Pastor's Message - February 18, 2018
“Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.” ~1 Peter 3
Dear Parishioners and Friends;
This weekend we celebrate the First Sunday of Lent and the opportunities for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But why is it, some will ask, that Catholics have to spend 40 days meditating on the suffering of Jesus throughout Lent? Why can’t we just skip the season of Lent and arrive right at Easter? Or as some are thinking, why can’t we just ignore the
predictions of the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and go right into Spring?
The season of Lent purposefully begins in the middle of winter because it helps us better understand life. Life involves
times of suffering. Suffering can come from a variety of circumstances, persons or experiences that can leave us feeling dark, cold and alone. But the good news is that Lent does not end with winter, or as one could say, with true despair, because we can reach out to God in the midst of our suffering. God always reaches out to us with an invitation of divine love. The good news is that we are never truly alone or without purpose in our suffering.
Jesus transforms our sufferings by virtue of his cross and resurrection so that we can be led from sin into forgiveness,
from darkness into light, from Lent to Easter, from winter into spring, and from eternal death into eternal life.
Saint John Paul II wrote that Jesus “has taken upon himself the physical and moral sufferings of the people of all times, so that in love they may find the salvific meaning of their sorrow and valid answers to all of their questions”. (Salvifici Doloris, No. 31)
May God bless you this week!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - February 18, 2018
The First Sunday of Lent
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL
We have now begun our Lenten journey. It is a journey that will prepare us to fully experience Christ's passion, death and resurrection. Our readings this Sunday
ask us to consider our own Baptism and to turn our attention to prayer, fasting and works of penance. These will temper our sinful nature and bring us closer to Jesus.
In our first reading, (Genesis 9:8:15)
, we hear God's covenant with Noah. After Noah's salvation through the waters of the flood (prefiguring our baptism), God promises to never again destroy humanity with the waters of a flood. From that point on, water has always symbolized cleansing, rebirth and baptism.
God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth."
God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings."
In our Gospel reading (Mark 1:12-15)
, we hear of Jesus' temptation in the desert, which occurs in Mark's Gospel immediately after his baptism. These two events (baptism and temptation) signify Jesus' willing entry into the human experience. Jesus willingly submits to both as a sign of his solidarity with all of humanity. This marks the beginning of his public ministry as he proclaims, "The Kingdom of God is at hand . . ."
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
In our Epistle reading (1 Peter 3:18-22)
, St. Peter draws a direct connection between the sinfulness of man, the saving waters of Noah's new life and Jesus's entering into our world through his own baptism as well as his suffering with us and for us.
Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.
Jesus is often referred to as the "new Adam" in contrast to the first Adam, who allowed Satan's temptation to have mastery over him. In today's Gospel, Jesus triumphs over Satan and his empty promises. This sets the stage for the beginning Jesus' public ministry proclaiming the Kingdom of God. It is also the start of our Lenten journey toward the cross and Jesus' final mastery over Satan and death. We are called to the same ideal, through the grace of God. This is the season to "repent and believe in the Gospel."
- Click Here to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for February 18, 2017
Prospective new families can either stop in the office for a packet or follow the link to Admissions---Registration for the packet.
If you have any questions about registration, please contact the School Office (585-671-3132).
Ladies - Join us for our Lenten Book Study
“Perfectly YOURSELF” By Matthew Kelly
WHEN: Tuesdays, February 27 to March 27
WHERE: St. Rita's Church Meeting Room 1
In this book we will explore the opportunities and obstacles we encounter when we decide to ask life’s
BIG questions: Who am I? What am I here for? Full of powerful and practical lessons, Matthew Kelly shows us how to find lasting happiness in a changing world.
For more information, please contact: Terezeja Lemieux at
[email protected] or 703-606-6794 OR Darlene Piersall at [email protected] or 585-787-0983.
ALL ARE WELCOME!
ST. RITA SOCIETY is hosting a
Sunday, February 25
following the 9:00am Mass
All are welcome to please join us in Church to celebrate Mass at 9:00am then over to Glendoveers Restaurant on
Old Browncroft Road for a wonderful breakfast.
We are delighted to have:
Sr. Karlien Bach, RSM as our Guest Speaker.
Tickets are $10 per person and will be on sale after all masses the next two weekends starting (Feb 10/11).
You can also stop in or call in your reservation to the parish office (671-1100) up until Monday, February 21.
Carpooling will be available from Church for this event, so please do not hesitate to ask for a ride!
Any Questions, please call Kathy at 671-4347.
6:00-6:45pm Soup and Fellowship in Room 1
6:45-7:30pm Presentations, Music and Reflections in Church
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
12:00-3:00pm Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
6:00-6:45pm SOUP & BREAD SUPPER
Webster native James Murphy will share his compelling life-story that brought him from a life on Wall Street to living at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality working with the Rochester homeless community.
If you are willing to help by making soup, donating cookies or bread, please go to the link below to sign up.
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0449ada623a6fe3-lenten or you can call Julie at 671-1100 x 13.
Your donation would need to be dropped off in Room 1 in church between 5:15 and 5:30pm and please stay for fellowship and prayer. Thank you for your generosity!
A Time Just for You!
5th ANNUAL ROCHESTER CATHOLIC WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
“The Power of the Eucharist: Glorifying God and Sanctifying the Word”
Saturday, March 10
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
(doors open at 7:00am)
Held at The Aquinas Institute ~ 1127 Dewey Ave
Conference sold out early last year so don’t wait!
Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Mass with our Bishop and to hear national speakers, Dr. Edward Sri, theologian and noted author, and Danielle Bean, publisher of Catholic Digest. There will be the opportunity for reconciliation, praying the rosary, perusing Catholic vendors, and connecting with other Catholic women.
Bishop Salvatore Matano will preside at morning Mass beginning at 8:00am. Continental breakfast and lunch are included. The cost is $50 for mail-in registrations and $53.00 for online registrations.
Registration forms are available in our parish office and in the greeting area in Church or you may go online to Rochestercwc.org. If you have questions, please contact Maria at [email protected]
High school students are invited to experience the Stations of the Cross from a different point of view this
Lent by filling acting and behind the scenes roles.
Presentation dates are Friday, March 23 at 7:00 pm at Holy Trinity Church and Friday, March 30 at 7:00 pm at
St. Rita. Practices will be Sundays, March 4, 11, and 18 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. Please contact Elizabeth for more information and to sign up to help by March 1.
This spring, we will be offering a study of King David by noted author and video lecturer Bishop Robert Barron. The New Testament foretold a son of David who would realize the fullness of Israelite kingship … but whose actual reign defied expectation. King David causes us to look back toward Adam’s kingship and forward toward Christ the King, seeing Christ as the fulfillment of the Davidic line and the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Three separate sessions are offered beginning March 5, 7 & 8 and run for 7 weeks.
Groups meet on Monday mornings from 10-11:30 am, Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm & Thursday evenings from 7-8:30 pm in Room 1. You can “Mix and Match”, attending any of the sessions in the same week.
Please email or call the parish office at 671-1100 and let us know which session you would like to attend. The cost of materials (workbook & study guide) is $15.
Performances are Thursday, March 8th at 10:00am and 7:00pm AND Friday March 9th at 1:00 pm
Come enjoy the performances
Come to the Spring Fair March 3rd to March 9th
We will have a Family Night on March 9th
Boy Scout Troop 163 will be serving a Pasta Dinner on Saturday, March 10 from 5:30-7:30 pm in the
Parish Center. $8 per person; children under 5 eat free. Tickets available at the door.