profile_frchas_2Dear Parish Family,

This Sunday marks the beginning of February already, and with Ash Wednesday already on February 18, Lent will be upon us before we know it. Have you thought about what to give up for Lent this year? How about giving up any indifference in our lives?

Pope Francis released his annual Lenten message just this past week. In it, he features a theme on which to focus for the upcoming season of Lent. This year he mentions as “one of the most urgent challenges” of our time, which he identifies as “the globalization of indifference.” “Indifference to our neighbor and to God…represents a real temptation for us Christians,” Pope Francis wrote. “Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”

So, for this Lent, we want to offer a number of opportunities for you to fight against the dehumanizing effect that indifference can have in our lives. We will be offering a “Called and Gifted” Workshop on one weekend in Lent (most likely March 13 and 14), which helps us to discern and discover the great gifts or charisms God has given to each of us. God gives us these charisms (of everything from administration to hospitality and from craftsmanship to leadership) specifically for the building up of God’s kingdom. I invite you to discover yours this Lent, so as to break away from an indifferent life.

We will also be offering another powerful evening hour of adoration similar to the Advent, “O Come, Let Us Adore Him.” That event touched many of our parishioners by which they encountered Jesus in a way they had never before. He is the one who breaks us out of our indifference. This event, “O Come, Let Us Worship,” will be held on Friday, March 20.

A very effective way to break out of a zombie-like indifference is to simply offer your service to helping people grow in their relationship with the Lord here in the parish. If you are interested in helping out with the above initiatives, as well as the big “Alpha for Catholics” program that we will be offering in the Fall, please come to the “Rallying a Corps of Disciples for the Lord” meeting that we will be having this week on Tuesday, February 3 immediately after the 5:30pm Mass. We will gather at 6:00 PM in the Fr. Murray Parish Center for some refreshments, and I will offer a vision for fulfilling the New Evangelization. Fellow parishioners will then offer fresh and concrete ways by which we can help do that in our parish. I hope to see many of you there.

We had a delightful time at the last Fireside Chat with our hosts, Jim & Meara Markiewicz. Our next one is Thursday, February 5 at the home of Cindy Smith in a neighborhood in southwest Jackson.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Chas