― Pope Francis
Last week when I visited Santa Rosa, on my route, I saw labourers dressing the walnut trees in the orchard. Some of them were on the top of their ladders clipping the branches and some of them were digging around the foot of the trees. They were tending the trees with the hope that with the spring it would bring them into full bloom and ultimately to a rich harvest of walnuts.
This weekend the Lord is quoting a similar passage. He observantly brings out the difference between an orchard owner and a gardener (labourer) in the orchard. The owner lives far away from the orchard. He is not the regular visitor to the orchard. He looks at the orchard from the profit perspective. The utility of every tree is how much in earnings he can obtain from it. Whereas the gardener treats every tree of the orchard as individual. He tends each with care and love. The Lord says “The garderner hopes even for the hopeless.” He never abandons, rather He gives extra attention to the condemned and discarded trees. The gardener begs for a “grace period” from the owner so that he can work favourably for the vulnerable. He grooms them with the hope of getting a rich harvest.
The Lord uses this powerful passage to convey to us the message of ”Time of Repentance.” His ultimate desire is that we, as fruitful trees, make it to heaven. We could be condemned eternally for our sins, but the Lord intercedes for us to our Heavenly Father. Like the gardener from the parable He secures valuable time for us to repent for our sins and be reconciled with our Father in Heaven.
This parable doesn’t imply that God the Father is like a heartless orchard owner. Jesus came into this world to convey to us that our Heavenly Father is merciful. The parable of the prodigal son represents a repentant son and a compassionate merciful father.
Repentance is a truthful expression of our sorrow for having hurt someone. Repentance is positive. It is this grace of God that stirs us and brings us back to our Father.
During the Season of Lent we need to allow our gardener “Jesus” to cultivate our spiritual ground with His Word and fertilize it with His sacraments so we bear plentiful fruit.
- Fr. Bernard D’Sa
St. Vincent de Paul invites you to fill this bag with items for an Easter dinner. Suggestions include, but are not limited to, the following:
Please bring your filled bag to Mass with you on the weekend of April 14th, Palm Sunday. We will add a ham, bread, milk, butter and a dessert along with an Easter Basket of goodies and distribute to referred families and/or individuals on Thursday, April 16th, at the Parish Center from 4 – 5:30 p.m. If you have questions, please call Georgeanne at 497-9929. Thank you for helping others.
Collecting PBJ For Betty Chinn ICF requests your help in collecting peanut butter and jelly for Betty Chinn please. Donation boxes are in the narthex of the church. Thank you for your generosity in supporting this outreach to our hungry and homeless brothers and sisters. May God bless you!
Abstinence from meat is observed on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent by all Catholics 14 years and older. Fasting is observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted as necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. From its earliest days, the Church has urged the baptized and catechumens to observe the threefold discipline of fasting, almsgiving and prayer as a preparation for the celebration of Easter. Failure to observe individual days of penance is not considered serious, but failure to observe any penitential days at all or a substantial number of such days must be considered serious.
Pope Francis is calling on the faithful not to let the Lenten season of grace pass in vain, and to live as children of God acknowledging and obeying His law, in particular in regards to our brothers and sisters and to creation.
In this year’s Lenten message, the Pope invites believers to prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed, warning that “Sin leads man to consider himself the god of creation, to see himself as its absolute master and to use it, not for the purpose willed by the Creator but for his own interests”.
Click here to read Pope Francis's Lenten Message.
Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. Since the earliest times of the Church, there is evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation for Easter. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation. Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Click here to visit our Lenten Resources page.
However, it is highly recommended that children from ages seven to fourteen years also follow the law of abstinence.
You can download a pdf of the schedule by clicking here or by clicking on the link below.
You can download a pdf of the Oct. - Dec., 2018 schedule by clicking here .
Who am I? I am Rev. Fr. Rōwell V. Gumalay, MOP. Simply call me by my first name:“RŌWELL.” I came from the province of Camarines Sur, Bicol, Philippines. November 6, 1983 is my birthdate. I am the youngest of nine in the family. Both my father and mother are deceased. My parents left me with a very high regard for a life of prayer, dedication and love for God and people.
In my early studies, in a High School at the Sisters of Mary, Philippines I heard a CALL of serving the Lord in a very special way. This inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I pursued at the young age of 16. I entered the Religious Life on Feb 25, 2000 in the Religious Institute of the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP), a community of Brothers and Priests who offer free service to the least of our brothers and sisters around the world. A year later, I had my two years of novitiate in Kingston, Jamaica. Then, I was sent to the different missions and community posts like Philippines ( Naga, Cebu & Manila), Charlotte, North Carolina, Indonesia, East Timore and Jamaica.
I took my final/solemn vows on June 29, 2006 on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. It is my soul’s desire to offer myself to Him forever. This comes with different thorns and roses. I earned my (BA) in Philosophical Studies in the seminary of St. Phillip Neri, Toronto, Canada. A country of four seasons indeed! As for my Theology, I entered in the special course (LDS – Long Distance Learning System) in the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
Then 6 months after my diaconal exposure, on November 10, 2013 at the age of 30, I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in my home-town in St. Bernard Abbot Parish, Ocampo, Camarines Sur. During my first 5 years in the priesthood, I was assigned as Mission Superior in Cebu, Philippines. I enjoy listening and serving people.
This February 19th, 2019 I found myself in Eureka, Northern part of the beautiful family-oriented Diocese of Santa Rosa. I feel at home. I thank so many good people who became instruments of God in order for me to be here with you and for you. To name a few, the openness and welcoming of His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Vasa and his joyous Vicar General, Msgr. Daniel Whelton who helped me to be part of serving the people of God. May my stay here in the parishes of Eureka be a blessing, an aid to spiritual growth and an encounter with Christ who walked upon the land.
Dios Mabalos! Mabuhay and Blessings to all!
- Fr. Rowell
CatholicApps.com was created in response to the call to evangelization from Saint John Paul II, and then continued on through Pope Benedict, and of course the call for deeper evangelization from Pope Francis. We aim to review, and share a lot of catholic apps that can help you deepen your own Catholic faith, or share unique Catholic apps that allow you to share and evangelize your faith with family, friends, and anyone you have a relationship with.
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