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Ash Wednesday Schedule

6:50 AM Blessing and distribution of Ashes
7:00 AM Low Mass (for workers-no sermon!), Distribution of Ashes
10:55 AM Confessions
11:20 AM High Mass
12:20 PM Distribution of Ashes
3:00 PM Children’s Stations of the Cross
3:20 PM Distribution of Ashes
5:00 PM Rosary and Confessions
5:20 PM Penitential Litany
5:40 PM Distribution of Ashes
5:45 PM Low Mass
6:45 PM Final Distribution of Ashes

This school year we will be publishing daily sermons from the previous week:

Jan. 31, 2013: St. John Bosco by Fr. McKenna
Feb. 1, 2013: St. Ignatius of Antioch by Fr. McKenna
Feb. 2, 2013: Candlemas by Fr. Lehtoranta
Feb. 7, 2013: St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi by Fr. Lehtoranta
Feb. 8, 2013: St. John of Matha by Fr. McKenna

The McFathers’ Nook

We know that you are all used to reading your Bishop’s Corner, but this week he has asked the McFathers (McGuire and McKenna) to come up with an appropriate update for you all. We would have named it the McFathers’ Corner, but we figure the Bishop is not here to put us in the corner for “causing trouble”…so we simply will reside in our comfortable little Irish “Nook.”

We two fathers are doing well and so far St. Gertrude’s is still standing after a week in our care. We have even managed to care for the cats. They seem to be pretty happy as they spend a good deal of time curled up on blankets in the Convento San Marco sleeping. Bishop Dolan is still in Milwaukee taking care of the faithful at St. Hugh of Lincoln and he reports that all is going well up there. The faithful there, likewise, are enjoying the extended stay of their Bishop and several families have even treated him to dinner over at their houses; which reminds us to extend our plea for volunteers for Cucina Clerical. God will certainly reward your charity for this honorable service as you will provide the necessary “clergy fuel” to drive us to be able to better serve you all…not to mention providing us with some extra time for work.

We had good attendance for last Saturday’s Feast of the Purification – also known as Candlemas, considering the fact that the weather was slightly less than cooperative. The choir provided angelic music for the Solemn High Mass. What a treasure it is to be able to have such wonderful ceremonies to give greater honor and glory to God.

Speaking of Solemn High Masses, Fr. McKenna will be the celebrant of a Solemn High Mass on Monday, February 11th for Our Lady of Lourdes. We encourage as many people as possible to come and give honor to Our Blessed Mother on this day and also help celebrate Father’s one year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He is celebrating Mass today for our St. Isidore Mission in Saybrook, IL, while the other Irish priest, Fr. McGuire, is celebrating Mass at his childhood home, the St. Clare Mission in Chillicothe.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten Season. We hope that you have taken some time leading up to Lent to think and pray about what type of sacrifices you would like to make for this year’s Lent. Don’t look at this wonderful season as just a time when we don’t eat as much, but instead realize that it is the season during which we can gain incredible graces and really work to grow closer to God and further away from sinful temptations by giving Him our “first fruits” as a sacrifice. If you are having trouble deciding what sacrifice to make or if during Lent you find yourself tempted to break your offering…ask St. Thérèse to assist you to follow her footsteps and do all things for God.

We pray that you all enjoy these last few days before the start of the Lenten season and that yours is truly a Lent filled with much spiritual growth and fruit. Don’t forget to stop by Helfta Hall after Mass today and purchase something from the Mardi Gras Bake Sale to support the parish and also satisfy your sweet tooth for a couple more days until you have the ashes reverently placed upon your head and you begin to die to yourself so that He may live within you.

– The McFathers