First Sunday in Lent

My grandfather would be thoroughly disappointed in me. As I have told you all before, growing up he always told me that any priest that doesn’t celebrate Mass for his people on a federal holiday should be drug out into the street and horsewhipped. Well last Monday was President’s day and guess who forgot? That’s right, that would be me! Now I have two things that could possibly go in my favor. First I did celebrate Mass, just not for the entire parish so I may have at least fulfilled the spirit of the law. Secondly, and this one is more of a stretch, only one of our presidents has been Catholic and grandpa didn’t like Kennedy stating, “He wasn’t much of a Catholic anyways, his life wasn’t much of a testament to the Gospel.” I’m sure some of you out there liked JFK and I do have to say that gramps was the only Catholic I have ever known who didn’t like him, but I’m hoping this once that gramps’ dislike may get me a pass. Needless to say I won’t miss another federal holiday.

 In other news, Lent has begun. This means the return of soup suppers on Tuesdays following the 6:00 p.m. Mass starting this week. As we have done in the past each week a different group from the parish will be taking the lead by providing soup and service. We will start the meal with a time for fellowship and then from time to time we will offer opportunities for catechesis on social justice issues led by members of the social justice committee. We, of course, still invite everyone to RCIA catechesis sessions, they run from 7:00-8:30 p.m., with our typical Lenten program on the Ten Commandments.

 Lent also means Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. on Fridays. I’ll try and be there as often as I can to hear confessions beforehand as reconciliation is an important piece of our Lenten journey. I have been disappointed with not being able to provide as many hours of confession time as we have in the past. The recent cut back I made has helped my health. Please pray to the Lord that I may remember that I am only a tool and He really does all the ministering.

 I will be out this week at leadership training, I only have a few sessions to go before I graduate and you all have a certified leader; I hope you are satisfied with the results. So far I have learned how to lead myself (the hardest task), lead others, small groups and now we are going into corporations and across business relationships. I don’t feel much like a CEO, but apparently the training is similar. From the experience I have been given some insight into what may benefit our parish most and have some exciting ideas floating around in my head. I want to run them past the Pastoral Council before I go widespread with details, but I hope to soon be able to get going.

 Prayers Always, Fr. Joseph Altenhofen