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"Those whose lives his work has touched remain in his debt."
Peter J Scagnelli
Rev. Peter J. Scagnelli
(1949 - 2017)


"His work was always at the service of God and the Church."
Robert Taft
Rev. Robert F. Taft, SJ
(1932 - 2018)



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Dear Friends,

With Ash Wednesday falling on March 6, parishes have ample time after the Christmas season to prepare for Lent. The forty days of preparing for the celebration of Easter deserves our careful consideration. During this time, not only do the elect spend time in reflection as they anticipate receiving the sacraments, but the faithful prepare to renew their baptismal promises.

Missions and retreats at parishes help people discern their baptismal call, for Lent is a time to reflect on how well we have renounced Satan, and all his works, and his empty show. The first feature in this issue of Pastoral Liturgy ® presents a three-day mission for a parish. In "Lenten Mission Probes Love That Leads to Reconciliation," Anne C. McGuire focuses on reconciliation as she examines the necessity of enacting mercy and forgiveness and dwelling in the peace that Christ offers. Parish staff will want to ponder her suggestions for a mission as they consider the types of reflection they will offer to their parishioners.

Entering the church and blessing ourrselves at the font provides a chance to recall our lives during the past week in light of the promises made at Baptism. Reflecting on the Preface of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Fr. Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, writes of the importance of pastoral ministers staying in touch with the promises made for them decades ago. In "At the Font, a Renewed Desire to Die and Rise in Christ," Raab writes, "People look to us to live rich lives of community involvement and are baptized Christians."

As the Easter Vigil draws near, Christian initiation teams will prepare retreats for those who will receive the sacraments of initiation on Holy Saturday. Rodica Stoicoiu, who has served in initiation at the parish, provides models for such reflection in the article "Retreat Prepares Elect to Encounter Mystery at Vigil." Stoicoiu writes that in word, song, image, and symbol the retreat should not only anticipate Baptism but also Eucharist. "The call of Baptism," she reminds, "is always to the table." This article will ease initiation teams' preparation.

Parishes will want to distribute the downloadable article "A Lenten Baptismal Pilgrimage" with their bulletins. Author Kathy Kuczka explains that Lent calls us to deepen our relationship with God as we contemplate how we are his chosen ones.

Parents, grandparetns, and others who are trying to pass on the faith will appreciate receiving the Living Our Faith article "Sacrifices Can Make Room for Time with Others." Author Kathryn Ball-Boruff writes that giving up time with a thing can open up time to be with family members. By spending less time with an object, she writes, a person can get to know and understand people in the household. It also allows space for listening to God's voice.

In this issue liturgical environment writer Fr. J. Philip Horrigan begins a year-long series of articles on Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture and Worship, Guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This issue's article considers the principles the document espouses. Finally, we pray for the soul of Fr. Robert F. Taft, SJ, who died November 2, 2018. Colleagues, students, and friends recalled the life and work of the liturgical historian in the article "His work was always at the service of God and the Church" at www.PastoralLiturgy.org.

Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago


Using the liturgy as its source, Pastoral Liturgy® has been intentionally designed to be of service to the whole parish with resources for leaders and parishioners, those who are just beginning to learn about liturgy, and those who are seasoned volunteers and professionals.

The six 32-page, full-color issues follow the course of the liturgical year to provide guidance for liturgy preparation, faith formation, liturgical art and architecture, and the many areas of parish ministry that flow from the liturgy to witness the Gospel and build the kingdom of God.

Pastors, parish staffs, liturgy committees, catechists, musicians, architects, and everyone seeking to learn more about how the liturgy forms and informs all of parish life will find this resource a valuable support to understanding the liturgy more fully and incorporating it as the source for all they do. That's why Pastoral Liturgy® magazine is the liturgy magazine for the whole parish!

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