Liturgical Season of Ordinary Time

My Dear Parishioners,

We began the Liturgical Season known as Ordinary Time this past Tuesday. The Universal Norms for the General Instruction of the Roman Missal states: “Besides the times of the year that have their own distinctive character, there remains in the yearly cycle thirty-three or thirty-four weeks in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated, but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as Ordinary Time.

While we say goodbye to the Christmas decorations, we will try to keep the Poinsettias going for as long as possible, please feel free to take home with you any plants that are placed in the back hallway (by the crucifix). Again, I want to thank Carla Venditti and Karen Baranowski for watering the flowers throughout this entire time; it is a large task and they have been very generous with their time. Thank you also to all those who memorialized a loved one on the Christmas Decorations envelope, your support helped to make our celebrations special.

This past week 16 of our young people celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the very first time. Please keep them in your prayers as they come to experience the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus. They will now focus on the Spring when they will be receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time. Hopefully, we will see their reception of this sacrament as a reminder that we all need to stay close to the Lord, and that whenever we have placed an obstacle in our relationship with God, He gives us the opportunity to have that obstacle removed.

At the start of a new calendar year, every parish is asked to make a Pastoral report to the Archdiocese, and ultimately to the Church in Rome on a variety of Pastoral Issues such as the numbers of parishioners, attendance at Mass, Social Ministries offered, religious education (school and CCD), devotions, sacraments and sacramental prep programs administered during the previous year. These reports are compiled every year. We are now in the process of compiling that report.

This week we join with Christians throughout the world in celebrating a week of Christian Unity from January 18-25th. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) has a history of over 100 years, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)

In preparation for the WPCU, ecumenical partners in a particular region were asked to prepare a basic text on a biblical theme. Then an international group organized through the World Council of Churches (WCC) and The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity edited this text, which was jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and WCC, through their Commission on Faith and Order. The WCC accompanied the entire production process of the text. The final material was sent to member churches and Roman Catholic dioceses, and they were invited to translate the text and contextualize it for their own use.

The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2024 was selected by the Pontifical Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, the World Council of Churches, and the Christian Churches in Burkina Faso, coordinated by the community of Chemin Neuf, a French Catholic and ecumenical community of vowed and lay people and its local community in Burkina Faso.

The theme is “You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself.”

(Luke 10:27) taken from the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, reflects the connection between love of God and love of neighbor with a particular concern for challenging the boundaries of who is considered “neighbor.” In this pericope, Jesus is questioned as to the path to eternal life. His answer is not to only observe the commandments, but to also imitate the love of God in the giving of self for another. It is a call for charity, mercy, justice, and unity. Here is an example of a prayer for Christian Unity:

We pray, O gracious Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that we all may be one as you are one. In your community of complete unity, we have our beginning and our end. To you we pray, asking for the gift of visible unity among all who believe in your Christ.

As we commemorate this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we are reminded by your Word that all human beings are our neighbors and that we are to love them like ourselves and in the same way we love you. Help us to overcome the barriers and divisions we have nurtured against your will.

Grant to us, O Lord, a new Spirit of love and solidarity, that we may proclaim your good news to all of creation. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirt are one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May God Bless You,
Fr. Bordonaro