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Catholic Courier Diocese of Rochester, NY March 2017

From

theBishop

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus: On March 1, the church universal enters into the holy season of Lent. In his Lenten message, Pope Francis reminds us: "Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ's victory over death. This season ur- gently calls us to conver- sion. Christians are asked to return to God 'with all their hearts' (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for medioc- rity and to grow in friend- ship with the Lord." ( Mes- sage for Lent 2017 ). These words present a serious and definite challenge, yet it is not a new message. Rather, our Holy Father is reiterating what has always been the purpose of these 40 days of renewal: prayer, contemplation, fasting, almsgiving and penance: to appreciate the salvific depth and grace of Christ's passion, death and resur- rection. One who takes seriously our redemption in Christ cannot ignore this privi- leged time in Lent. In re- sponse to the need to enter more fully into the paschal mystery, our parishes offer more opportunities to at- tend daily Mass and Eu- charistic adoration, recog- nizing that the most holy Eucharist is the heart of our union with Christ and the source and summit of our faith practice. In addition, increased hours for the re- ception of the sacrament of reconciliation are made available in many parishes. On Tuesday, March 28, parishes throughout the diocese again will celebrate a Day of Penance and Mer- cy , making confession available at scheduled times throughout the day. Again, Jesus raises His hand in absolution and benediction, imparting for- giveness through the priest- ly ministry. In his Lenten message, Pope Francis calls to mind that: "The liturgy of Ash Wednesday invites us to an experience quite similar to that of the rich man in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Luke 16:19-1). When the priest imposes the ashes on our heads, he repeats the words: 'Re- member that you are dust, and to dust you shall re- turn.' As it turned out, the rich man and the poor man both died, and the greater part of the parable takes place in the afterlife. The two characters suddenly discover that 'we brought nothing into the world, and we take nothing out of it' (1 Timothy 6:7)." As we know from the parable, Lazarus, who suffered terribly in his earthly life, now lives eter- nally with Jesus, but the rich man, indifferent to the plight of the poor man and consumed with satisfying his own personal needs dur- ing his lifetime, has "fixed a great abyss" and has "found torment" (Luke 16:25-26). We can spend a lifetime believing only in and being

Continued on page 21

Table of Contents

Still offering sanctuary

City continues to aid immigrants - 3

Resettlement in limbo

Agency unsure of program's future - 4

Concern for all people

Solidarity with violence victims urged - 6

Roe v. Wade

plaintiff dies

Had become staunch advocate for life - 7

Stations of the Cross

Devotion is prayed many ways - 11-13

Opportunities abound

Many Lenten programs offered - 14

Keeping traditions alive

Age-old feast days celebrated - 15

Rediscover reconciliation

All invited to special day of penance - 16

Prayer, fasting, giving

Exploring Lent's "three pillars" - 17-19

Kids' Chronicle

Joseph's brothers are very jealous - 23

Find, renew, live by faith

Bishop SalvatoreR. Matano From the Bishop

On the Cover: 2015 Catholic Courier file photo of Chris Newhook of The Franciscan Mystery Players.

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