the church’s security and fire alarm systems.

¨ Please help us put us over the top!  If you have not yet made a pledge or gift, I ask you to please prayerfully consider doing so in the coming days. 

¨ The active phase of this year’s appeal will be winding down soon but it’s not too late to contribute.  You may return your pledge or gift by mail, in person during office hours, drop it in the collection basket, or online.

 

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