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.
Last weekend, at our Masses of Reparation, we announced that, as a concrete, ongoing response that our parish can give to the Bishop’s call for acts of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the abuse scandals in the Church, we as a parish will designate one day each month — it will be the first Tuesday — for all of 2019 for this purpose.
As you recall, on September 14 & 15, we held a 24 hour period of prayer and fasting in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It was my privilege to lead it, and I found the time very helpful, meaningful, and time which could not have been better spent. I was also heartened by the numbers of parishioners and guests who stopped in to pray during one of the hours of the day or night. As I’ve said, this is not the whole story, but it is the best place to start.
Following upon this, we as a parish will be offering a period of Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, and fasting in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from 3pm to midnight on the First Tuesday of each month.
I myself commit to being present for the entire period and leading it each month.
The schedule will look like this:
3:00 pm ~ Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
4:00 pm ~ Holy Rosary: Joyful Mysteries
5:00 pm ~ Evening Prayer
6:00 pm ~ Angelus
7:00 pm ~ Holy Rosary: Luminous Mysteries
[7:00 pm ~ 8:30 pm: Confessions available]
8:00 pm ~ Holy Rosary: Sorrowful Mysteries
9:00 pm ~ Holy Rosary: Glorious Mysteries
10:00 pm ~ Night Prayer
11:00 pm ~ Office of Readings (anticipated)
12:00 midnight ~ Conclusion with simple reposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
So... why Tuesdays? The answer is that we first looked at Fridays, for obvious reasons. However, given that wedding rehearsals and other church-related events often take place on Friday evenings, the parish staff and I thought it would make more sense to do it on Tuesdays, since we already have Adoration and Confession every Tuesday evening.
I know that many people have never experienced Eucharistic Adoration and might even be a little intimidated by the thought of spending an extended period in silence and prayer.
For this reason, before this initiative begins, we will be inviting a few parishioners to share their experiences of Eucharistic Adoration, and how and why they have come to love spending quiet time with the Lord — together with tips on what to do and how to get started if it’s something you’ve never experienced before.
For now, let me leave you with these words of Pope Saint Paul VI, who served as Pope from 1963 to 1978, and who was canonized earlier this month by Pope Francis:
“Anyone who has a special devotion to the sacred Eucharist and who tries to repay Christ's infinite love for us with an eager and unselfish love of his own, will experience and fully understand — and this will bring great delight and benefit to his soul — just how precious is a life hidden with Christ in God and just how worthwhile it is to carry on a conversation with Christ, for there is nothing more consoling here on earth, and nothing more efficacious for progress along the paths of holiness.”
More to come.
God Bless You,
Father Joseph Marcello
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
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.