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From the desk of Fr. Speier 

Dear Parishioners:  

 Our celebration of Holy Week begins with Mass on this Palm Sunday Weekend. This liturgy is broken in two parts: our procession symbolizing the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, then the reading of the Passion of Our Lord that tells us the story of his passion and death. 

The symbol of this day is the palm branch. It is a remembrance of those who waved the branches as Jesus rode bye hailing him as King. We take these branches home as a reminder for us of the importance of the Lord in our homes and in our lives. The Passion of our Lord tells us how the same people that cheered him as king are the same ones who are not calling for his death. This Palm Sunday celebration is a fitting way for us to prayerfully begin our celebration of Holy Week. 

 On Tuesday of Hoy Week all the priests, deacons and faithful of the diocese will gather with Bishop Thomas for the Mass of the Holy Chrism. It is at this mass that the priests present renew their commitment to service as priests and the oils used in the Sacraments of the Church are blessed and distributed to all the parishes and institutions of the diocese. Representatives of each of our parishes will attend this mass and bring the oils back to the parishes. On Holy Thursday these oils will be presented as part of our offertory procession at our mass of the Last Supper held at St. Catherine of Siena Parish at 7:00 pm. 

On Holy Thursday, the beginning of the Holy Triduum, we will gather to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper. It is at this mass that we remember the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. At the Last Supper Jesus stopped the ritual of the evening and washed the feet of his disciples. This humble gesture calls us to be servants to one another. At this mass twelve of our parishioners will come forward after the homily and will have their feet washed just as Jesus did for his disciples. 

 At the end of mass, we will have the transfer of the Holy Eucharist from the main church to the Altar of Repose that will be in the church sacristy. The removal of the Eucharist is a remembrance of the arrest and the beginning of the Passion of Jesus. Our chapel will be open for adoration after mass. 

On Good Friday we remember the Passion and Death of Jesus. Our day starts with the Stations of the Cross at both parishes at 12:00 pm followed by the Liturgical Service at 1:00 pm. The Liturgical Service is broken into three parts: The Liturgy of the Wood, the Veneration of the Cross, the Eucharistic Service. I invite all of you to attend this liturgy. 

Our Holy Saturday begins with the blessing of Easter food, at both parishes, at 11:00 am. At St. Clement Parish Deacon Ron Plenzler will officiate and I will lead the blessing at St. Catherine of Siena Parish. This is really a Slavic custom that remembers all the sacrifices that one has done during Lent including foods that were abstained from during this season. They then brought samples of these foods to be blessed and then shared at the Easter meal. You do not have to be of Polish background to participate.