Pastor Letter | February 14
Dear St. Joseph Parish Family,
St. Valentine's Day
! Enjoy today, especially as we are about to enter Lent today can be a kind of early Mardi Gras, or celebration prior to Lent. If you're looking for somewhere to go consider
Monte's Italian restaurant
on MacDougal St. – they are parishioners at St. Joe's and cater our parish events, and they serve great food! St. Valentine himself is a 3rd-century bishop and martyr and he became a symbol of courtly love in the middle ages. Not much is known for certain about his life, and in 1969 he was removed from the general Roman calendar, meaning that the Church no longer officially celebrates St. Valentine unless a church is dedicated to him.
This Wednesday is
, the beginning of Lent. On Ash Wednesday St. Joseph's will have
Masses (with ashes) at: 8 am, 12:10 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm
. The latter two Masses will also have music. Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but we encourage you to attend.
In addition, St. Joseph's will celebrate the
Stations of the Cross at 7 pm every Friday
During Lent, the entire Church takes on common
. All Catholics aged 18-59 are called to
abstain from meat every Friday in Lent
, and to
fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
. Meat does not include fish and fasting means one full meal plus up to two snacks, if needed, that if combined do not constitute a second full meal. We are called to do
some form of penance every Friday of the year
, but during Lent, we are also called to abstain from meat every Friday and Ash Wednesday.
In addition to the common penances undertaken by the entire Church, everyone should take on
additional personal penances
. Penance is not primarily meant to be a source of suffering or pain, but instead,
a means to open ourselves to hear God
. Pray about what prevents you from hearing God's voice in your daily life and choose penances that help you hear God again by removing those obstacles. Fasting from social media, or news, or alcohol, etc. are good ways to open up space in our souls to hear God more clearly.
You can choose a
that your whole family practices together in addition to personal penances and the common penances of the whole Church. Such family practices can help build solidarity within a family and lead to a coming together through teamwork on a common spiritual goal. You could pray a rosary (or a part of a rosary) together every day or attend the Friday 7 pm stations of the cross together as a family.
God offers us a lot of grace during the Lenten season– take advantage of what God wants to give you this Lent!
on Sunday, February 14 at 10:00AM