I. Easter joy and gratitude! Was not this the best celebration of the Triduum and Easter ever! A huge gratitude to all of those liturgical ministers–ministers of hospitality, servers, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, sacristans, art and environment people, music ministers–who made this happen. Especially thanks to the parish pastoral team who have worked diligently and feverishly in preparation for these Three Holy Days, especially Donna Murphy (Director of Religious Education/RCIA coordinator), Donna Tarantino (Director of Ministries & Volunteers), Beni Howell (Administrative Assistant), James Wells (Director of Music), Michael Bogdan (Director of Liturgy) , Mike Weafer (Pro-scheduler Coordinator), and seminarian, Corey Bruns (Master of Ceremonies & chief bottle washer!). Much gratitude to many other parishioners who helped in big and small ways for the good of our community (please refer to the bulletin insert). Thank you!
II. Divine Mercy Sunday: initiated by Pope Saint John Paul II on May 5, 2000 and affirmed by Pope Francis, the second Sunday of Easter, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus over sin, darkness and death, is Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as the Feast of Divine Mercy or St. Thomas Sunday. In a revelation to Saint Faustina in the 1930s in Poland, Jesus revealed the need to evangelize others to the endless mercy which God offers us, to those active in the Church, but also to those who are disconnected from the practice of their faith.
Our Scripture readings this weekend are layered with in revelation and instruction. They are lavish in praise and thanksgiving specifically for the gift of mercy that brings us to salvation. Each reading leads us to become less conscious of ourselves, and more conscious of God’s mercy, collectively and individually. The messages of God’s merciful redemption through Jesus, and Jesus’ subsequent instruction to serve, is as alive and relevant now as it was in the early days of the apostles.
For Daviess County Churches and beyond, there will be a special Divine Mercy celebration at Blessed Mother Church (601 East 23rd Street), 1:30-4:00 p.m. with Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM speaking. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available. Open the flood-gates of mercy!
III. Chrism Mass: it was reassuring to see so many St. Stephen Cathedral parishioners participate in the Chrism Mass with Bishop Medley, the priests, deacons, and laity of the Diocese of Owensboro. It’s the only time throughout the year that the entire church of our 32 counties of Western Kentucky gathers around our Bishop to celebrate through Word and Sacrament what it means to be Church. The new blessed oils, which will be used for the sacraments at the Cathedral were received by Alex Reid and Sarah Horn, received into full communion with our Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil! Those oils were presented to the community at the beginning of our Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord Supper by Dr. Glenn Henning (Oil of the Sick), Cain and Courtney Drury (Sacred Chrism) and Manon, Lucas and Benoit Georges (Oil of Chrism).
IV. Parish Pastoral Council Discernment: those parishioners nominated for our new Council for a three-year commitment were notified this week. Our first formation session will be on Sunday, April 30th at 6:00 p.m. in the Vaughan Community Center. I ask the entire parish to be praying that the right people for this particular time in our history will be called forth to serve in this servant leadership role.
V. Thank you to all the Eucharistic Ministers who guarded our Lord on the walk from the Cathedral to the Chapel Holy Thursday for Reposition! True devotion!