PRAYER FOR LEGISLATORS
Governor John Bel Edwards has asked that all parishes in Louisiana pray for our elected officials as they face the budget crisis in special session. The following prayer for the General Intercessions at Mass is suggested: "That our elected officials will work together to address successfully the current fiscal challenges in Louisiana through policies that promote the common good, advance the cause of social justice and follow Christ’s call to love one another. We pray to the Lord ..."
"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." We have entered again into the holy season of Lent. The season of Lent is not a period of time simply "to be endured until its end". If surrendered to and properly kept spiritually, the season of Lent can be a positive life changing event for each one of us. I pray that all will embrace the graced opportunity of these days of Lent. Along with our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, may all of our spiritual discipline during these days truly be a positive life changing experience for each one of us and serve to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Let us keep one another in prayer during these holy days. A blessed and fruitful season of Lent to all.
LENTEN REGULATIONS ON FAST AND ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT
During this season of Lent, it is a good idea to publish in church parish bulletins the Lenten regulations regarding fasting and abstinence from meat. They are:
Fasting: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the law of Fasting applies to all Catholics who are 18 to 59 years old, unless they are excused for a sufficient reason, such as illness or a medical condition that requires one to eat regularly. The law of fasting allows a person to have only one full meal a day, and allows two smaller meals at other times during the day.
Abstinence from Meat: Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat. The law of abstinence from meat applies to all Catholics over the age of 14 who are in good health.
THE LIGHT IS ON FOR YOU
With the recommendation of the Presbyteral Council, the date for "The Light is On for You" in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux will be Wednesday, March 16, 2016. On March 16, 2016 (or as close to this as close to this date as possible), it is highly recommended that church parishes make the Sacrament of Reconciliation available in the evening from around 6:00 – 8:00 PM. More information is available on the diocesan website www.htdiocese.org.
24 HOURS FOR THE LORD
In Misericordiae Vultus, the document initiating the Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis stated the following: “The initiative of ‘24 Hours for the Lord,’ to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, should be implemented in every diocese.” (no.17) In keeping with the Pope’s request, parishes should plan to accomplish this request of the Holy Father on March 4 & 5, 2016. More information is available on the diocesan website www.htdiocese.org.
SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
The celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation joyfully continue!! Let us remember in prayer during the weekend Masses the youth in all of our church parishes who will be confirmed in the coming months. I also express great gratitude to those who so generously give of their time in preparing our youth to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. May the Spirit of God enrich the faith lives of us all!
COMMUNION PROTOCOL DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON
As we enter the cold and flu season, I would ask that all Priests, Deacons and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion be reminded that in preparation for distributing communion it is strongly recommended and a good practice before Mass to wash one’s hands with soap or to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer before Mass. As in past years, I would strongly urge parishes to make containers of hand sanitizer available in the sacristy before Mass for this purpose. Also, please remind parishioners that they should not receive from the chalice if they are ill. As you are aware, and perhaps a reminder could be given to the congregation, after receiving the Body of the Lord reception of the Blood of the Lord from the chalice by the faithful is always voluntary and not required to fully encounter Jesus Christ in the reception of the Eucharist. Thank you for your attention to these concerns.