Save the Date, Transformations & Stories from Lent
Save the Date!
All of the rooms and spaces at St. Mary's are witness to the many ways our community gathers for prayer, celebrations, service, meals, education, special events, and much more. Often times the parish hall and meeting rooms transform in appearance to accommodate and fit the event or activity being hosted.
Similarly, so does our church. As we move through the liturgical seasons of the year, our Art & Environment Ministry works quietly behind the scenes to transform our church into a welcoming and prayerful environment. Through Lent, Holy Week and now Easter, these ministers have shared their talents and have a special place in making the church a beautiful and inspiring place to worship. A special thank you to
Marylyn Blanchard, Ann-Marie Blute
(Chair) for doing an amazing job leading this ministry.
The Art & Environment ministry is a sub-ministry of our Liturgical Ministry and often times members of the Liturgy ministry, as well as parishioners, jump in to help for the big decorating events like Holy Thursday. On Holy Thursday, this ministry transforms the Large Meeting Room into an ornate Chapel for the Most Blessed Sacrament with beautiful flowers, fabric, and numerous candles. According to the Gospels, Jesus went up to Gethsemane after the last supper, took Peter, James, and John with him and told them "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me." Parishioners are invited to go to visit and silently pray in the Chapel throughout the night on Holy Thursday. Thank you to this ministry for creating such a beautiful and prayerful environment for us to "watch and pray" during the final hours before the Lord's Passion.
Below are a few pictures that capture how this meeting room is transformed.
Stories from Lent
An Early Riser!
During the Lenten season, St. Mary's adds an early morning Mass that begins at 6:45 am. This allows many parishioners who rise early to start their day the opportunity to be in prayer with God daily through worship during this holy season.
Among the 50 plus parishioners who attend this early morning Mass is thirteen-year-old Altar Server
. Jace, a St. Mary School student began altar serving when he was in the 5th grade and this is the 2nd year he has served at the 6:45 am Masses.
Altar servers have many duties and responsibilities. Jace shared that his favorite is to be the cross bearer and carrying the cross in the procession. Jace said he enjoys serving on the Altar with Fr. Mike and feels like he is doing something special. "I feel honored when I am not on the schedule to serve and Fr. Mike or Fr. Juan ask me to help out." His advice to someone new or to someone who is thinking about becoming an Altar Server... "You may be nervous the first couple of weeks, but you will get used to it after you serve a few Masses. You will also have the opportunity to meet a lot of different people in the parish by serving in this ministry."
Thank you, Jace, and thank you to all of our Altar Servers for responding to the call of the Holy Spirit and serving in this important ministry!
8th Annual Fish Fry
The 8th Annual Lenten Fish Fry was another great event and evening for the St. Mary's community and beyond. We are so grateful to the Fish Fry Committee for all the hard work and time that they put in during the weeks leading up to the FishFry. Thank you to those that cooked the over 700 delicious meals and to those that served our guests.
A special THANK YOU to
who brought this St. Mary community tradition to us and makes it happen year after year! When asked what his favorite part of the event is, Bob replied, “Seeing an incredible group of friends and volunteers coming together to help make this annual event a tradition at St. Mary’s. My entire family is involved as well as many of our friends with their spouses & children involved. It’s a real family event! I hear all of the people who attend compliment the food and the service. They are so appreciative.”
Here is a short video that was put together by
and our Media Ministry that captures a few highlights from the evening.
Lenten Service Project
On March 10th, St. Mary's offered a special Parish Lenten Service Project - an opportunity for us to give, to reach outward and serve others in need. Partnering with our Social Justice Ministry and Rise Against Hunger, our parish packaged just over 10,000 highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. Thank you to
who led this project and the over 50 parishioners that participated in this wonderful hands-on volunteer opportunity!
Second Light of the World Retreat
St. Mary Parish held our second Light of the World Retreat with 25 people taking part. In addition, we welcomed back Clare Ossman and Alfonso Martinez from the Diocese of Rockford, IL to lead our retreat. Elaine LeBlanc and Sam Hannoush also served as evangelizers. They were joined by Jim Sweetwood, Joe Ficara, Susan Zybert, Marti Page and Rita St. Pierre who assisted as small group leaders. John Sliwoski made sure that everything went smoothly all weekend as he took care of planning all the meals and registration. Thank you to all who served on the retreat team and all the participants. It was a powerful weekend filled with many graces and blessings and a great way to prepare for Holy Week and Easter. We plan to have our next Light of the World Retreat in the Fall of 2018 and hope that many more parishioners will join us.
Sent by Kelly Paulina on Monday, April 2 at 6:00AM