SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
So what does the National Black Catholic Survey say to us? As with many such studies it will take time to unpack all the implications, but it is mostly good news. In an age of individualism that even reaches into areas of faith ("I'm spiritual but not religious!"), African-American Catholics are making an important statement to the effect that worship is a communitarian experience, not strictly a private one, and spirituality includes the social and emotional as well as the interior and intellectual. Survey participants spoke of the importance of having friends attend their church and of worshipping together.
We often use expressions like "our church family" and "family and friends." This is more than just a manner of speaking. In our worship, our outreach and evangelization, our social and fund raising activities, in our welcoming of visitors and involvement in our neighborhoods, we are bringing church alive in ways that speak to the hearts and minds of our people.
Not to paint too rosy a picture, however, the survey points up areas of improvement, and we could easily add to the list. Majorities of African-Americans said the church should put more effort into emphasizing black saints, promoting black vocations and black bishops, supporting issues such as affirmative action and problems in Africa, and promoting racial integration. Nearly a third of respondents reported being uncomfortable being the only black person in a church and a quarter have encountered people avoiding them or refusing to shake hands.
The survey also concludes that African-American young adults are more religiously engaged and consider religion to be more important than whites of the same age. Is this our experience? And if not, why not?
The survey provides us with some comforting data, but it also raises a host of questions for our own parish planning. It will be used as the basis for a pastoral plan for evangelization that will be presented during next July's National Black Catholic Congress in Indianapolis. -Fr. Peter
ANNUAL APPEAL FOLLOW-UP
Thanks to all who responded to last week's in-pew registration for the Archbishop's Annual Appeal. There are additional pledge envelopes in the back of the church for those who have not yet responded. Last year we came close to making our goal for the first time, and this may be the year we actually achieve our goal of $11,300. The funds support a wide variety of charitable and educational ministries of the church, and our parish receives grants and rebates in excess of our contributions.
CARDINAL O'BRIEN RECEPTION
Archbishop O'Brien will be received into the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI this Saturday, February 18. Upon his return to Baltimore he will celebrate be a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen on Sunday, March 4 at 12:30 pm. Everyone is invited to this celebration and the reception that will follow on the cathedral grounds.
The January 29 Afternoon at the Races realized a profit of $1,420. Thanks to all who came out for the occasion and especially to our faithful workers who make these events possible.
SPRING INVESTMENT CLUB
The Spring Investment Club begins on March 4 and runs for ten weeks, with cash prizes of $100, $25 and $25 awarded for the first nine weeks and $200, $50 and $50 on the tenth week. Tickets have been mailed our and extras are available in the office. Please make all returns before March 4.
OBLATE SISTERS DINNERS
The Oblate Sisters of Providence are selling take-out chicken dinners on Saturday, February 25, from 11:00 to 3:00 at St. Frances Academy Community Center, 501 E. Chase St. The menu consists of fried or baked chicken, potato salad, string beans and rolls for $10. Beverages and desserts are sold separately. Call 410-536-5687 FREE.
GIVING TREE THANKS
The Franciscan Center has written to thank us for the gifts we donated to them through our Advent Giving Tree. They placed the value of these gifts at $1,100. This is a wonderful expression of generosity toward the less fortunate.
SPAGHETTI DINNER & BAZAAR
Our annual Youth Group Spaghetti Dinner and Bazaar will be held this Saturday, February 18, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm in the lyceum. Tickets are available for $5 in the office and from Sunday School teachers and students. There are also raffle tickets for a Kindle e-reader: $1 each or 6 for $5. The day includes gift prize bingo, children's wheel, duck game and white elephant table. The menu is spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, beverage and dessert. Chicken wings are also available for purchase, and take out orders are welcome.
MICA EXHIBIT TODAY
The portraits taken in church a few weeks ago will be part of an exhibit at MICA Place (the former St. Wenceslaus School) this afternoon from 12:30 to 2:30. Everyone is welcome. After the show those who were photographed will receive a framed copy of their portrait.
Damion Peter Tucker, Jr., son of Damion Tucker and Kendra Betts, was baptized at St. Wenceslaus last Sunday, February 5. Our prayers and good wishes are with Damion Junior and his family.
LENT BEGINS FEBRUARY 22
February 22 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Masses with distribution of ashes will be held at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. Next Sunday we will publish a calendar of Lenten activities.
Sun, Feb 12 8:30 am
For the Parishioners
Mon, Feb 13 8 am
|Tue, Feb 14||
|Wed, Feb 15||
Thur, Feb 16 7: am
|Fri, Feb 17||
Deceased of the Sanda Family
|Sat, Feb 18||
READINGS FOR NEXT SUNDAY
Isaiah 43: 18-19, 21-22, 24-25
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Mark 2: 1-12
GIFT OF FLOWERS
Flowers at the statue of Saints Cyril and Methodius today are given for their feast day February 14 by Vicki Goldbeck in loving memory of her husband Ed.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Christine Rock, daughter of Hilda Marousek, who died recently. Please continue to keep our sick in prayer, especially Eddie Carr, Rosetta Lane, Debbie Edwards and Shrene Burnett.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY UPDATE…
Legislation has been introduced into both houses of Congress to overturn the Health and Human Services mandate that would include coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in health plans offered by Catholic institutions, a clear violation of our constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty. We encourage you to contact your elected representatives to voice your support for House Resolution 1179 and Senate Resolution 1467. Sample letters and addresses of Maryland legislators are available in the back of the church.