Now that our forty-day observance of Lent has ended, we launch into the celebration of Easter, a celebration that extends across a period of fifty days, ending with Pentecost on June 9. Easter is the culmination of the entire liturgical year, the bedrock of our faith, the hinge on which everything else we do and believe as Christians swings. As St. Paul puts it so well in his First Letter to the Corinthians: “For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people” (cf. 1 Cor 15:17-19). St. Paul was writing to a community of Greek Christians who had great difficulty accepting in faith the truth of bodily resurrection after death. They had serious doubts about it and questioned not only the truth of Christ’s resurrection, but that of themselves and their loved ones as well. For his part, St. Paul does a masterful job in setting the record straight. On this Easter Day we affirm the ages-old faith proclaimed by the Church, namely that “Christ has died, Christ is risen from the dead, and Christ will come again.”
I welcome warmly all who gather for worship with us this Easter Sunday, especially the occasional or first-time visitor. Your presence with us is a blessing. Please know that you are always most welcome and I hope that many of you will come to see Precious Blood Parish as your spiritual home, be it at either church, St. Mary’s or St. Agnes’.
Next Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter. It is also celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday and at 2:00 PM at St. Agnes Church, there will be Divine Mercy devotions offered. I hope many will participate in these devotions.
I have looked at the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal progress report, and I am encouraged by what I saw. As of this writing, our parish has raised some $58,000 toward its goal of $110,000. If you have not yet made a gift or a pledge to the Appeal, please consider doing so. The monies raised serve to fund the ministries of the Archdiocese and a significant portion also goes to help local charitable efforts. Here in Milford, our own John Rigely Food Pantry as well as Helping Hands for Hurting Hearts receive funding from the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. If we all contribute something, a great deal of good can be done for so many people throughout the three counties that comprise the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Finally, as there have been more than ample opportunities for confession, especially in the last week or two of Lent, there will be no confessions heard Monday night, April 22, at St. Mary’s. Regular Monday evening confessions will resume April 29.
Have a great week!