March 10, 2019 – First Sunday of Lent

I. Many thanks to everyone who has completed a Parish Survey. The results are being tabulated by Liturgical Publications (LPi) and meetings will be scheduled soon to discuss the results and take the next steps toward a parish long-range plan. Details will be available in the bulletin in the coming weeks.

“Be with me Lord, when I am in trouble.”

II. Extreme but Fruitful Fast: Most medical professionals would say that fasting is good for the body; it can be a means of cleansing and purification. Besides that we believe there is value as Christians in fasting as a means of expressing solidarity with the poor, and those without sufficient food. Prayer and Fasting are part of the reason for our CRS (Catholic Relief Services) Rice Bowl experience; 75% of your CRS Rice Bowl donation supports CRS around the world, and 25% helps alleviate hunger and poverty in our Diocese of Owensboro.

WHILE VISITING INDIA, I had the opportunity to visit the Heralds of the Good News (HGN) Provincialate (headquarters for the Province of Kerala, India) a village of  Pampady near the city of Kottayam. On the same campus, there is a Retreat Center where four-day retreats are offered most every week for approximately 200 retreatants—it’s an intense time for talks on prayer (and praying), spiritual exercises, and the Word of God. These retreats evidently help bring about conversion experiences for those who participate, and 75% of the retreatants are 17, 18, 19 year olds!  The priests asked the retreatants to fast with them from food for 72 with water aplenty. I was inspired!  Couldn’t believe it! Honestly, I thought I was achieving “spiritual greatness” fasting 24 hours without food, only water, on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and maybe a few other times during the year!  This is a new challenge for me and I’m not sure I’m up for this particular challenge! (India, chapter II)

Regardless, FASTING is a “tried and true” ancient discipline of several religions, including Christianity. I challenge you, along with myself, to take the Scriptural call for fasting more seriously this Lenten season, if you are in good health. I do believe it can make a difference spiritually. There is a connection between physical and spiritual hunger, and definitely a holistic connection between health of Body, Mind, and Spirit (Soul).  Blessings!

III. Priest TEMPORARILY Suspended Pending Investigation: When there is an allegation concerning sexual abuse of a minor, in conformity with the Sexual Abuse Policy and Procedures of the Diocese of Owensboro: 1. The Diocese submits a report to civil authorities, if not already contacted, and fully cooperates with civil authorities as the investigation proceeds; 2. The person who has been accused is placed on an administrative leave of absence; 3. The Diocese conducts an internal investigation of the accusation. Keep in mind that an accusation DOES NOT automatically constitute guilt. Let’s not rush to judgement until the process runs its course, and pray that the damage inflicted (on either party) is not irreparable. A much better stance is to pray for the person who brought forth the allegation and for Fr. Bradley. To report abuse to the Diocese, current or past, by anyone acting in the name of the Church, please call 270-852-8380 to speak with our Diocesan Pastoral Assistance Coordinator. You may also visit the Diocesan Office of Safe Environment for more information.