This weekend we have our annual Catholic Charities Appeal. In a society where religion and faith no longer are at the heart of most families and are often criticized (sometimes rightly, oftentimes unfairly) for not always being pure in the love of God and neighbor, this is one area where the Church really shines: in her outreach to the poor. What I most appre- ciate about Catholic Charities is that it is an organization that helps so many people of various ages, backgrounds & faiths and does so in many different ways. When we contribute to this most worthy cause, we are helping God’s children, our brothers & sisters, in a very concrete way. We are living the Gospel and loving our neighbor in imitation of Jesus himself. I am never hesitant to call on your help on this Catholic Charities weekend because I know you will be as generous (or even more) as you have been in the past. Every year we seem to reach or exceed the goal that is given to us by the Diocese (based upon our annual collections and the amount we have been able to pledge in the past). I believe you are very much aware of what Catholic Charities is and how far reaching it is in it’s charity toward others, so I keep the request for your help brief, knowing that if you wish more information on how and where and whom it helps, that is available to you in abundance through literature available to you in the church as well as on our website (leothegreat.org) or the diocesan website (dioceseofcleveland.org). Thank you in advance for your sacrifice this year. May we be confident that our giving will be a great blessing to the many who are helped by our charitable work.
It is good timing that our Catholic Charities Appeal weekend introduces us to the first few days of Lent with Ash Wednesday on February 14th. We will have a parish school Mass at 8:30am and a Mass at 7pm. Ashes will be distributed during these liturgies as a sign of our repentance and hope for conversion.
Also this Friday we begin our Fish Fry’s in Lux Hall which begin at 4:30pm and end at 7:00pm. It’s always a great opportunity not only to share in an enjoyable meatless meal but also in the fellowship of other parishioners & friends who come to join us. After the Fish Fry you are encouraged to join us for the Stations of the Cross at 7pm in the church. These prayers help us to walk the path of Jesus to Calvary so that we can unite our sufferings with his and draw strength from his example.
Finally, please mark your calendar for our diocesan-wide Evening of Confession which will be on Wednesday, February 28th this year, as always from 5pm until 8pm. All Catholic churches in the diocese will be open for the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be celebrated.