Dear Parishioners,

There are many moments and programs full of opportunities to grow in your your faith once again.  Here’s just some of the wonderful highlights.

Movie Night
On Friday, Feb. 8th at 5 PM, we will be offering a very popular Disney-Pixar film which is for everyone, especially families.  It has been scheduled at this time so that families can come with their children, bringing their own dinner and a snack to share, and enjoy the company of other parishioners in a movie which portrays a fantastic Christian teaching.  Through two main characters, an old man and a young boy, the two have to face and fight through their fears and sorrows in order to find joy in their lives, in order to reach their dreams, in order to become who they are meant to be.  With the use of thousands of balloons, the old man decides to “float” his house up-up-and-away to a distant place in order to accomplish a life’s dream.  The boy, accidentally was on the porch the moment of the launching of the house, and from there begins the adventure.  Maybe this story is familiar to you, and maybe you know the title of the wonderful film.  Either way, this film captures the Catholic narrative of the Paschal mystery of suffering, death, and resurrection.  Didn’t see it that way the first time around watching it?  Well, come and see it again with new eyes and heart.  Maybe you will be looking “up” more often when difficulties strike.

Disciples on the Journey & Friday’s of Lent
A week from Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13th.  Can you believe that?  It has come so quickly!  That means Easter is also early, in fact Easter Sunday is March 31st this year. During Lent, as has been our custom, everyone is being encouraged to join or create their own Disciples on the Journey small faith sharing group.  These groups are fantastic ways to journey the 40 days of Lent so that, at the end, we will be ready to celebrate the great mystery of Christ’s resurrection.  In addition, we will begin again our simple dinners each Friday followed by Stations of the Cross done by various groups and ministries of the parish.

Vespers & Holy Hour
On Tuesday, February 12th, the day before Ash Wednesday, as part of Archbishop Vlazny’s call to greater attention in prayer to the issues of our day, we will be holding an evening prayer service (a.k.a. vespers) and solemn holy hour of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament here at St. Anne’s in the church.  It will be bilingual (English and Spanish), so all our parishioners can participate in their own language.

Vespers is the other great liturgy of the Church after the Mass.  It is part of what is called, The Liturgy of the Hours.  The purpose of the Liturgy of the Hours is to sanctify the hours the day by taking out special time to pray the psalms, listen to Scripture, and offer our prayers for the whole Church.  It is done by practically all religious and priests throughout the world everyday.

It is from the Liturgy of the Hours that the Rosary came to the fore.  The laity, in ancient time, desired to pray as the monks did, but were not literate or had prayer books.  So, the Rosary arose as a way to pray akin to the monks, but with no need for books.  The Rosary was a set of simple prayers the people could memorize, and grew and developed over time to what we see today.  The Psalms number 150 as do the original Hail Mary’s prayed in a rosary.

Come celebrate Mardi Gras in a different way by joining together in Evening Prayer with Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  The focus will be the Eucharist, life issues, marriage, and religious liberty.  We will supply the booklets needed.  All you need to do is come and pray.  Again, hope to see you there.

Rite of Election
Every year people find themselves on a profound spiritual journey to the Catholic Church.  Our process for helping them is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA for short.  This year’s group is exceptionally large.  Praise God!  In two short weeks, Archbishop Vlazny will come to St. Anne’s to host an important step for those seeking baptism (Catechumens) and reception into full communion (Candidates).  The event is called the Rite of Election.  All the Vicariate parishes will be bringing their Catechumens and Candidates to St. Anne’s to be recognized by Archbishop Vlazny.  Everyone is invited.  This is not a Mass, but a formal ritual that is certainly full of good news.  The electricity of emotion is in the air whenever we celebrate a Rite of Election.  So, please consider yourself invited to this liturgy on Saturday, February 16th at 10:30 AM at St. Anne’s and witness the Church alive and growing!


Fr. William Holtzinger