Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Many have already signed into the new parish resource, FORMED, and have told me how informative and enriching it has been for you. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s easy and free. Just go to www.stmarys-aiken.formed.org and follow the easy steps to register. You’ll have lots of content that is included at no cost to you under the On Demand and Community tabs. Under the On Demand tab, you’ll find subcategories of free content under the tabs, Study, Watch, Listen, and Read. You’ll also find abundant content for children and in Spanish. Then, if you like, you can purchase content by clicking on the Market tab. To return to the free content, just click the On Demand tab.
So, why bother? “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,” (1 Peter 3:15). More and more in our world today, it is imperative for disciples to be able to use God’s gift of reason to have an intelligent conversation about the faith. Faith does not mean we accept things on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. St. Thomas Aquinas and hundreds of other scholars spilled gallons of ink to indication otherwise. Just as I can’t see the love my mother has for me, I know it exists based on reason and a trust that develops through relationship. That can’t be seen under a microscope, but it’s no less real. Faith is reasonable. Get formed.
A reminder to mark your calendar for a presentation on the Shroud of Turin, Wednesday, February 20 at 6:30pm in Mother Teresa Hall. Dr. Cheryl White from LSU-Shreveport and Fr. Peter Mangum, Diocesan Administrator of Shreveport will present from their podcast series, “Who is the Man of the Shroud.” Did you know that recent examinations of the shroud have turned up pollen grains from flowers in Palestine? There’s much more to learn.
Also, get ready for our pre-Lenten mission, February 25-28, 6:30pm each night. We are blessed to have two Dominican Sisters from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to give the mission. Confession will be offered each night. Come, prepare for Lent!
Speaking of Lent, note that Ash Wednesday this year falls on March 6. Masses will be at 7:00am, 12:00pm, and 5:30pm. A Mass in Spanish will be offered at 7:00pm. Let’s begin thinking now about how we might grow more deeply in faith, hope, and love this Lent.
You will have noticed that our seasonal Marian antiphon sung at most Masses has changed to the exceptionally lyrical Ave Regina Caelorum – Hail, Queen of Heaven. It is sung from now through Holy Week. Here are the words:
Hail, Queen of heaven, Hail Lady of the angels. Hail root and gate from which the Light of the world was born. Rejoice glorious Virgin, fairest of all. Fare thee well, most beautiful, and pray for us to Christ.
And as always, let us pray for each other.