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Fr. John's Column - March 26, 2017

As we listen this week to the great story of Jesus healing the man born blind, we are reminded that Jesus had a great concern for others. This concern went beyond people’s spiritual needs and included their physical wellbeing. Whether it was healing the sick, giving to the poor, or raising up the oppressed, Jesus reached out a hand to help.

A traditional part of Lent is that on the Fourth Sunday a collection is taken called the ‘World Concern Collection’. With this collection we follow Jesus’ example and demonstrate our solidarity with people throughout the world who are in need of our assistance. By donating to this collection we help people grow spiritually but also help them meet their physical needs. With this collection the Church is able to support a variety of initiatives including:

·         The Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa helps the still very young but rapidly growing Church in Africa provide for Catholic Schools, vocational training, employment, and other pastoral projects vital to this region.

·         Catholic Relief Services extends our generosity to the poor and victims of disasters around the world including places affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and war. Often CRS is among the first organizations to arrive on scene and is known for being the last to leave. CRS is frequently recognized as being one of the best organizations to donate toward because their administrative costs are amazingly low, which allows the majority of your dollar contributed to go directly to those in need.

·         The Church in Latin America provides resources to the economically impoverished Church in Latin America that continues to be troubled by poverty, injustice, and political turmoil.

·         The Collection to Aid the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe helps with the rebuilding of parishes, schools, seminaries, and religious educational programs in a part of the world once controlled by Communist governments.

·         The Collection for the Holy Father (Peter’s Pence) enables our Holy Father to respond to appeals for assistance that come to him.

The disciples in this week’s Gospel try to explain why the man was born blind in the first place, asking if it was due to his sin or the sins of his parents? In part they were thinking if they can find an explanation for his blindness, they will never need to worry about themselves or their families becoming blind. Jesus quickly dismisses their line of thinking. But his explanation is not very comforting: what God allows a man to be born blind so that His works might be made known through him later.

But remember the blind man himself. At the beginning of the story he is a nobody, a beggar, an outcast. God uses the simplest of objects, dirt and human spit, and the result is God is manifest and a man becomes a disciple, an image of faith and courage, who stood up against the powerful and became an example for us all.

The hope is we too can be catalysts for God’s grace for the Church in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, or wherever there is famine, oppression, and suffering. Our prayer is that God may use the simple gifts we offer and work through people on all corners of the earth and His glory may shine forth.

  



Fr. John Gerritts


 
         























































THIS WEEK



~ Saturday, March 25
8:00 AM Dustbusters
9:00 AM First Communion Family Day
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass
6:00 PM Oasis

~ Sunday, March 26
Social with CCW
8:30 AM Mass
8:30 AM RCIA
9:30 AM Coffee Talk with Sister Parish
10:30 AM Mass with Children's Choir
10:30 AM Bible Explorers
11:30 AM Faith Formation
4:00 PM Living Stations Rehearsal

~ Monday, March 27
8:00 AM Mass

9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
6:00 PM Boy Scouts
8:00 PM That Man is You

~Tuesday, March 28
8:00 AM Mass
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
6:00 PM Family Rosary

7:00 PM Hudson Bench Warmers Speaker
7:00 PM Pastoral Council Committee

~ Wednesday, March 29
8:00 AM  Mass 
10:00 AM Mass at CCH
6:00 PM Faith Formation

~Thursday, March 30
6:45 AM Toastmasters
8:00 AM Mass
9:00 AM Put Backpacks Together
9:30 AM Bible Study
10:30 AM Mass at Comforts of Home
1:00 PM Quilters
7:00 PM Praise Company Rehearsal

~ Friday, March 31
5:30 AM That Man is You
9:00 AM Mass at School

7:00 PM Stations of the Cross

~ Saturday, April 1
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Altar Server Training
10:00 AM Confessions
5:00 PM Mass
5:00 PM Saint Patrick School Gala
6:00 PM Oasis

~ Sunday, April 2
8:30 AM Mass
8:30 AM RCIA
10:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Bible Explorers
11:30 AM Baptism
11:30 AM Faith Formation







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