Deacon’s Beacon: What Did We Learn This Lent?
Our 2022 Lenten Journey is completed. On April 16 we celebrated the Easter Vigil when the Catechumen and Candidates were received into full communion with the Catholic Faith and we celebrated Jesus rising from the dead for our redemption.
Many of us have attended weekday Masses, attended Stations of the Cross, and attended various Spiritual Presentations, prayed the Divine Chaplet novena, and participated in various other Lenten devotions.
Now that the time for fasting and “Giving Up” is completed, the question we need to answer is, “What did we learn this Lent?” How has our path in life changed?
Jesus calls the apostles to life
In last Sunday’s gospel Jesus appears to His disciples on two separate occasions. The first time they are locked in a room because of their fear, however Thomas is not with them. Jesus forgives the disciples for their lack of faith. The apostles tell Thomas about Jesus appearing to them.
Thomas says he does not believe and will not until he puts his hand into His side and finger into the nail marks. The second time Jesus appears Thomas and the rest are all present. Thomas, upon seeing Jesus, says, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus gives the apostles their mission – “As the Father has sent Me, I send you.” Jesus tells them that they are to bring God’s message to all people and minister to all. Jesus tells them to teach and support all whom they meet. It is now 20 centuries later, and the flame of faith has been passed to us.
We have just completed our journey in the desert – our Lenten Journey. We, also, are called to follow the word of God through our faith and deeds. Both are required. As we read in the letter of James, “faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26)
Jesus calls us to Life
Just as Jesus ministered to those in need, we are called to do likewise, to the best of our ability. At Our Lady of the Wayside, there are many ministries that give us the opportunity to serve others.
Today, I would like to focus on three timely needs. Let me start with the newest ministry.
First Communion garments
Claudia Russo, an OLW parishioner, suggested to me that we could ask parishioners to donate gently-used First Communion dresses to the St. Mark’s community. I talked with a number of our parishioners and all said, “WOW! Why didn’t I think of that!” Claudia and Danielle Pitzer coordinated the operation with the help of the Youth Ministry. 16 dresses and 3 jackets and 4 slacks were donated. In addition, a parishioner donated vails and hair bows for all the girls and white ties for all the boys – plus, 1st Holy Communion rosaries for all the children. That will truly be a blessed event – and OLW parishioners will be spiritually present.
St. Mark’s Food Pantry
This is one of OLW’s oldest ministries – dating back over 25 years, but Don Piergalski and his team have brought new life to this ministry, that was needed in this pandemic-ridden super inflationary times. Now there are usually 6 carloads of non-perishable food delivered to St. Mark’s each month. In addition, there are several anonymous parishioners who periodically give cash donations that is used to buy perishable foods. Also, the collections from the Lenten Soup and Stations ministry of over $600 was donated to St. Mark’s.
On the Mother’s Day weekend (May 8-9) we will be handing out baby bottles after each Mass. Parishioners are asked to take a baby bottle home.
The bottles will be returned on the Father’s Day weekend, with coins, cash or a check made out to The Women’s Center, a pregnancy center that supports women with counseling and guidance before, during and after their pregnancies and has several locations in the Chicagoland area.
But it will not be a success without your help!
We need a team of 6 (at least 1 adult) after each Mass to distribute the bottles at each entrance to the church.
To volunteer, please go to the Signup Genius sheet: https://bit.ly/3KQSbry
Irish Family Blessing
May Love connect us, Faith direct us,
And God protect us.
For more information, please contact Deacon Tom Corcoran: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: #deaconsbeacon, #deacontomcorcoran, #olwparish, #reflection