Dear Friends in Christ:
Quí Ông Bà và Anh Chị Em thân mến trong Chúa Kitô:
Estimados Amigos y Amigas en Cristo:
“We proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God; that each person who receives this gift has responsibilities toward God, self and others; and that society, through its laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence.” (U.S. Catholic Bishops, Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, November 2001)
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace. In order to transform our culture, we need ongoing education, prayer, policy, and advocacy efforts to mobilize the Catholic community on issues of life, justice, and peace. In this way, the Catholic community celebrates the gift of human life and witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
So we need to be conscious of all life issues from the womb to the tomb. Some of these issues are abortion and healing from an abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, assisted suicide, moral issues during life like IVF/Reproductive Technology, stem cell research, contraception, sterilization, conscience protection, etc.
In order to do the above, the Office of Pro-Life Activities for the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and our local archdiocesan office attempt to achieve these objectives to help educate and motivate the Catholic faithful. At Saturday’s 5 pm Vigil Mass, the Cardinal is celebrating the Mass for Pro-Life Activities. Our archdiocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities which is subsidized by the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) attempts to do much education in various pro-life areas. Plus, there are specific programs that they sponsor which are listed on p. 11. I also ask you to pray the two prayers listed on p. 6. Prayer must be an essential reality of every work of the Gospel.
Lent begins March 1. A component of our Lent is the parish Lenten mission, cf. p. 14. Spread the word, invite others to join us. For those who use Facebook, go to the Official Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Facebook page, and share the post with all your friends about our parish mission.
The Knights of Columbus will have 3 Lenten Friday Fish Dinners, cf. p. 11. But there is one scheduled on Friday, March 10 which coincides with the 7 pm showing of the movie Outcasts. Come to have dinner and see this wonderful film that shows how the Franciscan Friars minister to the poor in the roughest neighborhoods around the world. It is a great way to meet other parishioners, to become more educated on challenges of our world and the spreading of the Gospel and a great way to lead into the parish mission.
Stewardship is time, talent and treasure. Concerning time and talent, there are different ways to help the parish. Yes, there are the ‘traditional’ ways of serving in more visible roles, such as usher, lector, etc. But I need 3 specific possibilities of assistance. Contact the parish receptionist, Katie, if you can help us, using your time and talent with:
1) Want to help make our website more user friendly &/or assist with the administration of our Facebook page?
2) Do you have artistic and creative talent to design some welcoming banners for our church’s narthex (entrance)?
3) The Archdiocese is entering into a $150 million capital campaign for major improvements to our seminary; provide funds for tuition assistance benefiting Catholic elementary schools, teacher professional development, and faith formation programs. One third of all monies raised will be returned to parishes to help meet local needs as determined by parish leadership. We need several volunteers by the summer to roll out our campaign beginning this fall.
Mark your calendar so as to attend the 5 pm Saturday Vigil Mass on March 4 when we will have a 300+ children’s choir singing at Mass, through the Pueri Cantores workshop.