Lent 2022 is quickly drawing to a close and next weekend (April 9-10) we begin the holiest week of the Church year celebrating Holy Week. I encourage you to attend as many of the Holy Week services that you are able so that we all might enter more fully into these profound mysteries of our faith.
One of the important ministries and sacraments that we celebrate here at St. Peter's is the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). We offer the opportunity to be reconciled with God, others and the Church six days a week and for over five hours each of those days. [The times and days when a priest is available for confession are listed in today's bulletin or on our church website.] If you or someone you know have not celebrated the healing power of this sacrament, come and be welcomed into the loving embrace of God.
As we heard last weekend, Lent is not meant to be a dreary moment in our faith life, but rather a special time to come closer to God and those around us. We have great cause to rejoice for our God, as did the father of the Prodigal Son in Luke's Gospel that we heard last Sunday, is only waiting for us to start returning to him. And if we make even the most tentative move to return.....our God will lovingly embrace us into his arms. If you plan to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) here at St. Peter's before Easter, please note [via the bulletin, website or calling the parish office] the days and times when we will be available for the sacrament. Please remember that the last scheduled confession time for Holy Week is Thursday, April 14 from 10:30 am-12 noon.
PRAY FOR PEACE
Please continue to keep in your thoughts and prayers the people in Ukraine who continue to suffer so much due to the continuing onslaught of military forces of Russia. The increasing attacks upon so many innocent civilians, hospitals, schools and those seeking to escape the war is beyond belief.
Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus recently said, I would like to take a minute to remember the victims of the war. The news of displaced persons, of people fleeing, of people killed, people wounded, of so many soldiers fallen on both sides, is news of death. We ask the Lord of life to deliver us from this death of war: with war everything is lost, everything. There is no victory in a war: everything is defeated. May the Lord send His Spirit to make us understand that war is a defeat of humanity, which we need to defeat, all of us; that waging war is a need that destroys us, and to deliver us from this need for self-destruction. We pray, too, for leaders to understand that buying weapons and making weapons is not the solution to the problem. The solution is to work together for peace and, as the Bible says, to turn weapons into instruments for peace.
The Pope then invited everyone to pray together to the Mother of God in the words of the Hail Mary. I encourage you to pray daily that this terrible war in Ukraine may soon come to an end. Let us do all we can to protect the innocent and vulnerable who are suffering so much because of this unjust war.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Below you will find the schedule for Holy Week services here at St. Peter's. Please note the times for confessions for the coming weeks and especially Holy Week. The last scheduled time for confessions for April 10-17 is Holy Thursday morning. You will also find the schedule on the insert in today's bulletin as well as on St. Peter's in the Loop website.
Monday - Friday, April 4 - 8: from 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 9: from 12 noon - 4:30 pm
Monday - Wednesday, April 11 - 13: from 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Holy Thursday, April 14: from 10:30 am - 12 noon
Palm Sunday, April 9-10
Saturday - Mass 5:00 pm
Sunday - 9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
Palms blessed at all Masses.
Holy Thursday, April 14
Church opens at 10:00 am
Confessions - Holy Thursday, April 14: from 10:30 am - 12 noon
Please note: No confessions scheduled after 12 noon on Holy Thursday
12:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper
5:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper followed by adoration.
The collection during Masses today will be half for relief efforts in Ukraine and half for Franciscan Outreach ministries to the poor.
7:00 pm - Night Prayer concludes adoration and church is closed after this prayer.
Good Friday, April 15
Church opens at 7:30 am
Morning Prayer in church at 8:15 am
12:15 pm - Solemn Service
3:15 pm - Solemn Service
The annual collection during services today is to support the shrines in the Holy Land.
5:00 pm -Stations of the Cross
6:00 pm - Church closes
Holy Saturday, April 16
Church opens at 6:00 pm
7:00 pm Easter Vigil Mass
Easter Sunday, April 17
9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
In the Gospel today (5th Sunday of Lent) we hear from the Gospel of John (Jn. 8;1-11) the story of the woman caught in adultery and brought before Jesus. It is a story of caution for those who are quick to condemn others and unwilling to admit their own mistakes. It is a touching story of the mercy of God given to every sinner (you, me and all sinners) if we are honest before the Lord. This story is one of God's gracious care and mercy for each of us and not punishment. In these days before Holy Week I encourage you come before the Lord and open your heart to God's gift of healing mercy.
In the Responsorial Psalm for the Mass today we sang, "The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy." May you experience the blessing of God's forgiveness this Lenten season and celebrate in joy God's gift to us in Holy Week receiving God's mercy and grace.