Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Two of our long-time parishioners passed away last Saturday. Helen Hochanadel passed away around noon, and Mildred Hare passed away a few hours later. May Helen and Mildred rest in the peace of Christ, and may their families remain living memorials of these two souls.
For American Catholics, Monday is designated a day of reparation for unborn children whose lives have no legal protection. It is a day of prayer for the restoration of the legal right to life, and of penance for violations to human dignity committed through acts of abortion. The tens of millions of lives lost since the Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion-friendly decisions demonstrate what Pope Francis calls a “throwaway culture.” Let’s change it.
We have several special events coming up next month. If you have devotional candles to be blessed for the coming year, then please bring them with you to the 6:30 am or 8 am Mass on Thursday, February 2nd (Candlemas Day). Some of these candles are used the following day for the Saint Blaise Blessing of Throats. Saturday, February 11th is World Day of the Sick, and so we will celebrate a special Mass for the sick and their caregivers that morning at 8 am. February 12th is World Marriage Day, and so we will administer a special blessed to all our married couples attending Mass.
Looking ahead to Lent, Ash Wednesday is March 1st, and we will bless and impose ashes at the 6:30 am, 8 am, 12:10 pm, 6 pm Masses. Our Penance Service will be Thursday, March 2nd at 7 pm, led by our Catholic Youth Organization. Stations of the Cross will be at 6 pm (led by parish groups), and in Spanish at 7 pm (led by priests and concluding with Benediction). Holy Week begins Monday, April 10th. That week, the Chrism Mass at our cathedral will be on Tuesday at 7:30 pm. Back here, Maundy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be at 7 pm, Good Friday Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion at 7 pm, and the Vigil of the Lord’s Resurrection on Holy Saturday at 8:15 pm. Easter Sunday follows the usual Sunday schedule.
As we prepare to move forward with our Home improvements, we need to select names for the renewed cafeteria and the new walking trail. If you have any suggestions, please write them down in the form of a signed letter of recommendation and bring/send it to the parish office. This spring, I will ask the Pastoral Council to select three of your suggestions for each project, and then we’ll conduct a parish-wide poll for the final decisions this summer.
If you wish to reserve a parish facility, then simply complete our updated Facility Use Request Form and carefully read our revised Facility Use Policy, both of which are available under the “Our Parish Home” tab at stmarysoakridge.org. If you have any questions about the form or the policy, then please feel free to contact our Parish Office during regular office hours, and a member of our staff will be happy to assist you.
Please be aware that three of our four driveways are now equipped with nighttime gates, which should help us address some recent security problems. Unless a scheduled event requires thee gates to remain open during the evening, they will usually be closed around 7 pm daily, and opened around 7 am. The main entrance has no gates and is always accessible, even at night. The gates were all donated and installed free of charge. On a related note, if you ever need to leave your car here overnight, simply ask our office staff for an overnight parking permit.