Greetings and welcome to February. February is the shortest month of the year since it was, until two millennia ago, the final month of the year. The idea was that the calendar would change when the seasons changed. Thus Spring would signal the need for a new calendar, and February would signal the need for Spring Cleaning. The name February itself is derived from an ancient Roman cleaning festival – Februum. Hmmm, sounds similar to the name of a contemporary cleaning product!
Yet this short month has a lot going for it. Ash Wednesday, speaking of purification and cleansing, is in two weeks – 22 February. Valentine’s Day is a novena away. The Blessings of Throats, through the intercession of St. Blaise will be celebrated after each Mass this weekend. And, our Saturday morning Mass will return this coming Saturday, 11 February – the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes – at the Notre Dame worship site on Fairview Road.
In this month of cleansing and purifying it may be helpful to review our devotions at Our Lady of Peace. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is offered every Tuesday at Our Lady of Peace Church. Explosion begins after 8:30 a.m. Mass and continues through to our Benediction at 6:30 p.m. A litany, such as the Litany of the Sacred Heart, is prayed prior to Benediction.
Morning Prayer, or Lauds, is an excellent way to praise God and to entrust ourselves to our Savior as we begin the day. The rite of Morning Prayer includes an opening song, followed by the recitation of two psalms sandwiching a reading from the Old Testament. Morning Prayer concludes with the Candle of Zechariah singing of the wonderment of the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist. “Because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us, to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79). Morning Prayer is prayed at 8:10 each Thursday at our Notre Dame worship site, and on the other weekdays at Our Lady of Peace Church.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy contemplates the great mercy of God and his immense love. The Chaplet is prayed using Rosary Beads but with prayers that focus on the salvation of souls through the sacrifice of Jesus’ Passion. The Chaplet is prayed weekdays at Our Lady of Peace Church at 3:00 p.m.
The Sodality offers prayers to the Blessed Mother, the highest ideal of discipleship, seeking her intercession for our needs and for the needs of the souls for whom we pray. The Sodality offers song and the Miraculous Medal prayers as we draw closer into an intimate relationship with Our Lady. The Sodality begins after 8:30 a.m. Mass each Monday.
Of course every Saturday is dedicated to Our Lady. We will pray the Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes on Saturday, 11 February, at the conclusion of 8:30 a.m. Mass at the Notre Dame worship site. The Litany of Our Lady of Loreto will be prayed each First Saturday, at the conclusion of 8:30 a.m. Mass, beginning on 4 March, at the Notre Dame worship site.
Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion which enables us to spiritually walk the footsteps of Jesus as we reflect upon the beautiful gift of his Paschal Mystery. The Stations are prayed each Friday evening of Lent (24 February through 31 March)
Thank you for your prayerful support of our parish community. Best wishes as you plan your physical, and spiritual, Spring Cleaning!
Peace – Fr. Joe