The 'So What' of Easter
Happy Easter! A welcome is in order for any family members, neighbors and visitors present throughout our campuses today for our celebration of Easter. We are thrilled to share this glorious day with you! We also remember those who are united with us at a distance, especially our homebound parishioners and snowbirds who might not have returned in time for Easter. There is cause for rejoicing in the remarkable but true proclamation that Christ is not in the tomb where His body was laid on the evening of Good Friday. News reports of last year’s excavations in and around the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem validated —not surprisingly—what has been claimed all along: the tomb is empty; His body was not taken but raised up; Christ is victorious and lives, alleluia!
This is the heart of the Good News and the biblical readings today and throughout the Easter Season give us the journalistic who, what, when, where and why of the Resurrection event. All of that is fantastic and worth pondering, especially as it is told throughout the Acts of the Apostles that we will read from at every Mass of the Easter Season. The key question that remains to be addressed is the ‘so what?’ of Easter. What difference does it make on Monday when all goes back to normal? What did Christ’s rising really accomplish, apart from giving us an excuse to gather with loved ones and eat Easter candy until we are sick of it?
The real answer to that question cannot be answered in a bulletin article, since it is one that we must spend our whole lives coming to terms with. “He saw and believed,” it is told of John peering into the empty tomb. He is risen as He said! That realization changed everything for John —it drew his whole life into a response. Christ has done his part, we are called to do ours: namely, to order our lives to accord with the truth that Christ is alive, not a dead and distant memory or an imaginary friend.
If you are interested in the RCIA process, desiring a refresher in the teachings of the Faith or looking for a church to call home, get in touch with Fr. Hagan or myself. You can find out more on our new parish website and fill out an inquiry form to join the parish at ourholycross.org. The best first step to get involved is simply to keep attending Sunday Mass weekly. It is the most decisive and formative commitment we could ever make because at Holy Mass we meet the Risen Christ.
Some in our midst have just taken a step of faith to be received into full communion in the Church. Join me in welcoming our catechumen who was baptized last night: Deybid Sanchez Valero and our four candidates who were confirmed: Christopher Reyes Sanchez, Erika Gabriela Santana, Zachary Field, Robert Matthew Pokorn. Throughout the past several months they have been taking seriously the Lord’s call to know and follow after Him through a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (or RCIA for short). I am grateful to David Piskorski and Fr. Hagan and the sponsors who have encouraged them along the way. Gratitude is also due to our clergy and the countless individuals who assisted with our Holy Week liturgies with the coordination of Jordan Monson and to others who worked with our parish staff behind the scenes to prepare for such wonderful festivities. Thank you to Bernadette and Ewa who put on the Palm Sunday Bake Sale on very short notice at Our Holy Cross campus — they did a wonderful job. So Easter Sunday is here, now what? Besides observing the 50 days of Easter leading up to Pentecost Sunday, I would invite you to mark a few highlights on your calendar:
- Tomorrow, Monday, April 2nd is the anniversary of the death of Pope St. John Paul II. He died in 2005, just as I was preparing to enter seminary and I was present in Rome for both his beatification and canonization. Fr. Stan will celebrate and preach both of our daily Masses: 6:45 am at Holy Cross and 5:45 pm at St. Clement. St. John Paul II is not only a special patron for our school but also for our parish. He was a Pope who witnessed to the meaning of Easter joy!
- On Sunday, April 15th, we are hosting an afternoon in Kolbe Hall to reflect on the gift of Christian friendship and the transformative power of the Church in renewing the culture. Some close Italian friends and some other presenters will speak and it is sure to be a delightful afternoon. All are welcome. See the posters and bulletin notice for more details.
- A first for our parish: St. Clement church will be open for Art-A-Whirl on Pentecost Weekend, May 18-20. We are designated as a location for the festival, artists will be displaying their work in the church hall, and activities will be taking place at St. Clement throughout the weekend including food, live music and more. This is great but we do need help to pull it off. If you want to get involved in some capacity with this exciting opportunity, I invite you to join me and the core team of organizers at 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, April 8th in the St. Clement basement to do planning and preparation.
- The 14th Annual NE Eucharistic Procession will take place on Sunday afternoon, June 10th. Mark the date and come to walk through the streets of our beloved neighborhood as a public display of devotion and faith in our Eucharistic Lord. This year, our procession will correspond with a transferred feast of our final parish patron, St. Anthony of Padua. We will anticipate his feast (which falls on June 13th) at all our campuses as an opportunity to get to know the Franciscan friar, preacher and miracle worker who is patron of the City of Minneapolis.
- The Parish Council is once again hosting our annual Meet, Greet & Bowl event that will take place at Elsie’s on Friday evening, June 15th.
For now, save these dates and be assured that Christ’s Resurrection makes all the difference in the world! It gives us reason to live life to the full, it allows us to go on in living hope. May the joy of the apostles at discovering the truth of the Resurrection fill your hearts to overflowing this day and in the fifty days of sustained Easter celebration.
Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał!
Christ is risen, alleluia! He is risen indeed, alleluia!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter,
-Fr. Howe, writing on behalf of the clergy, staff and parishioners