For at least the past year, if not longer, I have spoken to Lynn Thomas, a mother who had deep concerns about her son who has been struggling with addiction for some time. We would talk in hopes of his recovery and I would assure her of my prayers for him and for the family. Sadly the family lost Ben and we had his funeral here this past Thursday. He was 23. He is remembered as someone who always made others laugh & who helped others in their struggle despite his own. He liked others regardless of their past and discriminated against no one. While we all have our struggles in this life, the goodness of God can also be seen through us. Ben loved his family & they loved him. Please offer a prayer for him.
Part of our Parish Council discussion a couple weeks ago dealt with the possibility of participating in the Habitat for Humanity program where both funds and "man-power" (including "woman-power") are used to rehab a home that can be used by those who need proper shelter. I will be speaking to those in the SVDP & ARISE groups about this opportunity but also ask you to let me know of your possible interest in participating in this corporal work of mercy.
We have another opportunity to participate in the bodily acts of mercy this weekend in our Annual Catholic Charities Appeal. What I most appreciate about this organization (besides the fact that it's the largest charity organization in the world), is that I know that our contributions are used in the most responsible way possible. The needs of many are examined & then it is determined how much funding can be allocated to each outreach program. It's a most practical way of taking care of bodily needs from feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, and so on. But it also reaches out to the emotional & spiritual needs of others as well. We feed them not only with food but with love. We shelter them from the weather and from the storms of life. We cloth them with clothes and with dignity. "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers & sisters, you do for me."
Finally, this week begins the Lenten Time of the year with our celebration of Ash Wednesday. We will have a School Mass at 8:30am (which all are always welcome to attend) and then Mass at 7pm as well. At Noon we will have a Prayer Service which will include the Liturgy of the Word followed by the distribution of ashes (Communion will not be distributed). Remember too that Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence. Wish me luck trying to explain to Michaela that that means, "No treats today."