Easter Sunday 3/31/2024

Dear Friends,
Welcome to the Joy of the EASTER SEASON! We are an Easter People, and Alleluia is our song!
This past week we commemorated Holy Week. During that time, the power of evil was so evident in the darkness, sorrow, injustice, and
silence of the agonizing and humiliating death of an innocent man. Isn’t this what leads to a Culture of Death? Yet, this was also the week in which we saw the bursting forth of divine power that provides light, joy, and jubilation. Can we see even today that God still offers the enduring hope that leads to a Culture of Life?
After a long, strenuous, and determined effort during this year’s Lenten Season to come closer to Jesus, so that we could be with him as he endured his Passion and Death, we have now come to the climactic moment. The extent to which we were able to immerse ourselves in the dreadful suffering and death of Jesus is the extent to which we now can rejoice in the Easter gifts of light, hope, and life. Now our eyes are lifted, not to the cross but to the dazzling spectacle of our Lord, Risen from the Dead! Now we cast off sorrow and instead embrace with joy the fruits of his pain and suffering. His Resurrection makes all the difference in the world! This magnificent moment has turned the world upside down. It has tremendous implications for the whole cosmos. On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the defeat of Satan’s regime of darkness, evil, enmity, and ultimately even death, a defeat wrought through the Resurrection of Jesus. This is the twist to the story that Jesus’ enemies did not foresee. All the injustice done is transformed into a gift of salvation … good out of evil! Jesus’ Resurrection continues to prove that Satan and evil do not now nor ever will have the last word. God is still in control. So, let us rejoice, for truly Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Let us let go of our constraints and
dance for joy! Let our suppressed voice sing out loud: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
We are extremely grateful to God for inspiring our catechumens and candidates who courageously walked through our OCIA program. This is one of the largest groups to take part in our Easter Vigil Celebrations. We want to welcome them wholeheartedly into our SJE family and to the larger Catholic family. Congratulations to our newly baptized and all who now fully embrace our Catholic Faith.
I take this opportunity to thank Kelli Salceda for leading this endeavor. She was ably helped by Anne, Cheryl, JoAnn, Kathleen, Shamir, Steve, Sue, Tiffany; Tom Buddington; our Deacons Rick, and Lee; and Fr. Vincent. Our Catechumens and Candidates were skillfully introduced to the fundamental truths and teachings of our Catholic Faith through the lively presentations of these dedicated men and women.
We extend our thanks to all the ministries that helped create our beautiful Easter liturgies during the Holy Triduum, especially Heidi and the choirs; the Altar Servers; the Media folks; the Photographers; the Ushers; the Sacristans; the EMHCs; the Greeters; the Children’s Ministry; the Lectors; the “Mopsters,” who cleaned the church; the Guardians of the Grotto; and the Art and Environment Ministry, that created such lovely and meaningful settings and ambiance appropriate to the Season. What a blessing we have in and through these lovely people of God.
In honor of Easter, our office will be closed on Easter Monday, 1 April 2024.

Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday. This is undoubtedly the ultimate gift of Easter. It is a
privileged occasion of grace and forgiveness for all of us. It is a day on which we can obtain a special
indulgence if we follow the usual conditions: being in a state of grace; having the interior disposition of
complete detachment from sin, even venial sin; receiving Holy Communion on the day; celebrating the
sacrament of Reconciliation either on, shortly before, or shortly after the day; and praying for the intentions of
the Pope.
In honor of the great and unfathomable Act of Mercy we have received through our Lord’s Passion, Death,
and Resurrection, we have invited Mark Forrest, the internationally renowned Irish Tenor, to lead us in the
Divine Mercy program on Sunday, 7 April, at 7 p.m. This is the first of its kind. Please see details about this
in the bulletin. Please do not miss this golden opportunity.
The Staff, the Deacons, Fr. Vincent and I wish You and Yours a very Blessed and Joy-filled Easter!
Have a Fabulous Easter Octave!
With love,
Fr. John