Pastor's Column

     There's a little black book that we made available (in limited number) to people on Ash Wednesday which offers some short reflections during Lent. It said that "around the world, under the old rules of Lenten fasting, cultural preferences and food availability affected what people could eat during Lent." Then it went on to give an example. In certain parts of the world, you were allowed to eat turtle and muskrat during Lent because years ago, early settlers in Michigan had convinced local Church authorities that muskrat was a water animal and not a land animal, which made it permissible to eat on Fridays of Lent. In 2014, the archbishop of New Orleans said that it was permissible to eat alligator meat because it's considered to be part of the fish family. Given this new-found information, I tried to get muskrat & alligator put on the menu for our Lenten Fish Fries here at St. Leo's, but I just couldn't get them to budge. I'd probably not eat here in protest, but the food is so good that I can't pass it up. So I strongly suggest you try our Fish Fry if you haven't yet this year, and I encourage you to request muskrat & alligator for next year. They won't listen to me but I'll bet they'll listen to you. 

    Just in case you did eat muskrat or alligator BEFORE you knew it was OK to on Friday's of Lent, we have a remedy for that called confession. As you know we have the Sacrament of Reconciliation available every Saturday from 2:45 until 3:30 and at any other time by request, but this Wednesday we have a special, diocesan-wide opportunity for you to receive the sacrament. Every Catholic parish in the diocese will have a priest or priests available to hear confessions this Wednesday, February 24th, from 5pm until 8pm. We tried this a couple of years ago & so many took advantage of it that the Diocese has decided to make it an annual opportunity. Fr. Vesely & I will be available in the reconciliation rooms by the chapel area here at St. Leo's on Wednesday, but you can go to any other Catholic Church as well if it's closer to where you live or work. Take advantage of God's free gift of forgiveness, especially during this Holy Year of Mercy.

    Please pray too for Becky Dolly who had surgery for a brain aneurism. Gratefully this risky surgery was successful & she is now recuperating. May she have a speedy recovery.