My Dear Parishioners,
Next week we will be celebrating our annual Triduum to St. Joseph. We invite all to join us for the 8:00 Morning Mass followed by some special prayers to St. Joseph on Monday, March 18th, Tuesday, March 19th (the actual feast of St. Joseph), and Wednesday, March 20th. By the way, since Tuesday is a Solemnity for the entire Church, it is valid to forgo whatever you have been fasting from as part of your Lenten repentance and celebrate the Holy Day, much as is permitted during the Sunday’s in Lent. So go ahead and enjoy your candy or your chocolate, just be sure to celebrate St. Joseph.
This weekend our second collection is taken up for the Solidarity Fund for Latin America. Archbishop Chaput wished the following letter to be published in conjunction with this appeal. I apologize for not including it in my column last week, in advance of the collection.
God Bless You,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Like many other places throughout the world, Latin American Catholics face many challenges as they strive to live and share their faith. Although the people are faith-filled, the needs in this region of the world are great and can often seem insurmountable. The distance in rural areas and deteriorated roads make it difficult for some communities to have Mass regularly. Language barriers and lack of resources make catechetical materials difficult to produce. We are called to share our faith with all, and this collection is a prophetic and bold way to do so.
In Cuba, in the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de la Habana, the Church is not present in many of the smaller or rural communities. For many years, there were no ministers and there was no mission house—not to mention a church building—to which the people could turn. The message of the Gospel could not spread, because there were very few messengers to share it and few places where people could go to hear it. But with your support, pastoral agents have received training to bring the Gospel to these areas and neighborhoods. Your support has helped bring people to the Church, through religious education and retreats, and the Church to the people, through evangelization efforts and the repair of church buildings. This has given them the hope and the joy of the Gospel.
The Collection for the Church in Latin America, through projects like these pastoral agents training programs, as well as catechesis programs, empowers the faithful of Latin America to deepen their faith and share it with each other and the world.
Our Archdiocese will take up this collection the weekend of March 9 and 10, 2019. Please be generous and take this opportunity to share your faith with the families of Latin America and the Caribbean. Your support will truly make a difference. Thank you and God bless you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.