A New Week – March 3, 2024

Welcome, March! The month of March is named for Mars, the Roman god of war. During this month, it seems that cold and warmth, winter and summer are in a battle! This is the month of the vernal equinox, when daytime grows equal to nighttime and spring begins in our Northern Hemisphere. When we change our clocks, we seems to “lose an hour” but we certainly gain some sunlight at the end of the day. The lengthening days warm the air and create the March winds. We know that some days in March can be as cold as deep winter, a few are as warm as springtime, and many of the days are stormy. This struggle against winter during March is a strong sign of the season of Lent. The word “Lent” comes from an old English word meaning “Springtime”. While this is a month of transition, we know the outcome: winter gives way to spring, and death gives way to life! 

We will spend most of March in the season of Lent, so this is prime time for us to be faithful to our Lenten promises and to practice and grow in our prayer, fasting, and good works. To grow in prayer, can you spend some time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration on Thursdays, or can you come to Stations of the Cross on Fridays? To grow in fasting, we join the universal Church in abstaining from meat on Fridays, and you may have given up sweets or screen time, but can you also fast from gossip and rash judgment? To grow in charity, can you donate to or volunteer with the St. Joseph Housing Initiative? Lent is an opportune time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so I encourage you to go to Confession this month. Our parish Lent Reconciliation Service will be this Tuesday, March 5, at 7:00pm. Several priests will be available to celebrate the Sacrament.

The last week of March will be Holy Week and the Triduum and Easter, the most sacred time of the year for Catholics. We should all be together for the services of the Triduum, so mark your calendars now for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, and watch this bulletin and our website for the latest information about our journey through Lent to Holy Week.  

March is Women’s History Month, so we note the many contributions that countless untold women have made in our world, and we vow that women will be included in every aspect of our Church and society.  March is also National Social Work month, so thanks to those many social workers who assist members of our society to successfully navigate the complexities of life.  

Feasts of the Saints are rare during March, as our focus is on the season of Lent. Still, some days stand out. St. Patrick’s Day is always a grand celebration on March 17, and the Feast of St. Joseph follows quickly on March 19. 

Pope Francis’ intention for the month of March is for the new martyrs. We pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world inflame the Church with their courage and missionary enthusiasm.  We pray to the Lord… 

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