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  • Writer's pictureSodality of Charity

Sodality Lenten Meeting Feb. 27

Dear members and friends of the Sodality of Charity,

When you come to church tomorrow, remember to stop by at Helfta Hall and enjoy the St. Valentine’s Day Bake sale! It’s open after the morning Masses. To commemorate this great Bishop and Martyr, Father (later Cardinal) John Henry Newman wrote in 1850 the poem named “Valentine to a Little Girl” which starts like this:

Little maiden, dost thou pine

For a faithful Valentine?

Art thou scanning timidly

Every face that meets thine eye?

Art thou fancying there may be

Fairer face than thou dost see?

Little maiden, scholar mine,

Wouldst thou have a Valentine?

The whole poem is found here:

Our Sodality Lenten meeting will be on Saturday, February 27. As usual, there will be High Mass at 8:15 AM, followed by our meeting. It will be the Ember Saturday Mass, and a good occasion to do a little sacrifice to Jesus and Mary, because the many lessons of that day make the Mass little longer. In the fourth lesson we read a prayer for consecration of all nations: “Have mercy upon us, O God of all, and respect us, and show us the light of Thy mercies; and send in Thy fear upon the nations that have not sought after Thee.” (Ecclesiasticus 36:1-2)

This week we will have many occasions to ask Our Lord and Our Lady to bless this country. Monday is the Presidents’ Day and Tuesday the feast of the Holy Face. In tomorrow’s parish bulletin is published the prayer which we should say every day during Lent: “Eternal Father, we offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy well-beloved Son, for the honor and glory of Thy Holy Name and for the salvation of the United States.” If you want to pray Archbishop John Carroll’s prayer for the government, which he composed for the inauguration of George Washington, you can find it here:

Tuesday, the feast of the Holy Face, is the last day before Lent, also called Shrove Tuesday. The 11:25 AM Mass is offered for our country. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. Though it’s not a day of obligation, attend Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion and ashes if you are able, to make penance and reparation for the sins of mankind, as asked by Our Lady at Fatima. Masses are at 7 AM, 11:25 AM, and 5:45 PM. Distribution of ashes is done before and after all the Masses. Besides the Masses, we have the children’s Stations of the Cross at 3 PM, followed by the distribution of ashes.

So use these days to pray for the United States. We certainly will not receive any blessings or mercies to our country if we don’t ask any.

Notice that the upcoming Children’s Lenten Day of Recollection is on Wednesday, March 10 (not the 3rd like I said in the last letter). The day starts at 9 AM and ends at 3 PM. Lunch is provided, but please call the parish office to register for the day.

If you are new in our parish - and as you see in the many things which are taking place here - at St. Gertrude’s we always have very busy Lent. Therefore, read the parish bulletin carefully every week. Also, don’t miss the great poem “Mope and Hope” about two sisters in tomorrow’s bulletin.

As said, our Sodality meeting will be on Saturday, February 27. Like in December meeting, we will be watching a movie, full length (90 minutes) this time. The movie is called Miracle of Saint Thérèse (Procès au Vatican) and it was made in 1952. It tells the story of St. Thérèse the Little Flower. This movie presents in a simple way the Little Way of St. Thérèse. So many people think that becoming a saint is very difficult, and meant only for a few very serious people. In her Little Way, the little follower of Jesus is kind to the other people and does his or her daily duties with joy and loving confidence to God, Who, after all, is “our” Father, not just “my” Father. Because even the smallest actions can lead us to God, even the smallest child can become and be a saint (even if he or she cannot be like a little angel...)

The latest book release with which you can support the Sodality is the biography of St. Colette. She was the great reformer of the Franciscan Poor Clares, and her feast day is March 6 (first Saturday this year). Her birth was already very extraordinary, for her parents were past 60 when she was born. When Colette was a little girl, her greatest joy was to sit next to her mother at Mass. And whenever her mother went to receive Holy Communion and came back to their place, little Colette squeezed as close to her as possible, so that she could be very close to Jesus Whom her mother had just received. For us priests one of the favorite stories is that whenever Colette and her nuns couldn’t figure out what to chant next in the Divine Office, angels appeared and intoned the proper antiphon or hymn. You can purchase the book which tells the story of this great saint from this link:

Remember also the last post, which listed the books which support the Sodality:

Have a blessed start of the holy season of Lent!

Yours in Christ and Mary,

Fr. Lehtoranta


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