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Notes from Fr. Vitalis

Let Us Commemorate The Events Of Our Salvation!


Dear Parishioners,

We have arrived at the threshold of Holy Week, commemorating the events leading to our salvation. Palm Sunday marks the joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem and is the beginning of the great week. For the past five weeks we have been praying, fasting and with charitable spirit preparing ourselves to relive these coming great events in Christ’s life.

First, we march in procession with palms; we proclaim Christ’s passion and read the poems of the prophet Isaiah and sing hymns in honor of Christ, which St. Paul inserted into his letter to the Philippians. The richness of the scripture reading and dramatic rendition it carries would seem to make any homily useless. I do invite you to participate fully in all the ceremonies of Holy Week. You will be deeply enriched and spiritually exulted.

At the beginning of Holy Thursday Mass, our parish will receive the newly blessed sacred oils: oil of chrism, oil of the sick, and oil of the catechumen that Archbishop George Lucas blessed during the Chrism Mass on holy Monday. The oils are used for the sanctification of God’s people throughout the archdiocese in keeping with church tradition.

Holy Thursday brings us around the Eucharistic table, teaching us to serve one another and preserve the unity of the church. Jesus transforms the Passover Supper to foreshadow the institution of the Holy Eucharist. On that special evening, Jesus gave us the Eucharist and Holy Orders. In Holy Orders, Jesus gives certain baptized members of the community the power to make him present under bread and wine and to renew his mystery of death and resurrection. This reality gives birth to the Catholic priesthood. “It seems to me that this brings us to the very heart of what the priest is. He is the human being, the sinful believer, who is able to make bread become the body of Christ and wine become the blood of Christ. Without the priest, Christ living in the Eucharist can no longer nourish human beings. They would die of starvation without the priest”

Our Savior put himself at our disposal. He abandoned himself, and offers us unlimited access. What a great love! How can we help but be astonished at a love that is willing to take such risks? How many times have we taken him for granted, abused, despised and neglected him? Countless hours, Jesus is left alone in the tabernacle without a single visit from you. How cold and indifferent we are sometimes.  Jesus invites us to believe that his love is alive and at work. Then comes the washing of feet, where he shows us the path of humility and service to conquer our pride and stubborn nature.

Good Friday takes us to the cross, where the ultimate sacrifice was completed. Our loving Jesus was cruelly scourged, dragged on the street, condemned to die a shameful death and nailed to a cross. Here the Lord paid the price for our sins and dies so that you and I are redeemed. His death was not in vain. He gave us hope and life. We look forward to the resurrection.

Holy Saturday deepens our love as we await the glorious resurrection. The Church, in keeping vigil, recalls the history of salvation and the saving death of our Lord. On this solemn night she praises Christ, the light of the world, while welcoming new members into the community of believers. It is a joyful day, and the Church exults in the glory of the risen Christ. I pray that you will participate actively in these glorious paschal festivities. Happy Holy Week!


Yours In The Lord,

Fr. Vitalis Anyanike