From the Pastor’s Desk

The Fourth Sunday of Lent

Mar 10, 2024

The Eucharist: Sending Forth and Feeding the World
“How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten!”

-Psalm 137:4

Brothers and Sisters,

Have you ever asked yourself how far you are willing to go? How much are you willing to endure for the love of God?

If you have been using the Hallow app, you might have come across its feature “Lent Pray40: He Leadeth Me,” which tells about the journey of Fr. Walter Ciszek, a testament to the power of faith. In response to the pope’s request for missionaries to Russia, Walter prepared himself by learning the Russian language and immersing himself in the Byzantine Rite of the liturgy. In 1937, the church ordained Fr. Walter as a priest. However, political events thwarted his hopes of being assigned to Russia, leaving him disappointed. The Jesuits then sent him to eastern Poland. With the outbreak of World War II and the Soviet Union’s occupation of eastern Poland, Fr. Walter seized the opportunity to enter Russia as an unskilled laborer. However, he was accused of espionage for the Vatican and went through an arduous imprisonment, which included solitary confinement, harsh interrogations, and eventually 15 years in a brutal labor camp.

Fr. Walter faced harsh treatment, but he did not let his situation stop him from remembering the Lord. His experience as a missionary was far from what he had imagined; he was exiled, segregated from the Christian community, and stripped of his dignity. Despite all these challenges, he found comfort in the Lord’s presence. Fr. Walter’s faith deepened as he surrendered to God’s will.

Amidst suffering and great sorrow, the Psalmist encourages us to praise the Lord – to sing a song of the Lord. We are called to remember our covenant with the Lord – just as the Lord will never abandon us. He remains faithful to sending his Son into the world for our salvation. He accepts the Cross so that we might be saved.

The Scriptures offer us the enduring hope of breaking the vicious cycle of sin. The story of salvation presents us with a wonderful and loving God who has remained faithful from Creation to the present. When we turn away from Him in sin, He eagerly draws us back to him.
The faithfulness of the Lord serves as a reminder for us to praise Him, recall our covenant with Him, and rely on His unyielding support in times of hardship and difficulty. His sacrifice for our redemption is evidence of His love and dedication towards us, even though we may sometimes fall short.

Let’s pray for the strength of not only ourselves but also our brothers and sisters of faith worldwide. As baptized children of the Father, we are united as brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ and as vessels of the Holy Spirit. It’s crucial to keep the Lord central in our lives, recognizing that while we may not know where God will lead us, every Mass nourishes us with the Word and the Eucharist, equipping us to face any challenges with faith. Though we may not foresee our path or the trials ahead, we can trust that the Lord is always with us.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Going on at OLPH:

LENTEN 40 HOUR MISSION– The Pastorate of St. Louis and St. Francis of Assisi will be hosting a Lenten 40-Hours Mission at St. Francis of Assisi in Fulton March 14-16, 2024. The guest speaker is Sister Thomas More, a Dominican Sister currently teaching at Mount de Sales High School for Girls. All are welcome.

WINE TASTING AND FELLOWSHIP – You are invited to join the Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House as it celebrates its 60th Anniversary with a night of Wine Tasting and Fellowship! The tasting occurs on Friday, June 7, 2024, from 7-11:00 p.m., at the Hayfields Country Club (700 Hayfields Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030). Tickets cost $100, including admission to the 60th Celebration, wine tasting, food, and music. Raffle tickets will also be available – $50 – Win $10,000 first prize; $1,500 second prize; $500 third prize. For more information, contact Robert Hott, Director of Leadership Engagement, at 410-472-2400, ext 19, or e-mail Robert.Hott@archbalt.org. Also visit www.msgrodwyer.org.

WONDER WITH JPII! – The Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House is offering a brand-new program to provide middle schoolers the space to wonder and explore the world around them, as well as our Catholic faith. There will be time for outdoor educational themes, leadership training, and challenging ourselves on the High Ropes course! All while talking about some of Pope St. John Paul II’s teachings. This 3-day program will be for incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and will run from 8:30 a.m. -to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There are 3 different sessions (June 25 – 27, July 16-18, and August 6-8) available and there are a limited number of spots available for each. Please register soon. The price is only $175 now, but will increase on 3/15. Link to register: https://msgrodwyer.org/summer-camp..

WALK FOR LIFE– Join our Seventh Annual Walk for Life on Saturday, May 11, 2024! The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen will host this event to celebrate LIFE and raise funds to support women facing unplanned pregnancies. Consider becoming a sponsored walker and invite your friends and family for a fun-filled morning, including a short walk on the church grounds, light refreshments, kids’ activities, prizes, and more! Furry friends are welcome, too. REGISTER at www.pcministry.org. – We look forward to walking with you!