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At Lenten reflection for Pastoral Center staff

At Lenten reflection for Pastoral Center staff

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At Mass with the Catholic Educators' Guild

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Add your voice to that of Catholic Days participants

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Catechumens: ‘Truly a gift' for the Church

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Bishops to Congress: Remember the poor

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From life to death to life: Symposium at Little Flower

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Why Catholic women ‘love Lucy'

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Chinese Catholics celebrate their New Year

Immaculata-La Salle concludes Black History Month on ‘Glory-ous' note

Immaculata-La Salle concludes Black History Month on ‘Glory-ous' note

Cath·o·hól·ic

Gospel reading John 2:13-25

Third Sunday of Lent - March 8, 2015

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the moneychangers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."

The Jews said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.

Click here to read a brief commentary >>

Msgr. Kenneth Schwanger  

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Third Sunday of Lent - March 8, 2015

Message from Our Pastor


Dear Family of Our Lady of Lourdes,

This weekend we welcome back our sisters of the Council of Catholic Women who were in Tallahassee for Catholic Days at the Capitol. If this were the only thing the Council of Catholic Women did in the year (And it isn’t!) it would be well worth the time of every Catholic woman to join them.

Catholic Days at the Capitol is a very effective event where Catholics from throughout the State of Florida gather in Tallahassee at the start of the legislative session to meet with our State Senators and Representatives to share with them our insight on matters of concern to the people of the State and to ask their support for particular legislative efforts that are important to us.

On Tuesday everyone met for an overview of the event and a presentation on legislative priorities. Wednesday begins with pictures with our Bishops and lunch with the Bishops and Legislators. Then small groups visit with each of our Senators and Representatives in their offices. Finally the Annual Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit is celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More asking God’s blessing on the work of our elected officials and those who serve the people of Florida.

Many of our Senators and Representatives have commented on how well prepared we are for these days and how important they are to them. This is an essential part of our offering the distilled wisdom of a life lived in Christ to those whom have accepted the responsibility to lead and care for the people of Florida. Theirs is a big responsibility and they need our help and prayers if they are to be successful public servants.

I thank and congratulate the Our Lady of Lourdes Council of Catholic Women for being such an important part of this important day! God bless you and your good work.

Blessings,
Msgr. Schwanger

Ashes won't get you into heaven...

March 5, 2015

Ashes won't get you into heaven ... but the Eucharist will!

A little backstory: This morning I woke up bright and early to embrace the beginning of the Lenten season. I walked over to the church where the 6:45 a.m. Mass was going on and wandered in during Holy Communion. There was no music because most of the people had to go to work, but there was a solemn silence as people slowly went up to receive the Lord. Now the ashes were going to be distributed at the end of Mass, so everyone kept their seat. Obviously, not a soul left early. The priest said the prayer and blessing over the ashes and then invited the people up to receive the ashes...BOOM! Like shot out of a cannon people bolted from their pews as if the priest were handing out winning lottery tickets.

Now I've been a priest for almost 13 years and have been ministering on Ash Wednesday since I was a teenager, so I wasn't surprised. But the thought that immediately entered my mind was: "Why don't people come to receive Jesus in the Eucharist with the same urgency that they come to get the ashes on Ash Wednesday?"

I know that if you're reading this I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I told the people in the evening Mass the utterly shocking statement that those ashes won't get us into heaven, but the Bread of Eternal Life will. And we received Him today and we receive Him every Sunday and we can receive Him every day if we wish.

Yes, the ashes are important. Yes, the ashes remind us that we have work to do during this Lent. Yes, the ashes are a sign of our mortality, but more importantly of the greatness and the majesty of our God. We are dust ... but he loves us anyways! We are sinners ... but he forgives us anyways!

May we concentrate on what is truly important during these 40 days, which is Christ crucified, who gives himself to us over and over again every time we come to church and receive the greatest treasure he entrusted to us: his Body and Blood!

These reflections are adapted from the daily Lenten blog of Father Manny Alvarez, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Hialeah.

Source: Read them all at fathermanny.blogspot.com/

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