Dear Friends,

Now celebrating the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, we have left behind Christmas, New Year’s and the Christmas season. The ordinary flow of parish events is unfolding. However, we are not that far away from Ash Wednesday, February 17.

This past week our men’s gathering with myself reconnected both in person and virtually. We have been looking at the topics suggested by Bishop Olmsted’s Exhortation, Into the Breach. We discussed six of the topics prior to Christmas and this past week focused on Prayer. These meetings have been insightful and inspiring. These committed Catholic men accept the fact that God has made them for greatness, holiness, goodness, heroic virtue, courage, and strength in imitation of Jesus Christ, our Lord. They are willing to accept the challenge to stand into the breach against the confusing, mixed messages, and even assaults on true masculinity prevalent in our culture and society. Please pray for all of us as we continue to meet, pray, learn, and discuss the gifts of true Catholic masculinity.

Our January Family Rosary also happened this past Thursday evening. It was in honor of Saint Joseph. Pope Francis has issued an Apostolic Letter, With A Father’s Heart, in which he reflects on the beautiful example, courage and virtues of the Foster Father of Jesus and Spouse of the Virgin Mary. The Scriptures do not offer too much information about Saint Joseph but what they offer are deep insights into this holy man who is a model and example for all of us. Saint Joseph has been declared the Patron of the Catholic Church, Patron of Workers, and the Guardian of the Redeemer by our Popes. May Saint Joseph not only watch over but protect us in these days as he so lovingly watched over and protected Mary and Jesus.

Significantly, this past Friday marked a somber moment in our nation’s history, the 48th anniversary of Roe v Wade. The March for Life in DC was virtual as well as many of the prayer services and the all-night Vigil. We continue to pray for the conversion of every heart to embrace the Gospel of Life completely. We pray for any who have experienced an abortion that they may experience the gift of God’s healing. We pray that our laws will provide legal protection for every infant in the womb. May our prayers and our sacrifices rise up to God unceasingly, overflowing into love for our neighbor.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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