Preparing for Lent

Dear Friends,

Next weekend, March 2-3, our parish and the Archdiocese will be participating in Safe Haven Sunday: Equipping the Family, Safeguarding Children. Once again, we include a letter insert in this weekend’s bulletin concerning this initiative. We all want the family home to be a safe haven in every way. However, the inappropriate use of technology can be a grave danger to the home as a safe haven as well as to the sanctity of marriage and family life. Pornography and other online threats are often just one click away. Parents can feel overwhelmed in trying to know how best to protect their children in a fast-paced digital world.

Safe Haven Sunday is a bold step to help our families. This awareness day will provide access to practical resources that every caring adult can use to protect themselves and our young people from online risks. Available next weekend for you to take home will be free copies of Covenant Eyes’ book, Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture. It includes the invitation to receive a 7-day email tutorial on helpful tips and practical strategies you can utilize. Let us join together in prayer and action as we prepare for this unique opportunity next weekend.

As we continue our Discipleship and Generosity effort for 2019, I offer deep gratitude to all of you who have already returned your response cards to the parish office. Your consideration and response are truly appreciated! It is our gratitude to our generous and loving Father that motivates us to imitate His generosity in all our charitable giving. He is never outdone in generosity! If you have not yet returned your response card, please drop it in the collection basket or mail it/drop it off to the parish office. Thanks!

Jesus tells us this weekend, “…love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Being kind to the ungrateful and the wicked does not happen naturally for human beings. We tend to be more stringent on others about their faults than we are on ourselves. And yet, by God’s grace we can surmount our natural inclinations and live Christ-like in our relationships. Experiencing God’s mercy in our personal lives leads us to share mercy with others. We are here not just to get to heaven ourselves but to help each other to get to heaven. May we surrender to God’s graces more and more each day.

Next weekend at the Church entrances, you will find some helpful and free resources for the journey through Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6 this year. Many of you are familiar with Word Among Us. The booklet provides the daily readings of Mass along with a beautiful meditation or reflection taken from the readings. It can accompany you each day of Lent. The other is called the Little Black Book from the Diocese of Saginaw. It contains six-minute meditations on the Sunday Gospels of Lent. Again, it provides you with something for each day of Lent.

It is always good to have a resource and a plan for Lent. In the bulletin next weekend, you will also find various online resources that can be delivered to your inbox or accessed online. Of course, I encourage you to attend Daily Mass, Confession, Stations of the Cross and making visits to the Blessed Sacrament during this penitential period of preparation for Easter along with the traditional fasting, abstinence and almsgiving especially the Rice Bowl collection.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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