Fr. Mike’s Communication for the Feb. 28, 2021

28 February 2021 – 2nd Sunday of Lent

“My little children, your hearts are small,
but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.
Through prayer, we receive a foretaste of heaven
and something of paradise comes down upon us.
Prayer never leaves us without sweetness.
It’s honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet.
When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.
St. John Vianney, Catechetical Instructions

Brothers and Sisters,

My prayer is that each of you is fed and nourished. This hope goes beyond meeting a need for physical nourishment. I realize that food insecurity remains a profound cross for many right here in our community, and I’m inspired by our Parish’s many efforts to meet those needs. Yet my prayer goes deeper, to that of spiritual nourishment. That OLPH is a spiritual home, a place for Parishioners to BELONG to something bigger. A community where God’s grace, through the gift of the Eucharist and sacraments, along with prayer and a vibrant community of disciples, may be experienced, heal, and inspire us. Bishop Bruce Lewandowski offered us an immeasurable gift during our OLPH Parish Lenten Mission this past week, an opportunity to slow down. To focus on our spiritual sustenance, strengthening and better understanding our relationship with the Lord and with one another. For those who could not take advantage of Bishop Bruce’s dynamic preaching and wonderful voice (yes, he broke into beautiful songs throughout), please visit to discover or rediscover his teachings — just awesome!

Looking to another great pastor of souls, St. John Vianney, had an immense passion for serving his parishioners as well. This Saint did not delineate by a census or parish membership considering all in the town of Ars as his flock, where he was a selfless confessor, sleeping little to hear many a confession late into the night. His homilies and teachings emphasized the necessity for a relationship with the Lord. He, too, hoped and prayed for his Parishioners, dedicating his work to help them simplify their lives and make room for Christ, reconcile them to God, and bring them lasting joy.

I must admit that I would be afraid to see the sugar mound I’m sure I consume in a year! For me, it might be a large enough mound to rival Mount Tabor, where Jesus was likely transfigured before Peter, James, and John. Of course, the love of sugar in the U.S. has created a whole sugar alternatives industry. What little packet do you reach for, red, blue, or yellow? (This seems like a great place for an advertisement for OLPH’s local honey, to which I hope to see honeybees back to work soon, a promising sign of Spring, but I digress).

In life, we often look for an alternative to what is good, or better said, to the ONE who is goodness itself. The truth is, there is no substitute to the one true God; anything or one else will leave us dissatisfied and hungry. Only God satisfies. But if you are like me, why are we often hungry after time spent in prayer? If we have encountered the Lord, what more could we want, right? Are we somehow inadequate or doing something wrong?

As Peter, James, and John gazed upon Jesus transfigured in that spectacular moment, amid all of the emotions that he must have been experiencing, one took hold of Peter. An overwhelming desire to stay.   

Peter’s desire to stay likely echoes our feelings of yearning, wanting to stay connected with our Creator. Yet, our encounters in prayer are not meant to be enough. We are meant to keep searching and growing, so we are truly ready for union with God when called. As we enter the second week of Lent, set aside some time to stay with the Lord, reflect upon the Jesus that draws near to us, revealing the love and mercy of God, and then ask him, “what’s next, Lord. Show me how I may grow.”

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Some of the key considerations for this week.

Reserve your seat for Mass on the 3rd Sunday of Lent, March 6-7, 2021, here.

This week our principal, Matt Malone, announced his intention to leave OLPH School at the end of this school year. With the support of the Archdiocese and the Office of Catholic Schools, we will begin a search for our next principal.

I offer my gratitude to Mr. Malone who has done an exceptional job. In sharing the decision to families, he emphasized his prayer as an educator for all his students, based on St. Catherine of Siena writing in a letter, “If you are what you should be, you will set (the world) ablaze.” Mr. Malone in his many years serving on this campus has helped countless children and youth of the parish to be faith-filled and impactful in our world. While this vocation of a teacher does not always see the fruit, my prayer is that as he transitions, he will recognize the rich harvest that has been left behind. Please offer a prayer for him – and look for an opportunity to say our heartfelt goodbye as we approach the end of the school year.

▪ We are immensely thankful to Bishop Bruce Lewandowski, for leading an inspiring Parish Mission. When preaching at morning Masses, he touched on three important aspects in prayer: on Monday, he taught two “hands” of prayer or ways to organize our prayers on our hands; on Tuesday, he discussed distractions and the importance of accepting them as elements of prayer; and on Wednesday, he offered three methods of prayer: imaginative, the Jesus Prayer, and a Redemptorist method. In the Evenings, Bishop Bruce preached three wonderful messages. On Monday, he broke down the truth that “I am the apple of God’s eye,” helping us to appreciate God’s passion and desire for us. On Tuesday, he stressed the simple actions we hear at the Eucharist: Take, Break, Bless, Pour, Eat, Drink, Go. At the Eucharist, he reflected on the question of why we might leave hungry if the Eucharist is a banquet. On Wednesday at the Evening Mass, Bishop Bruce concluded with a beautiful connection to our Redemptorist roots and our devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. As he shared, Mary embraced a new name so that every time we called, “Help,” we would know that she’d be present to us. Let us continue to lay before Mary all our worries, concerns, and prayers – trusting that she will hear us and respond with great care and compassion.

If you missed this wonderful opportunity, or if you’d love an opportunity to relisten, check out the Parish Mission videos on our website. My summation does not convey the great value of these lessons.

Archbishop Lori published his latest pastoral letter, Light Brightly Visible 2.0. A follow-up to his 2015 letter on the same topic, where he conveys some lessons learned over these last six years. I will share my reflections on this letter in the coming weeks – but encourage you to read the letter and share your thoughts on where the Archbishop is leading us.

To those of you who have been able to make a gift or pledge to the Appeal, including during our first-ever Appeal Giving Tuesday, thank you!

Collectively as a parish, we were able to raise $35,764 toward our 2021 parish Appeal goal, from 67 online pledges or gifts made last weekend or on Giving Tuesday. Prior pledges or gifts made online or through the mail campaign of the Archdiocese included $45,511 from 70 gifts, for a total of $81,275 from 137 pledges or gifts. Understandably, this does not include envelopes that were completed in Church and potentially other gifts yet to be counted.

And in helping to make our success possible, you not only strengthened the Our Lady of Perpetual Help community, but also many archdiocesan-wide programs of evangelization and outreach that assist our neighbors in need.

Time and time again, I am inspired by the generous nature of our parish family, which bears witness to the illuminating presence of Christ in the world.

For those of you still planning on making an Annual Appeal pledge or gift, I encourage you to do so by using the Giving Envelope you may have recently received, by reaching out to the Archdiocese of Baltimore Appeal Office at (443)263-1989, or by giving online. For in doing so, you will be joining in faith and in mission your sisters and brothers in Christ.

Please continue to pray for all the participants in the many ministries and beneficiaries of the outreach provided by the Annual Appear for Catholic Ministries.


▪ Please keep our RCIA Elect and Candidates in your prayers along with their families, their godparents and sponsors, and our RCIA team. We are blessed with eight men and women joining us in faith this Easter Vigil. 

▪ Please also pray for your wonderful parish staff as we engage in a short retreat this coming week led by Julie St. Croix from the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Planning and a vision and planning session on Tuesday for the coming year.