Are you wondering what Christianity is all about?
Are you curious about the Catholic Church?
Have you not received First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you engaged or married to a Catholic, and want to know why they believe “all that stuff”?
Are you returning to the Church after a long absence?
Or are you simply interested in learning more about the Faith you already profess and practice?
THE ALPHA COURSE classes began on Tuesday, February 10th, in Fr. D'Arco Hall, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
(There is no commitment, cost , or obligation to you!)
Stations of the Cross: Every Friday of Lent 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Extra Lenten Confession Times: Every Friday of Lent 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Soup and Scripture: Every Monday of Lent 6:30pm
The topic for this Lenten Soup & Scripture program is “Lent and the 7 Deadly Sins”. It will be presented on Monday evenings, starting on 23 February, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., in Fr. D’Arco Hall. Kitchen helpers are also Greatly needed.
Please contact Deacon Dave in the parish office, at (505) 892-1511 Ext.103, to volunteer.
Confessions and Stations of the Cross:
Monday Through Wednesday at 7:00pm
Mass of the Lord's Supper 7:00pm
12:00 Noon: The Passion of the Lord
3:00pm: Divine Mercy Novena
7:00pm: Living stations of the Cross
9:00 am: Confession
3:00pm: Confession & Divine Mercy Novena
8:30 pm Solemn Mass of the Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday: Outdoor Liturgies
9:30 and 11:30 am at Vista Verde Cemetery
Our parish has adoration of the Blessed Sacrament available 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)! Adorers are always needed! Click below for times with urgent needs for adorers.
"Could you not keep watch for one hour?" Mark 14:37
My dear family,
We now enter into the most sacred of all weeks – Holy Week. During these seven days we are invited to walk with our Lord on the road to Calvary and experience within ourselves the glory of His Resurrection. It is my hope that we all try to join in as many of the services that we can, especially the principle services of Holy Week: the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Liturgy of the Passion, and the Easter Vigil Mass. A few notes on this week:
1. Please note that all the priests will be hearing confessions three times a day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – with a visiting priest joining us at the 7pm confessions. The priests are in a much better mood on these days than they are on Holy Saturday! Don't wait until the last minute to make your confession!
2. On Holy Thursday we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Repose from after the Mass until midnight. We should make it a point of honor to spend some time in adoration on Holy Thursday, remembering the question our Lord asked of us that night: "Could you not watch with Me one hour?"
3. Good Friday is a day of strict obligation of fasting (one meal only) and abstaining from eating meat.
4. Traditionally, on Good Friday Catholics refrain from worldly amusements: secular television, movies and music, parties, needless shopping, etc. It is a day of sorrow and mourning over the sufferings and death of our Lord.
5. It is praiseworthy, but not under pain of sin, to fast and abstain from eating meat on Holy Saturday, as the Church sits by the tomb of her Lord in mourning.
6. The Lenten Fast ends with the Easter Vigil, which in our parish is 8:30 pm.
7. Yes, the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil fulfills the Easter Sunday Mass obligation – in fact it is THE great Mass of Easter.
8. Everyone wants to go to the High Mass on Easter Sunday. Unfortunately the church cannot hold everyone. If you want to hear Mass in the church at 9 or 11 am, get there early, because, once the church is full, you will be asked to go to the outdoor Masses at Vista Verde cemetery.
9. Actually, the two outdoor Masses on Easter morning are very beautiful . Our wonderful LifeTeen choir provides the music. We provide some chairs, but it is a good idea to bring your own chairs or a blanket. If you have young children, these two Masses are ideal for your family. Pray for good weather! If there is bad weather, we will have tents set up at the cemetery. – so there will be the two Masses at Vista Verde, no matter what!
10. At the end of all the Easter Masses, we will have the blessing of the children's Easter baskets. This is a lovely custom that helps the children tie in their Easter candy with the Resurrection.
11. And the blessed Pascal water will be available after all the Easter Masses to take with you to bless your homes.
A truly blessed Holy Week to you all!
Msgr. Doug Raun
The purple veils on the sacred images tell us that it is now the Fifth Sunday of Lent - the start of that final part of Lent that we call Passiontide, when we focus in an intense way upon the sufferings and death of our blessed Savior. The images of the saints are veiled because they represent the Church in glory, but at this season we wish not to be distracted from our Savior's sorrows. The crucifix is veiled so that it might stand out anew when it is solemnly unveiled on Good Friday.
Of course I like the explanation that was given to me by Sister Josephine in second grade: the saints are veiled because it is too painful for them to watch our Lord suffer and die.
-Every Friday during Lent is a day of abstinence from eating meat.
-Stations of the Cross and Benediction every Friday at 3 pm and 7 pm.
-Extra Lenten confessions every Friday at 7 pm.
-Lenten Soup and Scruipture every Monday in Fr. D'Arco Hall: soup at 6:30, hour-long Scripture lesson at 7 pm.
This Wednesday is a great feast of the Church - the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Exactly nine months before Christmas, it is the day we celebrate the announcement given to our Lady by the Archangel Gabriel, when she conceived our Blessed Lord within her womb. Not a holy day of obligation, but a day of deep devotion, a great feast of the mystery of the Incarnation.
This week I will be gone on my last Lenten mission to St. Ann's Parish in Deming. The missions have been very successful this year. Please pray for the sucess of the mission in Deming!
A blessed Lenten week,
Today is Laetare Sunday, the popular name for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Laetare means "Rejoice" in Latin, and the Introit (entrance antiphon) for the Mass on this Sunday is Isaiah 66:10-11, which begins "Laetare, Jerusalem" ("Rejoice, O Jerusalem..") Being the midpoint of Lent, Laetare Sunday has traditionally been viewed as a day of celebration, on which the austerity of Lent is briefly lessened. The passage from Isaiah continues, "rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow," and on Laetare Sunday, the purple vestments of Lent are set aside, and rose ones are used instead. Flowers, which are normally forbidden during Lent, may be placed on the altar.
Laetare Sunday is also known as Rose Sunday or Refreshment Sunday, and it has a counterpart in Advent, Gaudate Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, when purple vestments are exchanged for rose ones. The point of both days is to provide us encouragement as we progress toward the end of each respective penitential season.
We thank God for the wonderful response to our Lenten observances:
- Remember, every Friday during Lent is a day of abstinence from eating meat.
- Stations of the Cross and Benediction every Friday at 3 pm and 7 pm.
-Lenten Soup and Scripture every Monday in Fr. D'Arch Hall - soup at 6:30 pm, hour-long Scripture lesson at 7 pm. This weeks topic - the Deadly Sin of Anger.
This week we have the festivals of two great saints:
-March 17, the feast of the Apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick (a day to rejoice in the conversion of Ireland to Christ, and Ireland's children who have spread the faith throughout the world. It is not an excuse to break Lent and to get drunk on green beer.)
-March 19, the solemnity of the glorious St. Joseph, foster-father of our Lord Jesus Christ and Patron of the Universal Church.
How powerful is St. Joseph? "I know by experience," says St. Teresa of Avila, "that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me."
A blessed Lenten week !
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9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Closed on Holidays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Saturday: 5:00pm, Sunday: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, & 6:00pm.
9:00am & 6:00pm.
Weekdays: 8:30am & 5:30pm. Saturday: 8:30am, 3:00pm - 4:30pm, & 6:00pm - 7:00pm.
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish 1502 Sara Rd. NE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Tel: (505) 892-1511