Lincoln, New Hampshire

Category: From the Pastor’s Desk (Page 1 of 20)

Hallmarks of the Lenten Season

The three hallmarks of the Lenten Season are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, but principally, the Church desires that each of us grows spiritually and experiences a reawakening of our relationship with God during this forty-day term of preparation that precedes the commemoration of the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection. 

In his Lenten message to the Catholic faithful, Pope Francis reminds us that we have already received God’s goodness and mercy when we were clothed with Christ on the day of our baptism.  On that day, original sin was washed away and we were reborn into the life and light of Christ.  The Holy Father describes Lent as a time for exploring the wonder and beauty of our baptismal calling to love God and to love neighbor. 

Following that Gospel mandate, I am grateful in a particular way for the generosity of the parishioners and the visitors to St. Joseph’s Church, and for the advice of the members of the Parish Outreach Committee.  In a spirit of Lenten almsgiving – and in accordance with stipulations of donors that their donations be earmarked for charitable assistance in the local community – awards will be forwarded to area individuals and families in need, but also to Haven Pregnancy Services, Lincoln-Woodstock Food Pantry, Linwood Ambulance Services, and VET’s REST STOP, a North Woodstock agency that provides shelter and mental-health counseling services to veterans in our neighborhood.  Each of these entities performs charitable activities that foster Christian healing, growth, and awareness. 

Finally, Lent is not intended as a time to make us feel disheartened about spiritual shortcomings in our lives, but rather constitutes a call to overcome self-centeredness and what Pope Francis terms “indifference to God and others.”  Ideally, Lent reminds us of our need for God’s grace in our lives and to be aware of His presence and availability to us and to everyone each and every day.

Hallmarks of the Lenten Season

The three hallmarks of the Lenten Season are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, but principally, the Church desires that each of us grows spiritually and experiences a reawakening of our relationship with God during this forty-day term of preparation that precedes the commemoration of the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection. 

In his Lenten message to the Catholic faithful, Pope Francis reminds us that we have already received God’s goodness and mercy when we were clothed with Christ on the day of our baptism.  On that day, original sin was washed away and we were reborn into the life and light of Christ.  The Holy Father describes Lent as a time for exploring the wonder and beauty of our baptismal calling to love God and to love neighbor. 

Following that Gospel mandate, I am grateful in a particular way for the generosity of the parishioners and the visitors to St. Joseph’s Church, and for the advice of the members of the Parish Outreach Committee.  In a spirit of Lenten almsgiving – and in accordance with stipulations of donors that their donations be earmarked for charitable assistance in the local community – awards will be forwarded to area individuals and families in need, but also to Haven Pregnancy Services, Lincoln-Woodstock Food Pantry, Linwood Ambulance Services, and VET’s REST STOP, a North Woodstock agency that provides shelter and mental-health counseling services to veterans in our neighborhood.  Each of these entities performs charitable activities that foster Christian healing, growth, and awareness. 

Finally, Lent is not intended as a time to make us feel disheartened about spiritual shortcomings in our lives, but rather constitutes a call to overcome self-centeredness and what Pope Francis terms “indifference to God and others.”  Ideally, Lent reminds us of our need for God’s grace in our lives and to be aware of His presence and availability to us and to everyone each and every day.

Lent: A Season of Prayer

Lent is a 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting. We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully. We recall the waters of baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.

Continue reading: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year-and-calendar/lent

World Marriage Day

World Marriage Day began in 1983 and is celebrated every second Sunday of February in dioceses across the United States and beyond. This year, Valentine’s Day, February 14, coincides with World Marriage Day; the first observance honors romantic love and the second the even more romantic idea of lifelong commitment and fidelity.  In any pleasure-oriented culture, it is essential to proclaim that merely romantic love is not the pinnacle of human happiness.  World Marriage Day redirects us to the truth that healthy romance leads to marriage, and that marriage leads to families that are domestic churches that form souls for Christ, ultimately bringing them to heaven. 

This celebration of sacramental marriages, however, does not emphasize marriage to the detriment of other vocations.  Its founders explain that World Marriage Day “proclaims the value of Marriage and Holy Orders in the Church and in the world,” and extols the call to single, celibate life, too.  Every Christian is called to support each other in their respective Spirit-inspired vocations, but the purpose of World Marriage Day is to highlight the beauty of marriage and to honor husbands and wives for their faithfulness and sacrifices – those married couples among us now, widows and widowers among us, as well as those married couples who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. 

With prayerful best wishes,

Fr. John Mahoney

Lent

Is it Lent already? Yes, almost, which means another season of opportunity to grow in faith. Consider how you might wisely spend the next 40 days by focusing on one thing in your life that needs to change. Try a new spin on the traditional practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Prayer can be engaged in many ways: with words, silence, contemplation of Sacred Scripture—or taking a rosary walk or the Stations of the Cross for the spiritually fidgety. You can “fast” from more than food: Give up media distractions or idle gossip. Alms can be paid out in other than dollar bills: Offer your time to the lonely, your love to a child.  

Holy Mass and sprinkling of ashes will be celebrated on Ash Wednesday, February 17, at 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.  

The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for Adoration on the Wednesdays of Lent from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Stations of the Cross will be prayed on the Fridays of Lent at 5:00 P.M.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated on Saturdays from 3:45 P.M. to 4:15 P.M.

St. Joseph’s Liturgy Committee is offering a number of Lenten prayer guides for use by adults and children.  They are available at the exits of the church.  

With prayerful best wishes for a holy and fruitful Lenten Season,

Fr. John Mahoney 

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