Pastor’s Message – March 8, 2020

Praise Jesus, I finished my final week of classes through the Institute of Priestly Formation at Mundelein Seminary and ran off with my certificate of completion in hand. So, now I am ready to share with you in these final 40 Days/40 Nights and celebrate those Great 50 Days of Easter. There are a few reminders to share. First, mark those calendars for our parish mission that runs March 22, 23, 24 at 7:00 p.m. with Fr. Terrence Grachanin. He will be lifting up our Lenten hearts through the Joy, Sorrow, & Glory of Our Lady’s love for her Son. Please come and be inspired to enter into Holy Week with Fr. Grachanin during his 3-night mission called A Marian Reflection in Art. (Our parish’s Lenten Communal Penance will be on the third night, Tuesday March 24th.) Also that weekend is Laetare Sunday (our Lenten “rejoice Sunday”) and we have an extra reason to rejoice. Once again our parish and school has been given the gift of a 2020 Chevrolet to raffle off from the VanDevere Bunch Thrive & Drive program. What an awesome way for us to receive the support we need…thank you! (We will have more information to follow during Laetare Sunday.)

We have our Mass Intention book open for anyone wanting to offer an intention of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What does that mean? A friend of mine explains it well. He said, “When a Priest celebrates Mass, he offers each celebration of the Eucharist for a particular person, or intention. By doing so, he applies special graces from God upon that person or intention. Similar to how we are able to intercede for others by our personal prayers, the Church is able to intercede for us through the celebration of the Mass. However, since the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’ the Mass possesses a power that our personal prayers do not.” The practice of offering Mass for particular intentions is an ancient one, dating back to the early Church. Fr. Wm. Sanders explains, “Inscriptions discovered on tombs in Roman catacombs of the second century [give] evidence [for] this practice: the epitaph on the tomb of Bishop Abercius (d. 180) begs for prayers for the repose of his soul. Tertullian (c. 200) attested to observing the anniversary of a spouse with prayers and sacrifices of the Mass.” This tradition is also seen in St. Augustine’s Confessions (c. 397), where his mother, St. Monica, asks St. Augustine, “One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.” Pope Paul VI said, “The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!” It has immense power and countless miracles and conversions have occurred throughout the centuries by offering Masses for a specific intention or person. Mass intentions are a great treasure of the Church and have a spiritual weight that is incalculable. Even though at every Mass we all offer individual intentions at the Altar, if you have a specific intention you would like to have offered at weekday Mass, please call the rectory office.

Theologian Philip Kosloski writes: “What Makes a Mass intention and who can offer them? The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may be offered for any noble reason—for the remembrance of a departed loved one…for an individual who is suffering a trial or tribulation in life, or remembrance of life or death. Intentions may be announced to the public or be unannounced, simply listed as a ‘special intention.’ Whatever the reason, the Mass is offered for the praise and glory of God and in worshiping the Lord…we ask Him to be with us in our need and to answer the prayer according to His Will. (Weekday Mass intentions are scheduled through the parish office.) Know I pray for your intentions every weekend at one of the Masses when you see in the bulletin “pro populo” (for the people). Have a happy and holy Lent!               Memento Mori, Fr. Bline