Palm Sunday 3/24/2024

Dear Friends,

This is the Week of all Weeks. Holy Week. The Most Intense Week. The Week That Changed the World. The Week that revealed to us the immensity, the unfathomable depth of God’s love for us.

We begin Holy Week with the Palm Sunday and end on Holy Saturday. This week relives the final moments of Jesus’ life on earth, with its gut-wrenching display of love, service, betrayal, torture, forgiveness, and ultimate sacrifice, the significance and power of which is unequaled before or since.

Holy Mother Church provides us with this opportunity to experience the emotional intensity of the Paschal Event, which is to say, Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection through the faithful record found in the Holy Scriptures. If you are intentional about reaping a harvest of spiritual benefits, do not miss any of the Holy Week liturgies, no matter the cost.


Palm Sunday is our commemoration of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We carry blessed palm branches on Palm Sunday so that we too, in spirit at least, can join the people of Jerusalem as they welcome Jesus into their city. As we walk in procession from the Grotto to the Church at the start of the 9:00 AM. Mass this Sunday, we get to experience the exhilaration of crying out those lovely words, Hosanna, Son of David! Hosanna in Hebrew means, ‘Save us.’ When we say them, they express our deepest longing to be saved. By praying these beautiful words at every Mass, we acknowledge that Jesus is the Chosen One of God, the Messiah who has ushered in the new age of God’s grace. We can also remember that this one-word prayer… Hosanna…has been answered by God with a one-word response: JESUS. Please take the blessed Palms home and display them in prominent places to remind yourselves of this prayer: Jesus, Save US!


As I indicated above, each day of this week is very important. The passion of the Lord dominates these solemn days.  If we engage in these days with sincere hearts we will receive the joys of the Lord’s resurrection with uplifted and responsive hearts at Easter. Please arrange your schedules so that you can visit the church and participate in as many liturgies as you can

Here is our calendar, so you can closely follow it:

Monday of Holy Week:  Mass at 8 a.m. The Chrism Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the Basilica of Queen of the Universe.

Tuesday of Holy Week:  Mass at 8 a.m.  Behold the Lamb of God (music, adoration and meditation) at 7 p.m.

Wednesday of Holy Week: Mass at 8 a.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation from 9 a.m. to noon and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mass at the Grotto at 6.30 p.m.

Holy Thursday:  No Mass in the Morning. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m., followed by silent Adoration until midnight.

Good Friday:  It is a day of fasting and abstinence. The liturgy of the Passion of Our Lord at 3 p.m.  Teen Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m.

Holy Saturday:  Easter Vigil at 8 p.m.

Easter Sunday:  Sunrise Mass at 6 a.m. in the Grotto; Masses in the church at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. (with overflow in the hall), and 12 p.m. (with overflow in the hall).

Do not hesitate to invite your family and friends to join us in celebrating the gift of the Resurrection.

Congratulations are in place for Bob and Andrea Groppe, the recipients of the Family of the Month Award for March 2024. I thank them and their children and grandchildren for all they do to keep St. John’s on fire with God’s love. Bob and Andrea, keep up the good work of bringing people to God!

Have a Blessed Week!

With love,

Fr. John