Fr. ChasDear Parish Family,

With this past Ash Wednesday and today’s First Sunday of Lent, we have begun this holy season of repentance and conversion.  We open up our lives to God’s transforming work, and it takes an active denial of the things that get in the way of receiving God’s grace and power.  Not denying ourselves of lesser things, even if they are really good things, is what often keeps us from going deeper in our relationship with God and being a force of good for the people around us:  our family, our friends, our fellow parishioners, and the less fortunate of our community.

“The House of Mercy” – This Year’s Lenten Project
For last year’s Lenten project, we had the “House for Heating” that provided funds for two things:  1) seniors who were in danger of having their utilities turned off and 2) Lingap, the orphanage in the Philippines founded by local John Drake.  Thanks to your generosity, your contributions made a difference in the lives of seniors and children alike!

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we want the name of the wooden house placed near our sanctuary where we place donations to be “The House of Mercy,” and the proceeds will go to help our parishioners who are in need of corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  These include helping our St. Vincent de Paul to feed the hungry, as well as giving a small gift to Lingap, but we want to highlight in particular two other works of mercy on which we are focusing this year:  1) welcoming the stranger and 2) comforting the afflicted.

Welcoming the Stranger
The Christian Service Commission is organizing a way to identify and help those parishioners who need rides to church.  If you know someone who does need a ride to church, either because they temporarily do not have a means of transportation or because they cannot drive themselves, please contact Barb Socie at 522-8781 or  We will arrange transportation for them using the funds from “The House of Mercy.”  Please contact her also If you would like to help with giving rides to church for someone near you.

We also get new parishioners who have just moved into town or are new to our faith community.  We want to welcome those strangers now friends into their new spiritual home.  One of the major topics of Thursday evening’s open meeting was having parish representatives for twelve different neighborhoods who would welcome new parishioners and to be their personal parish contact should they have any questions or concerns.  Please contact Rose Wingfield at our parish office (or at if you would have any interest in becoming a parish representative.  

Next week’s bulletin will cover the second work of mercy on which we would like to focus in this Jubilee Year of Mercy:  comforting the afflicted.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas