There are a number of exciting events and initiatives currently or soon to take place at Lourdes. I wanted to highlight some of these and also update you on important information and developments. To be sure, Our Lady of Lourdes has moved from a sleepy boutique parish to a vibrant community of faith. I credit this to God’s enduring grace, Our Lady’s efficacious intercession and your faith and commitment. Our Jubilee year is well underway with exciting events on the horizon. I pray that this Jubilee Year will be a time of renewal, blessing and growth for, as Archbishop Hebda recently described on Relevant Radio, this jewel of a parish.
First, many parishioners have read, or are reading, the book Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Frenchman, Fr. Jacques Philippe. I thank Deacon Winninger for leading this effort which has borne spiritual fruit. Thanks to all of the small group leaders for their commitment and hospitality. If you have picked up a book and have not begun reading, I ask that you do so now, as you prepare for Holy Week and Easter. The most important work of any Catholic parish is to help foster vibrant and deep spiritual lives of its members. We are all called to become missionary disciples, who go out into the world with the joy of the Gospel and a servant’s heart.
Second, I invite all of you to come and experience the Sacred Triduum – The Three Great Days of Holy Week: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. The Triduum is meant to be experienced as one liturgy and offers us the opportunity to powerfully participate in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Please see the bulletin for the Holy Week schedule. As you prepare for Holy Week and Easter, please keep our RCIA candidates and catechumens, as well as our Confirmation candidates, in your prayers. Thank you for assisting them with your prayers, welcome and witness of faith.
Third, we have some exciting events coming up as we continue to celebrate our Jubilee Year at Lourdes. April 29 th we will celebrate our Lourdes Jubilee Gala at another historic landmark of our neighborhood: The A-Mill Artists Lofts. It will be a terrific event with fellowship, fun, great food and lively music. Table sponsorships, individual tickets and tickets for the after party are now on sale on our parish website. Get your tickets soon as they are going fast! June 11th we will celebrate our Jubilee Mass for the City of Minneapolis. We will formally dedicate Hofstede Hall at 10 a.m. and Archbishop Hebda will preside at an 11 a.m. Mass at the Nicolette Island Pavilion, followed by a festive brunch. More details will be coming soon!
Fourth, our Jubilee Fund is off to a terrific start with both strong support and momentum. We currently have pledged $674,271 which is 79% of our $850,000 campaign goal. Thank you to those who have already pledged for your generosity and commitment to Lourdes. If you have not yet pledged, I ask you to prayerfully consider your sacrificial gift and to make your pledge as soon as possible. We hope to have all pledges by Easter to continue our strong momentum. Deacon Winninger and I have both made our pledges, and in each case, our pledges have been sacrificial. The funds that have already come in have allowed us to begin planning and in some cases executing a number of the campaign goals. For example, the Three Saint Iconic Mural which is currently being created by sacred artist Nick Markell, will be installed in time for the Easter season. Planning for the exterior courtyard and the interior renovation of the church continues in earnest. It is an exciting time for the parish!
Finally, and not least in importance, as Christians who are called to live our faith in the world, we must not forget those who suffer on the margins of society, including the unborn, the poor, the homeless and our immigrant brothers and sisters. Our Justice and Charity Committee continues to lead our parish community in offering many ways in which we can help serve the marginalized, better educate ourselves regarding the demands of the Social Gospel and help create a more just and peaceful world. I am very happy to announce that a new couple to the parish came up to me at our first fish fry and handed me a check for $25,000 to establish a new Matthew 25 Fund to help the poor and marginalized of our community and beyond. More details are coming soon regarding this exciting initiative.
Good things are indeed happening at Lourdes!
With Gratitude to God and to You,