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From the Pastor 04/01/18

Christ Has Risen, Alleluia!
Truly He is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!

On behalf of the entire Dominican community of friars and novices, and our Dominican sisters, who are so blessed to serve you here at St. Gertrude, we wish you and your families a most Blessed Easter. Beginning today, and for the next eight days, the Church celebrates the Easter Octave, culminating with Divine Mercy Sunday. These eight days are the highest liturgical days in the entire Church’s calendar as we celebrate Christ Risen and the new life we each have received through His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to many who have worked so hard to make the celebration of Easter most blessed: our Dominican friars who have heard your confessions and ministered to you this Holy Week, our sacristans, liturgical coordinators, ushers, lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, servers, and decorators. A big thank you to Catherine Fishlock and the choir and cantors for a beautiful Triduum filled with sacred music.

Please extend a warm welcome to those RCIA Candidates who have come into the loving arms of Holy Mother Church at the Easter Vigil:

Robert Frank Boese IV, St. Morand
Lois Lynn Churchill, St. Nicole Grace
Tayyab Shabbir Diwan, St. Thomas Aquinas
Cara Lynn Hauer, St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Victor Raul Ibarra
Najwa Emil Sami Jallaq, St. Rose of Lima
Landon Scott Lynn, St. Martin de Porres
Timothy John McIlvain, St. John of God
Patricia Sue Murdock, St. Martha
Aaron Ray Olson, St. Dunstan
Brett Marvin Rizor, St. Andrew
William Paul Simpson, St. Joan of Arc
Thomas Joseph Stachler, St. Joseph
James Patrick Touris, St. Christopher
Daniel Wright Young, St. Thomas Aquinas

And a big THANK YOU to our RCIA Team: Chaplain: Fr. Gabriel, along with MaryBeth Stuntebeck, Dave Ledwin, Christy Kellner, and Shawn Reed, for a job well done in preparing our candidates who have embraced the Catholic Faith.

Thanks to all our parishioners who were so generous in the Easter Flowers Donation. Your generosity has provided the means for us to have the sanctuary filled with Easter glory. May our celebration of the Easter season be filled with joy and gladness for the redemption won for us by our Divine Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you also for your generous Easter financial support of St. Gertrude’s. Your extra financial support is greatly appreciated at this time of year.

During this Easter Season I would like to remind you of the great power of the Blood of Christ. It is truly the Eucharistic Blood of our Savior, which is the greatest gift to his Church. By the Lord’s shedding of his blood we have been given the two greatest gifts of the Church, namely baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

The great bishop St. John Chrysostom in his Catechesis explains it this way: “If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, commanded Moses, and sprinkle its blood on your doors. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not the figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.

If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood of the Holy Eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own.

From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam. As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church.

Do you not understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As
a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.”

I wish all of you God’s choicest blessings as we begin this Easter Week. May we always be profoundly grateful to our Lord Jesus Christ for our eternal redemption.

Please do not forget that next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. Confessions begin at 2:30pm. During confessions there will be the Veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy, the Recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Meditations from St. Faustina’s Diary.

God bless you all and a Blessed Easter to all,

Rev. André-Joseph LaCasse, O.P., Pastor