Lift Up Your Hearts

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Since the release of the Grand Jury Report almost three weeks ago, the life of the Catholic Church has been greatly affected, as the Catholic faithful and our neighbors have been searching for ways to respond, as we all sort out our own emotional reactions. While the very public dialogue continues, as it needs to, calling for even more transparency and discerning the truth of so many allegations and of the response of our Church’s leadership, I feel very strongly that we are called to confront the presence and effects of sin and corruption in our Church with prayer and fasting. While none of us may share personally in the guilt of the grave sins which have been laid bare, as members of the Body of Christ, we are called to share in the remedy: to bind up the wounds of those violated and of their loved ones, to work to restore faith in the Lord Jesus and the good work His Church is charged to carry out, to encourage a sincere purification of the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

For this good and holy purpose, I very humbly call on and encourage all of our parishioners of Saint Joan and Saint Louise to join together for two Days of Prayer and Fasting, this Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 26. Each of these two days will provide us an opportunity to make a generous and loving response to this painful and critical moment in the life of our Church. I ask all our parishioners to fast, as you are able, as we do on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday: abstaining from eating meat, limiting meals to only one normal and perhaps one or two lighter ones, and above all to offer up prayers and spiritual sacrifices for the entire Body of Christ.

This coming Tuesday we will offer some opportunities to come together to pray at Saint Louise, taking advantage of the regular Tuesday practice of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I invite you to join us at some point this Tuesday at Saint Louise for quiet prayer, or to participate in one of the opportunities to pray together as listed in the schedule to the right. I also encourage all to consider joining us this coming Tuesday for 8:00am Mass at Saint Joan. Wednesday, September 26, we will offer an evening Eucharistic Holy Hour at Saint Joan, again inviting the people of both parishes to take the opportunity to come together in prayer (details will be published soon).

With the sincere hope that the Lord, the Good Shepherd, will continue to show us His Mercy in seeking out the lost and providing us shepherds after His own heart, I am,

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Joe

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