From the pastor’s desk—Jan. 30, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

Happy Catholic School’s Week!

You might be saying “Hey, Father, didn’t we just celebrate Catholic Schools back in early November?” Yes and No. In November is the annual “Discover Catholic Schools Week and this week is the National week to “Celebrate” Catholic Schools. The difference is like our faith, we may pray to God every day but our prayers to the Father are different from our prayers to the Son or the Holy Spirit.

The simple distinction between the two weeks is that the earlier week of “discovery” is a time to explore all that Catholic Schools offer and to learn something new, while “celebration” is a time to take pride in the great good our schools do. Celebration is not just a way to pass the time, but a cornerstone for our faith. When we go to Church, we talk about the celebration of the Mass. Celebrations almost always involve 3 things: a recognition of achievement, a shared meal, and joy. For us on Catholic Schools Week, we celebrate/acknowledge all those who have sacrificed their time, effort, and money to help us pass on our faith to the next generation. We can never forget the sacrifice our teachers make to teach in Catholic Schools when they could be earning more in a public-school setting. We also acknowledge and celebrate our students who are taking what they are learning and using it to serve in their communities and our Church.

At Sacred Heart, we will celebrate Catholic Schools week with two meals this week. One will be our Knights of Columbus Breakfast this Sunday at 10:30 am-noon. The second will fall on Tuesday when we celebrate the Feast of Candelaria. After the 7pm mass we will have delicious tamales to add to our celebration.

In the case of our mass, our celebration is not complete when we do not receive the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ. (Although we are unable to share the cup of precious blood because of Covid, our Tradition holds to receive the Body of Christ is still receiving the fulness of the meal.) To not receive Communion at Mass is like going to a friend’s house for a birthday dinner and not eating, something is greatly missing. We offer the gift of reconciliation with great frequency so no one misses this opportunity. Confessions are available 20-30 minutes before mass and weekdays at any time during office hours if Father is present.

Finally, we celebrate this week of Catholic Schools with joy! Once we take account of all the good that they do and how that good is spreading out into our world, how cannot we feel a joy in what we are doing for the world and want to pass this on. Wherever there is a Catholic School in the world, there is an anchor in the community- an anchor of hope for a better future for our youth and our world. There certainly is a lot of challenges in our world, but we cannot forget to celebrate on the way all the good God is doing through our Catholic Schools and work to help them grow.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray