Bulletins (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for this week's and past weeks' bulletins.)

On this First Sunday of Lent, we recall that Jesus went into the desert in preparation for the work that He was about to begin. There He was tempted by Satan. St. Mark is very sparing of his details about the temptations. St. Matthew and St. Luke offer more specifics.

Each year the Church recalls the story of Jesus in the desert as a way of reminding us that Jesus was fully human. Like ourselves, Jesus was tempted to sidestep the will of the Father. This story encourages us to remain faithful even in the face of severe temptations. We are not animals who merely follow our instincts; we are humans who have the ability to choose what is good.

Because we are afflicted with divided hearts, we sometimes choose what is evil. During this holy season of Lent, we want to unite ourselves more securely with God and drink more fully of the Holy Spirit so that we have the wisdom, the right judgment, and the courage to choose what is good and to avoid what is evil.

I hope that each of us spends a little more time in prayer each day or makes our prayer a little more focused, so that Lent becomes a time of renewal for individuals and for our whole parish.

Next Sunday at our 10:30 a.m. Mass, Bishop Swain will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 29 young people who have completed their period of preparation. It has been a pleasure to be with our candidates through these past months. I hope you will join me in praying for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit Who will guide them throughout their lives.

This is a fairly small group of candidates, and we have a very large church, so seating really shouldn't be a problem. If you think the liturgy will be too long for small children, you might want to participate at 5 p.m. Saturday or 8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass.

Each Friday in Lent, we pray the Stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. in the Nave. This devotional prayer has a long history in the life of the Church, going all the way back to pilgrims who visited the sites of Jesus' last hours when they visited Jerusalem.

The Stations as we know them are often dated back to the time of St. Francis of Assisi, who wanted to provide visual images to help people get more in touch with the suffering and death of Jesus and the hope of resurrection. The Stations have a highly affective component as they help us meditate on the sufferings of Jesus.

When I was a child, our family typically prayed the Stations each Sunday afternoon at our parish church. The version of the Stations we used was much more graphic than the one we use today. It also had a component for inviting renewed commitment to Jesus at each Station. I'm sure these early memories are still part of my spiritual toolbox.

I hope that our families will participate at Stations of the Cross with their children at least once during Lent. The Knights of Columbus Fish Dinner afterward is also a great value. And then the Bishop Robert Barron DVD series on the capital sins and virtues is also excellent.

On Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. our adult formation group will resume with the second DVD on “Everyday Mysticism.” All are welcome.

CFSA commitment cards have been returning to our Parish Office at an encouraging rate. We are grateful to all those who have already responded to the Bishop's appeal. So far, we have about 100 cards returned with commitments of over $30,000.

Financial Report: Last weekend our Collection Counters found $7,532 in envelopes and $1981.83 in the loose offering, along with an average of $10,457.13 given online each week this month. We also received $3,200 in the Ash Wednesday collection. Thanks so much for your generosity.

A Stewardship Testimonial: "With the coming of Lent, I really do want to renew my relationship with Jesus."

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