Dates to remember:
- Ash Wednesday Mass: March 2 at 9:30am & 6:00 pm at Heiliggeist (The Mass is in German)
- Confession: March 27th, April 3 & 10st 16:30 – 17.15
- Adoration: Daily at St. Anton 7:00 – 19:00
- Sundays of Lent: March 6th ;13th; 20th ; 27th; Apr 3rd
- Palm Sunday: April 10th
- Easter Sunday: April 17th
- Mother’s Day: May 8th
- Religious Education: March 20th; April 24th; May 22nd
- AGM: Sunday May 15th 18:30, in the Hall after Mass
Lenten Message from Father Sibi
WildernessEach year the Church gives us six weeks to take a long, loving look at our lives to see if our values and priorities align with God’s desires for us. Since most of us find that we’ve wandered from God’s path, Lent becomes that second chance to “return to God with our whole heart.” Lent is a season of repentance and renewal. We turn away from our sinfulness and recommit ourselves to following Jesus.
Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness after his baptism has been observed throughout the Church as the prime emphasis of Lent. It was where he fasted, encountered temptations while praying and being alone with God. What is wilderness? Wilderness is basically land that is mostly wild and rarely inhabited or unfit for permanent human settlement. But it is not altogether dry or barren, during the wet rainy season, it provides seasonal pastures for flocks. In the Bible, several wilderness lands are identified by name and related to cities, persons, and events. Hagar wandered in the land of Beersheba – Genesis 21: 14. The Israelites went through several wilderness lands on their way to the Promised Land. David escaping Saul hid in three wilderness lands, Ziph (1 Sam. 23: 14-15), in the wilderness of Moan (Vv. 24-25) and in the wilderness of En-gedi (24: 1). And in the NT Gospels, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness of Judea after his baptism (Is. 40:3; Matt. 3: 1-3; Mark 1: 2-4; Lk. 3: 1-6; John 1: 23).
In the wilderness the people of Israel found both refuge and protection from the Egyptians (Ex. 16: 1ff). They went through about nine wilderness lands before entering the Promised Land. They feared they could die of hunger in the wilderness (Ex.16:3), but right there, God fed them with manna from heaven. The wilderness is both great and terrible (Deut. 1:19). But though terrible, lifeless, empty, mountainous, and dusty, the wilderness is where God was expected to return (Is. 40:3). It remains a place of ambiguity in the Bible, holding both danger and salvation.
The season of Lent in various respects is like a wilderness. Though Lent may feel like a threat to our life because we don’t usually want to expose the deep secrets of our lives, even in confession, it is our prerequisite for salvation. In being reduced to humility and remorse, Lent helps us to let go of the impasses of life that continually holds us captive. We are challenged to be courageous in facing our own vulnerabilities that we usually shy away from. It invites us to be inward discovering of ourselves against the goodness and holiness of God. It calls us to learn about ourselves, who God calls us to be and who we want to be through our response.
I invite you all to begin a journey through the wilderness during this Lent, and thus let us prepare ourselves for meeting the risen Lord.
“No longer strangers to each other, no longer strangers in God’s house”: these appropriate words from last Sunday’s opening hymn celebrated our return to “regular” Mass. This new hymn was chosen by Rose Lee, who we would like to introduce to you as our Music Coordinator now selecting the music for our weekly Mass. Expect some new hymns to be introduced as she shares hymns from her home parish in Hong Kong – and if you do have a favorite hymn from “back home” feel free to provide the details to the Choir – we are open to learning.
The sacrament of reconciliation offers the opportunity to reflect on our own lives and to let go of what burdens us, in a confidential atmosphere. Father Sibi is available for Confession on Sunday, March 27th April 3rd & 10th from 16.30 until 17.15 in the downstairs chapel.
Lent provides the opportunity to stand back, reflect and prepare for Easter as Jesus did when he spent the 40 days and nights in the desert. To support you during this period of reflection you can pick up, if not already done, a copy of Lent Extra: your journey towards Easter, available at the back of the church.
You are invited to submit your Lenten intentions, especially for those who are suffering or bearing difficult burdens to: firstname.lastname@example.org. These intentions will be offered during Mass on March 27th.
Lenten collections as part of the Bishop’s Appeal
Lent is traditionally a time when we think of others and how we can best support those less fortunate and in need. Our community has a spirit of generosity, and we ask you to consider donating to the following appeals during Easter:
- 3rd and 10th April: Fastenaktion;
- 17th April: Christians in the Holy Land.
Women in Faith
The next WIF meeting will take place in person at a volunteer’s house after the Easter holidays. Scheduled dates: April 29th, May 20th, June 17th, Aug. 19, Sep. 16th(retreat), Oct. 21st and Nov. 18th. Around September 16th an overnight retreat is planned. The venue and topic will be communicated later. Please send an email to email@example.com if you’d like to find out more.
Men in Faith
Currently in recess but will resume after Easter.
Our Religious Education classes are back to physical classes, with our students supporting Mass once per month.
RE classes take place on Sunday March 20th April 24th and May 22nd at the designated venues.
The whole community is invited to the celebrations which are followed by a social gathering after the Mass:
Our young people will receive their sacraments on the following dates:
- First Reconciliation : 15th May 2022 (followed by the AGM)
- First Holy Communion : 19th June 2022 (followed by Social)
- Confirmation : 12th June 2022 at 5pm, Bishop Felix will celebrate the Mass that is followed by a social.
We ask for your continued prayers for our First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation candidates.
Nursery and Word of God programs
The Nursery for babies and toddlers is in the Pre-sacristy room. The WoG program offers religious education for children aged 3-6 in the hall. Both can be offered weekly during Mass. Please email us if you’d like to help get these programs started up again.
Community registration – Please encourage friends and family to register in our community so that they can be notified of our activities directly by email. Register directly through our homepage: www.ESRCCB.org
Review of Annual Financial Statements
We are obliged to have 2 persons reviewing our financial records on an annual basis. We already have one person who volunteered and would be grateful for a second volunteer. It requires an hour or 2 of your time. Contact our treasurer Joe Paola firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in volunteering.
Collections at Mass
COVID accelerated the reduction of using cash as a preferred payment method in our daily life. As such many of us do not carry cash in our wallets, but rather use electronic means to make payments. To offer you the opportunity to electronically contribute to our Mass Collections we have introduced a QR Code which you scan with your banking app to contribute directly to our bank account. In this way, we hope to facilitate financial contributions to our community to help cover our operating expenses.
Volunteering in our community
We are a community of volunteers, and so are continually in need of additional help and support. We would like to ask you to volunteer and support the continuity of our community. It need only be a few hours a year, but every little bit helps. Some of the roles described below can be carried out by our young people and provide them with a safe place to learn new skills, e.g., being part of the choir, or developing their presentation skills as a lector at Mass.
Our Volunteer Needs:
- Altar servers – to serve at Sunday Mass.
- Minister of the Word (Lector) – to read at Sunday Mass
- Hospitality ministers – to welcome persons attending Mass, hand-out Hymn Books and collect them after Mass
- Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – to support distribution of Communion at Sunday Mass
- Choir members – to sing in the choir at Sunday Mass
- Teachers – to teach Religious Education classes
- Council member – to ensure the community and all it offers runs smoothly (Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Adult Faith coordinator, Liturgy coordinator, Religious Education teacher, Social coordinators, Heiliggeist Liaison, Communication, Youth Group leader)
If you would like to volunteer, email us: email@example.com.
A special thank you to our dedicated team of volunteers without whom our community would not function.
Link to our ESRCCB Calendar should you wish to link our activities directly into your personal calendar https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/1/r?cid=ZXNyY2NiQGdtYWlsLmNvbQ