New Office Hours
Starting Monday, April 12,
office hours will be changing:
Monday - 9am-2pm
Tuesday - CLOSED
Wednesday - Friday - 9am-2pm
Cleaning Up the Church for Easter
2pm, Thu, Mar. 25 @ SSPP
Please join us in preparing our church for Easter!
The Gospels recount many of the miracles the Lord performed: restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, strength of limbs to the lame and palsied, multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry. Saint John, in his Gospel, does not call these great works of Jesus miracles; he calls them signs. Truly, the Lord’s miracles are signs, since – in addition to what the miracle accomplishes in itself – it points to some further reality. This can be seen clearly in the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, recounted in today’s Gospel. Not only is Lazarus raised from the dead, but this miracle points to a greater work of God: the glorious resurrection of our Savior on Easter. This is why the Church places this Gospel story towards the end of Lent, as a means to help us prepare spiritually for Easter.
Next Sunday, we begin Holy Week with the commemoration of the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The “shut-down” last spring prevented us from observing the Holy Week and Easter celebrations publicly in our church. The sharp decline in the Wuhan virus cases (Wood county’s average daily case was 106 in November and is now down to 1 case per day) provides us the opportunity to gradually resume a more normal practice. We will continue to broadcast the audio from each Mass on low-power radio at 103.9FM and the video of the 10am Mass on Facebook, in order to accommodate those who are unable to attend Mass physically.
I just received my “covid” check (via direct deposit) from the Federal government. Without disputing the wisdom of the $1.9 Trillion spending bill appropriated by Congress and signed by President Biden, the fact remains that I received that money. And you did (or will soon), too. If you decide to use a portion of that to support our parish, I suggest you consider a gift to the Diocesan Annual Appeal. We have already made our target, so every dollar given now is returned 100% to our parish as an assessment-free rebate.
May God bless you!
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Remember that solemnities are celebrated like Sundays even when they are not a holy day of obligation—You may eat meat, etc., and should, in short, CELEBRATE!, including attending Mass if you can.
Our Lord frequently made use of material things in order to teach a spiritual message. In today’s Gospel he uses the occasion of meeting (and healing) a man born blind to teach us to “see” with eyes of faith. “There is no one so blind as the person who will not see,” i.e., the person who chooses not to see. Lent is such a great time for spiritual renewal. And the Church enriches our experience of Lent by selecting for our reflection some of the most startling Gospel accounts. Last Sunday, today, and next Sunday, the Church draws from the Gospel of John with the stories of the “Woman at the Well”, the “Man born Blind”, and the “Raising of Lazarus”. I encourage you to spend some extra time today to read carefully these Gospel accounts, especially today’s Gospel of the “Man born Blind”. If we observe times of quiet prayer – alone with God – He will help us see where we have wandered from the Truth. Pray that the Lord may open your eyes to see the fullness of the Truth to which he is calling you.
Lent is a “Season of Grace”, a built-in spiritual retreat time. Now that we’ve reached the half-way point of Lent, it is most helpful to recommit oneself to the Lenten disciplines first embraced at the beginning. St. Paul compares our faith life to a race. And so he exhorts us to “run so as to win!” You’ll find in this bulletin the schedule for Masses, confessions, Stations of the Cross, as well as other opportunities here at SSPP or in the area to grow in faith this Lenten season. Let’s “sprint” to Easter!
May God bless you!
Souper Bowl Thank You
SWEPS gratefully acknowledges & thanks you for your recent donation of 6 large bags & 1 box of food. We appreciate your gift & your concern for the hungry members of our community during these uncertain times.
This Sunday’s Gospel recounts the conversation that our Lord had with the Samaritan woman at the well. The conveniences which modern technologies and our plentiful natural resources afford us often begets a ‘take for granted’ attitude. There isn’t a community in Wisconsin that is more than a short distance from some body of water – a river, lake, or pond; and good water is available at the turn of a faucet in all our homes. It is hard to imagine living in a place where one must walk a mile outside of town to a well, and then carry back all the water your family would use that day. Just a few days without water and we die. It is no wonder that fresh, cool, “living” water was the very symbol of life for the ancient peoples living in the Holy Land. And it is no wonder that Jesus should identify Himself with that “living water”. No drink satisfies our bodily thirst better than pure, cool, water. And there is nothing which can quench the thirst in our soul except Christ, the “living water” who sustains our life.
Lent is a “Season of Grace”, a built-in spiritual retreat time. Our parish has a number of opportunities to enrich one’s spiritual life (see our Parish Lenten Calendar & this bulletin). I especially encourage you to renew (or continue) the habits of devotion by praying the Stations of the Cross and the Sorrowful Mother Novena. And, of course, attending Mass sometime during the week (in addition to Sunday) is a most beautiful way to make Lent a time of renewal for you. All these opportunities are not only a means for spiritual growth, but a beautiful way to prepare for Easter, too!
May God bless you!
40 Days for Life - Feb. 17 - Mar. 28
Do something special for Lent this year to help the unborn through prayer & vigil to end abortion. Learn
more by Googling “40 Days for Life Stevens Point” or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Lenten Fish Fries
4-7pm, Fridays, Feb. 19-Mar. 26 @ St. Lawrence
Carryout & curbside service is available with your choice of fried or baked cod & all the extras, even dessert! Call 715-423-4680 to order.
3-6pm, Fridays, Feb. 19-Mar. 26
@ Sacred Heart, Nekoosa (enter on 7th St.) $10.00 - beer-battered, fried cod served with a baked potato or potato salad, cole slaw, dinner roll & dessert
Today’s Gospel account – the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor – has long been read in the Church’s liturgy at the beginning of Lent because of an early tradition which held that this event happened forty days before the Lord’s death on the cross on Good Friday. It is a remarkable event for several reasons. The vision of Moses (through whom God gave the Israelites the Law) and Elijah (the greatest prophet of the Old Testament) with the Lord indicate that Jesus is the fulfillment of all that the Law and the Prophets taught. Present are the same three Apostles who later were present at our Lord’s Agony in the Garden (Peter, James, and John). And the glimpse of the Lord’s Glory – His divinity breaking through His humanity – was meant to strengthen the faith of those three Apostles, who in turn were to strengthen the faith of their brothers.
Lent is a “Season of Grace”, a built-in spiritual retreat time. We are fortunate to have so many opportunities for spiritual growth in our parish and around the city. I encourage you to refer to the Lent Schedule (purple sheet) which you received along with my Lenten pastoral letter two weeks ago. Also, refer to our weekly bulletin for Lenten events here at SSPP and around the area. Our Lord spent 40 days in the desert fasting and praying: let us endeavor to be more like Him by the fervent embrace of our Lenten disciplines.
May God bless you!