Msgr. Tom’s Weekly Note – 3/14/24

While Lent is an important and special time for all of use, it is also an important time for those who want to join the Catholic church and celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Lent is a season that really grew out of the immanent preparation by way of retreat for those preparing for baptism. During this 40 day “retreat,” considered a period of purification and enlightenment, rites called the Scrutinies are celebrated.

It is a way of purification before being received into the Church and is a central part of the OCIA (Order of Christian Initiation of Adults). As Lent is purposed for all of us, the Scrutinies pray for that purification of the elect, and really all of us, in order bring out all that is beautiful and good and true in them as they embrace the discipleship that comes from baptism. Jesus “scrutinizes” them, and all of us, with Divine Light, drawing out what valuable within them and us as well as our desire to be, as we say, “the best version of ourselves”.

There are three Scrutinies celebrated and they are celebrated on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent. We celebrated the First Scrutiny this past weekend at the 10:00Mass. We will celebrate the Second Scrutiny this Sunday, March 10th at the 12:00 Noon Mass. Then we will celebrate the Third Scrutiny on Sunday, March 17th at the 8:00AM Mass. The prayers during these rites are intended to purify the elect from sin.

The overall prayers and laying of hands are to help the elect be enlightened by the Word and grace of God. Let us pray for our elect during these days of Lent, as we have been doing throughout their formation and catechesis.

For those who would be interested in joining the Catholic Church and receive their sacraments during the next year’s process which starts in the fall, please let me know. All candidates are gradually introduced to aspects of our Catholic faith and practices. If you know anyone who might be a candidate, please tell them about the OCIA here at Saint Helen.

God Bless You All,
Msgr. Tom

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