February 18, 2021

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Josephine Bakhita Parish,
 
There are many things in life that call forth mixed feelings from ourselves. At the same time, we both want to do something and, yet are a bit reluctant to start out on that new road. For example, starting a different job or going to a new school or moving to a new town can call forth feelings of newness and even excitement, and, at the same time, there can be some fear and dread with the prospects of big changes.

It is common to experience the same feelings as we begin another Lenten Season. Especially this year. We all know that this is the time of year when we are asked to look closely at our lives for the purpose of renewing ourselves. When we think of Lent, we probably think of change---change for the better. Indeed, Lent is another word for springtime---a time of growth---a new life. And even though we usually want to change, we fear how difficult it may be.
 
Nature does not seem to have to worry about how to achieve this new growth. It just seems to happen. But with us it is quite different. We must be consciously involved in the change. It will not just happen on its own. Wouldn’t it be great if it could? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just sit back and wait for Lent to come each year, knowing that we would be automatically reset and renewed? But since that is not the case, how are we to go about this spiritual renewal of ourselves?
 
Well, there is a tried and tested method used for thousands of years. It is called prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three conditions of renewal are still as valid today as they were centuries ago.
 
Prayer leads to an awareness of where we need to change. This awareness then calls for putting away of negative elements in our behavior (we call that fasting). This in turn calls forth a new way of relating to others which is concretely expressed in almsgiving. Next week, in this column, I will explore and unpack the meaning and intention of these three Lenten elements of a formula for spiritual growth.

For a preview of all our Lenten Opportunities, Click Here.

Peace,

Fr. George Couturier
First Sunday of Lent
February 21, 2021
Saint Josephine Bakhita Parish will livestream the 9:00 AM & 11:00 AM Sunday Mass using Facebook Live. The livestream of the Mass can also be viewed on the front page of our website. The recordings remain available afterward on the Parish Facebook page. Join us!



To sign up to attend, Click Here.
For the Sunday Music, Click Here.
For the Sunday Readings, Click Here.
Daily Mass Schedule
Mondays at 8:30am at St. Elizabeth Seton
Tuesdays at 8:00am at St. James
Thursdays at 8:00am at St. James
Fridays at 8:30am at St. Elizabeth Seton
Lent Evening Prayer
Fr. George will livestream Evening Prayer on Monday-Friday at 5:00 PM on the parish Facebook Page and the website. All are welcome!
For a great reminder of what the Season of Lent is all about watch this video:
"Lent in 3 Minutes"
from our friends at BustedHalo.
Pray The Stations of the Cross this Lent
The Stations of the Cross invite us to use all our senses as we reflect prayerfully and walk intentionally with Jesus through his suffering, death on the cross and resurrection. Here are some of the ways available:
 
Pray The Stations of the Cross for Victims of Human Trafficking Virtually
Offered by the Office of Catholic Social Justice Ministry (OCSJM)
Friday, February 19 at 6:30pm
To register to attend, Click Here

Attend Stations of the Cross
Fridays at 5:30pm at St. James Church
 
Pray The Stations of the Cross with Fr. George Virtually
Available anytime on FaceBook & YouTube
 
Attend Family Stations of the Cross Virtually
Sunday, March 7
Livestream on FaceBook at 6:30pm and available after
Sorrowful Mysteries
of the Rosary
By meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, we accompany Jesus through his final twenty-four hours leading to his death on the cross. Pray the Rosary with Fr. George anytime on FaceBook and YouTube.
Reconciliation in Lent
Every Lent, all of the members of the Body of Christ are called to repentance. In response to Jesus' call to repentance and as an outward sign of metanoia, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation Monday evenings at 6:00pm at St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Lent Giving Opportunities
The Lenten practice of almsgiving calls us to a renewed commitment to charitable giving. Our annual parish Lent Giving Project will look different this year due to COVID restrictions but together we can make a huge difference in the lives of those served by our local agencies. We are collecting the following four items because they are in such high demand:
Breakfast Cereal
Granola Bars
Men’s & Women’s Underwear/Boxer Briefs
Men’s T-shirts (Size L & XL)

Donations can be dropped off at either church location:
St James Church: Father Shea Hall, Mon-Fri (9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) or before the masses at 4:00 or 11:00.
St Elizabeth Seton Church: Bins located in church entry, Mon - Fri (9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.) or before the Sunday mass at 9:00.

Contact Sandy Ambrose amb321@cox.net or Carl Bach abcb1922@yahoo.com.
Operation Rice Bowl is a program of Catholic Relief Services which raises money to help those in need throughout the world. Our parish will once again participate in this program, although in a more limited way this year, as a way to encounter Jesus through others - especially the most vulnerable. Rice bowls will be available in the church entries to pick up or you can use your imagination to create your own 'rice bowl' at home for your donations. At the end of Lent there will be a date to return your donations in the form of cash or check. Lenten alms donated through Operation Rice Bowl support the work of Catholic Relief Services in more than 100 different countries each year. CRS is helping families address the increased hardships of global hunger and malnutrition brought on by Covid-19 and several natural disasters. 25% of your donation remains in the Archdiocese to help alleviate hunger here. To learn more, Click here.
The Lenten Practice of Fasting & Abstinence
The Lenten practice of fasting is modeled on Jesus' forty days of fasting in the desert, the Gospel story always proclaimed on the First Sunday of Lent. Like Jesus, we fast during Lent as a reminder of our dependence on God. Through fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, we also align ourselves more closely with the needs of the hungry throughout our world. The tradition of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays allows us to walk in the shoes of the poor who can seldom afford meat for meals. As a gesture of solidarity, plan very simple, home cooked meals and set aside the money normally spent for food and drink on Fridays to give to a local food pantry or Operation Rice Bowl, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services. For creative suggestions for Lenten fasting, Click here.
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St. Josephine Bakhita Parish
767 Elm Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067