School News & Announcements
OSTA has cancelled bus and small transportation to and from schools today. Icy road condition -- particularly in the west -- is the reason. There is glare ice with rainfall on top making it very treacherous. Please remember that if you drop your child off at school, you will need to pick them up at the end of the day. Safe travels!
Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. Ashes also symbolize grief, in this case, grief that we have sinned and caused division from God. Ashes are also a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.Writings from the Second-century Church refer to the wearing of ashes as a sign of penance.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love, and as you revealed to us by an angel the coming of your Son as man, so lead us through his suffering and death to the glory of his resurrection, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
I long to savor this joy, this anticipation of the great gift you give us.
I ask for the peace and joy of "watchful hope."
What joy, what a gift.
The Advent song comes to me and fills my heart:
Who are we that you should love us so well?"
I want to walk in gratitude in these last days of Advent and place myself in the service of your plan for me.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
(Catholic News Agency)
** Parish Advent Penance Service Thurs. Dec 15 at 7:00 pm
"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.
Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. (cathollic culture.org)
“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man.” (Catholic Culture)
Let us pray.O Lord, stir up our hearts
that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son,
that through His coming
we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure souls.
Through the same Christ our Lord.