Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     On this Laetare, (Rejoice!) Sunday we have come to the halfway point of Lent.  The rose-colored vestments remind us that bright days are ahead of us as we make our sprint towards Holy Week and the great and glorious days of Easter.  Nonetheless, at this mid-point we must ask ourselves how are we doing with our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  It is never too late to start if we have been a bit sluggish.  Indeed, the message of today’s Mass is just that – the captives in Babylon are released, and God so loved the world the He gave His only Son!  When we hear of that ancient city of Babylon, we cannot help but think about and pray for our fellow Christians who this very day are suffering for the Faith.  They are held captive in terrorists hands.  What can we do for them?  Daily prayer for them and for the conversion of their captors and tormentors.  Though we sometimes may wonder about the effects of our prayers, we heed the Apostle Paul’s message: “Pray without ceasing.”  Prayer of this nature chips away at the most hardened of hearts.  Think of the great sculptor Michelangelo.  From a rough and ugly piece of rock, his chipping away brought forth the most beautiful and precious work of art.  Prayer is the chisel in our hearts, and only steady and persistent work can bring about something remarkable.

      Again, I encourage you to mark your calendars for our upcoming Parish Mission, April 26,27,28 & 29 (Sunday through Wednesday at 7:00 PM in St. Mary Magdalen church).  Father Bill Garrott, renowned retreat master of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) will be conducting the mission.  His presentations are completely family-oriented, so we hope families will come together each night as they learn how to strengthen their faith and magnify the blessings that come in the sacred vocation of marriage and family life.  This Parish Mission we entrust to the Holy Family, especially under the care of St. Joseph whose Novena we are presently offering.  May St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Family and all families, watch over us all with his fatherly care and concern.

      With Blessings,

Fr. Langan