Happy Easter! It is still Easter. For us Catholics, Easter is a 50-day reflection on the death and resurrection of the Lord. This is so great a mystery that we spend 50 day – Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday – to explore more deeply what it means to our lives and our community that Jesus has risen from the dead.
In the weeks ahead, I will give a Bible Study on the gospel stories that focus on the resurrection of the Lord. My plan is to do short presentations that will be uploaded to our YouTube channel. We will provide links to these presentations on our parish website and here in the email newsletter. This will supplement in a more didactic way what you will hear in the homilies of our priests throughout this Easter season.
This is a new venture for me but it seems easy enough. Perhaps I will get brave and try something more interactive – but no promises on that. So stay tuned for the first presentation this week.
Easter Sunday is the greatest of all Sundays, and every Sunday of the year is a “little Easter.” Likewise, Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical seasons. Easter is the celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. There are 50 days of Eastertide extending from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of glorified life and the victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian: Alleluia! All faith flows from faith in the resurrection: St Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith.” (1 Cor 15:14)
Two solemnities of the Church’s liturgical year are extended to a full octave (eight days). These are Christmas (December 25 to January 1) and Easter. The octave of Easter comprises the eight days which stretch from Easter Day to the second Sunday of Easter. It is a way of prolonging the joy of the initial day. In a sense, every day of the Octave is like a little Sunday.
The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East." The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ. It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time, and it is lit for all liturgical celebrations.
In compliance with the guidelines for social distancing, our parish has temporarily suspended the regularly scheduled times for confessions on Saturday afternoon. This decision is also in consideration of the fact that all of our priests are in that age group which is considered “a vulnerable population.” I am sure that no one wants to see our priests get sick.
In case of a genuine emergency, you may call the office and tell the answering service that you have an emergency. Otherwise, even in cases of mortal sin, please follow the advice given by our Holy Father, Pope Francis in a recent homily in the chapel of Santa Marta:
Do what the Catechism says, it’s very clear: if there is not a priest to hear your Confession, talk with God, He is your Father, and tell Him the truth: “Lord, I’ve done this, and that, and that . . . I’m sorry,” and ask Him for forgiveness with all your heart, with the Act of Contrition and promise Him: “Afterwards I will go to Confession, but forgive me now.”
If you do all this, Pope Francis said, you will return to God’s grace immediately. As the Catechism teaches, you yourself can approach God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand. Think: it’s the moment! And this is the right moment, the opportune moment. An Act of Contrition well made will make our soul become white as snow.
Thinking of the parable of the Prodigal son, the Pope encouraged: It would be good if today this “return” resounded in our ears, “return to your Papa, return to your Father.” He is waiting for you and He will celebrate with you.”
Due to tighter restrictions put into place by the County of San Diego, we will have to make some changes in the way the parish operates.
Since a parish office is not considered an essential service, we will have to close the parish office effective immediately.
In case of an emergency, you can always reach us by phone. We will be checking regularly for messages and respond as soon as possible. If need be, the answering service can get in touch with one of our priests quickly.
Even though we are not an essential service, churches have been given an exemption to record or livestream Masses with only the essential ministers present. So our popular daily and Sunday Masses will continue.
Since our staff are continuing to work from home, we will continue to produce our newsletter twice a week and keep our website up to date. Our religious education, youth ministry, school, RCIA and other ministries will continue to operate through various technological links and social media.
I don’t want to close the church but the requirements for sanitation of the interior of our very large building are putting a strain on our maintenance staff. So instead of closing the church, I find it necessary to reduce the number of hours a day that our church can remain open.
Effective immediately, our church will be open 7:00-11:00 am, seven days a week. However the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe is closed.
A Golden Priest
On April 11, 1970, William F. Rowland, CJM was ordained a Catholic priest in his native city of Buffalo, NY. We rejoice with Fr. Bill as he celebrates 50 years as a Eudist priest. We thank God for calling this dedicated son of God to share in the ministerial priest, serving Christ and His Church. We are especially grateful that Fr. Bill has accepted the call to serve for more than 14 years at St. Patrick Catholic Community in Carlsbad.
You can be sure that we will have a special celebration to mark this golden anniversary. As soon as it is prudent and convenient, we will have a parish Mass and reception to honor this generous and faithful servant of God.
If you have other members of your family or your friends who would like to be on our email list, just let me know or write to Mary McLain at firstname.lastname@example.orgWe will be pleased to add them.
We have opened a YouTube channel where we have daily and Sunday Masses posted for the parish called St Patrick Church Carlsbad that you can subscribe to.
The first community of Christians grows as its members meet to pray and break bread.
God’s love is everlasting.
1 Peter 1:3-9
We have new hope because of Jesus’ Resurrection.
Thomas believes because he sees Jesus.
Background on the Gospel Reading
The Gospels tell us that Jesus appeared to the disciples on several occasions after they discovered that his tomb was empty. Part of the mystery of Jesus’ Resurrection is that he appeared to his disciples not as a spirit but in bodily form. The bodily form was not one that the disciples recognized though. In John’s Gospel, Mary of Magdala does not recognize that the figure standing before her is Jesus until he speaks to her. In Luke’s Gospel the disciples who meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus do not recognize him until he breaks bread with them. The resurrected Jesus had a physical presence, but the disciples couldn’t recognize Jesus unless he allowed them to. His resurrected body, nonetheless, showed the marks of his crucifixion.
From readings such as today’s Gospel, we also see that in his resurrected body, Jesus seems to be free of physical constraints. He appears to the disciples despite the fact that the doors were locked.
Jesus greets his disciples with the gift of peace and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In doing so, Jesus commissions his disciples to continue the work that he has begun: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” During the meeting, Jesus also shows the integral connection between forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The story of Thomas illustrates our Christian experience today: We are called to believe without seeing. In fact, all Christians after the first witnesses have been called to believe without seeing. Thomas’s doubt is hardly surprising; the news of Jesus’ appearance was incredible to the disciples who had seen him crucified and buried. Thomas’s human nature compelled him to want hard evidence that the Jesus who appeared to the disciples after his death was indeed the same Jesus who had been crucified. Thomas is given the opportunity to act on that desire. He is our witness that Jesus is really risen.
Our faith is based on the witness of the Church that has preceded us, beginning with Thomas and the first disciples. Through Baptism we receive the same Holy Spirit that Jesus brought to the first disciples. We are among those who are “blessed” because we believe without having seen.
During his Easter Vigil homily, Pope Francis compared the silence of the tomb on Holy Saturday to what the world is experiencing due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Pointing to the women in the day’s Gospel reading who are preparing oils to anoint Jesus’s body at the tomb, the pope said that “They, like us, had before their eyes the drama of suffering, of an unexpected tragedy that happened all too suddenly.”
“They had seen death and it weighed on their hearts,” he said. “Pain was mixed with fear: would they suffer the same fate as the Master? Then too there was fear about the future and all that would need to be rebuilt.”
“For them, as for us, it was the darkest hour,” he said. Yet when they arrived at the tomb and found it already opened, the angel who appeared told them “do not be afraid.”
“This is the message of hope,” the pope said, adding that it is not just for the women in the Gospel, but “It is addressed to us, today. These are the words that God repeats to us this very night.”
I realize that some of you are experiencing budget problems of your own at this time and I am not asking to cut yourself short. But please keep in mind the needs of our parish during these uncertain times.
Those of you who use weekly offertory envelopes, please enclose your giving into the special mailing envelope that comes in your packet
Many of you pay your bills using online banking bill pay, you can choose St. Patrick Church to receive donations to Sunday Collection this way
An email and text scam exists within our diocese where an email or text supposedly from Fr. Ron or from a clergy member of the parish requests gift cards or other favors from parishioners and parish staff. Please delete these emails and block the texts immediately as such a request will never come from the parish through an email or text.
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