We stand in the middle of a global and complex crisis. It is up to all of us – right here, and no one is exempt – to be part of the renewal of the Church.
To put it simply, the time for a mediocre witness to Christ is over. If this is not a clarion call from Heaven to a personal conversion for every single one of us, I don’t know what is.
What does that conversion look like? It means a new and personal resolve, for each of us, aided by God’s grace, to be the kind of disciples who bring relief, and not pain, to the Heart of Jesus. It means a determined effort, with God’s help, to really turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospel.
To that end, allowing our souls to be cleansed and healed from sin in and through a good confession in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is absolutely essential. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply deceiving themselves.
In light of the recent scandals, I know many people are wondering whether they should remain in the Catholic Church. And I totally get that; the outrage is warranted. But in this time of crisis, I beg you not to flee, but to fight--not violently, with the weapons of the world, but with the weapons of the Spirit. We need you.
- Bishop Robert Barron
As I mentioned at all our Masses last weekend, I had happened upon a very moving bulletin column which was written late last month by the pastor of a Catholic parish in Massachusetts. This is what he wrote:
<< These days, I find myself deeply disturbed by what is happening in the Church. I know the bishops must act decisively and that the action needs to be thorough, transparent, professional, and in cooperation with competent laypeople. But still, I ask the question: what can I do? All I know is that I can pray and do penance. To that end, and as your pastor, I commit myself to a full day and night of public penance. On Monday ... I will celebrate the 9 o’clock Mass in Saint Ann Church as I usually do. Following that Mass I will expose the Blessed Sacrament and remain there in prayer and fasting until the next morning, concluding this period of prayer and penance with the celebration of the 9:00 am Mass on Tuesday. All throughout this period, the church will remain open. You are most welcome to join me in prayer for a few minutes or for a full hour. In fact, I would welcome your presence as I do the only things I know to do in the face of evil; prayer and penance. >>
I find this approach to be very meaningful, and it seems to me that it would be very appropriate to do something similar here at St. Catherine's, dedicating 24 hours, from Friday morning, September 14, until Saturday morning, September 15 as a Day of Prayer and Penance in Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the scandals which are now around us in the Church, nationally and internationally.
On Friday, September 14, 2018, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, I will celebrate the 7:30 a.m. Mass in the Family Center. Then I will expose the Blessed Sacrament on the altar, and I will remain there in prayer and fasting until the next morning, concluding this Day of Prayer and Penance in Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with a Mass at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, 2018, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.
During the entire time from 7:30 a.m. on Friday, September 14, until 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, the Family Center will remain open. You are most welcome to join me in prayer for a few minutes, an hour, or for however long you'd like. Certainly, I would welcome your presence and solidarity during this time when we seek to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in some small way help to make amends for the outrageous sacrileges which have been committed across many years and in many places. At the same time we will ask for ourselves, our families, and our parish His blessings of grace, holiness, and conversion of heart, both now and in the future.
Here is a schedule for our Day of Prayer and Penance in Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Friday, September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
7:30 a.m. - Mass
9:00 a.m. - Liturgy of the Hours: The Office of Readings
10:00 a.m. - Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer
12:00 noon - Angelus
12:30 p.m. - Liturgy of the Hours: Daytime Prayer
3:00 p.m. - Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
5:00 p.m. - Holy Rosary: The Joyful Mysteries
6:00 p.m. - Angelus
6:30 p.m. - Liturgy of the Hours: Evening Prayer
8:00 p.m. - Holy Rosary: The Luminous Mysteries
10:00 p.m. - Holy Rosary: The Sorrowful Mysteries
11:00 p.m. - Night Prayer
Saturday, September 15, Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
12:00 Midnight - Holy Rosary: The Glorious Mysteries
3:00 a.m. - Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
4:00 a.m - Liturgy of the Hours: Office of Readings
6:00 a.m. - Angelus
7:00 a.m. - Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. - Mass
I hope you will be able to stop in for at least part of the day. And let's all stay strong and faithful during these difficult days. We can't leave Jesus because of Judas.
God Bless You,
Father Joseph Marcello
At St. Catherine of Siena Parish, the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (Confession) is offered:
Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday afternoons, 3:00 – 3:45 p.m.,
Confessions are heard in the Confessional, which is located in the lobby of the church. The confessional is arranged so that both anonymous and face-to-face confessions are possible. The Sacrament is also available anytime upon request from one of the priests.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is available on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.