Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From February 20th 2011 Bulletin)

Good Friday Blood Drive
The Blood Drive on Good Friday has been moved up earlier into the First Week of Lent this year to Saturday, Mar 12. There will also be other opportunities to give blood later in the year on June 11, Sept 24, and Dec 3. The reason it is being moved is threefold, beginning with the theological and liturgical. Good Friday is the one day of the year when we don’t say Mass, because the Church desires that we focus on the original and historical sacrifice of Jesus Christ. All our Masses, all our works, any good that occurs on earth throughout history owes it’s efficacy to this one act of love on the part of the Son of God made man. It’s important to give our full attention to this fact of grace, that without Him loving us first, we would not have the inspiration nor the strength to consider giving of ourselves.

A second reason that the Good Friday Blood Drive concerned me was that the Church gives us two fast days a year, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. But when one gives blood one shouldn’t fast. It’s actually dangerous and I’ve had at least one parishioner appear quite distressed because she was fainting after giving blood yet wanted to be faithful to the fast. I gave her dispensation
from the fast, but I believe she still felt conflicted. It seemed unfortunate that one had to choose between an act of charity and a rarely required act of penance. Eliminating 50% of the required penance during the Church year does not seem prudent to me. If we had 50 days of penance and eliminated one of them I would be less concerned.

The third reason is related. Giving one’s blood can be tiring and cause a lack of energy. This takes away from the liturgy and any
devotions that one might choose to do. Joining fasting to prayer is also one thing that Jesus recommended for special intentions. The Church needs our sacrifices, joined to Christ’s One, Holy, and Supreme Sacrifice.

All this is not meant to diminish the great sacrifice of giving one’s blood so that another might live. It is a great gift. There are few acts of love that can better resemble Our Saviors’ sacrifice. There is no need however to put ourselves in such a quandary if we could do both, so I explored the possibility of moving the Blood Drive to Holy Thursday or the previous Friday. Neither was possible on those days so they plan to come earlier in the Lenten Season on March 12, from 10AM-4PM. In the future, we will try to host it more closely to Good Friday. Thank you to all who have generously given their blood in the past. I hope this change does not inconvenience your giving, but rather enhances your love and generosity.

Honduras Mission Asks Prayers

By the time this bulletin is distributed (Feb 19/20) one team will be returning late Saturday night (Feb 19) and two others will have landed (Feb 18 & 19). I will be arriving on Feb 18th and would like to ask your prayers for ourselves and all the children that we will be serving. Lorie Vanderwalker served on the Medical Mission in early February. Our current teams include:

Renovation Team #1
Pat Flanigan
Debbie Dullenty
Tracy Morgan
David Winans
Steve Allen
Lise Masselotte

Prayer Team
Fr. Ed
Rebekah Cargill
Grace Daniel
Christina DeGoede
Trish Warfel
Dee Ho
Vyvyan Du
Mario Baron
George Baron
Ed Hopfner

Renovation Team #2
Pat Flanigan
Debbie Dullenty
Beth Motola
Emily Warfel
Dan Shonka
Anne Danaher
Mike Dullenty

Thank you to all who have been so supportive of our missions. People are blessed because of St. Stephen’s generosity and I pray that God abundantly bless you with every grace that you need. We are able to provide clothing, furnishings, bedding, books, Bibles, Catechisms, and rosaries, along with a lot of love. I know the children would want to give you all a big hug for what you have done. Muchas gracias por todos.

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