Fr. Mike’s Communication for the Mar. 21, 2021

5th Sunday of Lent, Passiontide | 21 March 2021

 “I am troubled now.  Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”

– John 12:27

Brothers & Sisters,

I honestly have prayed that this pandemic would pass. I imagine that all of us have at some point during these past twelve months. Is this wrong? It’s a comfort to remember though he embraced the passion and took up the Cross, this does not mean Jesus had an inhuman desire to suffer. His ministry was a testament to a desire to heal and save. While we’d prefer for this hour to pass, and rest assured it is ok to pray for its end, let us use this opportunity to unite with Jesus and ask God what might he be asking us to learn or how might we respond to suffering during this difficult hour. Simply put, join me in asking, despite our current circumstances, “Lord, how may we glorify your name?”

As we cross the one-year threshold of this worldwide pandemic, I look back at the first few electronically distributed letters to the parish with a bit of nostalgia, wondering how foolish my words might seem in hindsight. With surprise, I was pleased that I didn’t make any silly predictions – those first letters focused on what we could control, like our parish preparations for Holy Week and Easter.

As we welcome Holy Week 2021 with anticipation, we still find ourselves with restrictions; and as such, I’m hesitant to make what might become foolish predictions. Thanks to God, we can gather with safety precautions in place and celebrate Mass together – whereas last Easter Triduum, the liturgies were only available through livestream. For those who have yet to return to our campus, though, please consider checking out the steps we consistently practice to keep each other safe. If you’re considering joining us for in-person worship, maybe attend a daily Mass first at 8:15 am from Monday to Saturday. With fewer people in attendance, this could be a manageable first step to return home to OLPH. With a heart for service and an eye for continuous improvement, I ask: What information could we provide that might make you and your family feel more comfortable or what further steps could we take to welcome your return joyfully? As you make the best decisions for your family at this time, would you consider joining us for our outdoor Mass (everyone remains masked while keeping a 6-foot physical distance)? I’m pleased to share this Easter Sunday, we are offering two outdoor Masses at 9 am, and 11 am. And yes, we are thrilled to continue to provide Mass via Livestream (streaming live at 9 am on Easter Sunday, as well as the liturgies of the Triduum) for our parishioners joining us remotely.

As relevant this year as last, I ask, how are you and your families prayerfully considering how to enter into Holy Week? Consider spending some time reading Scriptural accounts, perhaps from the Gospel of Mark (cf. Mark 14-15), which is proclaimed on Palm Sunday this year. Please spend some time reflecting on Jesus and the impact of his extraordinary sacrifice for us. If you’d rather listen to the Gospel, check out Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible on Search under Audio, then Audio Dramas, to check out Mark’s Gospel, with the passion staring around the 1-hr:18-min mark. For those who have yet to try, listening to the Gospel is a fantastic supplement to prayer. also has some great content, including videos, studies, and audiobooks for all ages on these most memorable days of Jesus’ life.

In one of the first letters I shared electronically to the parish as we started to navigate the pandemic, I encouraged everyone to consider the wisdom and guidance of St. Benedict shared in his well-known Rule for Monastic Life. Emphasized throughout this Rule is balance. A healthy rhythm life thrives on a thoughtful combination of prayer, study, work, rest, meals, and rest. As we continue to navigate our current times, let’s be patient with yourselves and others. Also, please know as Easter approaches, my prayer is that you will find the rest and re-creation that God desires for you – finding renewed energy and joy this Spring!

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 Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Mass on March 27-28 here.

  • As we enter into Holy Week at OLPH, blessed palms will be available as you arrive for Palm Sunday Masses. If you are not joining us in person, blessed palms will be available starting Saturday in the Narthex or front entrance of the Church until Tuesday, March 23rd. Please use the provided hand sanitizer before taking Palms. 
  • Our most sacred days are fast approaching, with the Easter Triduum, April 1 – 4. Reservations for Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 pm on Holy Thursday, Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3 pm or 7 pm on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil at 8:15 pm on Saturday, or one of our Easter Sunday Masses at 7:30 am, 9 am (in the Church or outside), 11 am (in the Church or outdoors), or 5 pm are now open. Please help us to prepare for your arrival by reserving your seat HERE – we desire to welcome and safely accommodate as many of our parishioners so we can celebrate these special days together. 
  • At this time, we do acknowledge that all our available seats in the Nave of the church are full for Holy Thursday, yet we desire to make alternative accommodations.  Please sign up for the waitlist if you would like to attend Mass on Holy Thursday.  It is with this information that we will best be able to plan for a second location at 7 pm.
  • Long-range weather is tracking beautiful Spring days for the Triduum this year, with highs in the low 60s. While we will have to wait until we are closer to have complete confidence, I encourage you to remember the weather in your prayers. We’d love for our outdoor Masses to be perfect for you and your families.

▪ Middle and High School Youth are encouraged to join us with their families for Stations of the Cross on Friday, March 26 at 7 pm followed by a Holy Hour dedicated to Youth in the Lord. This is a wonderful way to prepare yourselves for Easter, gathered together in worship of our Lord.

▪ Each Mass celebrated at OLPH includes a particular intention offered by the Celebrant. That is in addition to the many intentions we offer as the faithful. Every Sunday, one of the intentions is for all individuals of the parish (defined not by those present, registered, or even simply Catholics, but by all those in the parish boundaries whom we show love and care). If you would like to have an intention offered, you may reach out to the parish office or utilize this form here. In addition to requesting a mass intention for the deceased or living, you may request to have a Mass Card sent and offer a donation with the request.

▪ The Solemnity of the Annunciation is Thursday, March 25. As Gabriel announced the good news to Mary, she accepted God’s will and cooperated with the Holy Spirit that the Son of God might become one of us as our savior and redeemer. To celebrate this most special mystery, we will offer a 7 pm Evening Mass in addition to our 8:15 am Mass. Please note, the morning mass will be livestreamed.

▪ The Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) continues to work hard on behalf of our Catholic community. Check out the latest legislation before the Maryland State Legislature here and learn about the testimony submitted on the various bills, including bills on Immigration and a Prenatal Care Bill. Bishop Bruce Lewandowski has provided testimony as a disproportionate number of Black and Latina mothers receive adequate prenatal care.

Today, Sunday, March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. The MCC works with the Catholic Coalition for Special Education, which supports Catholic Schools across Maryland and their ability to serve students with special needs. Let us unite under the truth that people with Down syndrome have an inherent right to be accepted and included as valued and equal community members.