Dcn. Bill Bilow's Message Board

Saturday, February 26, 2022, 12:59pm

It was a sunny winter afternoon on February 20. The Cathedral of St. Paul was well attended, with the main pews about 75% full, in my estimation. Bishop McManus celebrated Mass and confirmed 35 adults across the diocese. St. Anne's Parish was blessed to have three of our own parishioners receive the sacrament on this day. As the ceremony proceeded along, you could feel the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit in the Cathedral as the gifts of the Holy Spirit poured down upon the candidates. How awesome it was to be there and bear witness to this encounter with God. It reminds me of how the Apostles and the large crowd must have felt when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost.

Every day that passes by gives us opportunities to encounter God in new and different ways. God is present in the simple activities of the day, like He was when He whispered to Elijah on Mount Horeb and guided and comforted him. God is present in those moments when we help someone in need. God is present in those times when we are feeling vulnerable and troubled. God is present and offers His graces whenever we celebrate any of the sacraments: Reconciliation, Baptism, Marriage, Holy Eucharist, and so on.

During this year's Lenten season, let’s all be mindful of God's presence in our lives through our interaction with others, through the Church, and through prayer. Let’s take the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and receive His graces through the sacraments, especially Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. When we allow ourselves to be open to God's graces, we move closer to Him and to one another.

May we receive God's blessings in abundance this Lenten season as we prepare ourselves to observe the most beautiful and holy celebration of Christ's resurrection at Easter. Have a peaceful and spiritually rich Lent.

P.S. Speaking of encounters with God, I would like to thank everyone for the words of encouragement, prayers, and overwhelming support you have given me as I assumed the administrative needs of the parish. Your prayerful presence gave me the strength I needed to work through some difficult challenges. Jesus said that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Thank you for allowing Jesus to be present in our midst. Praise God!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 2:04pm