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HOLY WEEK & EASTER Schedule

Holy Thursday @ 7 PM

  Bishop Ricken's Tour Stop @ 9:40 PM


Good Friday @ 1 PM*

  Mary's Way of the Cross @ 6 PM


Easter Vigil @ 8 PM*

Easter Sunday @ 6 AM, 8 AM* & 10 AM

*livestream

Note: Our parish office will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Church will also be closed after 10 AM Easter Mass then reopens for regular hours on Tuesday morning

​Note: no 6 PM Sunday Night Mass on Easter

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What is Lent?

Lent is a season of reflection and preparation that marks the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.

For Catholics, Lent is an important time of year, as it provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ's resurrection.
 
During Lent, Catholics are called to engage in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, as a way of acknowledging our own sinfulness and drawing closer to God. These practices help us to focus on what is truly important in life, and to turn away from the distractions and temptations that can pull us away from God.
 
FASTING

The practice of fasting during Lent is a particularly important part of the season. By abstaining from certain foods or activities, we are reminded of the sacrifices that Christ made for us, and of our own need for spiritual nourishment. Fasting can also help us to develop self-discipline and to resist the temptation to indulge in worldly pleasures.
 
Another important aspect of Lent is almsgiving. This involves giving to those in need, whether through financial donations or acts of service. By helping others, we are reminded of Christ's call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and of our responsibility to care for those who are less fortunate than we are.
 
Of course, prayer is also a central part of Lent. Through prayer, we can seek God's guidance and support as we strive to deepen our faith and grow closer to Him. Whether we pray alone or with others, in silence or with words, prayer helps us to focus our hearts and minds on what is truly important.
 
Ultimately, the goal of Lent is to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Easter. By engaging in these practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we can draw closer to God and experience the joy of His love in a deeper way. May we all use this season of Lent as a time of spiritual renewal and growth, as we seek to follow Christ more closely and live out His call to love one another.
 
 
ALMSGIVING
 
Almsgiving: Understanding Its Meaning and Importance in the Catholic Faith
 
In the Catholic faith, almsgiving is an important concept that is closely linked to the virtue of charity. Almsgiving, also known as giving to the poor, is a way of helping those in need and expressing love and compassion towards our fellow human beings. This article will explore what almsgiving is and why it is important for Catholics.
 
What is Almsgiving?
 
Almsgiving is the act of giving to the poor or those in need, usually in the form of money or material goods. It is an act of charity that is rooted in the Christian belief that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and that we are called to help one another, especially those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
 
Almsgiving is not just about giving money or material goods, but it is also about giving our time, our talents, and our love to those in need. It is a way of showing our solidarity with the poor and the marginalized and of working towards social justice.
 
Why is Almsgiving Important?
 
Almsgiving is important for several reasons. Firstly, it is an act of love and compassion towards our fellow human beings. By giving to those in need, we are expressing our love for them and helping to alleviate their suffering.
 
Secondly, almsgiving is a way of fulfilling our Christian duty to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me." (Matthew 25:35-36)
 
Thirdly, almsgiving is a way of practicing detachment from material possessions. By giving to the poor, we are showing that our material possessions are not the most important things in our lives. We are recognizing that there are more important things, such as love, compassion, and justice.
 
Finally, almsgiving is a way of working towards social justice. By giving to the poor, we are helping to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We are working towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a dignified life.
 
How Can We Practice Almsgiving?
 
There are many ways that we can practice almsgiving. We can give money or material goods to charitable organizations that work with the poor and the marginalized. We can also volunteer our time and talents to these organizations.
 
We can also practice almsgiving in our daily lives by being kind and compassionate towards those around us. We can show love and concern for our neighbors, our coworkers, and our friends. We can listen to those who are struggling and offer a helping hand.
 
Almsgiving is an important concept in the Catholic faith. It is a way of expressing our love and compassion towards our fellow human beings and of fulfilling our Christian duty to help those in need. By practicing almsgiving, we can work towards social justice and a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a dignified life.

Holy Week & Easter Triduum

Holy Week is the most significant week in the entire Catholic liturgical calendar.

It begins on Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday. During this week, the Catholic Church commemorates the final week of Jesus Christ's life, his crucifixion, and his glorious resurrection.
 
The Easter Triduum, also known as the Paschal Triduum, is the three-day period from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. It is the most sacred time of the liturgical year for Catholics.
 
Holy Week and the Easter Triduum are essential to Catholics for several reasons.

Here are some of them:
 
They help us to enter into the mystery of Christ's passion and resurrection.
Through the liturgies and rituals of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum, Catholics are invited to enter more deeply into the mystery of Christ's passion and resurrection.
We remember and participate in the events that led to Jesus' death and resurrection, such as his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his Last Supper with his disciples on Holy Thursday, his crucifixion on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
 
They offer us an opportunity for repentance and renewal.
 
During Holy Week and the Easter Triduum, Catholics are called to reflect on their own lives and to repent of their sins. We are invited to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, where we confess our sins and receive God's forgiveness. Through this process, we can renew our relationship with God and with others.
 
They help us to understand the meaning of sacrifice.
The events of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum remind us of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. He gave his life so that we could be reconciled with God and with one another. Through his sacrifice, we are given the gift of salvation and eternal life. By participating in the liturgies of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum, we can come to a deeper understanding of the meaning of sacrifice and how it is central to our faith.
 
They unite us as a community of believers.

Holy Week and the Easter Triduum are not just individual experiences but communal ones. Through our participation in the liturgies and rituals of these days, we join with other Catholics in our community and throughout the world to celebrate our faith and to give thanks for the gift of salvation. This communal aspect of the liturgy helps us to deepen our sense of belonging to the Church and to one another.
 
Holy Week and the Easter Triduum are essential times for us as Catholics.

They offer us an opportunity to enter into the mystery of Christ's passion and resurrection, to reflect on our lives, to understand the meaning of sacrifice, and to unite as a community of believers.

By participating in these liturgies, we can deepen our relationship with God and with one another, and we can renew our commitment to living out our faith in the world.

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter Sunday and it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. This event is significant to Catholics because during the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.
The Last Supper is also where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, an act of service and humility that symbolizes the call to serve others. Holy Thursday in some cultures is also referred to as "Maundy Thursday", as the word "Maundy" comes from the Latin word "mandatum," which means "commandment." This refers to the commandment Jesus gave his disciples during the Last Supper to love one another as he has loved them.
Another important event that takes place on Holy Thursday is the Mass of the Lord's Supper, which includes the washing of the feet, the consecration of the Eucharist, and the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose, where it remains until the celebration of the Easter Vigil.
Overall, Holy Thursday is an important day for Catholics as it commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and the call to love and serve others.

Good Friday

Good Friday

Good Friday is a solemn day in the Christian calendar that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday and is part of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday.

For Catholics, Good Friday is a day of fasting, abstinence from meat, and penance. Many churches hold services that involve the reading of the Passion narrative from one of the Gospels, the veneration of the cross, and the distribution of communion. Some Catholics also participate in the Stations of the Cross, a devotion that involves meditating on the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion.

Good Friday is important to Christians because it is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity. According to Christian belief, Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity and to provide a way for people to be reconciled with God. Good Friday is a day of solemn reflection on the magnitude of Jesus' sacrifice and the depth of God's love for humanity. It is also a time to contemplate the suffering of others and to seek ways to alleviate it, in imitation of Christ's example.

Easter Vigil

Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday)

Easter Vigil is a significant liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church that takes place on the evening of Holy Saturday.

With Lent concluding on Holy Thursday at noon, we enter into the Triduum: The three part remembrance/celebration of the Last Supper, the Agony and Death of Jesus, and his glorious resurrection from the dead.

The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday is the conclusion of the Triduum and ultimate celebration for us as Christians. Without the Resurrection, we do not have our faith! This also becomes the first official celebration of Easter and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
The Easter Vigil service usually begins after sunset, and it consists of four parts: the Service of Light, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of Baptism, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
 
During the Service of Light, a fire is lit outside the church, and the Paschal candle is blessed and lit. This candle represents Christ as the Light of the World, and it is carried into the darkened church. The congregation lights their candles from the Paschal candle, symbolizing the spreading of Christ's light throughout the world.
 
In the Liturgy of the Word, several readings from the Old Testament are proclaimed, recounting the history of salvation from the creation to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is followed by the singing of the Gloria and the proclamation of the Gospel.
 
The Liturgy of Baptism involves the blessing of the baptismal water and the initiation of new members into the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.
 
Finally, in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the congregation receives Holy Communion, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
The Easter Vigil is considered an essential celebration in the Catholic Church because it marks the culmination of the Lenten season and the beginning of the Easter season. It also serves as a powerful reminder of the central tenet of the Christian faith - that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, offering us the hope of eternal life.

​Additionally, it is an occasion for Catholics to renew their baptismal vows and reaffirm their commitment to follow Christ.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

Easter is the most important holy day to Catholics out of the entire liturgical year. Without Easter and the Resurrection, we would not even exist as Catholics.... as Christians! 

It represents the triumph of life over death, and the hope of eternal life with God. As Christians, it is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity, and to renew one's faith in his teachings. It is also a time to celebrate the arrival of spring, and the renewal of nature, which is seen as a symbol of the resurrection and new life.

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday is a feast day in the Catholic Church that falls on the Sunday after Easter Sunday. It is a day that celebrates the mercy of God towards sinners and is based on the visions of Jesus reported by Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun and mystic who lived in the early 20th century.
 
According to Saint Faustina's diary, Jesus appeared to her several times and asked her to promote the message of Divine Mercy to the world. He revealed to her that he wanted the world to know that he is a loving and merciful God who is always ready to forgive sinners if they turn to him with repentance and trust.
 
To celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, many Catholics attend Mass and recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a prayer that invokes God's mercy on behalf of all humanity. The Chaplet consists of a series of prayers that are recited on rosary beads, and it is often prayed together with the litany of Divine Mercy.
 
In addition to Mass and prayer, Catholics may also perform acts of mercy and charity on this day, such as visiting the sick or the elderly, donating to charity, or performing acts of kindness towards others.
 
Divine Mercy Sunday is important to Christians because it highlights the central message of the Gospel, which is the love and mercy of God. It reminds us that no matter how great our sins may be, God's mercy is always available to us if we repent and turn to him. In a world that often seems to be dominated by fear, violence, and despair, the message of Divine Mercy offers hope and comfort to all those who seek God's forgiveness and healing.

The Easter Basket

The Easter basket is a longstanding tradition that has been practiced for centuries, primarily by Christians. Its origins can be traced back to the pre-Christian era when people would use baskets to celebrate the spring equinox, which symbolized the renewal of life and the start of the planting season.

In Christian tradition, the Easter basket represents new life, rebirth, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basket is typically filled with various items such as eggs, chocolates, and other treats, which are meant to symbolize new life, fertility, and the joy of the Easter season.

The Easter basket is also significant because it represents the journey that Mary Magdalene and the other women took to the tomb of Jesus after his crucifixion. According to Christian tradition, they brought spices and other items with them to anoint Jesus' body, but when they arrived, they found the tomb empty, and Jesus had risen from the dead. The Easter basket, therefore, is a reminder of this miraculous event and the hope and joy that it brings.

Overall, the Easter basket has become an important part of the Easter celebration for many Christians worldwide, and it serves as a reminder of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the new life and hope that it brings.

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