Rome, February 12, 2021
Dear Confreres, Sisters and Partners in Mission,
On Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021, we begin the Season of Lent. This year, the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic will have a dramatic impact on our liturgical celebrations, our preaching apostolate, and almost every aspect of our ‘normal’ Lenten practice.
In the Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2021, the Holy Father invites us to a profound renewal of our Faith, Hope and Love through the practice of fasting, prayer and almsgiving as preached by Jesus (Mt. 6:1-18). I encourage you to prayerfully reflect on the words of Pope Francis and to make this Message available to the people we are called to serve.
Although the restrictions of the pandemic will limit the extent of our apostolic activity during these weeks of Lent, they cannot diminish the outreach of our communion in prayer and our solidarity in compassion, especially for the most abandoned and the poor. Attentive to the most vulnerable in our communities, we can also reach out to the isolated and alone in society. Even as we feel the economic impact of this pandemic in our (V) Provinces and Regions, we must stand in solidarity with the abandoned poor who are often just outside our doors.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt. 20:18). With these words, Jesus invited his disciples to accompany him as he entered into the mystery of this passion and resurrection. Once again this Lent, we accept his invitation and walk with him on his pilgrimage of Faith, Hope and Love.
Brothers and sisters, may God bless us all in our Lenten journey. Accompanied by Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help, and St. Alphonsus, may we become ever more authentic and prophetic Witnesses of the Redeemer! I wish you all a blessed Lent.
Your brother in Christ our Redeemer,
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R,