Announcements for March 6-7, 2021

1. The Knights are still doing their drive by ONLY delicious Fish Fry dinners on Friday nights from 5:30-7. See the bulletin for more details.

2. This weekend is the kick-off of the Annual Diocesan Appeal or A-D-A. The ADA ensures that the Church’s mission of serving the people of God in southwest Iowa can continue. The ADA helps us encounter Christ, shepherd the faithful, support our local communities of faith, and help people in need. We invite you to watch the 5 minute video in the gathering space after Mass today and learn more about the ADA and how it is vital in helping all of us on our faith journey.

3. Also in the gathering space this weekend we have Blest Art from the Holy Land. Please browse thru their display and purchase items as gifts or for yourselves. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Mass Intentions for March 8-14, 2021

Monday, March 8
8:00 am Mass, For Healing of Deacon Rob Stark
Tuesday, March 9
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of David Battani
Wednesday, March 10
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Bob Beneventi
Thursday, March 11
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Mary Manning
Friday, March 12
5:30 pm Mass, In Memory of Marvin Erpelding
Saturday, March 13
5:00 pm Mass, In Memory of Phyllis Byrnes
Sunday, March 14
10:00 am Mass, For the People of Assumption Parish
5:00 pm Mass, In Memory of Jack Temme

Sundays of Lent

Sundays are not counted in the days of Lent; otherwise, there would be 46 days of Lent between the first day of Lent and Easter Sunday.  But why are not the Sundays included?  The answer goes back to the earliest days of the Church.

Christ’s original disciples, who were Jewish, grew up with the idea that the Sabbath—the day of worship and of rest—was Saturday, the seventh day of the week, since the account of creation in Genesis says that God rested on the seventh day.

Christ rose from the dead, however, on Sunday, the first day of the week, and the early Christians, starting with the apostles (those original disciples), saw Christ’s Resurrection as a new creation, and so they transferred the day of rest and worship from Saturday to Sunday.

Since all Sundays—and not simply Easter Sunday—were days to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, Christians were forbidden to fast and do other forms of penance on those days.

Therefore, the period of fasting and prayer in preparation for Easter do not include Sundays in the count. (10:14)

Forty Days of Lent

There are 46 days between Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and Easter Sunday.  But the days of Lent do not include any of the six Sundays; therefore, there are only 40 days of fasting.

So why is Lent forty days?  Well, think about some of the Old Testament stories.  Noah and family were in the Ark for 40 days.  Moses and the Israelites wandered around the desert for 40 years.  Also consider that it takes forty weeks for a developing baby in the womb before a new birth can take place.

All these “forties” (and there are other examples): what does it mean?  For the new born, of course, it is a new life.  In Noah’s case, it’s the rebirth of a sinful world that had been cleansed by raging flood waters.  For the nomadic Israelites, it was the start of a new, settled existence in the Promised Land.

And for Jesus’ forty days it meant the birth of a new Israel liberated from sin, reconciled to God, and governed by the law of the Spirit rather than one etched in stone.

Our diligent prayer, fasting, and charitable service nourished by the Eucharist and Scripture can ease our darkness toward light for something new and wonderful to be reborn in us. (10:13)

Announcements for February 20-21, 2021

1. We will continue with Adoration on Friday mornings from 8:30-5pm then go into the Stations of the Cross at 5pm followed with Mass at 5:30pm.

2. The Knights will be serving up those delicious Fish Fry dinners this year with a drive-up carry-out ONLY option. See the bulletin for more details.

3. On Sunday afternoons starting at 4:30pm we will have Evening Prayer. Mass at 5pm followed with Happy Hours starting at 6pm. Child care will be available. Please see the bulletin for more details.

4. On the bulletin tables you will find limited amount of Lenten Devotionals along with your Rice Bowls for this year. Please bring you Rice Bowls back on Holy Thursday.

5. The Annual Diocesan Appeal, which supports the work of the Catholic Church in Southwest Iowa, will take place in two weeks. The Appeal is not just another Sunday collection. It is a unified effort in which all Catholics in the Diocese of Des Moines joins together to further the missions and ministry of our diocesan Church. We ask that each family of our parish pray for the success of the Appeal and consider a figt to sustain the Catholic Church in Southwest Iowa.

Mass Intentions for February 22-28, 2021

Monday, February 22
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Richard Wren
Tuesday, February 23
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Bob Beneventi
Wednesday, February 24
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Alice Link
Thursday, February 25
8:00 am Mass, In Memory of Richard & Charlene Wren
Friday, February 26
5:30 pm Mass, In Memory of Mary Manning
Saturday, February 27
5:00 pm Mass, In Memory of Teri Fuson Rilea
Sunday, February 28
10:00 am Mass, For the People of Assumption Parish
5:00 pm Mass, In Memory of Russel Adams

Ash Wednesday

In the present Church calendar, Ash Wednesday is the first day of the observance of the forty days of Lent.  It takes its name from the solemn ceremony of the liturgy of the day ashes are blessed and marked on the foreheads of the faithful in the form of a cross with the accompanying words, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

The Holy See has released updated norms for the distribution of ashes during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Instead of a mark on the forehead, ashes will be sprinkled on the head of each without saying anything.

Regardless of the form, it is thus a solemn call to penance so that one may enjoy eternal life.

Ash Wednesday was established as the first day of Lent by St. Gregory the Great (590 to 604).  Pope Paul VI declared this movable observance to be a day of universal fasting and abstinence.

The Alleluia is not sung or said from the beginning of Lent until the Easter Vigil.  During Lent the altar should not be decorated with flowers and musical instruments may be played only to give necessary support to the singing.

Lent continues until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. (10:12)


Although the Church teaches that offering some form of material support to the Church is obligatory for all Catholic adults who are able to do so, it doesn’t specify what percent of one’s income should be given.  Remember, tithing (referring to 10%) was an Old Testament obligation that was incumbent on the Jews under the Law of Moses.

Christians are dispensed from the obligation of tithing ten percent of their incomes, but not from the obligation to help the Church.

In speaking about tithing and what we should give to the Church, we often forget that everything we have already belongs to God.  Our money and possessions are not ours but His.  All that we have is ours only because He allows us to have it.

If we in the world today were to place God first in our lives, there would be no question or problem about tithes because our hearts would be filled with charity and we would give to and support the Church in the best way that we were able to.

To paraphrase: God doesn’t demand a fixed amount of money from us; he wants us to give from the heart.

If people are forced by their church to give a certain percent of their income, that’s extortion.  If they give freely and cheerfully the amount they are able, that’s a gift. (10:11)

Presentation of the Lord

At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there.

Among the record of celebrations she describes, one identifies the gala procession in honor of Christ’s Presentation in the Temple 40 days after the Nativity.

This feast emphasizes Jesus’ first appearance in the Temple more than Mary’s purification.  According to Jewish law, the firstborn male child belonged to God, and the parents had to “buy him back” on the 40th day after his birth, by offering a sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” in the temple (thus the “presentation” of the child).

On that same day, the mother would be ritually purified (thus the “purification” of Mary).  Under the Mosaic Law, a woman was ritually “unclean” for 40 days after childbirth, at which time she was to present herself to the priests and offer sacrifice—her “purification.”

Contact with anyone who had brushed against the mystery of birth or death excluded a person from Jewish worship.

At the beginning of the eighth century, the blessing and distribution of candles, which continues to this day on the Feast of the Presentation, became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name of Candlemas.

Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that takes place on February 3.

Two blessed candles crossed one over the other are held slightly open and pressed against the throat as a blessing is said, which is: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

While very few facts are known about Saint Blaise, he was a bishop in Armenia who was martyred in the early fourth century.  Saint Blaise is associated with the healing of throats.  (10:10)

Announcements for January 30-21, 2021

1. The Adult Faith-8 week video series called “The Gospel of John has begun, but it’s not too late to join us. Please see the weekly bulletin or the flyer on the bulletin board for more details.

2. The 2020 Tithing statements were sent out this week. If you do not receive one please contact Brenda in the Parish offices.