February: Upcoming Events

As February gets underway, I would like to speak to a variety of unrelated topics. I will use bullet points in the hope of keeping them organized.

† At the conclusion of Masses this weekend we will offer the St. Blaise Blessing of Throats both for the congregation as a whole as well as individuals who might wish to receive an individual blessing. As the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11th) this is always the commemoration of the World Day of the Sick. This is a beautiful Catholic tradition which highlights February as a month dedicated to prayers for the sick. See special commemorative celebrations on pages 6 & 7 of the bulletin.

† Alas, a home field victory for the Vikings in Super Bowl LII was not to be. If Monday Night Football has been an excuse for any men from the parish not to try attending a Parish Men’s Night at St. Clement, I would like to invite you to join us tomorrow (Monday) evening at 7:15 PM. Since October I have been gathering a small but committed group of men each first Monday of the month for a brief spiritual reflection, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, quiet prayer and an opportunity for Confessions. Prayer together is a good basis for fostering fraternity among men from our different campuses. I hope this will grow organically into other initiatives and opportunities for service and public witness. Try it, you may discover how much good silence can do for you in the midst of the business of life!

† Speaking of Monday nights at St. Clement, I have been steadily hearing of people who would like to be able to attend an evening Mass during the week but who are not able to make it after work in time for our 5:15 PM Monday Mass. Starting in Lent, we will make a slight adjustment to this Monday evening Mass. The church will still be open by 5 PM and the Stations of the Cross will be prayed each week at 5:15 PM, followed by Holy Mass at 5:45 PM. We will see how the season of Lent goes, but my intention is to leave the Mass at 5:45 PM as it seems as though it will be a more accessible time. I would like to thank the regular attendees who have been such an encouragement to me by their fidelity since we began offering this Mass in September.

† For us as parishioners of the Church of the Holy Cross, the Stations of the Cross have a prominent place in our devotional life. The Stations can be prayed as an individual devotion at any time, we will pray them communally throughout the Season of Lent at these times, beginning February 16th:

  • Fridays at 9:30 AM – St. Hedwig – Prior to 10 AM Mass
  • Fridays at 3:00 PM – Holy Cross – With JPII School (except February 16 and March 2)
  • Fridays at 3:00 PM – St. Anthony of Padua Chapel
  • Fridays at 6:00 PM – Holy Cross – Concluded by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, in conjunction with 5-7 pm Fish Fry – come pray before or after you eat in Kolbe Hall
  • Fridays at 7:00 PM – Holy Cross (Polish) – Followed by Polish Mass
  • Friday 16 February and 23 March at 7:30 PM – St. Clement – First and final Friday of Lent, concluded by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Mondays at 5:15 PM – St. Clement – Prior to 5:45 PM Mass, starting February 19th.

† Looking ahead to our parish Forty Hours weekend (March 1-4), I am excited to share that Fr. Michael Niemczak, a friend from seminary and priest of Archdiocese of Santa Fe, will be a special guest to offer some spiritual reflections and some bilingual (English-Polish) preaching sprinkled throughout the weekend festivities. He is sure to bring the fire of the Gospel. Stay tuned for a full overview of the weekend events.

† Lent is just around the corner with Ash Wednesday on February 14th. Of course, be sure not to miss the Mardi Gras Sauerkraut Supper the evening before, Tuesday, February 13th. Lent is a season totally directed at following Christ along the way of the Cross and the call of discipleship. As we get ready to live these forty days of preparation, I look forward to sharing our plan for celebrating Holy Week and the Easter Triduum as a culmination of Lent and the beginning of the great fifty days of Easter rejoicing. Watch for details in next week’s bulletin.

In the Gospel today, we see Our Lord approaching Simon’s mother-in-law. Although we do not know her name, Christ saw her true dignity as a child of God even in her suffering. As we press on in faith, let us look to Christ, our Savior and the Physician of our souls, asking him to look with compassion on all those who have entrusted themselves to our prayers, especially Fr. Don and those who are ill among our parishioners, family and friends.

Grace and peace,
Fr. Howe