Dear friends in Christ,
We have begun our Lenten period of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Our world presents much which moves us to such voluntary acts of sacrifice, particularly the situation in Ukraine. I want to highlight a few opportunities upcoming in our parish to enter into Lent more fully.
First, on Sunday, March 13th at 5pm, there will be a Taize prayer service in church. All are welcome to this beautiful, ecumenical style of prayer.
On Thursday, March 24th, we will celebrate First Vespers for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord at 7pm in church. Music will be led by the Durandus Institute for Sacred Music in conjunction with the Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. All are welcome join us for this opportunity to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the public prayer of the Church which is based on the Psalms.
In the realm of almsgiving, I’d like to highlight three great opportunities: the Catholic Charities Appeal, Operation Rice Bowl, and tuition assistance for Afghan refugees at SFDS School. On this last point, some background: just before Christmas, I was contacted by a few people working on getting a refugee family re-settled here in the Philadelphia area. They had heard the good reputation of SFDS School and thought it might be a good fit for the family. Sister Mary McNulty, our principal, immediately said yes to welcoming the students even though they could not possibly pay the full tuition. I am so grateful to Sister Mary and SFDS School for this gesture of solidarity. As a parish, I would like us to support this family by directing funds to the school for the purpose of tuition assistance for these young people getting a fresh start in America. You may make checks payable to “Saint Francis de Sales School” or give online for this initiative.
May God be Blessed!
-Father Eric Banecker