Dear friends in Christ,
“Alleluia! Alleluia!” That double “Alleluia” is a hallmark of today’s great celebration of Easter. Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, is risen from the dead! The stone has been rolled away and the empty tomb lets all know without a shadow of doubt that death has been overcome. The appearance of the Risen Christ to the disciples brings to fulfillment what had been foretold of Him in all of the Scriptures. The Messiah had to first suffer and die but He will rise again on the third day. Today is that day and so we raise our voices in glory to God!
On behalf of our
, and all of our wonderful volunteers and ministry leaders I wish you and your family a blessed and holy Easter. I pray that this day of Resurrection will bring you great joy and hope. Christ our Savior is risen and that gives us who bear the name Christian renewed promise that God is with His people. The new life that Jesus has given us is our great inheritance as well. If we believe in Christ Jesus, confess His glorious name, and bear witness to that name in our lives then we too have the hope of everlasting life. May God be praised both now and forever!
I want to especially welcome our visitors today, those who may be spending the holiday with family and friends in the area and those who are joining us for the first time (or the first time in a long time). Please know that you are most welcomed at CtR today and every day. I hope you will consider making our parish your permanent home. If you have been away from the practice of the faith for a period of time perhaps today will be just the thing you are looking for to bring you back to an active faith life. We at CtR are ready to help you in that regard. If you have questions about the Church or how you go about becoming a member, please don’t hesitate to
contact me or any member of our staff
. Our contact numbers and e-mail addresses can be found in the bulletin or
on our parish website
. Thank you for being with us today. Please know that our door are open every day to welcome you.
I know that the crowds at today’s Easter Masses are extremely large, but I pray that we are able to make room for everyone. I want to especially thank our great team of volunteers,
. They all went above and beyond the call of duty to make the liturgies flow effortlessly, doing double-duty in the church and Parish Hall. Thank you one and all. My special thanks to Deacon Jeff Willard, Ofelia Carrasco and Deanna Negrete from our
, and Bridget Wenk, Christine Marté, Dorothy Van Dine, Mark Dolce and our wonderful adult and youth choirs from our
. The church is also beautifully decorated for the Easter season (and it was as well last week for Palm Sunday) and that is made possible by Patty Arnett and the dedicated
Art & Environment
committee. All of us owe these people our sincere thanks for the time and energy they put in to make our Easter celebrations so special. Thank you one and all!
Undoubtedly what makes Easter such a special time in the life of the Church (besides the obvious of celebrating Christ’s resurrection) are our newest members who were received into the Church on Holy Saturday night at the Easter Vigil by
. This year we welcomed 16 new Christians on that great night and we pledge to continue to journey with them during the next 50 days of the Easter season. May we together grow in knowledge and love of Christ. We prayed for them during Lent, but remember as well to continue to pray for our neophytes, as they are now known, during the Easter season and make them feel at home in the Church.
Next Sunday is
Divine Mercy Sunday
, and at the 9 a.m. Mass we will receive 11 more people into full communion with the Church (those who were baptized in another Christian denomination and who are now
joining the Catholic Church
through a Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Eucharist). What a great sign of growth and vitality of our parish all of these new members offer us! If you know of someone who is interested in joining the Catholic Church just like these people did, please contact
Deacon Jack Alexander
, who shepherd this wonderful ministry known as the
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Divine Mercy Sunday
next week we’ll be reciting the beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 p.m. in the church. I highly encourage you to set time aside on this day to reflect upon the mercy of God and join us in celebrating this great feast. Again, our website has further details on how you can celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.
Our offices are closed tomorrow, Monday, April 17, but then we get right back to work this week with final plans for our upcoming
32nd annual Spring Festival
. Believe it or not, in only two weeks it will be Festival weekend, April 29-30! Please don’t forget to check the website for more information and sign up online in advance to help. We are still in need of
and booth chairpersons for the many rides and games. Please plan to give a few hours of your time to help at the Festival. It’s a great way to be part of the community. The Festival booth will be open one more time next weekend for you to buy your raffle tickets for the new car that will be given away (remember that selling and buying raffle tickets is a great way to support the Festival), as well as discounted game and ride tickets, and barbeque dinner tickets. T-shirts are available as well, so let’s get to work on the final details to make this the biggest and best Festival ever.
The pastoral staff of CtR joins me in wishing you and your family a blessed and holy Easter. May Christ the Redeemer, who is risen from the dead this Easter Sunday, be with you and your family forever!