The holy season of Lent is upon us. We begin the journey toward Easter with the acceptance of ashes as a sign, more for ourselves, that we are sinners in need of redemption. We continue the journey seeking a conversion of heart where a hardened heart goes through sacrifices, spirituality and discipline in order to recreate our hearts like the gentle and humble Heart of Christ.
Our journey of forty days (not counting Sundays to Holy Thursday) comes to the climax of the Triduum when we celebrate Christ's death, burial and resurrection. This is our highest feast days because we partake of the saving passage from death to Life that Jesus won for us. Without His death on the cross, we would not be saved. Without His glorious Resurrection, Jesus would just be another prophet and not the Messiah.
Easter is a celebration when we recall our redemption from sin by Christ and share in the great expectation of Resurrection. Take advantage of this holy season and be truly prepared to be renewed in the Lord.
Always in Jesus,
Father Joe Piekarski (Pastor)
The forty days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday, February 18th and continue to Holy Thursday (April 2nd this year).
Within this discipline of Lent lies the opportunity to make efforts to recognize our shortcomings and sins and to meditate on ways to eliminate evil and fill our lives with saving grace.
The Church always recommends three disciplines that advance the spiritual life of a Christian.
Prayer is essential. Perhaps Daily Mass, Stations of the Cross, Visitations to the Blessed Sacrament and of course the Sacrament of Reconciliation and private prayer are ways that can make a person closer in his/her relationship with Our Lord.
Fasting is the second discipline. Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting as explained by the U.S. bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.
Alms giving is the third discipline whereby the penitent makes sacrifices so others may benefit…such as Project Rice Bowl that helps the hungry throughout the world, or our own St. Vincent de Paul Society or LRAC…where the poor are helped
Sustaining Hope for the Future Campaign.
It is still not too late to make a pledge and contribution to the Diocesan Campaign that seeks to rebuild the retirement fund of Diocesan priests and employees (e.g. teachers, parish staff). Our parish has met 96% of our total goal set by the Diocese of Wilmington. Of the money collected, 40% comes back to our parish. We already did two of our three major projects that were proposed from this campaign for our parish. The church sidewalks were replaced as well as the gutters installed on the Education Building.
Presently, we are going through two bids from two stained glass contractors to repair the louvers of our beautiful stained glass windows in church. Nearly seventy- years old, these European windows are generally in very good condition, despite the beach weather. The louver parts are what needs to be repaired and this was evident with the high winds and frigid temperatures which we experienced these past weeks when the louvers leaked cold air. We need better seals. Of course this takes expertise and this is always costly. For example, when we were repairing the stained glass in my home parish, in Wilmington in 1994, one large transit window repair cost $90,000. That is what the entire church and rectory cost to build in 1904.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Sustaining Hope for the Future Campaign.
Father Joe and Campaign Committee
Daily Mass: 8:30 a.m. (Mon. - Sat. year round)
Saturday Evening (Church): 4:00 p.m. (year round)
Sunday (Church): 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m. (year round)
Ash Wednesday Masses with Distribution of Ashes, Feb 18 (Church): 8:30 a.m., 12:00 noon, 5:30 p. m., and 7:00 p.m.
Our summer 5:30 PM Saturday Mass is in need of usher help. The usher duties consist of seating parishioners and guests, taking the offertory collections, and directing parishioners and guests for Communion. If you are able to help in this ministry, please contact Ed Holley at 302 945 3316 or the Parish Office at 302 227 4550 to volunteer for this need.