St. Andrew's Blog

I Love Our Parish St. Andrew So Much and Here Is Why!

04-16-2021Weekly LetterFr. Robert S. Aliunzi, AJ

Dear St. Andrew,

Despite the unpredictable and challenging times we have been going through due to the pandemic, a lot of good things have been happening here in our parish. During this time, we have tried our best to continue growing in our faith through the different adult faith formation and Spiritual growth opportunities we have made available to assist us on this journey.

Having just concluded our most recent “Journey towards Holiness Campaign” focusing on the Cross and the Resurrection, we are most excited to share with you about our next Journey Toward Holiness Campaign which I hinted on in my last article. This journey will now specifically focus on “Mary and the Eucharist”, thereby providing us a great way to discover more about our Blessed Mother and her Divine Son given to us through the gift of Himself in the Most Holy Eucharist.

The month of May in particular will offer us several encounters to discover a greater love of Jesus through Mary. If you have never journeyed through Marian Consecration there are the classes we will be offering for you. These classes will explore what devotion to Jesus through Mary is, and why it is important. Through these classes, Fr Michael Gaitley offers us this beautiful opportunity which is based on St Louis de Montfort’s, True Devotion to Mary. Fr Gaitley updates the Marian Consecration by weaving in some reflections from contemporary Marian saints such as Saints Maximillian Kolbe, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Pope John Paul II.

If you want to get to know your heavenly Mother well and if you want her to lead you to a closer relationship with her Son, and if you want to grow in holiness, I highly recommend taking the classes that will start on Monday evening April 19th at 7pm, or Tuesday mornings after the morning Mass. Margie Kessler will speak more about these classes and more, in our Candid Monday Message. Forms are in the Narthex or the parish office. Fall in love with Jesus through the eyes of His Mother.

Another tangible way to love and honor our heavenly Mother starting in May, is to bring her flowers. These flowers will be placed at the feet of the statue of our Lady of Fatima in our Church. Therefore, take advantage of this by bringing her flowers during the month of May. This is a great way to engage children and touch their Mother’s heart. Additionally, this year, we will also be crowning our Heavenly Queen before all Masses the first weekend of May.

On Wednesday May, 12th we will attend the evening Mass and have a beautiful Rosary procession which will follow in her honor. Everyone is welcome to attend. This is a wonderful way for all of us, young and old to respect and admire our dear Mother on this vigil of her first apparition at Fatima in 1917. Lastly, mark your calendars for Saturday, May 15th after the 5pm Mass we will be showing the Fatima movie in the hall. This is a great movie for families, seniors, young adults, and everyone in between. If you want to bring an appetizer or snack to share, we can partake while we watch the movie. We will be reminding you of these opportunities as we get closer.

The second part of our Journey Towards Holiness Campaign will focus on the Eucharist. Again, through our Sunday and Wednesday JTH Flocknotes which begin on April 25, through the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 6th- we will dive deeper into the sacrament of the Eucharist. Research shows that less than 30% of Catholics believe in the True Presence of our Eucharistic Lord. This is so sad considering that the Eucharist is the greatest gift ever given to mankind. What religion other than the Catholic religion has claimed to have ever given so priceless a gift? It is incredulous to believe but it’s true, we are able to receive God under the humble species of bread and wine.

How many of us were profoundly impacted and emotional as we received the Eucharist, for the first time after months of languishing without it last year? Perhaps it may have been the gift we took for granted which became precious and extraordinary once again.

We are planning a variety of extraordinary ways to participate, learn, and be transformed through the miracle of the Eucharist. We cannot wait to tell you more once we have the details worked out. Look for new ways to learn through the slides before Mass that will unpack Bishop Olmsted’s brilliant Apostolic Exhortation just released, Veneremur Cernui. This is one of the greatest gifts our bishop has given us based on the Eucharist at this time. You can easily download this document right on our website.

Suffice it to say for now, you are in for an exciting year that will be engaging, educational, and transformational. Let me leave you with this important quote from the said exhortation:

“Whether your faith in the Eucharist is strong or weak, whether you consider the Church your home or you have recently decided to disassociate, or even if you have no faith at all, my sincere hope is that a true “Eucharistic amazement” will be ignited in you.” (VC, 4)

If you have not signed up for the Journey Toward Holiness, I request that you give it a try for a month. I assure you, your faith will grow. May your amazement for the gift of the Eucharist change your heart and those in whom you come in contact.

Finally, I would like to invite you for the upcoming Roe V Wade movie on Sunday April 25 at 11:30am. It will be hosted by our Respect life ministry and Knights of Columbus who are providing a hotdog lunch for attendees so they can come in right after the 10 am mass. The film is rated PG-13 so it is appropriate for 13 and above.

St. Andrew, I love you and have a blessed Easter Season!