Father David’s Letter
“Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret…..
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret…..
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden…..”
“….. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Dear Friends in Christ,
We recently heard these words on Ash Wednesday as we were reminded of our Christian call to fast, pray, and give alms. In fulfilling this call, Jesus is stating the necessity of doing so with a humble heart. Jesus knows we human beings can do all sorts of good things with the intention of receiving some kind of attention, recognition, or reward. Get our names on bricks, plaques, windows, cornerstones, donor lists, etc. Sometimes we might even get perks in return for our good deeds. Jesus knows we all at times can crave praise and recognition. And sometimes we do need it, and the Lord understands that too. But he doesn’t want us to seek it for its own sake. If the recognition comes, so be it; if it doesn’t, so be it. Because if we seek the reward now, then that’s it! “They have received their reward.” If we receive the reward now, there is nothing more to come from our Father in the future. But if we do good deeds “in secret,” that is, detached from any desire for earthly recognition, then the reward is surely to come later; our Father WILL repay us. And THAT reward will be far greater than anything we can receive here and now!
As we draw closer to the Lord this Lent through giving alms, prayer, and fasting, let us do so with a truly humble heart, not seeking anything in return, but simply longing for and anticipating the bountiful grace of the Father.
And be reminded that it is always a matter of the heart, and a desire to conform our heart more to that of Our Lord. The good deeds of themselves are not what the Lord wants from us. “Rend your hearts, not your garments.”
A Blessed Lent to All of You,
FATHER DAVID’S LETTER REGARDING THE COVID19 VACCINES HAS BEEN MOVED. YOU CAN VIEW IT BY CLICKING ON “ABOUT US” THEN “SPECIAL EVENTS”
Lent begins on Wednesday, Feburary 17th
Ash Wednesday – February 17th – 8:00am and 7:00pm Masses – with ashes
Distribution of Ashes only in church – Noon- 1:00pm
Stations of the Cross – 7:00pm on Fridays during Lent with Confessions immediately following
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION DURING LENT
Thursday, February 25th, March 11th and 25th – 8:30am – 9:00pm in the church
BE RECONCILED – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24TH – TIMES TO BE DETERMINED
COVID-19 Mass Directives
As some parishioners do not feel comfortable attending Mass for at this time, you are encouraged to watch Mass on ETWN, local channels, and on St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and Holy Apostles’ websites. Bishop Malloy will also offer Masses on Sundays at 9am and reflections on Wednesdays at noon. These will be available on the diocesan website and their Facebook page. Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html
To attend Mass, please remember to bring your face mask! This a requirement to wear a mask during the Mass. You can remove the mask when receiving Communion. Hand sanitizers are available in the church for your use as well. Our highest prioritiy is to keep our parishioners safe! We are following all the directives issued by the Diocese of Rockford and the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding social distancing, sanitizing, etc.
Don’t forget that you can also tune your car radio to FM90.3 to listen in the parking lot and then receive the Eucharist after the Mass.
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your spiritual life and get updates on what’s happening at St. Mary! Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically be one of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.