Fr. J.J.’s Jottings

Generosity Abounds
You know how the narthex is always buzzing after Mass with various groups advertising their ministries? Have you noticed that some of those folding tables that they use are looking worse for the ware?  Have you been a bride or groom who has invited your friends and family for your nuptials on a Saturday afternoon and been embarrassed with the ugly tables sitting out for the weekend Masses and felt that they did not really express the hospitable feel that St. Anastasia is known for? Have you noticed the very nice new black granite topped tables that match so well with the benches in the narthex? The St. Anastasia Euchre Club was kind enough to pay for those nice additions to our campus. Thank you Euchre Club for you kindness and helping make St. Anastasia even better.

Did you know that when you shop at Meijer and go through the check out, you can participate in a program called Simply Give? Did you know that you can make a donation to St. Anastasia and that Meijer will match that donation? Were you aware that we got $3000 last year for our food pantry from them? We picked up another $1000 worth of donations this week to help out those in need. Thank you and Meijer for helping so many folks out. It is a great way to help with your Lenten almsgiving.

Lent
Speaking of almsgiving, Kathy Rochon (Religious Education staff) gave me some really helpful info from the One Catholic Life website on Lenten practices. It is one of the most comprehensive and beneficial idea lists I have ever seen. The site reminds us that fasting, praying and almsgiving are the three penitential practices that we are asked to engage in during Lent. In addition to fasting and abstaining with the rest of the Church on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, we are also challenged to make individual sacrifices appropriate to our own spiritual condition. However, before we choose something to give up for Lent, it’s important to assess our current spiritual state: What habits do I engage in that are destructive to my spiritual health? To what material things am I too attached? What areas in my life are unbalanced? To what do I devote too much or not enough time?

Only after asking questions like these are we are ready to decide what is best to give up or what to add to our lives during Lent. If you need to tweak your practices, it’s never too late. We are only in the second week of Lent. The website lists 101 ideas to do for Lent. They are categorized under “the       Usuals”, “Prayer”, “For those addicted to Pop Culture”, “For internet users and bloggers”, For those who need to be more grateful”, “For those with lives out of balance”, “For those who need spiritual nourishment”, “For those who need to increase their   service to the needy”, for those who need to be more active in their parish”, “Potpourri”, and “More Fasting ideas”. 

Lent is a tremendous opportunity for spiritual growth. I invite you to visit the One Catholic Life website (http://www.nicksenger.com/onecatholiclife/?s=101+practical+fasting+ideas) and I hope these suggestions enhance and re-energize you on your spiritual journey.

“Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the   hunger and thirst for God.”

–Pope Benedict, Lenten message, 2009

God bless,
Fr. J.J.

P. S. Do not forget about “Unplug and Reconnect”. Join your fellow parishioners as we take a week to take better charge of our lives. Come with us on Tuesday, March 20th as we visit Sacred Heart Major Seminary (you can check out a picture of me with hair?!?!). See a complete schedule of events on page 9 of this bulletin. Sign up this week!