As we enter into Holy Week next week, we enter into what my high school tennis coach called “the Super Bowl of the Church.” Perhaps that phrase is a bit casual to describe the solemn events we will be entering into, but it does capture the fact that these events, namely the Last Supper, Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection, are the most sacred days of the year. In fact, they comprise the most essential elements of our Catholic faith. On Holy Thursday, we celebrate Jesus instituting the Eucharist not only as his abiding presence among us for the rest of time, but also as our strongest source of nourishment in our struggle against sin and our striving for virtue. On Good Friday, we immerse ourselves into Jesus’ immense love for us by suffering death for us on the Cross. On Easter, of course, we enter into the of Jesus’ resurrection as proof of his victory over sin and death on the Cross. Please consider attending some or all of the Holy Week ceremonies:
Holy Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00pm in Paulding
Good Friday Service: 1:00pm in Payne, followed by Stations of the Cross and the Divine Mercy Chaplet
Easter Vigil: 8:00pm in Antwerp
Easter Sunday: 8:30am Mass in Payne, 10:30 Mass in Paulding
Please note that we are not able to have our usual gathering after the Easter Vigil to congratulate the new members of the Church, due to COVID restrictions.
Please also note that the Chrism Mass on Tuesday of Holy Week at the Cathedral in Toledo will not be open to the public this year due to COVID restrictions and seating.
Please also consider joining me in our celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday (April 11). As this is the feast day of our parish, we will be commemorating the day with some afternoon liturgies. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at 1:00 in Paulding, as will our relic of St. Faustina. Under normal circumstances, relics are venerated with a kiss on the glass part of the reliquary. However, due to COVID, veneration of the relic will have to happen without touching the reliquary. Practically, this means that the relic will be visible throughout the afternoon, and therefore available for personal devotion. I will be hearing confessions from 1:00 until about 2:15. After confessions, we will have sung vespers at 2:30 in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. After vespers, we will be singing the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Following the Chaplet will be Benediction. Feel free to come for all of these events or only a few. This will be a wonderful way for us to celebrate our parish feast day- in the presence of Jesus, who is Divine Mercy in itself!
Blessings to you as we move closer to the celebrations of the Paschal Mystery,