From the Pastor’s desk— February 12, 2023

Before I share this week’s reflection,  I would like to share some events happening here at Sacred Heart.

 First, we will begin construction for the addition of a shower for our homeless ministry (and a washer/dryer for the parish) this week.  As such, the men’s bathroom in the parish hall will be closed for the next month and you may use the bathrooms by the PSR rooms in this time.  Our actual budget is a bit higher than the original estimate (by $5,000), so if you would like to put your Sunday donation toward the bathroom project, just mark it in your envelope or check.  

Second, we will be again supporting the Claretian ministry at Catholic Campus Ministry in their Jack Frost 5K run/walk Feb 25 (in the a.m.).  Admission for us is only $20 which will include a t-shirt, and you can sign up after Mass in the foyer. Last year we had the largest group- and we hope to do that again to help our college students stay connected to their faith in their most formative years. 

This week, though, our minds are on Valentine’s Day.  In many Latin American counties, this is Love and Friendship Day, but whether you have a romantic love interest or friendship, this day is about what one does for the love of others inspired by our Catholic faith.

It may be surprising to know there were three St Valentines.  All lived in the 4th century, all were martyred, and all shared their feast on February 14th.  Some have claimed it was just a repurposing of the Roman feast of Lupercalia, but that feast in on the 15th and is focused on the crops, not love, so that claim is unfounded. 

Although we know very little about these 3 men, we do know that one of the three St Valentines was a priest from North Africa and the other two came from Italy.   These later two seem to have the heroic legends that have inspired us on this day.  One was martyred for helping young couples to marry to help the men avoid conscription into the Roman Army and the other was jailed and martyred for refusing to deny the faith in a time when being a Christian (Catholic) was illegal.  He was tortured so severely (and later beheaded) he was named Valentine, meaning the” strong and vigorous one.” 

All these men lived out Christ’s admonition found in the gospel of John, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13)   and this is the heart of their message, today is a day to show love through the giving of oneself.   Candy and flowers are nice, but perhaps giving up a piece of yourself, your ego, or wanting your way, is the real sweetness of friendship and love and true love, divine love, in friendship or romance, will last longer than any diamond and shine twice as bright.

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray