One Way of Living the Eucharist

One Way of Living the Eucharist

One Way of Living the Eucharist

“The Church must initiate everyone — priests, religious, and laity — into an ‘art of accompaniment’ which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other.” — Pope Francis

A thought for reflection, especially during this Lenten season. How might we grow in our ability to experience and express accompaniment? Is that not one way of living the Eucharist?

Confession, Reconciliation, Penance, Oh My

Confession, Reconciliation, Penance, Oh My

Confession, Reconciliation, Penance, Oh My

Confession/Reconciliation/Penance.

These terms are often used to describe what “should happen” in the season of Lent. But what are they? Do they all mean the same thing?

In what ways can these realities be helpful to us?

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 10th from 2-3 PM. Fr Brian will lead a discussion in which we can explore the meaning of these terms.  And, Fr Paul will invite us into a brief prayer experience.

This Lent is a good time to accept the invitation to go deeper into your spiritual life and relationship with God who loves you.

During the week of March 11-15 the parish will offer several special times to celebrate God’s forgiveness and healing/the sacrament of reconciliation.

  • Priests will be available 6:30-7:30 at St. Pius Church on Monday and Thursday.
  • On Tuesday evening, there will be a short service of reconciliation at 6:30 and time for the sacrament.
  • Priests will also be available after the 9 AM Mass on Wednesday.

If you missed Fr. Brian’s piece on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you can find it here.

 

 

An Experience of Pardon and Peace

An Experience of Pardon and Peace

An Experience of Pardon and Peace

An Experience of Pardon and Peace: The Grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the actions that Catholics are encouraged to take during the season of Lent (with fasting, almsgiving, and prayer as the other encouraged practices).

In this blog, I’d like to reflect with you on the sacrament of reconciliation and consider ways that we might deepen that experience or have a more satisfying experience of this sacrament. I was an adult before I experienced for myself the power of this sacrament and a different understanding of the sacrament earlier in my life might have been beneficial to my spiritual life.

When I was growing up, every Lent and Advent, my mother insisted that we go to confession. We went to the church, each of us would go into the confessional – a dark, closet-like place where I knelt and spoke to the priest through a screen. I would list all the things I had done wrong since the last time I had gone to confession. The list was repetitive: “I fought with my brothers and sisters; I got mad at my parents; I didn’t do my homework.” The priest would tell me to say some prayers; I would say an Act of Contrition; the priest would say some words that I did not understand and I would say the assigned prayers as quickly as I could before leaving the church. On the way home, my mom would often say how good she felt or that she felt lighter. As a child I never felt lighter or better after confession – in fact it was often the opposite – I often felt dark and heavy.

What was missing from those experiences of the sacrament? In one sense, nothing was missing. All the elements were there – contrition, penance, and absolution. I am certain that I received some spiritual benefit from those twice annual trips to the confessional – if only to be taught to admit that I was wrong every once in a while. While I had done the minimum necessary, a few small steps might have allowed for a deeper experience – the sort of positive experience my mom described.

  • The first step might have been a deeper examination of my conscience. The rote nature of my confession is one piece of evidence that I had not truly examined my conscience. If I had paused longer, I might have considered what the fights with my siblings were about. Why was I mad at my parents? Who was I hurting by not doing my homework? A deeper examination of conscience would have shifted my attention from me – to the relationships in my life. My relationships with my family and my relationship with God. A more reflective examination of conscience might have led me to acknowledge the many gifts that I had received and the generosity of those around me – I might have discovered some gratitude rather than the guilt or shame for having fallen short.
  • Second, I rushed through the penance – which I saw as a punishment. (“I got 10 Hail Mary’s this time and 3 Hail Mary’s last time – what did I do that was so much worse?). Just as a more thoughtful examination of conscience might have led to gratitude, a more reflective practice of penance might also have shifted the focus from me (the one punished) to the relationship – five Hail Mary’s and consider each of my siblings and my Mom as I prayed each one. As a priest, I try to link the penances I suggest in the sacrament to what I have heard. Is someone fighting with their brothers and sisters – then ask Mary’s intercession for them as part of the penance. (Or do something nice for your family – like do the dishes on a night when it is not your turn).
  • Finally, had I listened to the words of absolution, I might have reflected more on the sacrament. The priest’s words of absolution begin: “Almighty God, through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus, you have reconciled the world to yourself and poured out the Spirit for the forgiveness of sin…” Reconciled – the relationships have been restored – the relationship with God, with family members, with the whole world. The words of absolution continue: “Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace…” Once again, an invitation to pause and consider the gifts that are offered – pardon and peace (two ways of describing the experience my mom described on the way home). Am I accepting these gifts and putting them into practice by trying to make some small changes that might preserve these gifts and the relationships in my life? The words conclude: “I absolve you from your sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. The priest then invites the penitent to “Go in Peace.”

The sacrament of reconciliation has changed over the years. Here at Our Lady of Hope Parish, we use a reconciliation room that allows the choice between confessing face-to-face with the priest or remaining behind a screen (either way the room is well lit!). In the last year or two, the wording for the words of absolution changed slightly (I used the new words above). I hope that these changes allow people to approach the sacrament without embarrassment or shame and allow them to experience the grace of the sacrament.

I know that one of my favorite parts of being a priest is when I sense that someone is leaving the sacrament feeling a bit lighter with the experience of pardon and peace conveyed in the words of absolution.

Fr. Brian Conley, S.J.

Go Green For Lent 2024

Go Green For Lent 2024

Go Green For Lent 2024

Join Our Lady of Hope’s Social Justice and Peace Commission, the Jesuit Community and other parishioners in taking environmentally friendly actions as our Lenten practice this year. Consider choosing one of these actions as your Lenten practice this year:

No TV (or streaming) one or more nights during Lent.
Give up one or more single use plastics – e.g. water bottle, straws, cutlery…
Walk or Bike for trips less than 2 miles.
Eat leftovers 1 night a week
Compost Food Waste (Garbage to Garden)
Conserve water by not letting water run while brushing teeth, shaving, or soaping up during a shower.
Eat vegetarian for 2 nights each week (meat & dairy are a huge source of greenhouse gasses!).
Give up purchases in one or more categories (e.g. electronics, books, clothes, shoes…)
Declutter one spot each day during Lent and donate items to charity.
Pray: Do Earthbeat’s Lenten Daily Food Reflection

Increase Awareness of Injustice in Our Society: Suggested Resources.

Commit to taking one or more of these actions and place a green dot in space to the right of the actions on the poster you’ll find when you go to Mass.  This way you can help to make this a community event! Already taking some of these environmentally friendly actions – let us know by placing a green dot and THANKS for your care for the Our Common Home and each other!!

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

The Passion of the Lord – Palm Sunday and Holy Week at Our Lady of Hope gives us all the opportunity to pay special attention to the movements of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be drawn closer to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Palm Sunday Masses will be at our regular Mass times: 4:30 Saturday afternoon at St. Pius X, with a procession from the parish hall to the church; Sunday at 7:30 am at the Craig and Dolly Foster Gym at St. Brigid School, 9:30 am at St. Pius X, with a procession from the parish hall to the church and, finally, at 5 pm at the Craig and Dolly Foster Gym at St. Brigid.

Daily Mass will be held at St. Pius X at regularly scheduled time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Morning prayers will be held in lieu of Mass on Holy Thursday and Good Friday mornings at 9 am.

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper and washing of feet will be at 7 pm at St. Pius X Church. This is a beautiful and especially meaningful Service for parishioners of all ages, whether for a first time experience or one that you wouldn’t miss each year.

Good Friday, Stations of The Cross at St. Joseph Church at 3 pm.

Good Friday, Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, 7 pm at St. Pius X Church.

Leftovers! They’re delicious and good for the earth, too.

Leftovers! They’re delicious and good for the earth, too.

Leftovers! They’re delicious and good for the earth, too.

Leftovers deserve another look!! Using bits and pieces of ingredients in the pantry or refrigerator – often leftover from other dishes – makes delicious new dishes. These kinds of dishes are economical, too. What’s more, using up what’s available reduces waste — which is a concern we can all get behind. It’s even one of the options of the Go Green for Lent initiative this year: reducing food waste. So, ministry members from the Social Justice and Peace Commission are sharing some recipes that are their “go to” options throughout the year.  You’ll find two below!

Leftovers Frittata
6 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 – 1/2 cup cheese
3 cup cooked meat &/or vegetables

Bake in well greased 10 inch pan, though well-seasoned cast iron is ideal at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Check 5 minutes early. Should be barely set and a bit trembling. Do not over bake!!
Serves 4-6
Good hot or room temperature.

Here’s how to do it: Sauté any uncooked items (veggies or meat) until a little brown for added flavor. Avoid too much moisture. Sprinkle cheese over, and pour mix of eggs and milk.

Ratio of ingredients important. There are endless options for combinations of flavors:
Yogurt or crème fraiche in place of milk (full fat important )
Cheeses- cheddar, Swiss, fontina, feta, Jack ( plus bit of Parmesan opt)
Meat, bacon, sausage, chicken, fish.
Onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, beans, peas, potatoes, spinach, squash, corn, tomatoes, kale, sun-dried tomatoes.
Garlic, herbs, mixed seasonings.

Enjoy! B.D.
from SJ & P Commission

And, for DESSERT:

Noodle Pudding

4 cups cooked pasta or egg noodles
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs beaten
½ cup of raisins or other dried fruit

Preparation:

  1. Warm the milk, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melts.  Take off heat to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 350.
  3. Butter a 4-6 cup casserole dish and fill with cooked noodles and dried fruit tossed to combine.
  4. Add eggs to the cooled milk mixture.  Whisk and pour over noodles.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Optional:  Sprinkle small amount of sugar and cinnamon on the top before baking.

    Enjoy!! Carole from SJ &P Commission

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