My dear Parish Family,
Holy Week is fast approaching, beginning with Palm Sunday next weekend, commemorating the Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. During Holy Week, Christians commemorate the Passion of Christ who died on Good Friday in reparation for our sins and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday to give the promise of new and eternal life to all who believe. Thus, while Holy Week is solemn and sorrowful, it also anticipates the joy of Easter through the recognition of God’s great goodness in sending His Son to die for our salvation. These are truly high holy days of our Catholic faith and tradition. It is a special time when we are invited to reflect upon and celebrate the fact that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I sincerely hope that you will participate in the liturgies of Holy Week here in our parish. I also encourage you to invite family members and friends to join you who may have been away from God and the Church for any reason. It is a beautiful time to return to God and the Church through the grace of the Sacraments. Please note the schedule of Masses and Services for Holy Week in this bulletin. Also please note there are no morning Masses during the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday). However, this year we will once again honor the tradition that has been part of the Church for many years with the commemoration of Tenebrae (Divine Office – Morning Prayer of the Church). All are invited to come and join us for Morning Prayer, which will be held at St. Bernard Church at 9:00 a.m. on the mornings of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
One of the best ways to prepare for Easter “New Life” is to make a good confession. Please do not be afraid to go to confession no matter how many years it has been. It is a sacrament of healing which gives us the grace to grow in our faith, hope and love. In addition to Saturday afternoons at both worship sites, confessions will be heard on Friday evening, March 23 from 5:45—6:45 p.m. at St. Peter’s worship site. There is also the Western Niagara Vicariate Penance Service to be held at the Prince of Peace Worship Site of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. A number of Confessors will be available. Please join us for this special evening of healing and reconciliation. You will feel so much better as you experience God’s unconditional love and mercy!
Finally, Bishop Malone has announced that as of Palm Sunday, March 25, the distribution of the Precious Blood for the faithful can be reinstated and the exchange of the Sign of Peace can be offered as usual. However, people should not shake hands or drink from the cup if they have flu symptoms. Bishop Malone has asked that I extend gratitude to our parishioners for your cooperation with the previous directives that were put in place on January 22, 2018 and which now have been lifted.
May God bless you as we journey together toward Holy Week and Easter! Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy St. Joseph’s Day!