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A New Week – April 7, 2024

Happy Easter! Our Easter season lasts for 50 days, and today is the Octave Day of Easter, the eighth day, also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy is hope wrapped up in a loving God, ever ready to embrace us and forgive even our gravest sins! Believing in God, but not in Divine Mercy, would be a depressing and burdensome faith to bear! Divine Mercy is often associated with the visions and private revelations of St. Faustina; Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to this Polish nun and canonized her as the first saint of the new millennium. Pope John Paul II declared the Second Sunday of Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday, and many began to promote the devotions described in Faustina’s “Diary,” such as venerating the Divine Mercy image and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. As Catholics, we have a soft spot for devotions and devotionals. It’s part of our hands-on, sacramental nature. But we are also a diverse bunch!  What speaks to one, may not speak to another. Devotions and belief in private revelations – even if approved and recommended by the Church – are not mandatory. I think this Easter feast of Divine Mercy is less about these devotions, and more about our own call to humbly receive God’s mercy and show mercy to others. As we meditate in gratitude for God’s gracious mercy shown to us this day, we should look honestly at the mercy that we show to others. Our God is a God of mercy. Are we a Church and a people of mercy?  

During this Easter season, our parish will once again participate in the Annual Catholic Appeal.  The ACA is an important way for our Church to come together and share God’s blessings with others by sustaining the ministries and outreach efforts of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Your contribution will help to feed the hungry, defend the vulnerable, shelter the suffering, support religious vocations, and strengthen Catholic education in our Archdiocese of St. Louis. I have already made my own pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal, and I hope that you will prayerfully consider your own gift in the weeks to come. Watch your mail next week, as your pledge card will be mailed to your home. Please make your pledge, sign your card, and return the card to the parish office as soon as possible, either in the Sunday collection, in person, or by mail. If you cannot make a long-term pledge, consider returning your pledge card with a five-dollar bill, which will help us achieve our parish participation and monetary goals. Even if you are not able to make a gift, please sign and return your pledge card, so that we have an accounting of all our parish families. I am grateful for your generosity, and I am confident our parish family will support the Annual Catholic Appeal once again. With your help, we can unite as one Church and bring God’s peace and love to our entire community during this time of great need.  Thanks for your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal!

Our Holy Father’s intention for the month of April is for the role of women. We pray that the dignity and immense value of women be recognized in every culture, and for the end of discrimination that they experience throughout the world.  We pray to the Lord!

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