Message from Msgr. Schwanger


My Dear Family of Our Lady of Lourdes,

The most beautiful week of year, Holy Week begins next Sunday with Palm Sunday. I invite everyone to experience the full beauty and power of this week by making time in your schedule to join us as the week unfolds. We anticipate the week beginning on Thursday with our Helping Hands project. Together with Catholic Relief Services we are packing and shipping 60,000 meals to the people of Burkina Faso. This is a wonderful event and I invite everyone to join in. You do have to pre-register to come and pack, more information in available in todayís bulletin.

Passion (Palm) Sunday opens Holy Week with a full reading of the Passion of Christ. We are reminded that the Messiah, who was greeted with joy as he entered Jerusalem, is the one who freely gives his life so that we might have life. The full schedule for Holy Week is included with this bulletin and I invite you to tear it out and keep it for reference throughout the week. Still, I would like to highlight what is coming up. Holy Monday, the Council of Catholic Women will host our annual Bread and Soup Dinner in the Parish Hall. Following dinner, the Youth Ministry of the parish has a special presentation prepared for us.

Holy Tuesday the Archbishop celebrates the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. This is the day when our priests renew the promises made at ordination and the Holy Oils of Catechumens, Chrism, and the Sick are blessed. These Oils will be brought to us at Our Lady of Lourdes and presented at Mass on Holy Thursday.

Holy Wednesday we have the beautiful choir reflection on the Passion that is Tenebrae. Tenebrae takes place in the main church and its beauty has the power to settle us in and focus us on the Triduum that lies ahead.

The Triduum is three liturgies that we celebrate as one. Please make every effort to be present for all three and you will understand why. Holy Thursday is the Mass of the Lordís Supper where we remember the Last Supper and give thanks for Jesusí institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood. Good Friday we again hear the whole Passion proclaimed - this time from John the Evangelist reminding us that Jesusí Passion was his gift freely given to us not something that was forced upon him. Finally, the Easter Vigil is when we celebrate the final victory - Jesusí Resurrection - and we share the new life that we have found in Christ with our brothers and sisters who have come to know him and seek to die with him in Baptism so as to live with him in his Resurrection.

This is truly a powerful and important week and I commend our parish family for the beauty and dignity that we bring to it each year. Join us this year Ė and you will be with us for every year after that.

Msgr. Schwanger