By: Fr. Ken Hezel, SJ, For the North Star
As the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa enters once again the Holy Season of Lent, the Faith Formation Committee will conduct a Parish Mission Program in the parishes in Saipan, Tinian and Rota.
In the past years, Come Back to Life Lenten Retreats were done either by inviting speaker off-island or having it done by parish clusters. This year, Bishop Ryan will personally lead these Lenten Parish Missions. “I welcome this opportunity to visit once again parishes and to personally engage our parishioners,” says Bishop Ryan to the clergy during their meeting last Tuesday.
The theme that Fr. Ken and the members of the Faith Formation Committee chose for these Lenten reflections is taken from St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim. 1:5-6)
In Saipan, the Lenten Mission will be done in four parishes: Kristo Rai on March 18th; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral on March 21st; San Antonio on March 22nd and Santa Soledad on April 9th. In Rota, the Lenten Parish Mission will be on April 10th and in Tinian will be on April 12th.
Unlike in the past Lenten Retreats where the target audience was largely the CCD students (Confirmation and Pre-Confirmation), the committee wanted to emphasize that this Lenten Parish Mission is for ALL parishioners and not only CCD students. In Saipan, parishioners can choose to go to any of these 4 parishes as their schedule permits.
The Lenten Mission is designed into two parts: the first part is the presentation on the theme by Bishop Ryan followed by reflection questions and sharing and is concluded by a brief liturgical action. Each evening mission session will end with a healthy snacks and refreshment which will be served in the social hall of the respective parishes.
During their meeting, the pastors also organized the Reconciliation service in every parish so that they can help one another in providing the Sacrament of Confession to all parishioners. All Reconciliation Service schedule will be published in the North Star and in the Diocesan website and Facebook page.