February 28, 2021 – Second Sunday of Lent

  1. It’s Not Too Late! Though Ash Wednesday was February 17, if you have not started Lent yet, it’s not too late! I loved the story about one of our catechumens last year at the Rite of Election. A lady decided to fast from all bread during the season of Lent, meaning that the next bread she will receive will be the Body of Christ, the Eucharistic bread at the Easter Vigil. She was so excited about receiving Jesus under the form of bread at Eucharist! How important it is that we not take this Eucharistic Sacrament for granted. As Saint Augustine reminds us: “the more we receive the Body of Christ, the more we should become like Christ.” This Lenten season, let’s “let go” of our PACIFIERS and rely upon God‘s promise to be with us even in our desert, even when we are fighting the “wild beast“ (Mark 1: 12–15) in our lives.
  2. Holy Hour This Sunday: spending time in quiet prayer with God. If you can’t spare an hour how about 45 minutes, or even 30 minutes? How about 15 minutes?  Jesus often withdrew to a quiet place to spend time in communion with his Father, especially before every major decision in his life. What a great example for us to follow! I invite you to our Holy Hour (every Sunday during Lent at 5:00 PM).  Our Holy Hour includes the opportunity to celebrate God’s unconditional forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will conclude this sacred hour of prayer with Vespers (official evening prayer of the church) and Benediction. It is a commitment!
  3. In Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of All: You have the opportunity to journey with Jesus the last hours of his life, a devotion we call Stations of the Cross. This devotion is open to all every Monday evening at 6:00pm, and every Friday after the 12:05 noon Mass (not on Good Friday). Each time we reflect upon the Stations there is a different focus. On Friday, February 22, our Parish Pastoral Council, along with myself, will lead Stations of the Cross in Atonement for Abuse and for the Healing of all. The titles of the 14 stations are Scripture-based Stations of the Cross from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. Pope Saint John Paul II lead something similar on several occasions as an alternative to the traditional stations. Missing are non-scriptural events such as the three falls of Jesus and the appearance of Veronica. The Scripture-based stations fill out the meditation on the passion with more details from the Gospel accounts. There are many who still need healing from being abused. All are invited and welcome!
  4. Heralds of Good News is  a congregation from India which sends priests as missionaries all over the world wherever there is a need. This young order, established on October 14, 1984, ministers in 15+ countries, many of whom are serving in the USA and Canada. The Heralds operate a home for the Elderly and Mentally Challenged (most of whom were homeless and living on the streets), a very active Retreat Center, and operate many Catholic Schools, as well as seminaries. We have been blessed with several of the Heralds serving in our Diocese of Owensboro, and presently, as you are aware, Fr. Sinoj Pynadath is serving here at the Cathedral as our parochial vicar. We are glad he is here! This weekend, February 27-28, we will take up a special collection to assist in their ministries. Be as generous as you can!
  5. The Hallmark of a Christian community: recently, I have had several individuals and families to tell me that the reason they have joined St. Stephen Cathedral Parish is because of you, the living body of Christ, being so friendly and hospitable. You never know what another person is going through. Never underestimate what a smile, an elbow bump, a nod of the head,  a greeting, can mean to someone, even someone you do not know, especially someone you do not know. Our hospitality ministers are doing a wonderful job. Thank you! We could use a few more hospitality ministers! In truth, hospitality is the job/the ministry of every member of the Cathedral.
  6. Wealthy and Worldly Heiress Gives to the Poor: due to her financial means, Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), had the privilege of traveling to various parts of the country where she became keenly aware of the oppression of Native Americans and African-Americans. She dedicated her entire life, including the founding of a religious community known as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, to the empowerment of these groups through education (that is, launching the first Catholic college for African-Americans, and starting 145 Catholic missions and 12 schools for Native Americans). Katherine did not spend her fortune on herself, but on others establishing  institutions and missions dedicated to the marginalized. Katherine Drexel shocked the social circles of Philadelphia when she joined the convent, to fight vicious racial prejudice and minister to the poor. She died in 1955 at the age of 97 and was officially canonized a saint in 2000. I invite you to Mass on Wednesday, March 3, the day we honor her.