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Palm Sunday Letter

palm sundayDear Friends,
I hope this finds you well. I just want to write and tell you we made it all the way here to Palm Sunday and we have just one more week before we get to the Easter Vigil. Holy Week is a very sacred time for us as Catholics during the year. It is the last week of Lent and we want to be especially mindful of finishing up strong and
persevering in our practices for our Lord. I hope that the time has been a wonderful way for you to reflect on yourself and your relationship with Christ.

This week, we have the Easter Triduum. We invite all of you to come and be a part of the Masses this week. We will have Adoration with confession available on Wednesday from 5-6pm. On Thursday, we celebrate the Last Supper, and meditate especially on
the institution of the Priesthood, the Eucharist and service. On Good Friday, we remember the Lord’s Passion, and at the Easter Vigil, we go through all of salvation history and celebrate the night of the resurrection.

This year we have seven catechumens in the Church. Two of them will receive confirmation. The Easter Vigil will also start outside this year on the patio. We will have the Easter Fire on the Patio, and then process into the Church. This is so that we may gather around it and experience the flames dispelling the darkness and lighting
up the night. The beauty of the fire, its warmth and its light, will draw us together, and why not experience our prayer in a different setting.

The best way to prepare for Easter is to take a little extra time this week to pray or to go to confession. You may want to meditate on sacred scripture, this is where God really speaks to us. Also, Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence if you are healthy enough and within the age of 18-59. Lastly, try to do an act of kindness for someone. Prayer fasting and almsgiving is in effect until the Easter Vigil.

God Bless you all, and it is always a pleasure to be with you.
Sincerely Yours,
Fr. Dave

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Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule

ash wedAsh Wednesday is February 10, 2016, masses will be at 8:00am and 6:00pm at St. Mark’s Church. Ash Wednesday begins our Lenten Season. It is a day of fast and abstinence.

The Lenten Season lasts 40 days giving us time to prepare for Easter Sunday.

As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes are a visible symbol of penance. All are welcome to receive the ashes, including non-Catholics. The ashes are made from blessed palms  from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass.

New Year’s Day Masses

mary holy motherNew Year’s day is also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and a Holy Day of Obligation.

The mass at St. Mark’s will be 6pm Thursday.
The Mass schedule for Pittsfield is as follows:

Vigil:

4pm Thursday at St. Joseph’s Church
5:30pm Thursday at Sacred Heart Church

5:30pm Thursday at St. Charles Church
6pm Thursday at St. Mark’s Church

 

New Year’s Day

8am Friday at St. Charles Church
9am Friday at Sacred Heart Church
10am Friday at 8am Friday at St. Charles Church
10am Friday at St. Joseph’s Church

Holy Day of Adoration

adorationThe season of Lent is not only a time of giving up, it should also be a time of doing more, having more patience, more forgiveness, more faithfulness, more prayers. Lent should be a season of personal growth, when we try to grow closer to God. Next week St. Mark’s will offer an opportunity for you to do all of these things. Next Friday, March 13th through Saturday, March 14th, we will have 24 hours of Eucharistic Adoration. Beginning at 4pm Friday in the chapel there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and then for the next 24 hours you will be able to come and spend time with the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The 24 hours will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the church on Saturday at 4pm.
You are invited as individuals and families to come and spend some time in prayer with the Lord. Also, all ministries, (lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, singers, musicians, altar servers), committees, councils, and volunteer groups are invited to choose an hour and come and pray for our parish, and the work that we do. There are so many things that we need to pray for, the intentions on our Prayer Line, the well-being of our parish, the problems of the world, our own crosses that we bear and the needs and wants of our loved ones. We should also give thanks and praise to God for all that He gives us, and especially during Lent, to thank Him for His love and presence in our lives.

Adoration will be going on for 24 hours, so please sign up (sign up sheet is on the piano) for an hour or a half hour, come and give a little bit of your busy life back to God.

During these 24 hours there will also be other events going on:
Confessions in the church FRIDAY 5-7PM
Reflection for Lectors FRIDAY 7-8PM, in Fr. Leonard Hall
Lunch of Soup & Sandwich SATURDAY, 12-1PM, Fr. Leonard Hall
Talk with Fr. David and the Holy Name Society SATURDAY 1-2PM in Fr. Leonard Hall, on the ‘7 Last Words of Christ’
Confessions in the Church, SATURDAY 2-3:45PM
Closing of the 24 hours with Benediction at 4PM in the Church

Merry Christmas!

Christmas day mass is at 10am.

We wish you a merry, blessed and holy Christmas Season.

Father John, Father David, Deacon Spenser, Deacon Sean, Wendy, Dave, Lisa, Sr. Rosa, Sr. Juanita and Ramiro.

Christmas tree church

MONDAY, DECEMBER 8TH HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

immaculate conceptionTHE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

MASSES at 9:15 am with the School students at the church unless it rains, then it will be at the parish center; 6:30 pm Mass celebrated by Fr. Mark Mengel

Prayer: Loving and gracious God, we thank you and praise you for the gift of Mary, your Mother. You honored this simple woman of faith from the moment of her conception with the favor of sinlessness. You gave Mary the privilege of conceiving and bearing your beloved Son. Her “yes” to the angel’s announcement opened the way for our salvation. Send your Holy Spirit to us to be our guide as we reflect on the meaning of Mary’s Immaculate Conception for us today. We pray through Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.