OUR MISSION: We are a Catholic community seeking out and welcoming all in a spirit of hospitality, and empowering people to grow in discipleship in Jesus Christ.
OUR VISION: We are a Catholic community of disciples nourished by the celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments, enriched by the faith formation of all ages, encouraged to share our gifts and talents to enhance God’s Kingdom of peace, justice, love and mercy here on earth and committed to embracing each individual’s need for God.
NEW MEMBERS: On behalf of all of our parish staff I want to offer you our prayer and our encouragement to join our St. Matthew the Apostle Parish Community. We believe our faith community will be one that will enrich and deepen your own faith journey. We hope you will find our parish to be a warm and welcoming community and in time you will like to become involved by sharing your gifts and your talents. Read More....
Lenten Message from Fr. Dan
One of the things I’ve noticed when traveling through Europe is the surprising number of religious symbols displayed on country roads and at the entries to towns and villages.
In Italy, as well as the German speaking and Slavic countries, these are often beautifully decorated crosses and images of the Blessed Mother and the Saints.
Ireland is different. At just about every village and town, you will see a large cross (usually the Celtic cross) marked with the dates of various parish missions held over the years. I found it interesting that the crosses reminded people of the missions in which the parishes participated. The external cross and markings made it clear the Mission had a strong effect on the life of the local community.
Some of us might be old enough to have lived before Vatican Council II, which brought such a breath of fresh air into our Catholic Church. We might remember parish missions with famous and eloquent speakers from various Religious Orders holding up a crucifix and preaching “hell, fire and brimstone”. Whatever they spoke of, it had some impact of conversion and renewal for the people.
Fortunately, the days of “hell, fire and brimstone” are behind us. We are more affected today by the power of God’s love revealed in Christ and the power of conversion.
Just in Time for Lent!
Did you know Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, March 1st? As always, St. Matthew’s offers faith enriching opportunities for Lent. This year, our St. Matthew the Apostle parish will have the opportunity to participate in a Lenten Mission on April 4th, 5th, and 6th, 7:30-8:30pm. You will find the details in our special Lenten brochure, in the bulletin, on our website and through our phone app.
We will gladly welcome a good longtime friend of one of our parishioners, Bill Ruane. Our Mission Director will be Fr. Jim Croghan, SJ, Director of Ignatian identity at Regis High School and rector of the Xavier Jesuit community, both in New York. He comes with a vast background of experience, with time spent in the Pacific region in Missionary work and is well known for his work in Ignatian Spirituality.
Fr Jim gave a well-received presentation during Lent in 2015 to our Matthew’s Men Group and we are so very happy to welcome him back! His talks will lead us through the three major themes of the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order. They are as follows: The Examen (a process by which we can look closely at our lives and our relationship with God and others), Contemplation (the opportunity to enter deeply into the Scriptures as participants), and Discernment (consideration of where God is leading us in our lives).
Personally, to you…
As most of you know through my homilies and discussions, I am an eight-year product of a Jesuit education. I consider that education the most precious gift my parents gave me. The Jesuits have truly formed me in the way I see and understand a loving God, the way in which I see God in all things and recognize that at times God certainly takes us “outside the box.”
These three themes of Ignatian Spirituality will offer us a way to live and deepen our Catholic faith through prayer, contemplation and action.
I invite you to enter into a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I hope we can fill our church those evenings and be open to God’s transforming power in the days ahead. Be sure to put the dates on your calendar – April 4, 5 & 6, 7:30-8:30. If you can’t make all three – just join us for the sessions you are able to make. You can count on a truly inspiring and enriching experience either way!
Note: Due to the importance of this Mission time, all other activities of the parish will be cancelled. I hope and pray to see you there.