Ash Wednesday and the Philadelphia Eagles
Feb 9, 2018
My dear parish family,
The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions! In one of the most exciting finals in history, our local team overcame the odds and were victorious. It is a good metaphor for our spiritual life. We too must push ourselves, with God’s grace, to win the unfading crown of victory. It was wonderful to hear Coach Pederson, Nick Foles, and Carson Wentz speaking so expressively about their Christian faith in all the excitement. We too should be unafraid to profess our love for Christ and His Church. While none of us will shy away from speaking to young people about the players of our championship team, let us be equally fearless in speaking of St. Agatha, St. Paul Miki, and St. Josephine Bakhita, whose feasts all came in the wake of the Super Bowl, to teach them who are our Catholic heroes. Young people need role models and the saints are to be emulated by all the baptized.
Ash Wednesday is just around the corner. Please remember that St. Valentine wants you to celebrate Ash Wednesday this February 14th as a day of fast and abstinence. I know he the saintly martyr won’t mind if you celebrate his feast a day or two early (you’ll even miss the long lines at the restaurants) and you will be making a true sacrifice for the Lord. There is still a short time to get us your old palms in time for Ash Wednesday if you want to do some Spring cleaning.
On Ash Wednesday, our offices will be closed. I and our deacons who are available will be distributing Ashes in various liturgies at various locations throughout the day. If one desires to receive this sacramental, one must make the time to attend one of the scheduled services. Ashes will not be distributed at the rectory. It is not a Holy Day of obligation and Ashes are not Sacraments, but sacramentals. Ashes do not get us to heaven but, with the right disposition of heart, can open us to the graces given to us in the Sacraments, especially Confession with the repentance from sin. Please plan on making one of our liturgy times, if not, please understand that there is no other way to receive ashes at All Saints.
On February 26-28, we will have our parish Lenten Mission presented by Ms. Lisa Caso. As director of faith formation, I can think of nobody on our staff better qualified to help us during this penitential season. On February 28th, we will even have a couple of outside priests available to hear Confessions for those who have been so moved by the three-night presentation. In addition to the 28th, remember, Confessions will be available SEVEN DAYS A WEEK at All Saints beginning Ash Wednesday. Let us make the most of the opportunity to make a good Confession which is pleasing to God. More than anything, He wants to free us from our sins.
Have a blessed and Holy Season of Lent.
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
†Fr. Peter Idler