Dear Parishoners,

Many of you are aware that Marcia and I spent the last month in India with Father Jose. Our first night in India was spent in a Religious House run by the St. Vincent of Pillar Fathers in the capitol city of Delhi, a metropolis of ten million people. I awoke before dawn on the first morning to the sound of the Muslim call to morning prayer. It is amplified over loud speaker systems from the Mosques that populate many parts of the city. It is a haunting call that reverberates off the cities millions of cement walls and tile roofs, and echos like the call of the loons on a rocky boundary waters lake. It is known as the Azaan and begins by repeating over and over, "God is good."

All of us have our favorite times of the year. For some unknown reason that time for me occurs during the last shreds of winter and the earliest days of spring. Because of all the get togethers, parties and functions around the Christmas holidays, all the buzzing about, I have always preferred the season of Lent to Advent. As the snow begins to melt, the workings of the world drift into the background and spiritual and religious life become more important. We are all joined together by Ash Wednesday in communal fasting and prayer. It gives spiritual strength to both the individual and the community.

This coming Lent we look forward to building up even more spiritual vitality and friendship within our parish. Today is sign-up Sunday for our new Why Catholic? parish program. We invite and encourage you to be a part of this new series of Renew; to make Lent less a personal duty and more of a communally shared spiritual event. Why Catholic will provide opportunity for insights into the deepest mysteries of our Catholic faith.

Pat Cunningham

© 2007 RENEW International