March 15, 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent

I.  Community Garden:  Spring is around the corner, and plans are underway for our Saint Stephen Community Garden! The garden, located at 7th & Cedar Streets, will help provide fresh vegetables for the needy this summer in our surrounding neighborhood. Green thumbs are needed! A meeting for the Community Garden will be held in the Parish Office on Friday, March 20, at 12:00 noon. Everyone interested is invited to attend. If you enjoy working outdoors and gardening, and have a heart for those in need, please make plans to attend the meeting.  We are grateful to new parishioners Jody and Denise Hamilton for graciously agreeing to coordinate this effort, but many hands are needed to make this outreach project a success!

II.  Irish Eyes Are Smiling!  From driving snakes out of Ireland to using the shamrock to explain the Trinity, many legends have developed around Saint Patrick (390-460). Yet, the popularity of Saint Patrick extends beyond these stories to his missionary zeal and astonishing ability to inspire faith. Sold into slavery at a young age and eventually freed, he so wanted people enslaved by doubt and skepticism to know the freedom found in Jesus Christ. Although he had little education, he was appointed Bishop of Ireland. His many accomplishments include the conversion of Ireland, ordination of clergy, and organization of missions to evangelize Europe. Consider serving at a local “outreach” as part of your Lenten concern for the poor. Saint Patrick, pray for us!

III. Are You Thirsting for Something More? The Lord said to Moses, “Strike the rock, and water will flow from it for your people to drink” (Exodus 17:3-7). The Jews have a legend that says the rock Moses struck, that yielded water, traveled with them through the desert and provided water for their needs. True story? No, not really. True story? Yes. . .for those whose thirst has been quenched from the most unlikely sources during a hard time in their lives. They have personal experience that the rock follows them in their desert and quenches their thirst. 

So we ask ourselves: name a hard place in your life at this time? Where in that rocky, desert place is God providing water for you?

IV.  Easter Flowers in Memory of or in Honor of: in your tithing packet, you will find an envelope marked “Easter Flowers.” This is a great way to remember loved ones who have died or to honor loved ones who are still living! These flowers will “grace” our church as we celebrate the Easter season! You may also donate online through our WeShare option; visit our website and click on the “give online.”

V.  Cathedral Fish Fry: this Friday, March 20, will be our Cathedral Fish Fry in our Community Center. Serving begins at 5:00pm and will continue until  7:00pm. $12 for adults and children 11 and older, children 10 and younger are free!  Best fish in town!

VI.  Joseph—Just and Upright!  One of the greatest compliments a man can receive is that he is just and upright (always behaving in an honest way; having high moral standards; right minded, honorable, virtuous). Joseph provides an example that illustrates the truth that most of human history is changed by the quiet, just and upright ordinary folks who have a quiet goodness and are faithful in service. We see an example of JOSEPH style and the way he handles his awkward position when he learns that Mary is pregnant. In honoring JOSEPH, we salute all just an upright, all quiet, ordinary folks. I invite you to celebrate Mass on Monday, March 19th, 7:00am & 12:05pm as we celebrate this just man.