Saturday - 4:00 pm
Sunday - 8:00, 11:00 am & 6:00 pm
Morning Mass (Tues - Fri) 8:15 am
Dear Parishioners of St. Gabriel,
Wednesday marks the beginning of the holy season of Lent. And although
it has taken us a long time this year to arrive at this great season of
renewal, I urge each one of you to enter this season full EXPECTING God
to heal you, make you on fire with the Holy Spirit, and recognize your
responsibility to your brothers and sisters who are poor in our midst.
This is the call to holiness that is required for us all during these
next 40 days as we approach the great Easter Triduum. And so as we
pray for our friends preparing for the Easter sacraments through the
RCIA, let us also show them by our way of life that our faith goes
beyond these walls into the very lives of those in need of God's mercy
and healing. How can this be accomplished? Here are some easy steps.
Pray. Come to daily Mass. It is celebrated Tuesday to Friday at 8:15am.
Ash Wednesday at 8:15 am and 7:00 pm. A great way to start your day.
Morning prayer is celebrated as a community beginning at 8:00am. Or
commit yourself to an hour of prayer in the adoration chapel. It is
open from 7:00 am til 10:00 pm Monday to Friday. Stations of the Cross
is celebrated each Friday at 5:30pm. Or spend time reading the Bible or
spiritual works at home each night. How about gathering the family
together for prayer after dinner? Yes, maybe you could actually eat as
a family as an added bonus. Speaking of dinner, don't forget our Fish
Fry each Friday of Lent from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Fasting. Fasting usually means giving up a particular food for a time.
The Church asks that we fast each Friday during Lent from meat and on
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday that we also only have 1 full meal those
days. Fasting also involves examining our lives. Perhaps Confession
has been only sporadic in your life or not at all for a long time. Make
a point of taking advantage of this Lenten season to come to
Confession. In addition to each Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm and our
March 25th Communal Penance Service at 7:00 pm, there will be other
opportunities for your participation in this sacrament of Mercy. This
year Fr. Jack and I will "Leave the Light On," each Thursday evening
during Lent beginning March 6 from 7:00 to 8:30pm for anyone to drop by
for Confession. No appointment, no one will be turned away. Come and
experience God's love and mercy.
Almsgiving. So many generous hands exist here throughout the year, but
during Lent it is important that we recognize our call to help the poor.
Did you know you can drop off non-perishable foods for the food
pantry at the office or make a donation to St. Vincent de Paul online?
We will accept donations for our Sharon Johnson Scholarship fund and
for our Hand in Hand Jamaca Scholarhip fund at any time. These funds
are essential for both our own children and our brothers an sisters in
Jamaica to receive a good education. As well, if you have not turned
in your pledge card for this year’s annual appeal, please do so now.
Our parish exists to help many people sustain a life of God and only
through YOUR generosity can this continue.
Finally, you are invited to study and reflect during this holy season.
After daily Mass either I or Angela will gather with whoever can stay
and reflect on the words and writings of Pope Francis. Come to the
gathering space for 30 minutes following Mass and reflect daily We
will follow the booklet, THROUGH THE YEAR WITH POPE FRANCIS, David
Cotter, ed. Copies are available for your purchase. In addition
Thursdays at 2:00pm during Lent are reserved for small faith sharing group
led by Angela, reflecting on the scriptures.
So dear friends, there is much happening here where we can make a good
Lent, a time of real conversion. Please don't pass up these
opportunities to grow in your faith, become closer to God and be
renewed in charity.
May God bless each of you during this holy season of Lent.
Fr. Joseph Sharbel, Pastor
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