Fr. Lara's Lines
2nd Sunday of Lent
We are already in the second Sunday of Lent. I have
heard from many parishioners about their Lenten
practices. Some are giving up sweets or alcohol, others
are working on their spiritual lives by spending some
more time in prayer, and still others are visiting the
sick or helping those in need. The Church wants us to
observe these three spiritual practices: praying, fasting
and almsgiving. We can practice these throughout the
year, but they have a special meaning during the
penitential Lenten season.
Prayer is the time we spend with God. Jesus showed his
disciples how to pray because without prayer we cannot
have a relationship with God. The Church encourages
us to pray daily. The goal of prayer is not so much
asking God for favors but a relationship with God.
There are many forms of prayer: Petitions, intercessions,
meditation, and praise. All forms of prayer help us to
deepen our desire to be more like Jesus. Our parish has
prayer at the center of our community. The adoration
chapel is the heart of the parish. Parishioners of all
ages come to pray at all times. This Lenten season, I
invite you to work on your prayer life. You might want
to pick up new daily prayer habits or work on being
more intentional in your prayer routine. Quality time
in prayer is more valuable than quantity. Let us join
Jesus in the desert where, for forty days, he prayed
and prepared himself for his public ministry.
The Church asks us to fast, not for the purpose of losing
weight, but to detach ourselves from the things of this
world. Fasting is a spiritual practice that allows us to
separate ourselves from the pleasures and even
necessities of life. When we feel hungry, we tend to
think about food. That is an opportunity for us to
replace that hunger with God’s love. When we are
deprived of our desires, all we think about is enjoying
them. Depriving ourselves of our attachments allows us
to fill that void with God’s presence. Jesus went to the
desert for forty days where he fasted. He showed us
that nothing can prevent us from being close to God.
Abstaining from certain foods is a small sacrifice that
helps us recognize our dependence on God. We can
also abstain from doing specific things. Just like fasting,
abstinence from other desires is a common practice
during Lent. It would be easy to give up something
we do not like, but that would defeat the purpose.
We should make a small sacrifice this Lent by giving up
something more significant. How is your Lent so far? It
is never too late to start the beautiful and holy practice
While fasting is abstinence from what we desire,
almsgiving is giving up something we possess. We all
have many possessions which may be difficult to let go
of. Sometimes we are too attached to the money we
have or the things we possess. Almsgiving is a form of
detachment. This practice is difficult for some people
because it requires giving up our own money, time, or
possessions. We become so accustomed to what we
have that we think we cannot do without any of it.
Jesus went to the desert with nothing, knowing that all
he needed was God. We should not be afraid to be
uncomfortable. This season of Lent, I invite you to be
more charitable, spiritually or materially. What are
the things you are too attached to? How can you use
the things you possess to deepen your relationship with
Asian American Association
A couple weeks ago, the Asian American Association
hosted hospitality after the weekend Masses. This
helped us to catch up and stay connected with other
parishioners. The members of the Asian American
Association (AAA) make our parish feel so welcoming.
This is one of the most active ministries. I admire their
faith, enthusiasm, and commitment to our parish. The
Asian American dinner dance is one of the main events
they host every other year. It is a wonderful opportunity
to celebrate who we are as a community. It is also a
fundraiser which raises money for the many projects
we have as a parish. The renovations of the vestibule
bathrooms and the sacristy are two of the most recent
projects they supported. The AAA celebrates Simbang
Gabi during Christmas. The church is decorated with
lights and beautiful Christmas ornaments. It is such a
joyful celebration starting with Mass and ending with a
reception in Marian Hall. The AAA are active members
in all aspects of the parish. Anyone can be a member
of the AAA. If you would like to be part of this lively
ministry, please contact Ford Culbertson at
Recognize God in Your Oridinary Moments - By Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman
On the Mountain (abridged)
Why climb a mountain? “Because it’s there,”
George Mallory famously said before perishing
in an attempt to scale Mount Everest.
God is an event planner; every detail matters,
and the location is most crucial of all. On the
mountain, God demanded the sacrifice of Isaac.
On the mountain, he restored Isaac to his father.
On the mountain, Jesus was transfigured, revealed
in all his mystifying glory as the Son of God, the
sacrifice which would finally balance the scale.
These things happened on a mountain because
the mountain is where the reckoning happens. It is
where God takes, where He gives back, where
He hands down.
In Lent, we encounter the mountain. We are
removed from the distractions of ordinary life
and placed outside the confines of our everyday
habits. We find silence and mystery, pain and
truth. We struggle and we become tired, and
there is always a moment when we wonder if it
would have been easier not to climb.
I am not much of an outdoorswoman so I am far
from qualified to comment on whether the view
from the summit was worth George Mallory’s life.
But I do know a thing or two about struggling
through a difficult experience. I know the strange
peace that exists in the moment after it’s all over
and you catch your breath and realize you are a
better, stronger, wiser person for the pain.
The mountain is there. Let’s climb it.
“God put Abraham to the test. He called to him,
‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am!’ he replied.” — Genesis 22:1
The Holy Father's Intentions for February
For the Terminally Ill
Let us pray that the sick who are in the final stages
of life, and their families, receive the necessary
medical and human care and accompaniment.
Honor Our Military
Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and
are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who
may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and
pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.
Please Pray for Ukraine
We pray in gratitude for all of those who have defended
peace, virtue, and justice with honor. We pray especially
for those who have suffered in mind and body from the
ravages of war. May Your peace reign in our hearts
and in our world. Amen.
He Who Sacrificed His Life
Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
MATTHEW NEUBAUER, Nephew of Dan & Judy Neubauer
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
SANG HOON LEE
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, SON OF CHRIS & JULIE MCMAHON
JOHN A. STONIS, GRANDSON OF JOHN & DOROTHY STONIS
MICHAEL T. HEHN, GRANDSON OF JOHN & DOROTHY STONIS
To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to firstname.lastname@example.org
For our sisters and brothers involved in or
affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine--
the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the
displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders.
May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and
hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Neighbors of other Faiths
The Golden Rule
Donations can be made here:
Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html
Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us
"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis
Excerpted from charterforcompassion.org/the-golden-rule-in-seven-major-religions
We may speak of great differences in
religious beliefs and forms of worship
around the world. Called by an endless
number of names, all, however, recognize and worship a Supreme
Being. And all religions, somewhere in their sacred literature,
expound the fundamental philosophy of the Golden Rule.
Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
~ Buddha, Undanavarga 5:18
Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that all men
should do to you, do ye even so to them.
~ Matthew 7:12
Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do
~ Confucius, Analects 15:23
Hinduism: Good people proceed while considering what is best
for others is best for themselves.
Islamism: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother
what he loves for himself.
~ Mohammed, Traditions
Judaism: And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Leviticus 19:18
Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do
~ Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29