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A MESSAGE FROM FATHER MONTY – Today is Commitment Sunday for the annual Catholic Services Appeal. The theme of the 2016 CSA is Be lights of hope through giving.
This year’s parish goal is $165,000.00. The first $58,294.00 of that amount is our CSA assessment from the Diocese for 2016. One half of your gift or pledge supports services provided by the Diocese of Erie to thousands of individuals and families throughout our Northwestern and Central Pennsylvania communities. Your pledge to the Catholic Services Appeal will help us continue to preach, to teach, and to serve the Gospel.
The amount pledged over $58,000—our target goal is $107,000—will support our parish projects for 2016. We plan to renovate the rest rooms in Immaculate Conception School and the Meisinger Center. We also intend to invest some funds in the Parish Deposit and Loan Fund—the “diocesan bank”—thereby building up our parish reserve funds. The remaining funds will be designated for property insurance, taxes, and other diocesan assessments. One important point to remember: November 2016 will mark the 40th anniversary of the completion of the construction of Immaculate Conception Church. (The solemn dedication of the church followed eleven months later on 2 October 1977.) We have 40-year-old windows and doors while the carpeting and upholstery is over 20 years old. I think we need to be planning for the ongoing maintenance and refurbishment of the structure. I encourage our high school and college students to consider a gift to the CSA this year. Your gift of $10.00, $15.00 or $20.00 is part of your Lenten almsgiving. Remember, no gift is too small when given in love to the Lord!
Your support of the CSA is an important part of your Lenten observance as well. Jesus calls his disciples to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Your support of the CSA—your charity or almsgiving—is a way to give back. Just think. If every one of our 1,000 households pledged $200 to the 2016 Catholic Services Appeal, we would exceed our goal! Please support the services and ministries of the Diocese of Erie and Be lights of hope through giving.

The season of Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 and concludes when the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord begins at the start of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, March 24, 2016.

The following regulations are promulgated and binding for all Latin Rite Catholics in the Diocese of Erie for Lent and the Paschal Triduum, 2016. Eastern Rite Catholics who may be attending Latin Rite parishes have their own proper regulations and should consult their own eparchy or parish.
1. Traditional Lenten practices of PRAYER, FASTING, and ALSMGIVING and other forms of self-denial are recommended most warmly by the Church. Daily Mass is particularly encouraged.
2. ASH WEDNESDAY, ALL FRIDAYS IN LENT, and GOOD FRIDAY are days of abstinence from meat for those 14 years of age and older.
3. ASH WEDNESDAY AND GOOD FRIDAY are also days of fasting for those ages 18 to 58 inclusive. (On these days, those bound by the law of fasting may take one full meal. Two smaller meals, sufficient to maintain strength according to one’s needs, are also permitted. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or work is seriously affected, the law does not oblige.)
4. On HOLY THURSDAY, no celebration of the Mass is to begin anywhere in the diocese earlier than 4:30 p.m. without the express approval of Bishop Persico.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Although it does not include the Liturgy of the Eucharist, by its very nature the GOOD FRIDAY service is celebrated by a priest only.
6. All celebrations of the EASTER VIGIL are to begin after nightfall (which is defined as approximately one hour after local sunset.) This year Bishop Persico asks that the Easter Vigil begin no earlier than 8:30 p.m. everywhere in the diocese. Any earlier start time for the Easter Vigil must receive express approval by the Bishop.
7. ALL FRIDAYS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (except solemnities) outside of Lent remain days of penance. The United States Bishops highly recommend the traditional abstinence from meat, together with fasting, for the cause of peace in the world. However, some other practice of voluntary self-denial or personal penance may be substituted. By order of the Most Reverend Bishop January 14, 2016

Key Passage: “Simon Peter fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.’ Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people’ (Luke 5:8,10b).
Adult: When have you felt God’s merciful forgiveness? Did it strengthen you?
Youth: When are you afraid or feel inadequate to help others? How has faith in God strengthened you?

WHAT KIND OF STEWARD AM I? We as Catholics belong to the wider church, not just our own parish, but in communion with our brothers and sisters in neighboring parishes. We belong to our local faith community, our diocese, and the worldwide Roman Catholic

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