From the Pastor’s Desk,

This Wednesday we will celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season. We will be marked
with ashes, and the words of the blessing, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” Turning away from
sin and seeking repentance is the theme of the Lenten Season. Turning away from sin many times means a change of
mind, a change of heart and a change of behavior. This is true conversion and conversion cannot be limited to a
dramatic, once-in-a-lifetime, so called “born again” experience. Lent gives us 40 days of working on that conversion, so
we can walk faithfully in the footsteps of Christ through His Passion, Death and the celebration of His Resurrection.
One of the important aspects of conversion is the acknowledgement and seeking of absolution for one’s sins from
God and the community in which we live. Sin is, before all else, an offense against God. At the same time, it damages
our relationship with others and the community. For this reason, we need to confess our sinfulness and seek absolution
from God and reconciliation with the Church (people of God). Within the tradition of the Catholic Church for the past
2000 years, this reconciliation has been expressed and accomplished liturgically by the Sacrament of Penance.
Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of His Church. The Sacrament of Penance offers a
new possibility to conversion and the recovery of the grace which began in our lives at Baptism. Many changes in the
sacrament have occurred over the centuries, but there are two equally essential elements that have always been present:
Contrition, confession and satisfaction on the part of the penitent; and God’s action through the intervention of the Church.
The confession of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others.
Through such an admission the individual looks at the sins one is guilty of and takes responsibility for them, and thereby
opens themselves again to God and to the communion of the Church. Confession of sins of even a lesser nature helps us
to form our conscience and fight against evil tendencies and let’s ourselves be healed by Christ.
Our Lenten Penance Service here at St. Agnes Cathedral is on Tuesday, February 27th. The Sacrament of
Reconciliation is also available from 4:45-5:20 on Wednesday and Friday and on Saturday from 3:30-4:30. Come and
experience reconciliation with God and through the Church receive God’s grace, peace and serenity of conscience. Begin
the Lenten Season in the healing grace of God, do not wait until Holy Week to prepare for Holy Week.

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