Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of March 5, 2000

Dear Parishioners,

I’d like to begin this week by saying "Happy 80th Birthday" to Larry Spicuzza! The 12:15 p.m. Mass this weekend will be for Larry’s intentions. Larry is every faithful as an usher at the Sunday Mass. He’s always in the back pew, same place, same time, each week—ready to help. God bless you, Larry, and thanks for your continued generosity and fidelity to your beloved Holy Rosary Parish. We love you too!Lent is upon us! Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about Christmas. This Wednesday, March 8, is Ash Wednesday.Our schedule of Lenten services is listed elsewhere in this bulletin. You will note that we have three Masses on Ash Wednesday. Ashes will be distributed at each Mass. These are a sacramental reminder of our duty and our promise to do penance during Lent.Easter is late this year, April 23; but it seems like it’s coming around awfully quick. The latest that Easter can ever be is April 25. That’s the way it was in 1943 (before I was born, by the way), and that’s the way it will be again in 2038. The date of Easter is calculated as being the Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring equinox. Some "ecclesiastical calculators" consider March 21 the date of the equinox, though it is not astronomically so every year. The earliest Easter can be is March 22.Lent for Catholics means three things: Almsgiving, Fasting, and Prayer.Almsgiving is generous giving to those in need. During Lent, we deliberately schedule some so-called "second collections" for special purposes. It’s time to think about others beside ourselves, in particular those less fortunate. Our collection on Ash Wednesday and the second collection next weekend will be for the Black and Indian Missions in our country. Some of our own archdiocesan parishes serving African-American Catholics benefit from this collection. Please be generous. There will be a second collection for some special group in need each Sunday during Lent here at Holy Rosary.Fasting means saying "No" to ourselves. It’s practice in self-control, which leads us to the ability to say "No" to temptation. It’s also a reminder that the things of this world are not all there is. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence (no meat, no eating between meals, our two lesser meals put together should not outweigh our main meal of the day. All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat.This is the minimum. In addition, we need to do penance by saying "No" to some things or "Yes" to other things. Many folks give up candy, or alcohol, or some television, or other pleasures. Others do positive things. Some examples are more time visiting shut-ins, cleaning out those closets or drawers we’ve been meaning to get to, being more conscious of the needs others, being more punctual, trying to be more patient in traffic. Each person can tailor their "Lenten Penance" to their own individual circumstances.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. In addition to our regular schedule of Masses here at Holy Rosary, we will have some "extras" during Lent. As I noted earlier, these are listed elsewhere in the bulletin. I would like to note that confessions are heard before every Mass here at Holy Rosary. I know of no other parish in the archdiocese where this sacrament is so readily available on a regular basis. I encourage everyone to take advantage of it. The Sacrament of Penance is an essential part of Lent for all of us.The Stations of the Cross are a wonderful Lenten devotion. In order to make it more convenient for folks, we’ve decided to offer these immediately after the evening Mass on Fridays of Lent. They should begin about 6:15 p.m. This will enable people from the 5:30 p.m. Mass to stay a bit longer in order to attend. We’re hoping many will take advantage of this convenience. I guess we need to keep in mind that this is the age of "one stop shopping!" We’re also aware that many of our parishioners find it difficult to get to church after dark if we have them much later.Don’t forget the Tridium in Honor of Saint Joseph beginning today and continuing through March 19 each Sunday from 1:30-2:00 p.m. Bring a friend. We are the Italian Parish of Indianapolis. The Feast of Saint Joseph, patron of Italy, is March 19. Holy Rosary’s annual Saint Joseph’s Table at Primo will be all Sunday afternoon March 26, from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m. Proceeds benefit Catholic Education.Have a good Lent! Faithfully yours in God's Providence,Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel