03/10/12 Pastor’s Message

March 24th, 2012 by Admin in Pastor Message Archive 2012

What’d You Give Up. Father?

          I was recently in a social setting and was caught up in conversation with several other people, some of who were Catholics and a few of whom were not.  The talk soon turned to Lent, and how it can be so difficult to “give something up.”  Someone told a story about a friend who was frequently challenged by his choice to abstain from eating between meals.  It became so difficult for him that he began to shorten the length of time between meals, and eating a typical meal an hour or more before it would normally be eaten.  When others ate their meal, his would already be done and he would sit one out.

Inevitably, the talk then turned to “What did you give up, Father?,” and it became my turn.  I hesitated, only because I did not want to give the impression that the Lenten observance was just about “giving up” something.  I thought for a moment, and wanted to explain that I also “did something” and not just fasted or abstained.    I thought about the balance I must strike, and use it as a teachable moment.  I thought of all kinds of things to say – a Lenten “homilino“ at the ready.  I said none of it, though, and simply refused the offer of a glass of wine, and continued sharing in the conversation.  Rather than a “teachable moment” for the other guests, it became one for me.

I realized that I am often so edified by the faith of the people I meet , especially during Lent.  Faithful men and women, and so many young people and children, show me by their faith choices that they take Lent seriously.  I heard of a young child who gave up the ‘I-pad’ for most of the days of the week, another who gave up bread, and someone else who gave up their favorite sweets.  One family, committing to renewed prayer and a service action, represents so many others who do the same.

The one taught was me, and I came away with the impression that Lent is sinking in so beautifully among so many.  I was renewed in my own faith, and challenged to assess my own Lenten practices, and for that I am grateful.

* * * * * * * *

Church exit ramp:  two structural engineers have advised us that we should temporarily stop using the exit (on the parking lot side) where the ‘side porch’ is located.  Due to its deterioration, especially where it is attached to the sidewall of the church, it must be rebuilt for safety reasons.  We will keep you updated on the progress of the work, and we hope that it will not be out of commission for too long.  Thanks for your cooperation.

In the peace of Christ,

Father Dennis J. Vincenzo

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