May the peace of the Lord be with you and your families. These last weeks have been very challenging for all of us, and it does not appear that it will end soon. Our parish has tried to meet the challenge by developing creative ways of staying connected with our community.
I have been very encouraged by the number of people who have written to me- firstname.lastname@example.org to express their appreciation for the biweekly email newsletter and the daily
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 email@example.com We will be pleased to add them.
You can also find our Masses on this channel and we hope to eventually use it for other purposes. I encourage you to subscribe to our channel.
We will continue to record Masses for every day until it is safe for us to gather again in our church. This includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday (English and Spanish). At some future date, we will celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation for our catechumens and candidates. Likewise, whenever it is safe to gather, we will schedule our First Communions and Confirmation. In the meantime, we wait with eager hope and confident expectation.
Please let me know if you need help of any kind, especially if a loved one becomes seriously ill. In some cases (if permitted) one of the priests could visit, but in all cases we will add the person to our prayer list. If you know of someone who needs food or medicine, we can connect you to those who can help.
Let us continue to pray for one another and take care of one another. As everyone says, “we will get through this together,” but for us who hold onto our faith, we know that it is the Lord who helps us get through this together.
“Will I get my palms this year?” Catholics have a fascination with certain sacramentals. Blessed palms are one of those things that people make sure they get every year. As a sacramental, the purpose of blessed palms is to serve as a reminder. They are a sign (“little sacrament”) of a more important reality. They remind us of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. That event was the beginning of the Lord’s great gift of self that would culminate with his passion, death and resurrection. And so the blessed palms that we take home are a small reminder to us of the Paschal Mystery. Jesus, who entered Jerusalem acclaimed as a King, became the King of the Universe and reigns now in heaven.
One of my friends recently said to me, “I have to get my palms! How am I going to get them this year?” I told him, “No, you don’t have to get palms. It’s a custom, not a law.” Even though our parish will make blessed palms available (as I describe below), you do not have to feel any obligation to “get your palms.” This could be the year you do without palms. It does not change anything. We will save palms and you can ask for some after these restrictions on direct contact are lifted.
Therefore, I am not encouraging you to come and get your palms, but we are just making the opportunity available in a safe way.
Of greater importance, the Masses (both Spanish and English) for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion will be uploaded to our parish website. I encourage you to join in the celebration of the Mass there or through one of the many other Masses that are live streamed or prerecorded. Participating in the Mass, even from a distance, is more important than getting your palms.
For those who wish to receive their blessed palms now, rather than later, the priests of St. Patrick Parish will distribute the blessed palms on Palm Sunday morning April 5, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
However, please take note of the strict directions which must be followed for the safety of our parishioners as well as our priests.
Palms will be distributed by the priests who will be wearing gloves. Cars may enter only through the most north Adams Street driveway between "Ye Old Garage" and the Parish Hall (not into the main church entrance). Cars are asked to form two lines.
You will receive the palms as you drive through. Simply open the driver’s side window and the priest will hand you some palms. Do not come on foot or get out of your car. You will not be allowed to park in the parking lot.
Cars will exit onto Pio Pico Drive only.
The church and chapel will not be open that morning.
For those who would like to use this occasion to make your regular offering to the parish, there will be a basket where you may place your envelope, check or cash.
Do not linger or congregate anywhere on the property.
We have plenty of palms. There is no need to get here early. We will not run out. We would not want everybody to come at the same time.
These procedures need to be carefully followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone and good order on the streets surrounding the church. Thank you for carefully abiding by these directions.
John Paul II Stations of the Cross Need to be Promoted
By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion I notice that in churches built or renovated after Vatican II, the "scriptural" Stations of the Cross approved by Pope John Paul II in 1991 are rarely portrayed. Instead one finds the "traditional" order promulgated by ...
Here is a link to another virtual version of the Stations of the Cross. It is a bit more contemporary and relates the meditations to our world today. It is hosted by a very creative group called Busted Halo. The link will take you to their website where you can click on the stations one at a time, taking time for reflection after each station. It is interesting that the images of the Stations of the Cross are taken from the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
You might also want to explore other things this website has to offer.
A reflection from one of our Confirmation Youth Candidates
Each of us has had to find ways to deal with the “new normal” of so many restrictions on where we can go and what we can do. Yet we all know that it is necessary. I share with you the words of one of our young people, Ysabella, who just completed her first year of Confirmation prep. Her words are encouraging and inspirational for people of all ages.
Jesus enters Jerusalem as the crowd waves palm branches and shouts, "Hosanna!"
The Lord’s Servant will stand firm, even when persecuted.
A cry for help to the Lord in the face of evildoers
Christ was obedient even to death, and God has exalted him.
Jesus is crucified, and his body is placed in the tomb. (shorter form: Matthew 27:11-54)
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his way of the cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. Today’s liturgy begins with the procession with palms to remind us of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem.
The events of Jesus’ Passion are proclaimed in their entirety in today’s Liturgy of the Word. Those events will be proclaimed again when we celebrate the liturgies of the Triduum—Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil. In communities that celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation with catechumens, these liturgies take on special importance because they invite the catechumens and the community to enter together into the central mysteries of our faith. These days are indeed profound and holy.
In Cycle A, we read the Passion of Jesus as found in the Gospel of Matthew on Palm, or Passion, Sunday. (On Good Friday, we will read the Passion of Jesus from the Gospel of John). The story of Jesus’ Passion and death in Matthew’s Gospel focuses particularly on the obedience of Jesus to the will of his Father. As Jesus sends his disciples to prepare for Passover, he indicates that the events to come are the will of the Father (Matthew 26:18). In Jesus’ prayer in the garden, he prays three times to the Father to take away the cup of suffering, but each time, Jesus concludes by affirming his obedience to the Father’s will (Matthew 26:39-44). Even Matthew’s description of Jesus’ death shows Jesus’ obedience to the Father.
Another theme of Matthew’s Gospel is to show Jesus as the fulfillment of Scripture. Throughout the Passion narrative, Matthew cites and alludes to Scripture to show that the events of Jesus’ Passion and death are in accordance with all that was foretold. And if the events were foretold, then God is in control. In addition, Matthew is particularly concerned that the reader does not miss the fact that Jesus is the Suffering Servant of the Old Testament.
Jesus acts in obedience to the Father even in death, so that sins may be forgiven. Matthew makes this clear in the story of the Lord’s Supper. As Jesus blesses the chalice, he says: “. . . for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
While the Gospels of Matthew and Mark have many parallels in their narrative of the Passion, there are a few details worth noting that are unique to Matthew. Only Matthew indicates the price paid to Judas for betraying Jesus. The story of Judas’s death is also found only in Matthew, as is the detail that Pilate’s wife received a warning in a dream and that Pilate washed his hands of Jesus’ death. Finally, Matthew’s Gospel alone mentions the earthquakes and other phenomena that happened after Jesus’ death.
Matthew places the responsibility for Jesus’ death on the Sanhedrin, the chief priests and elders who were responsible for the Temple. However, the animosity that those Jewish leaders and the Jewish people demonstrate toward Jesus is not to be interpreted in ways that blame the Jewish people for Jesus’ death. Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, the narrative reflects the tension that probably existed between the early Christian community and their Jewish contemporaries. At the Second Vatican Council, the Council Fathers made clear that all sinners share responsibility for the suffering and death of Jesus and that it is wrong to place blame for Jesus’ Passion on the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus or on Jewish people today.
There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel, we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who betrays Jesus and comes to regret it. We are sometimes like Peter, who denies him, or like the disciples, who fell asleep during Jesus’ darkest hour but then act rashly and violently at his arrest. Sometimes we are like Simon, who is pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross. Sometimes we are like the leaders who fear Jesus or like Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the whole affair. Jesus dies so that our sins will be forgiven.
The events of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection are called the Paschal Mystery. No amount of study will exhaust or explain the depth of love that Jesus showed in offering this sacrifice for us. After we have examined and studied the stories we have received about these events, we are left with one final task—to meditate on these events and on the forgiveness that Jesus’ obedience won for us.
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Creo, Jesús mío,
que estás real
en el Santísimo Sacramento del Altar.
Te amo sobre todas las cosas
y deseo vivamente recibirte
dentro de mi alma,
pero no pudiendo hacerlo
ven al menos
espiritualmente a mi corazón.
Y como si ya te hubiese recibido,
te abrazo y me uno del todo a Ti.
Señor, no permitas que jamás me aparte de Ti. Amen
Going to Confession
Many Catholics celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of their annual Lenten purification. In our parish, we continue to make confession available on Saturdays at 3:00 pm. Our priests will observe the proper social distancing and we ask you to do the same. Our practice for hearing confessions at the church has changed: both priest and penitent will stand, maintaining a distance of six feet between them. However, some people cannot and should not come out even for receiving this sacrament.
People have asked me, “Father, do I need to go to confession during Lent?” Pope Francis has very good advice that he gave in a recent homily in the chapel of Santa Marta where he lives:
Do what the Catechism says, the Pope stressed, it’s very clear: if you don’t find 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.”
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
Friday April 3 is the First Friday of the month of April. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the main body of the church from 2:00 to 6:00pm. As always, please observe the appropriate social distancing.
During this time of inactivity, we will use our parish email system to communicate with parishioners to offer spiritual reflections and make announcements.
If you know someone who does not receive our emails, please forward this to them, or have them reply to this message to add their email address. You can also call the office at 760.729.2866.
The church is open for private prayer every day from 6:00am - 7:00pm