News From Fr JeLo
We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles. Their faces mirror the faces of women, mothers, who weep as they see the lives of their children crushed by massive corruption that strips them of their rights and shatters their dreams. By daily acts of selfishness that crucify and then bury people’s hopes. By paralysing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change. In their grief, those two women reflect the faces of all those who, walking the streets of our cities, behold human dignity crucified.
The faces of those women mirror many other faces too, including perhaps yours and mine. Like them, we can feel driven to keep walking and not resign ourselves to the fact that things have to end this way. True, we carry within us a promise and the certainty of God’s faithfulness. But our faces also bear the mark of wounds, of so many acts of infidelity, our own and those of others, of efforts made and battles lost. In our hearts, we know that things can be different but, almost without noticing it, we can grow accustomed to living with the tomb, living with frustration. Worse, we can even convince ourselves that this is the law of life, and blunt our consciences with forms of escape that only serve to dampen the hope that God has entrusted to us. So often we walk as those women did, poised between the desire of God and bleak resignation. Not only does the Master die, but our hope dies with him. (cont. next week)
Happy Easter to you all!
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!” sings the psalmist. Indeed, today is a day of great rejoicing, for the Lord is risen as he promised. With this joy brought by the good news of the Resurrection, comes the gift of peace, for “Peace be with you” were the first words of the Risen Christ to the disciples. I pray that you may have joy and peace in your hearts.
Full of joy, we welcome David and Sharon Nickalls and Bruce Roberts into the Church. After journeying through the RCIA’s initial three periods, they finally received the Easter Sacraments. Congratulations and welcome to our family of faith!
With great joy, I announce to you a good news: Bishop Steve has appointed Fr Fernando Alombro, MSP (Missionary Society of the Philippines) as parochial vicar for the Kaimai Collegial Area (our parishes and the parishes of Waihi, Whangamata and Katikati), and he will reside in Morrinsville. He will begin his ministry with us sometime in May.
I thank you for the warm welcome and generosity you have extended to my parents. They are going back to the Phillipines on Easter Monday, and I am going with them (with great joy!!!). I will be away for just over three weeks. In my absence, Fr Don Cowan and Fr Richard Pipe will be saying the weekend Masses. There will be no Masses during the week, but there will be Liturgy of the Word with Communion instead.
I wish to thank those who helped me with the preparations for the Holy Week Liturgies and those who took part in them. I wish you all a Happy Easter and will see you when I get back.
We begin “Holy Week” with our commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem and of His Passion. The Season of Lent ends on Holy Thursday before the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The three Liturgies that follow—Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Friday of the Lord’s Passion and Easter Vigil—are what we call “Easter Triduum”.
I invite you to our Liturgies during this Holy Week so we can reflect together on God’s generous act of self-giving for our sake. Copies of our Holy Week schedule are available in the foyer, or you can check our Parish Website
As advertised by Bishop Steve in his letter to the clergy, I would like to remind you about the Good Friday collection for the Holy Land (Terra Sancta). The financial support we give helps in the upkeep and restoration of pilgrim sites, hospitals, schools and in carrying out projects especially for the poor and youth. Let us be generous in our giving
I encourage you to attend the Way of the Cross conducted by different Churches on Good Friday. This is a good way for all of us to journey together in prayer and reflection through the Lord’s Passion.
Please not that Mass times for next weekend are:
Easter Vigil, Saturday 15 April, Morrinsville at 7.30pm
Easter Sunday, 16 April, in Te Aroha at 9.00am and in Paeroa at 11.00am.
On behalf of my parents, I wish to thank you for your kindness and generosity (and understanding for the days I was away), for if it were not for you they would not have come to beautiful Aotearoa. They are flying out on Easter Monday, 17 April and I will be going with them. I will be away for just over three weeks. Once again, a big THANK YOU.
I hope and pray you all have a meaningful, prayerful and fruitful Holy Week.
Next Sunday, 9 April is the start of Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday. Just as we did last year, the first part of our liturgy, namely the Blessing of Palms will take place at the school for Paeroa and Morrinsville, and in the parish hall in Te Aroha. We will then have the procession going to the Church for the Mass.
Mass times for Holy Week are now available and are handed out today with the newsletters. I hope you can come to our Holy Week celebrations, especially our Liturgies on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/ Sunday, to commemorate our Lord’s Passion Death and Resurrection.
I am away this week, so there will be no Masses. But there will be Liturgy of the Word with Communion. April 7 is the last Friday of Lent, and I invite you to take part in the Stations of the Cross in our churches.
Let us pray for the success of ‘Setfree’ and for all young people who will be taking part in it next weekend.
We farewell the Sisters of the Missions and thank them for the many years of generous service and mission work in Morrinsville since 1930. A shared luncheon will be had after the 11am Mass in Morrinsville today. Last week we celebrated the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick during the weekday Masses. This week, we will be having our Lenten celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Tuesday, 28 March in Morrinsville at 7.00pm (Rite II—Communal) Thursday, 30 March in Paeroa at 4.30pm (Rite I– Individual)
I am taking a week off before Holy Week, so there will be NO Masses on 4-7 April. There will be a Liturgy of the Word with Communion for those days.
Reminder that every Friday during Lent, we pray the Stations of the Cross in the church at 5.30pm
Please note that DAYLIGHT SAVINGS FINISHES next Sunday, 2 April
The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are called “Sacraments of Healing”. Our relationship with God and with the Church that was cut off by sin is healed and restored in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, we recognise the Lord as the source of healing and so we ask him to restore health to the sick.
As we prepare ourselves during this season of Lent to commemorate how the Lord, by his wounds, healed us (Is 53:5) we will be celebrating these two sacraments. There will be Masses of Anointing this week ( see backpage of newsletter for Mass times), and the sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on: Tuesday, 28 March in Morrinsville at 7pm (Rite II) Thursday , 30 March in Paeroa at 4.30pm (Rite I)
Please pray for our RCIA catechumens and candidate as they go through the final stages in their formation before they receive the Easter sacraments.
Can I ask you to pray for the children who are joining this year’s Sacramental Program in preparation for their Confirmation, First Reconciliation and Communion.
Next Sunday, 26 March, there will be a shared luncheon in Morrinsville after 11am mass to farewell the Sisters of the Missions.
Praying the Stations of the Cross is one of our Lenten devotions. It helps us make a “spiritual journey” through contemplation on the Passion of the Lord. In view of this, I would like to invite you to our praying of the Stations of the Cross on all Fridays of Lent at 5.30pm.
Please note that the Parish Office will be closed on Thursday 16 March because Maria will be attending the parish Secretaries gathering.
There will be Masses with Anointing on 21, 22, and 23 March (Te Aroha, Morrinsville and Paeroa respectively) at 10am. If there is anyone in your family or someone you know who needs to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, please bring them to Church.
There will be celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation on: Tuesday, 28th March (Rite II) in Morrinsville at 7.00pm Thursday, 30th March (Rite I) in Paeroa at 4.30pm
St Joseph’s School, Paeroa will be hosting this year’s St Joseph’s Day on Friday, 17 March. There will be Mass at St Mary’s Church ( Fr. Aidan M ) and some activities will be held afterwards. March 17 happens to be St Patrick’s Day, so we greet our Irish parishioners and those of Irish descent a happy feast day!
Can I ask you to pray for our RCIA catechumens (David and Sharon Nickalls) and candidate (Bruce Roberts) who are presented to the Bishop in the Rite of Election during Mass today at the Cathedral. They will be joined by other RCIA participants from other parishes within the Hamilton Diocese.
“Lent is a favourable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered to us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving. "At the basis of everything is the word of God, which during this season we are invited to hear and ponder more deeply.” These are the words of Pope Francis in his Lenten Message 2017.
In today’s Gospel reading, the Lord Jesus, quoting from the Old Testament, said “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” QUESTION: When was the last time you opened and read the Bible?
Let us heed the exhortation of the Holy Father by taking time each day to read a passage from the Scripture, or if possible, the readings for the day, reflect on them and pray on them.
Let us keep in our prayers our RCIA catechumens (David and Sharon) and candidate (Bruce) who will be presented to the Bishop next Sunday, 12th March, during the celebration of the mass at the Cathedral in Hamilton. This is called the Rite of Election.
As part of our preparation during this penitential season of Lent there will be celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation on:
Tuesday, 28th March (Rite II) in Morrinsville at 7.00pm
Thursday, 30th March (Rite I) in Paeroa at 4.30pm
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 1st of March. This holy and solemn season highlights three practices, based on Scripture—fasting, prayer and alms-giving (Matthew 6:1-18). Caritas NZ came up with a reflection booklet that can be used either for personal or group prayer/reflection. Also, Lenten Appeal envelopes are available for monetary donation we might want to contribute to Caritas NZ’s Lenten project. This year’s theme is: “Your face Lord do I seek” (Psalm 27:8). For more info visit www.caritas.org.nz/lent
There will be no Masses during the week (except for Ash Wednesday), but there will be Liturgy of the Word with Communion. Masses for Ash Wednesday, 1st March—10am in Morrinsville and 5.30pm in Te Aroha. Congratulations to Wayne and Julie Sinclair who today are received into the Church and confirmed respectively during Mass in Morrinsville. We pray that you persevere in faith and continue deepening your knowledge of the Word of God and the teachings of the Church.
Our sympathy to the Stanish family—Peter, Matthew and Anton—as they mourn the passing of Anne-Marie. A Requiem Mass was celebrated for Anne-Marie on Wednesday in Te Aroha. May the Lord grant her eternal rest and may the family find strength in each other and in the promise of the Risen Lord.
Can I ask for your prayers as I celebrate God’s love and mercy on the occasion of my 7th priestly ordination anniversary on Monday 27th February. I look back with gratitude and look forward with hope. And as I celebrate both the present (both the now and the gift of the priesthood), I thank and praise the Lord using the words of the Blessed Mother: “My soul magnifies the Lord , my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant” (Luke 1:46-48).
Since lent is coming up in just over a week's time, the Caritas Lenten Appeal envelopes will be made available next weekend. The theme for this year’s Caritas Lenten Appeal is “Your face, Lord, do I seek” ( from psalm 27:8). Lenten refection booklets will also be available for your personal reflection throughout the season of Lent, or you may want to organise reflection groups that may gather each week.
There will be No Masses this week (21-24 February) and the week after (28 Feb, 2-3 March), so I can spend time with my parents (Yes, they have arrived!) and tour them around. But there will be Liturgy of the Word with Communion.
For Ash Wednesday, 1 March, the Mass times will be 10am in Morrinsville and 5.30pm in Te Aroha.
I’d like to invite the youth in our Parish, year 11-13 and young adults aged 18-35 to attend this wonderful event. SetFree offers youth and young adults with an opportunity to experience the burning desire that Christ has to see them fully alive through engaging speakers, quality music and a strong, community-based atmosphere. For further details visit www.setfree.org.nz
Our Sacramental Program for 2017 will start soon. Enrollment forms are available in the parish office, church foyer and at our school offices. The child has to be at least 8 years old already. Please attach a copy of the Baptismal certificate of the child.
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