Next week will be the midway point of our Lenten season. How is Lent going for you? Teams regroup during the halfway point of a game. If the game is going well, they continue to press on. If the game is not going so well, the team usually makes some adjustments. The same can be said for our Lenten journey. Do we need to make some adjustments in Lent? I know I do.
This weekend’s Gospel tells us how Jesus cleansed the Temple. It is good to remember that what happened then is happening now. St. Paul reminds us, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19) What needs to be cleansed within us? Can we give Jesus permission to cleanse us of anything that is not from him so that we may have fullness of life?
Many of you are familiar with the Saint John Paul II Healing Center. It is a wonderful ministry that desires to heal the wounds deep within us. Jesus desires to set us free by renouncing lies and announcing truth. One of the wounds that inflicts many people is rejection. The Healing Center invites us to pray: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the lie that I am unloved and unlovable. I renounce the lie that I am not wanted, not desired and not good enough. In Jesus name, I announce the Truth that by virtue of my baptism I am a beloved son or daughter of the Father. I announce the truth that he loves me so much that Jesus gave his life for me, and that there is no greater love possible. I announce the truth that the Love of God has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit. I announce the truth that I am loved and valued, wanted and desired, and that I am precious in the Father’s eyes.”
The Church believes that Holy Week is the holiest week of the year. And yet, ever since I have been a priest wherever I have been, I am surprised at the low attendance for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil). Please consider attending. When we partake of the Triduum, we are entering the sacredness of how God saves us, even now
The Feast Day of St. Joseph is March 19. Please see the Litany of St. Joseph posted on our website HERE. There is also a recording of the litany that you can use to pray along with, or maybe you could print the prayer and use it to pray together as a family leading up to his feast.
On March 25, on the Feast of the Annunciation, I will be with our priests celebrating the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. I will bless the oils that will be used for baptisms, confirmations, anointing of the sick, and the priesthood for the next year. You can watch the Mass via live stream on the Diocesan website or Facebook page.
Speaking of our priests, many of you know that we are blessed to have two priests from Burma (now called Myanmar), Fr. Vincent Thu Laing and Fr. Henry Saw Lone, serving in our diocese. Fr. Vincent’s mother, Monica, passed away a few days ago. Sadly, their country is currently under a military coup. Fr. Vincent is unable to go home because of the situation in his home country. Please keep them and their families and country in your prayers.
The Equality Act that the House passed and is waiting to go through the Senate seems like a good thing, but it is not. St. Peter tells us not to be conformed to the world. It seems like the government wants the Church to conform to the ways of the world. We cannot and will not do that. It is good to remember that Jesus came to take away our sins, not to give us permission to sin. You can read the statement from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops on the Equality Act HERE.
The vaccination that Johnson and Johnson have put out is made from abortion-derived cell lines. The USCCB made a statement. Please read it HERE.
I enjoyed meeting with the Ascension Via Christi leadership team. Obviously, there is good news as the number of people in hospitals with COVID has sharply declined. They mentioned that we are not quite out of the woods yet. They also relayed to me that a pandemic crucifix will be on display in Manhattan at Via Christi on March 15 -16
Many of you know that I am also currently serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City. I have been visiting the diocese every two weeks or so and will preside at several confirmation Masses in their diocese in the upcoming weeks. I have presided at Confirmations Masses in our diocese for the last month or so. I am so grateful that our young people are saying “yes” to God’s love through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your continued prayers.
I heard from Sr. Barb in our youth office that more than 900 students from our diocese have already signed up for the National Catholic Youth Conference this upcoming November in Indianapolis. That is an amazing number at this point! Many thanks to our youth leaders who make this happen. Please continue to support our youth’s endeavors. The NCYC is a wonderful opportunity for our young people to encounter Jesus!
Our schools are nearing the end of the 3rd Quarter, and they have done a great job of keeping our students on-site five days a week with in-person learning, while continuing to keep families engaged with activities. Our students, parents, teachers, and administrators have done a great job of being flexible this year.
Many thanks for your generosity in supporting the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. I appreciate your kindness and support of the diocese so we can serve the good people of the Diocese of Salina.
I have not been back to Michigan since my mom’s birthday in August. I am very happy that my mom’s assisted living place is now allowing visitors. I plan on going home to Michigan during Easter week to see her and my family.
Many of our priests have mentioned that more and more people are coming back to Mass. That is wonderful to hear! May God bless your Lenten journey and Happy Easter!
Please know of my love and prayers,
Inspiration from the Saints
“The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness and holy people alone can renew humanity.” Saint John Paul II