Our Mission Statement at Most Holy Redeemer
Most Holy Redeemer Parish is a Christian Community in the Roman Catholic tradition. The parish draws people from isolation to community, from searching to awakening, from indifference to concern, from selfishness to meaningful service, from fear in the midst of adversity to faith and hope in God.
The community of Most Holy Redeemer shares God’s compassionate love with all people. The parish offers a spiritual home to all: senior citizens and youth; single people and families; those who are straight, gay, lesbian, and transgendered; the healthy and the sick, particularly persons with HIV disease.
As a parish community, we celebrate God’s loving presence in our lives. In worship and sacrament, especially the Eucharist, we are nurtured and challenged to extend God’s kingdom of justice, truth, love and peace by growing in the spirit of Jesus, the Most Holy Redeemer.
Most Holy Redeemer is once again holding a Lenten school supplies donation drive to support our partner, St. James Catholic School. We will begin taking donations during the weekend Masses on Saturday and Sunday, February 21st and 22nd.
Fr. Matt’s Weekly Message
So, it’s the first Sunday of Lent and we call out, “Change our hearts!” Our faith tradition encourages us in the practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I lovingly think that we are a funny lot, we Roman Catholics. We approach this season of Lent with such a wide range of thoughts and emotions.
A few that I’ve heard and experienced – Good, Old Catholic Guilt.
Guilt. Why guilt? We associate Lent with giving something up. Maybe you’ve never had the best of luck at that. And now you’re wondering what you can give up so that when Easter arrives you’ll feel good about how you spent Lent.
Apprehension. Maybe this Lent you’ve decided to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You know you’ll feel better after going, but it’s been a while, and it’s hard to take that step and you’re feeling apprehensive.
Apathy. Maybe you don’t feel anything at all; kinda apathetic about the whole thing. You don’t feel like anything really different is going to happen in your life during this season, so whether or not it is Lent doesn’t make much of a difference. Why bother?
A lot of folks are feeling pretty happy that Lent has arrived. They look forward to this season because for them it is like being on an extended retreat. It’s a nice time to take a closer look at life. A good opportunity to spend a bit more time in prayer or reading a good spiritual book, make it to church a few extra times. The practice of mindfulness has gotten a lot of good press and Lent might be a good time to check it out. Or maybe Lent is offering an invitation to just slow down your normal routine and take a closer look at how you are doing in your faith journey. Our Lenten practices, good in themselves, are simply ways of opening ourselves to God’s transforming grace, the only thing that can truly transform us. After all, “Penance does not turn people into Christians,” as Jesuit Fr. Robert Taft says.
Lent can be an opportunity for inner renewal, a time of growth, a time to challenge ourselves to love God and love others a little more genuinely and sincerely. After all, who needs more guilt, apprehension or apathy? That just can’t be what Jesus wants for us.
Lent is the one season of the year when as a community we are asked to take the time and energy needed to see where we can more closely imitate Jesus. We’re invited into the desert, not alone, but along with Jesus. Not to beat ourselves up or to think about how terrible we are, but to discover, with God’s help, where God might change our hearts. How might we increase the love we have for God, for others and for self?
May our Lenten practices open us widely to God’s abundant grace, and may we share that extravagantly with those who God places in our lives each day. That will surely change our hearts and make us better Christians.
A few weeks ago I shared with you a favorite prayer of Pope Francis, “Mary, Undoer of Knots.” Next week I will share several prayers and reflections written by 2nd graders after making their 1st Reconciliation. Their sweet and beautiful prayers to God speak of their love and their desire to grow in God’s love. Maybe you would like to share one of your favorite prayers. Please do.
Peace and every blessing,