It is gratifying to see a gradual, but noticeable, increase of people coming to Mass each weekend. Without a doubt, some are people who were away during the worst days of the pandemic, but are now feeling safe to gather again. Others are visitors; almost every week when I’m greeting people after Mass, visitors will introduce themselves to me. And perhaps there are even people who have simply decided to come to Mass after a long time away. Whatever a person’s stated reason for coming to Mass may be, underlying all other reasons is the call of the Lord. I pray that the Lord may call more and more people to our church, and I pray that those who hear his call will follow it.

All of this brings me to a very effective means that the Lord uses to call people to worship him: your invitation! Yes, you can be the voice of God in someone’s life just by inviting them to come to Mass. Readily we recommend movies that we like to our friends; we encourage them to go to shows we have enjoyed, and to visit websites that we find interesting; we invite them to parties and other gatherings. But when was the last time you invited someone to come with you to the greatest prayer, arguably the greatest event, on earth?

I bring this up today as Holy Week approaches. You will find the schedule of Holy Week liturgies in this bulletin and on the parish website. These liturgies are especially rich in meaning, and contain Scripture texts, prayers, ritual actions, and music that are particularly moving. Why not make it a special point this year to bring at least one guest to at least one of our Holy Week liturgies? A practical note: it’s best to invite someone now, at least a week in advance, before their schedule fills up with other things.

I look forward to seeing you, and your guests, at St. Edward the Confessor or San Felipe de Jesús, soon.

Gratefully yours,

During the liturgies of Palm Sunday and Good Friday, the assembly has the unique experience of helping to proclaim the Gospel. Perhaps it feels strange to repeat the words of the crowd, calling for the crucifixion of Christ. Certainly we do not want Jesus to suffer.

Our participation in this Gospel is an invitation to take the Passion of Jesus Christ personally. One way we do this is to examine ourselves in the light of the Gospel and discern which figures in the Gospel narrative we might resemble. Are we like Peter, who spoke enthusiastically about being faithful to Christ but then deserted him when things became difficult? Are we like Judas, who traded his faithfulness to Christ for material gain? Are we like Pilate, who tried to wash his hands of responsibility for his actions? Are we like the crowd, easily swayed from praising Christ to condemning him? Are we like Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross only under protest, because he had to?

The list of characters could go on. Hopefully we are like the Apostle John and the Virgin Mary, who remained with Jesus until the end. Hopefully we imitate Jesus himself, as he forgave his executioners from the cross. Taking the Passion personally means that we recognize our call to imitate the Lord and those who are closest to him.

Taking the Passion personally also means that we remember that Jesus suffered and died for each of us. His redemptive love for us is so great that he gave his life, and then took it up again, for each of us personally. How blessed we are to be loved so much! Gratefully we accompany the Lord throughout this Holy Week.

Gratefully yours,

As Easter approaches, it is our sincere wish here at St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús that everyone who comes to worship the Lord with us may experience the joy, love, and peace of the Risen Christ. St. Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile” (1 Cor. 15:17). But Christ has been raised, and this gives value to our faith, our good works, our hope, and our joy. May you experience all this and more on this glorious Easter Sunday!

These greetings are meant for everyone who reads these words.Whether you are a regular parishioner, an occasional visitor, or someone who just happens to be with us on this day, we want you to feel welcome at St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús.The Risen Lord is among us, as he is present whenever people gather in his name (Mt. 18:20). We hope that everyone here will recognize and enjoy his presence. If you are looking for a spiritual home, we hope you will make that home with us.You will find that there are many ways (including over 70 ministries) to participate in the life of this vibrant parish.

A heartfelt reminder: Easter is more than a single, special day.In the Catholic Church, the Easter Season lasts fifty days; and even after the Easter season is over, every Sunday is like a “little Easter,” in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, which happened on the first day of the week (Jn. 20:1). If we are invited to a special party, it is nice to be there at the beginning of the festivities; but it would be a pity to leave the party early. Easter Sunday is only the beginning of the festivities! Please continue to come here every Sunday, throughout the Easter Season and beyond. The Lord has great things in store for you.

Special thanks to all who have helped make this Lent, Holy Week, and Easter so wonderful here at St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús.Our devotional services and liturgies have been beautiful, and many people have participated and contributed in different ways. As our Easter celebration continues, we fervently hope that the Risen Lord may reward all who are part of this celebration.

Gratefully yours,