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Kamloops, British Columbia!

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Overview of the Month – March 2015

st-joseph-with-the-baby-jesusThe month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph.

The entire month of March falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.

Highlights of the Month

penanceAs we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance.

The Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed upon the foster father of Jesus. Also the Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25) when we ponder Our Lady's fiat. And if you are Irish (who isn't), St. Patrick's feast is another cause for a joyful celebration.

The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are St. Katharine Drexel (March 3), St. Casimir (March 4), Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7), St. John of God (March 8), St. Patrick (March 17), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18), St. Joseph (March 19 and St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23).

The feast of St. Frances of Rome (March 9) is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

“Liturgical information courtesy of CatholicCulture.org”

A Time of Penance and Promise

mhhcZ2cHere and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!

At the beginning of this month we will embark on our journey to the cross by receiving ashes and donning the purple of penance. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell.

Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march. The Solemnity of the Annunciation bravely appears during Lent; a pure white flower in the purple Lenten landscape. It seems to be, at first glance, a Christmas feast, but upon reflection we grasp that the feast is intimately linked to the Paschal mystery. For what Christ inaugurated at His incarnation in accepting to offer himself for the human race, he will complete in his sacrifice on the cross.

As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

Season of Lent

The season of a Lent is a highlight in the Catholic calendar. An opportunity for "spiritual self improvement", Lent focuses on an increased emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In the weeks ahead, use this time as a wonderful preparation period for the joy of Easter and the Resurrection.

7 Ways to Make Lent Joyful:

* Start all prayers with praise
* Take time with God in a beautiful place
* Don't carry the world's pain on your own back
* Fast for the sake of richer food - the daily Eucharist
* Take flowers and a smile to a sick person
* Reconcile with an estranged friend
* Compliment someone for making the world better

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What are you doing for Lent this year?

Ask Catholics what they're doing for Lent this year, and they'll probably tell you that they are giving up a favorite food, a favorite pastime or anything else they really love but isn't essential in their lives.
Giving up something for Lent fosters self-discipline and tempers our desires. It is a form of fasting. It is a form of penance. It promotes spiritual growth.

If you're giving up something for Lent, that's great. But think also about the possibility of doing something positive to bolster your spiritual life and make the world a better place. Look for ways that you can increase your knowledge of your faith, strengthen your spiritual life or perform special acts of mercy and kindness at home, at work, in your parish or in your community.

Living in the Easter Season

This season lasts for seven weeks or 50 days, extending between Easter and Pentecost. St. Athanasius called this period “the great Sunday”.

  • Meaning. The Easter season is a time when Christians reflect on what it means to be God’s Church, his people established in this place, witnesses to his resurrection. The new life and joy of those baptized at the Easter vigil is shared by all and we remember that it is through baptism that Jesus has made us God’s holy people.
  • Relation to Lent. Easter is not a continuation of Lent, but rather the time to harvest the seeds which were planted during the 40 days. Now we live as the brothers and sisters of Jesus, sharing his love with others, looking for ways to serve others and save the world.
  • Recognizing Christ’s presence: During the Easter season, we reflect on the many ways that Jesus is present among us.
  • Spring. The Easter season also means the return of spring, with its new life, flowers and the warmth of longer days.

"Saint John Vianney, the patron of parish priests"

Man has a noble task: that of prayer and love. To pray and to love, that is the happiness of man on earth.

Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When the heart is pure and united with God it is consoled and filled with sweetness; it is dazzled by a marvelous light.

In a prayer well made, troubles vanish like snow under the rays of the sun.

St. John Vianney Prayers ›

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The Rosary

There are few prayer forms that are as “kid-friendly” as the rosary. While an entire rosary might be too much for some kids, a decade of the rosary can be the perfect length for a short, yet meaningful family prayer time. Holding a sacred object is important to children, and the rosary provides that.  Each of the 10 Hail Marys within a decade can be an opportunity to have different children lead by saying the first half of the prayer. Before each bead, family members can take turns offering a specific prayer intention.