Unlike baseball, our Lenten spring training at St. Anthony's focuses on the spiritual rather than the physical. No major league baseball team would consider just heading into the regular season without carving out time to prepare for opening day. The wisdom of the Catholic church recognizes the need for us to prepare each year for our opening day on Easter.
Spiritual Batting Practice = The Power and Grace of the Seven Sacraments
Beginning this Tuesday, March 12 and continuing for the next three Tuesday evenings, we will meet for what I will call spiritual batting practice. The sacraments are our way as Catholics of getting "on base" in our relationship with Jesus. Just as a "hitter" develops bad swinging habits, we can become complacent and "take our eye off the ball." This adult faith formation program will help us to re-focus our attention on the sacraments and the small group discussions will reaquiant us with the faithful teammates that surround us.
The "Rookies" = Welcoming New Catholics to Our Team
Every spring training we get excited to see the new "rookies" take the field. They inspire the "older players." We at St. Anthony's look forward to welcoming a wonderful group of men and women to the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. In the coming weeks, you will see them at Mass. You will have opportunities to pray for them. You will be able to write notes of encouragement. Please help us welcome the following persons who will be sent to meet with Bishop Zinkula in Iowa City this Sunday.
Practice Makes Perfect = Carving Out Time for Prayer
Baseball players get better through practice. Any athlete of any sport will tell you that practice makes perfect. Carving out more time for prayer is key to our experiencing improvement in our faith lives at Easter.
If you are "hit and miss" in going to Sunday Mass, go every week. If you go to Sunday Mass every week, go to a weekday Mass once week. Weekly confessions are heard at St. Anthony's on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. Our parish communal penance service will be Saturday, March 30 at 10 a.m. Pray the Stations of the Cross every Friday before the 12:05 p.m. Mass. Pray through music at our Palm Sunday Concert at 3 p.m. Pray through service by coming to our next Church Work Day on March 23 at 9 a.m. Pray through donations to McAnthony Window. The opportunities to practice are endless.
What Kind of Season Can We Expect from the Cubs?
I'm not going to say. Truth be told, I'm a die heart Cincinnati Reds fan. What I will predict is that our "game day" peformance at Easter and throughout the rest of the year will be determined by our Lent!