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    This year our Religious Education students will walk through the Season of Lent in union with the Corporal Works of Mercy, a journey which we are calling "Alabaster Jars."  Historically, sacred oil was stored in alabaster jars.  This expensive oil was used to anoint the heads of kings and queens, or was used to heal.  It was stored in jars to keep it protected.  However, in order to use the oil, one needed to smash open the jar.

    What if we are the jars, and the oil is symbolic of our gifts and talents?  Are we more like Jesus, the martyrs and the saints who gave all that they had for the faith? Or are we unopened jars waiting to be used?

    This Lent I challenge each one of us to break open!  Walking through the Corporal Works of Mercy, we can be the face of Jesus in our community. Let’s walk along with Jesus as a faith community!    There is a poster board in the Gathering Area with headings for “Holy Spirit Retirement Home,” “Catholic Charities,” and “Warming Shelter.”  There is also a heading for “Help a Family,” which we will receive more information about in the coming days.

    There are specific items which each charity has asked we donate.  Holy Spirit has the most items (119) in 12 categories, ranging from decorative items to personal care items.  Please see each envelope for a complete “list” of items.

    There are no sign-out sheets for this project.  Please remove a tag or tags from the envelope(s) of your choice, and return the item(s) no later than March 13, 2018.  Please return all items to Michelle Rethman in the parish office.

    Thank you for your generosity during the season of Lent.

Feed the Hungry:  Many families in our world are without food.  We ask you to donate items which we will deliver to the Warming Shelter.

Give Drink to the Thirsty:  Many persons in our world suffer from a lack of clean water in their community.  We ask you to donate cases of bottled water for us to donate to a local mission or shelter.

Shelter the Homeless:  Many persons have met challenges which result in them not having a permanent home.  We will gather items for either a local charity or a single-parent family. (more information to come)

Visit the Sick:  The elderly and sick are sometimes forgotten or avoided.  We will accept donations for residents of Holy Spirit Retirement Home.  We will pray the rosary with residents when we deliver the items.

Visit the Prisoners:  The word “prisoner” is literal and figurative.  Literally, those in prison for crimes they have committed, or prisoners of war.  Figuratively, a prisoner is anyone who cannot move beyond his or her circumstances due to challenges, whether physical, mental, social, or financial.  We hope to have an adult speak to our students about his ministry with prisoners.

Bury the Dead:  We can always pray for our deceased loved ones, that they may know the joy of Everlasting Life.  We are praying for six Americans who currently have open causes for Canonization, and one Italian youth who died of leukemia.  The sixth and seventh grade students have been praying for his cause for canonization all year long.

Give Alms to the Poor:  Families can participate in our Operation Rice Bowl for Catholic Relief Services (CRS).