Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,
It's May already! The days are getting longer - it's finally light outside during the 6:30 AM Mass - and we're charging towards summer. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the spare limbs of the trees begin to fill with green leaves. It is a glorious time of the year, as creation shows forth the beauty and splendor of our Creator.
This weekend we rejoice with those children who will receive their First Holy Communion! They have been anticipating this encounter with our Eucharistic Lord for a long time and are eager to receive Him - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Through their joy and reverence, we are reminded of what an unimaginable gift this Sacrament is. St. Thomas Aquinas explains that while in the other sacraments we encounter Christ's grace through sacred objects such as water and oil, it is only in the Eucharist where we encounter not a sacred object, but the reason that those objects are sacred: the person of Jesus Christ. In this, it is the greatest Sacrament.
This is why we fast before receiving our Lord. This is why we genuflect before the tabernacle. This is why we bow our heads before receiving Him in the Eucharist. This is why we use precious metals in the sacred vessels and the tabernacle. This is why we come to kneel before the Lord in Adoration. The Eucharist is the greatest gift we will ever receive. Were we only to receive it once in our lives, we would have the joyful and reverent anticipation our children have this weekend because it would be the greatest event we would experience this side of heaven.
However, the Lord loves us too much to only offer Himself to us as the Bread of Life once. Instead, He pours out this abundance on us by offering the Eucharist at every Mass. Unfortunately, this may lead to us taking for granted the divine gift, and losing our reverence, our reliance, and our love for Jesus Christ in this Blessed Sacrament. So let us pray that we may always treasure this glorious gift of our Catholic faith, and receive our Lord with pure and joyous hearts when we receive Him in the Eucharist. Let us pray for the same graces for our children who receive our Lord for the first time this weekend!
Beginning June 30th, we will be making a change to our weekly schedule in an effort to make weekday Mass and Confession more convenient and available. First, we will be adding a 12 noon Mass to our Monday schedule. We have already started doing this on federal holidays with positive results. I know that some people's schedules do not allow them to come to daily Mass in the morning, so hopefully, this provides a welcome opportunity for those who may be free during the lunch hour.
We will also be moving the Thursday night Confessions, devotions, and Mass to Wednesday night and shifting them later in the evening. The new Wednesday evening schedule begins with Adoration and Confessions in the main church at 7:00 PM. The rosary will begin at 7:15 PM, followed by Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament at 7:50 PM. Mass will begin at 8:00 PM. There will be no exposition after the 8:00 PM Mass.
Additionally, we will be adding an 11:45 AM Confession on Thursday to go along with the 11:45 AM Tuesday Confessions we added this year. This will extend our weekly Confession schedule to include Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Just a reminder that these take effect on Wednesday, June 30. We will continue to remind everyone and keep you all posted.
One final announcement is that on Mother's Day, May 9, we will have our annual Parish Special Needs Collection as the second collection. This year the money donated will be used for the speakers for our improved sound system, new picnic tables for the fire pit area by the playground, and replacing our sidewalks, which will be the most costly of these projects. I thank you for your continued generosity!
Be assured of my prayers for you and your families. Please continue to pray for me. May we allow our Savior to transform us with His grace, that we may know the fullness of life!