Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of March 11, 2001

Dear Parishioners,

Lent is here. Keep up the good work! Lent for Catholics means three things: Almsgiving, Fasting, and Prayer

Almsgiving is generous giving to those in need. As usual, your response has been generous to our second collections. This weekendís second collection is for the Catholic Church in Eastern Europe. This Church is just beginning to dig herself out from decades of persecution by atheistic communism (What idiots, they actually thought they could destroy Christís Church!) in that part of the world. We owe those Catholics much because it was their staunch Faith that was transplanted all over our country.

Next weekís second collection will be for the Hispanic Education Center, our next door neighbors in the building we share with the C.Y.O. This is a ministry sponsored in part by the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods. We must not forget that this Italian Parish was formed to meet the needs of the newly arriving Italian immigrants to this country shortly after the last century began. The Spanish Education Center seeks to meet the needs of the recently arriving Spanish-speaking immigrants, mainly from Mexico. Donít forget our heritageóplease again be generous!

Fasting means saying "No" to ourselves. Itís practice in self-control, which leads us to the ability to say "No" to temptation. Remember that all Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat. This is the minimum. In addition, we need to do penance in lots of other ways as well. Itís up to you.

Prayer is essential to a good Lent. Individual prayer like reading Scripture, some quiet time each day just to talk to God, the rosary or other private devotions are good suggestions. As I mentioned last week, the Mass is the perfect prayer. Attendance at both daily Masses through the week has been good. Keep it up! The same holds true for the Stations of the Cross after both Masses on Friday.

The Triduum in Honor of Saint Joseph was also well attended last Sunday. Itís honoring Saint Joseph, the patron of Italy. From 1:30 until 2:00 p.m. we have Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the chaplet (rosary) of Saint Joseph, the litany, and a brief sermon on the virtues of Saint Joseph. His actual feast day is Monday, March 19. Please come to implore Saint Joseph to pray with us and for us. He is a powerful intercessor and patron of fathers, workers, the universal Church, and of Italyójust to mention a few.

Spaghetti and Spirituality is an adult education program that we began after the 5:30 p.m. Mass on the Wednesdays of Lent (about 6:00 p.m.). Many parishes have this sort of thing with a simple soup and bread supper. Since we are the Italian Parish of Indianapolis, weíre going the meatless pasta route. Itís meant to be a simple light Lenten meal. I was very pleased by the attendance last Wednesday. To be honest, Iíd hoped for about a dozen to attend. We had thirty-three. If you missed last week, youíre still welcome to come this week or any other week.

All in all, as your pastor, I am very pleased with participation at the things Iíve mentioned above. To be honest, this is the "smallest" parish Iíve ever served in. In fact, all my previous parish assignments have been "mega parishes." The list includes the two largest parishes in the archdiocese. Any, by golly, by comparison we do quite well when it comes to attendance at extra Masses or Services, educational programs, social events, and second collections for various causes. I am very proud of our parish on these counts and for lots of other reasons as well.

Speaking of Saint Joseph, Holy Rosaryís annual Saint Josephís Table at Primo will be all Sunday afternoon March 18, from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m. Itís the most fabulous Italian buffet you can imagine. Get your tickets!

And while Iím writing about patron saints of countries and things "ethnic:" Again I have the honor of representing the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in the annual Saint Patrickís Day Parade downtown this Friday, March 16. Itís always lots of fun and I see many of you on the sidelines waving. A "Schaedel" in an Irish parade? Donít forget, my motherís maiden name was "Noone" (County Mayo). Pray for good weather this year. Last year, I just about got drenched; the previous year we nearly froze!

On the actual Saint Patrickís Day (Saturday, March 17) we will have the Franciscan Brothers of Christ the King here to sing at the 4:30 p.m. Mass. The Brothers assisted our own choir at Midnight Mass and also sang Easter Sunday morning last year. Itís always a treat to welcome them. Our own music director, Gary Asher, divides his time between our parish and Saint Patrick. And he needs to be at Saint Patrick that same afternoon for their patron feast!

Have a good Lent! Faithfully yours in God's Providence,

Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel