March 13, 2016


Parish Lenten Retreat

Our Parish Retreat, Compassion on the Journey, is our participation in Our Holy Father’s invitation for the Church to celebrate a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Compassion is the heart of Mercy.

You are invited to join us as we experience God’s compassion and learn to be more compassionate and of fuller service to one another. The retreat unfolds in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin reflections/, a Holy Hour, workshops and suggested activities involving the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.


The church banner pictured above displays symbols of the various themes of our Retreat. Our journey begins with God who creates us, accompanies us through life, death and resurrection until we return to God in glory. Our journey is from “glory to glory” (2Cor.3:18). Along the way we are transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. God is our compassionate companion on the journey and invites us to offer compassionate service to one another.

The Two Figures shown form a Heart Shape as they symbolize human and divine love. The word compassion has its origins in two Latin roots; com-with and passion-to suffer/intense force. The meaning of compassion is a union of love that motivates beyond sympathy and empathy, ‘to be one with’ and, therefore, compels with a commitment to action physically, emotionally or spiritually as needed.

The Cross in the center of the heart is the sign of compassion.

The Vertical line of the cross calls to mind the unconditional compassion for us that comes From God.

The Horizontal line of the cross suggests the purpose for our lives which is to offer compassionate service For Others.



The image above (for a clear view/see website) is a reproduction of Rembrandt’s Portrait of Christ’s Head 1650, oil on wood, State Museum Berlin – Dahlem.

Our future focus will be on ways to reflect and pray with the masterpiece. For now appreciate the expression of Christ captured by the artist. Notice the exposed ear which suggests that Jesus listens with compassion.

St. Benedict of Nursea encouraged compassionate listening with the challenge,

“Listen with the ear of your heart.”

Compassion is listening with the ear of your heart and acting on what you hear.

Lenten Prayer:

God of all compassion, guide our hearts to serve.

Dona nobis pacem, Grant us Peace .

Week V

  • Isaiah awakens us to our potential for change. God’s activity and power is at work in us at all times, calling us in new ways of being and living. The Lord says, “Behold, I make all things new! Do you not perceive it?”
  • St. Paul challenges us to continue in the pursuit of our goal in Christ which is love.
  • Our Gospel story reminds us that we are all in need of God’s forgiveness and healing. None of us is able, when we are truly honest with ourselves, to “throw the first stone.” Our God of second chances sends us forth free to live in new ways.
Reflection: One Button at a Time

Mike lives next door to Ann and Fred who work from home. A serious automobile accident left Mike disabled and occasionally dependent on his neighbors. Several times a day, Mike would call Ann and she would happily go over and do little things for him. This day she had to go out. The phone rings and Fred answers gruffly “Ann is out. I’ll tell her you called.” Mike replies meekly, “Sounds like you are busy.” “I am, and I’ll tell her you called,” Fred answers.

When Ann returns she visits with Mike and returns in just a couple of minutes. “What did Mike want?” Fred asks. Ann says, “Not much, I buttoned up his shirt. He was cold.”

Fred freezes. Fred suddenly feels a little ill, he thinks, “If I don’t have two minutes to button a neighbor’s shirt, which one of us is disabled?”

Fred couldn’t remember what he was working on that morning but he never looked at a button in the same way again. From that moment on whenever the phone rang Fred was the first one on his feet.  Fred became a new person actively seeking ways to offer compassionate care. He learned to “listen with the ear of his heart.”

Today’s Gospel demonstrates that Christ’s Work, Opus Christi and therefore our work is to be compassionate.  Jesus writes in the sand in defense of the woman, forgives her and encourages her to live in a new way. By example Jesus teaches that we are all sinful and a little broken and in need of God’s compassionate care. As God cares for us we are called to care for one another.

Reflection Questions
  • Many people have “buttoned our shirts” with selfless compassion and service throughout our lives. Make a list of them. If they already with the Lord thank them in prayer. For the living, express your gratitude in a tangible way to those who have cared for you.
  • We are called to “button up” one another. Who needs your compassionate care? What actions will you take to do your mission Christ’s Work, Opus Christi for others?
Prayer and Action Opportunity

A button for each person will be available after Mass as a prayerful reminder of our mission to actively seek opportunities to compassionately care for others in practical ways.

You may use the button along with your prayer card. One side of the prayer card has Rembrandt’s Head of Christ image. On the other side is written our Lenten prayer:

God of All Compassion, Guide our Hearts to Serve .

Season of Lent Opportunities

Renew your faith and your spiritual life for service and compassion to one another.

  • The Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance.
  • Our Parish Retreat, Compassion on the Journey
  • Welcome Home: Sacrament of Reconciliation; Mondays 7 to 8:30 PM , Saturdays 11 AM to 12 Noon; Saturday, March 19th -10 AM to 12 Noon
  • Living Stations of the Cross, Friday March 18th 7 PM  Presented by Youth Ministry
  • Lenten penance includes acts of self-denial as a tool for mindfulness of God’s bountiful gifts and presence and/or an increase in Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
  • Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence when we refrain from eating meat and have one full meal and two lesser meals. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
  • Lenten Bible Study: Final Chapters of Luke’s Gospel leading to Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection on Monday at 11 AM in the Molloy Center. This will be the last class for Lent.
  • CRS Rice Bowls supports Catholic Relief Services


Our last RCIA session is Monday, March 14th at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room.


We are enjoying the month of March in Kindergarten. We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday and enjoyed green eggs and ham. Kindergarten is looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, we will be writing about leprechauns. We will also be celebrating Easter by writing our very own stories about a bunny.

St. Philip the Apostle Preparatory School HSA Family BINGO night will be held on Saturday, March 19th in the school auditorium immediately following 5:30 PM Mass. Please join us for BINGO, prizes the kids will love and delicious food. Bring your family and friends for this fun filled night.

To read complete bulletin click here