Dear Parish Family,
When we hear the word “sacrifice,” many immediately think of giving up something, as many do during Lent. We talk about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross when He gave up His life in love for the world. Indeed, according to the dictionary, to sacrifice is to give up something.
However, the word “sacrifice” comes from two words, “sacri,” meaning holy, and “facere,” which means to make. So, when we make a sacrifice, we are making something holy. During Lent, we are encouraged to give something holy to God, e.g., more time in prayer or remove something which stands in the way of our relationship with God. Through His sacrifice on the cross, our Lord triumphed over sin that stood in the way of our relationship with God and renewed in us in our call to be God’s holy people. As St. Peter wrote in his first letter to the Christian community, “Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
May we make this holy season of Lent a time to renew our commitment to follow God’s call in our hearts to be His holy people as we remember with joy how His Son showed us the way to our most merciful God.
Even though Lent is a holy season which we are celebrating, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of CDC and diocesan regulations, we will be celebrating somewhat differently than we have in previous Lenten seasons. For example, one change you will notice is the way we will distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday. Instead of ministers placing ashes on our foreheads, they will sprinkle a small amount of ashes on our heads.
There will also be significant changes in the way we celebrate Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Please refer to upcoming bulletins which will explain how we are celebrating the three most sacred days of our Church year. Again, all of these changes come from the CDC and our Joliet diocese.
One of our cherished traditions at St. Thomas during Lent has been a parish mission. We were planning to welcome Fr. Thomas McCarthy, an Augustinian priest, for this year’s parish mission. However, because of COVID-19, he will not be leading missions this year. As of this writing, Father Ed Shea from the Franciscan community has agreed to lead our 2022 parish mission (dates still to be determined).
In the Word,
Rev. Philip M. Danaher, Pastor
Please click on the links below for more details about activities during Lent at St. Thomas.