Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of Irish heritage and all their friends. Here’s a good article about the moving authentic writings of the real person (with links to the writings themselves) – I recommend it as part of your Lenten spiritual reading if you want to get beyond all the legends about shamrocks and snakes.

Speaking of Lent… it’s not too late to take in “Take Five,” my Lenten video series that explores 5 key words in the Gospel that set forth the foundation of our spirituality as followers of Jesus. It is truly a series, so it will not make much sense unless you listen to each episode in order; but it’s easy to catch up since the videos are only 90 seconds each. Also join us on Friday evenings at 6pm for a simple soup supper prior to Stations of the Cross at 6:45pm.

This Sunday we’ll hear one of the ancient Lenten gospel stories, the one about Jesus’s healing of the man born blind (John 9).  After mass we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  The gospel story fits the occasion well: the man was healed through an anointing – not with oil, but with mud washed off with water!  Water and Light are major motifs in John’s gospel, and their combination in this story suggests the man’s spiritual movement from darkness/blindness to enlightment/vision through the water of baptism. Like the story of the woman at the well that we heard last week – and that of Martha and Mary at the raising of Lazarus next week – it helps us understand our own story, as we encounter Jesus who leads us through spiritual growth and development to bring us to a confident faith and trust in God, to the “living water” of the Holy Spirit within us that empowers us to bring the good news of God’s love and healing to others.

The Sacrament of Anointing is for those who are seriously ill in mind or body, preparing for surgery, or simply suffering the weakness of aging. Come and encounter Jesus in this sacramental prayer to experience his loving care for you and to know he is with you in his passion and sufferings in this Lenten season.

Today is the “last call” to submit proposals for our parish service initiative – see the ending of my previous article HERE for the full explanation and information. Let me underline here some other events that are each described more fully elsewhere in this eNews. Come join me and others on Saturday (3/18, 10AM) in our spring cleaning of the church – lunch will be provided.  On Sunday (3/19) the whole U.S. church takes part in a collection for Catholic Relief Services. CRS is one of the most effective charitable causes you can contribute to – for more than 75 years, CRS has been providing expertise and compassion to the very poorest of our brothers and sisters in more than 100 countries. On Wednesday (3/22), participate in an online gathering to continue discussion on Pope Francis’s synodal process unfolding in the international church; the latest document is long but gives encouraging evidence that the voices of ordinary people throughout the world, and their real concerns, are truly being heard!