April 30 – Third Sunday of Easter
The Serenity Prayer “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr)
This well-known prayer is so beautiful and has helped many, especially those of our brothers and sisters working through addictions of various types. We pray for and support those who are dealing with all sorts of struggles, those who have begun addiction recovery, those yet to begin, those who work and accompany people through these tough issues, and families and friends and our whole community.
As I looked up the prayer, I found that there is another part of the prayer that I found so helpful as we try to find our balance in this crazy world of ours, to find peace and healing, and hope:
“Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. AMEN.”
In this beautiful Easter season, let us pray for peace. Let us be peace!
Sincerely, with love,
April 23 – Second Sunday of Easter
Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace
be with you. “ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and
his side. (Jn 20:19-20)
Happy Easter! The church concludes the octave of Easter (first 8 days) with the familiar gospel of the appearance of Jesus to the disciples who were in a locked room the evening of Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. It is a story of joy as Jesus reveals Himself to the very people who abandoned or betrayed Him and were cowering in fear of being killed like the Lord. It is a story of doubting Thomas who, upon seeing the five wounds of Jesus, exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” From John’s perspective, this Easter story is about the new life that proceeds from death and the healing gifts of the Holy Spirit.
During the week of April 10th and concluding with the joyful Solemnity of Easter, we have entered into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus in his rejection, suffering and death on the cross and in His glorious Resurrection. We have accompanied our RCIA elect and candidates as they were fully initiated. Our family of four parishes has shared the fruits of its Lenten almsgiving to help All Saints Parish with its evening meal program. We have walked the Way of the Cross and participated in a Day of Service. Like the early Christian community depicted in the reading from Acts, our parishes have remained faithful “to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.”
On this Sunday of Divine Mercy, and based on today’s readings, it is good to remind ourselves that the Risen Lord appears to us and our world in all its brokenness to bring us healing. The mission of the Church is to preach healing and forgiveness and to invite all who are wounded to the heart of Jesus. During the Easter season of 50 days, we celebrate the presence of the Risen Lord in many ways. This past Saturday our seminarian-intern Andrew Patrick Infanger was ordained to the Order of Deacon along with his classmates. Pray that all young people today will respond to the call of service in the Church. We also rejoice with all the young adults in part of our Deanery who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at Gesu Parish this Sunday at 2pm. Don’t forget the Spaghetti Dinner held at St. Rita Scalabrini Hall this Sunday from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Peace be with you!
Fr. Mike Michalski
April 16 – Easter Sunday
A Blessed Easter!
“What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself and that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom. God’s love can do this!” (Pope Francis)
To you, our beloved parishioners and all those seeking a home in the Church; to friends and strangers alike; to the lost and forgotten, the poor and the hungry; to those who are hurting or live in regret, fear or disappointment; to those whose lives are going pretty well and to those who feel a bit lost, lonely or confused; to the unborn and the very old and everyone in between; to the healthy and the sick; to the happy or depressed; to the grieving; to those dearest to our hearts and to those deemed less worthy of love or inclusion; to those who have many advantages and to those deprived; to our parish staff and trustees and Councils and Committees and ministries and societies; in a word,
May Christ rise in your hearts and bring new life and hope and joy!
Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Mike and Fr. Tim
April 9 – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.” –Mt 21:10-11
We now enter the most sacred week of the liturgical year: Holy Week. We have fasted, we have prayed and we have shared our alms and served the poor. Our Lenten journey culminates in the celebration of The Sacred Paschal Triduum which begins with the evening service of Holy Thursday and concludes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday.
During this week, we journey with Christ the Lord who enters Jerusalem to accomplish the Paschal Mystery. This is not the time to simply recall the events of our salvation as if we were watching the History Channel. The suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus is celebrated in our lives through sign, symbol, music and movement. Each day of the Triduum focuses on one aspect of the saving mystery of our salvation in Christ. In a parallel fashion to what is happening in the world of nature where seeds must die to produce fruit and flower, we are invited to share in the Last Supper, to venerate the Cross, to enter the tomb and to hear once again the Good News that “He is risen as He said.” Hopefully, something of the old order has died in us in order to be “born again” in the Spirit.
Please join our family of our four parishes as we gather for worship and praise this week. While our schedules are so busy, please try to attend as many of these holy days as you can. Fasting from cell phones and the Internet and the distractions of our busy lives would be helpful. Refer to the bulletin or parish websites for the schedule of services for the Triduum and Easter Sunday. Please return your Almsgiving gift – checks made out to All Saints, on Holy Thursday. The fruit of our Lenten almsgiving will help All Saints Meal Program hire a Dining Room Coordinator. We also pray in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters as they begin Passover on April 11th.
Please know that Fr. Tim and I will be praying for all of you and your personal intentions in a very special way this week.
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Mike Michalski
April 2 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
(Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963)
Praying that your Lent is progressing well, and that the new life of Lent is inviting you to more generous and joyful and balanced living! It seems that the times in which we are living need the presence and guidance and the peace of the changes that Lent calls us to more than ever!
We need to come together and work together and pray together more than ever. Our connection to our faith life can become almost automatic and drab when our lives go well. But I believe that in times of struggle, we are given a choice — either to believe more fully and enthusiastically or to doubt and despair that things could possibly get better.
These days of lent have been good for me so far, and I am choosing to stand tall in faith, and to outdo any past performance of living my faith! I’m going to try to live more in the moment, and to be as generous and patient with everyone, especially with people I don’t like or with whom I disagree.
I am going to try to be more generous to the poor. Almsgiving is not just a Lenten discipline, but an invitation to deeper living. I am going to do my duties with as much joy and hope as possible. I am going to try, even though I know I might fail. (Remember there is a Communal Penance on April 8th at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary.)
I am planning on having the best Easter ever. And these last weeks of Lent, I am going to spread the news far and wide by the way I choose to live my life!
Please join us in the great Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday — the days in which we celebrate the greatest story ever told! Please set aside as much time as possible to be with us in Church.
Sincerely, with love, in the heart of Jesus,