Dear Seton Family,
I am struck by the stark contrast of the scriptures this weekend. In the first reading from the Book of Leviticus, we hear of God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron concerning the treatment of those suffering from leprosy. They were to be kept apart and isolated from the community, and restoration or healing seemed hopeless. In Jesus, however, there is hope for healing: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” This confession of trust in the Lord inspires us to recognize his power to do what we otherwise would find impossible, for nothing is impossible for God.
This Wednesday we begin our journey of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time of renewal, a time for the Lord’s gifts of grace to work healing and transformation in us. Our traditional exercises of prayer, sacrifice (fasting), and almsgiving are just that— exercises. We train ourselves to be more faithful, to be more devoted, and to live more authentically as the followers of Jesus we profess to be. We have devoted a section of our website to opportunities to pray, to reflect, and to serve during our 40-day journey.
On Ash Wednesday we are taking every measure to allow for the distribution of ashes in a safe way. Ashes will be imparted on the forehead using a cotton swab so that there is no direct physical contact. We have a full schedule of masses 9am (live-streamed), 5pm and 7pm. Sign up for in-person Mass continues until 9:30am this Sunday, February 14.
In addition, knowing that many people are very wary to take part in any group gatherings, or gatherings of more than just a few people, we are offering an alternative this year (specifically because of the pandemic). The Church will be open on Ash Wednesday from 1:00pm-4:00pm. During those hours, anyone is welcome to come into the Narthex and a member of the Pastoral Staff will be there to offer ashes to the individual. This will be available for the entire 3 hour period. It will not be part of any formal prayer service or gathering. It will simply be the individual imposition of ashes, enabling those who wish to receive ashes and at the same time avoid gatherings of people. Thanks for your patience as we continue our work to keep one another safe and healthy.
At the 5:30 Mass this Sunday, we will be welcoming Jacob and Cole Kucinski into the Church as they receive all three Sacraments of Initiation. Please keep them and their family in your prayers.
As we do each Lenten Season, Stations of the Cross with Benediction, will take place in the Church on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. You do not need to sign-up, an usher will greet you at the door and help you find a seat. We will not have Station booklets to hand out this year. We will be utilizing a downloadable Stations Worship Aid that will be attached to Friday’s Flocknote. The Stations that will be prayed this year are actually the ones used when I was on my Holy Land pilgrimage a couple years ago, complete with photos of each station in the old city of Jerusalem.
Unfortunately due to the pandemic, Soup and Bread will not be held prior to Stations this year.
Parish offices will be closed this Monday in observance of President’s Day. We will not have a morning Mass.
We are beginning week five of our video series, Elements of the Catholic Mass. I would invite you to watch Episode 5 this week titled Processions, and reflect on how this might help you in your faith. Here is the link to the episodes page.
Here is this Sunday’s Worship Aid
I encourage you to sign up for weekend Masses through the parish website or FaceBook page. The link is available after the 9:30 Mass each Sunday UNTIL Wednesday evenings at 10:00pm.
Don’t forget to wear your mask, use hand sanitizers in the Narthex and keep your social distance as you approach the Main Entrance of the Church!
Please Note: I have decided to extend the no walk-in seating policy through the end of February in light of the more contagious strain of Covid-19.
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.
Have a good week!