This week, we will begin our Lenten Journey with Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday has always been a solemn day within the Church year, marked with Fasting, Abstinence and Almsgiving. As solemn as this day is, Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Furthermore, receiving ashes, although an important sacramental within the Mass, is not a charm by which we can secure our salvation. Ashes is an ancient sign of penance and mortification. Therefore, if you attend the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (which only occurs on that Wednesday), then you may receive ashes. For those who are homebound or in the hospital, they may receive ashes if accompanied by a Liturgy of the Word, similar to what we do for Communion calls. The General Instruction for the Roman Missal says this: "The blessing and giving of ashes may be done outside Mass. In this case the entire Liturgy of the Word should be celebrated: entrance song, opening prayer, readings and chants, homily, blessing and giving of ashes, general intercessions." I would ask anyone who cannot attend the Liturgies to please refrain from requesting the application of ashes outside of the rite. When ashes are given outside of the Rite, they become a sort of charm or a symbol which might lead to confusion. Thank you!
If you missed Father Rothan's Homily last weekend, you may want to take a few minutes to check it out below. There are not many times a homily ends in applause!
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C820htBd6zw
All recorded homilies are available on our website
Divine Intimacy (Into - Me - See)
Women's Night of Reflection during Advent
Presented by Father Rothan
Make a place for Him this Advent on December 7th and You will not regret it!
Father Rothan will be hosting an adult education series Fridays during Lent and Advent that will teach about Revelations. The evenings will begin with prayer in the Church and then move to the school cafeteria for a meal and the presentation.
The Fridays during Advent are December 6th, 13th and 20th and will be held from 6pm to 7pm.
You can download the flyer below or click here to view it online.
We are certainly experiencing a shortage of priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg and across the country. Please continue to pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. On that note, however, we often receive calls here at St. Joan of Arc, from the Diocese and priests within the Diocese of Harrisburg to provide coverage at other parishes. In these instances, I usually go myself as opposed to making efforts to change the schedule of priests here at the parish. So if you don't see me some weekends at Mass, and I'm not on vacation or retreat, odds are good that I am covering elsewhere. Thank you for your understanding and please continue to pray for priests!
We have many intercessions which we voice at Mass on Sundays and really, every time we celebrate the Mass. Although there are many needs, they all appear to center on our lives and the lives of others. It would appear then, that a prayer which should be uttered every time we celebrate the Eucharist, is one begging for a respect for the dignity of all human life. We cannot pray for ourselves and be silent in speaking for those who have no voice. Therefore it is fitting, that during this month of October (a month designated as "Respect Life Month") we should begin to pray in a communal way for a respect for all life, from a natural beginning to a natural end.
Beginning the weekend of October 19th-20th we will begin to recite the "St. Michael the Archangel Prayer". The prayer is written below and is a powerful prayer asking the Angel who cast Satan from heaven, to restrain his activities in this life so that we might all be treated as God's children. The prayer will follow the dismissal after the people respond, "Thanks be to God." Some might argue that this will make the Mass longer, and they would be correct. Go ahead and time yourself. The Mass will now be twenty seconds longer.
The June 10th Daily Reflection Video posted by The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
featured Father Rothan speaking about the Beatitudes.
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