Dearly Beloved in Christ:
Two weeks ago (February 17 – 20), I had the privilege of presenting a Pre-Lenten Mission to the parishioners of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, Downtown Houston. The theme of the Mission was: Abiding in Christ – Source of Fruitful Discipleship. Reflecting on Christ’s word in John 15:5 where he reminds us that “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” I encouraged the attendees to endeavor to abide in Christ daily especially through participation in the Holy Eucharist, prayer, fasting and almsgiving so as to be able to “bear fruit that will last [onto everlasting life]” (John 15:16].
Later this month (March 18, 19 and 20) we will have the opportunity to gather as one community in prayer and reflection during our Parish Lenten Mission. Our presenter will be Fr. Blaise Czaja, CP. Fr. Czaja will speak to us about how to encounter Jesus daily so as to be strengthened by him. We will also have a Lenten Mission in Spanish concurrently at St. Patrick’s Church, led by our own Fr. Jorge Cabrera as presenter. See page 10 for more information.
Ash Wednesday was just a few days ago. The ashes are symbolic and external; what is more important is our interior conversion as the prophet Joel reminds us: Rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the Lord, for He is gracious and merciful (chapter 2, v. 13). Conversion is about turning away from sin and turning toward God.
As a Church, we are in the midst of dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis. On Friday, March 15th, Cardinal DiNardo will be meeting with all the priests in our archdiocese to discuss the recent Summit for the Protection of Minors that was held in Rome as well as share updates with us about our own archdiocesan efforts in dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis. We will end that meeting with a recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. On that same evening, the Cardinal will be leading the Stations of the Cross at the Co-Cathedral for healing and purification of the Church, and has asked all the parishes in our archdiocese to be united with him in prayer. We hope you can join us on this day and throughout the Lenten Season to offer the Stations of the Cross and the Divine Mercy Chaplet (on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, starting at 3 PM) for healing of all the victims of sex abuse and for restoration in the Church. See page 11 for more information.
We are one Holy Family parish, united in the joy of the Holy Spirit and in charity, as missionary disciples.
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Jude Ekenedilichukwu Ezuma