My weekends, particularly when most of them are spent in ministry, are always pretty awesome. This would be one such weekend. Let me back up to Wednesday when our Lenten journey began. After having to endure a normal Wednesday of a 9-hour work day, I drove to St. Jane de Chantal Church and assisted the evening Mass with the distribution of ashes. After hearing stories about how packed our morning Mass and noontime service were, I anticipated a good crowd but not an overflow crowd at the 7 PM Mass. It was closer to overflow than good! Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. Our 2016 Lenten journey is underway. I spent Thursday evening back with my former parish family as I was invited to the special dinner the Pastor was giving in appreciation for the completion of the new church. It was great to once again be back with this faith filled community. Approximately 180 were in attendance; something Most Holy Trinity could not do previously at the old location.
And now the weekend, the first of Lent. Friday night is the legendary Knights of Columbus Fish Fry's; not just a huge event for the parish but a huge event for the entire community. As evidence I offer the 550 meals served from St. Joseph Hall. In the middle of the fish fry, at 7 PM, the parish offers Stations of the Cross. I was tasked with leading this devotion and it was wonderful to pray the Stations with the gathered congregation. Later on Friday night I could be found putting finishing touches on my weekend homily. Preparing a shorter than normal homily did prove challenging for me. Since we had a guest speaker for the end of Mass, I was instructed to keep my homily at 5 minutes; a struggle for a homilist like me! The first homily was offered at the 6 PM vigil Mass and I believe I accomplished the 5 minute mark. Now the reason for the shorter homily: a visit from the Sisters of St. Paul. These nuns operate an amazing book store across the lake and they had set up a beautiful book fair outside the church. I repeated my homilies again at 8 AM and tonight at 6 PM. And the sisters seemed to have a very successful book fair!
Another highlight of this weekend is our RCIA program. Today at the 10 AM Mass we celebrated the Rite of Sending. We currently have 1 catechumenate and 1 candidate. They will be meeting with our Archbishop tomorrow night and all the other catechumenates and candidates from across the Northshore of New Orleans!
So another full and fabulous weekend of ministry is in the books. And for me personally, when you also can throw in a great Skype session with my #1 grandkids, Calvin and Katelyn, and a nice Valentine's Day celebration, it was indeed a great weekend!