My dear people of St. Mary’s:
We have now come to Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. During the course of the next seven days, we will have the opportunity to walk with our Lord through the last week, and most important moments, of his life on earth. Elsewhere in this bulletin you will find the complete schedule for Holy Week and Easter. Do not forget that this Monday, March 25, is the diocesan Day of Penance, and confessions will be available in the church from 3:00 to 6:00 pm continuously.
A reminder to those of you who pray the Divine Mercy devotion, so close to the heart of Blessed John Paul II. Good Friday is the day to begin the Divine Mercy Novena, which concludes just prior to the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter). On that day we will have a special Mass at 3:00 pm in the church. From 1:00 to 3:00 pm we will have special Divine Mercy devotions, and extra priests will be available to hear confessions in the lower church. You will find a flyer with more details in this bulletin.
On Tuesday last, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Pope Francis inaugurated his Petrine ministry at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square, with attendance estimated at one-million pilgrims. During that Mass he received the symbols of his office, the pallium and the fisherman’s ring. We will discuss the meaning of these symbols after Easter. There are so many interesting and inspiring stories coming out about our new Pope, but I would like to share just one with you this weekend.
After Pope Blessed John Paul II died in 2005, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires offered a reminiscence in the Catholic magazine 30 Days about the inspiration the late Pope had given him:
If I remember well it was 1985. One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by the Holy Father. He was in front of everybody, on his knees. The group was numerous; I saw the Holy Father from the back and, little by little, I got lost in prayer. I was not alone: I was praying in the middle of the people of God to which I and all those there belonged, led by our Pastor.
In the middle of the prayer I became distracted, looking at the figure of the Pope: his pity, his devotion was a witness. And the time drifted away, and I began to imagine the young priest, the seminarian, the poet, the worker, the child from Wadowice… in the same position in which [he] knelt at that moment, reciting Ave Maria after Ave Maria. His witness struck me.
I felt that this man, chosen to lead the Church, was following a path up to his Mother in the sky, a path set out on from his childhood. And I became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego: “Don’t be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?” I understood the presence of Mary in the life of the Pope.
That testimony did not get forgotten in an instant. From that time on I recite the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary every day.