We have just completed our Lenten Retreat, Our God’s Healing Touch. This retreat provided us the opportunity to bring ourselves into the very life of Our Gracious God Who offered us a way for more intense personal renewal. A retreat gives us shared moments as a community of faith to ready ourselves for transformation as we can gain confidence through our Hope in Christ Jesus, to experience His Healing touch in our lives to restore us to physical, mental health and/or spiritual wholeness and ultimately to receive His Peace. click on title for complete article
Healing Prayer Healing river of the Spirit, bathe the wounds that living brings. Plunge our pain, our sin, our sadness deep within your sacred springs. Weary from the restless searching, we discover in your presence peace that the world cannot provide. Wellspring of the healing Spirit, stream that flows to bring release. As we gain ourselves, our senses, may our lives reflect Your peace. Grateful for the flood that heals us, may your Church enact Your grace. As we meet both friend and stranger, may we see our Savior's face. Lord God, You are the Creator of all things and bring all things to goodness. I know and believe that You Sent Your Son, the Resurrection and the Life, to recreate us so we may remain in Your image. You created me and know my every need (Psalm 139:14-16). My heart is full of desires for healing, and today, I come before You and I trust You completely with those desires. Open my eyes to see the healing that You are already moving within my life and the lives of my loved ones. You work in mighty ways, and I pray that Your Healing love, Your Healing Touch, Your Holy Spirit are at work bringing all those that I pray for to wholeness of health in mind, body and soul. Amen (adapted from Author unknown) Click orange title for article
Thursday, March 31, 2022 6:30 – 8:00 pm | St. John’s Healing within Relationships of Self, Others and God by Brent Anderson, M.Div., BCC is a healthcare mission integration executive, chaplain, spiritual director, and facilitator. Friday, April 1, 2022 5:00 – 6:30 pm | Basilica Our God’s Healing Touch Rev. John Adams and Rev. Peter Bassey Healing Mass beginning at 6:30 pm Saturday, April 2, 2022 7:30-9:00 am | Basilica Pre-Retreat beginning with First Saturday Liturgy and Devotions including Mass, Exposition and Adoration, Rosary and Prayers through the Immaculate Heart of Mary for Hope, Healing and Peace 9:00-10:30 am | Basilica RETREAT: Hope, Healing and Peace: Our God’s Healing Touch 11:00-11:45 am | Basilica Celebration of the Sacrament of First Penance linked Parish Community 12:00-1:00 pm | Basilica Sacrament of Reconciliation 1:30-2:30 pm | St. John’s Sacrament of Reconciliation
On Friday, March 25, 2022, we will remember and celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord which brings Hope to all humankind, the Hope of healing and Hope of peace. On this date, Pope Francis, with all the Bishops of the world, will perform an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace and healing. The Act of Consecration will be completed in communion with the local Churches throughout the world. The Pope has asked for an increase of prayers for peace in more recent times. And, at the general audience on February 23rd, he had called for a day of prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday for peace in Ukraine, saying, “May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war” (Vatican News). During this Lenten season, our linked parish Catholic communities in Olean, have increased our prayers for peace and healing for those suffering during this Lenten Season. We will respond by uniting with the whole church by joining in the prayers offered for peace and healing on Friday, March 25th at our 8:00 am Mass at St. John’s and the 12:15 Mass at the Basilica on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. I, as your pastor, will join our Bishop and many priests of the Diocese at St. Joseph Cathedral at 12:10 on this blessed day to join in the Act of Consecration. Also on this day, we encourage all to join in a day of fasting and prayer similar to that we had accomplished on Ash Wednesday in reparation of the sins of war and atrocities committed by Russia in the senseless killing of many that is an egregious affront against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary during this time of human history.
We’re being told not to pridefully or self-righteously judge others; but to humbly identify and focus on our own faults and failings and repent of them. This passage conveys a strong Lenten reminder to prepare ourselves for the day of our deaths and for the final judgment. We’re strongly reassured today that God is kind and merciful, but we’d be presumptuous if we don’t also reflect that God is also just. click title for complete reflection
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Congratulations to our young parishioners, Sylvia and Juliana Bysiek, eight-year-old Allegany twins with a knack for gambits, castling and checkmates who traveled to Friendship Central School to take on student members of the district’s chess club.
The Sacraments reflect God’s generous offer of closer relationships with us. Are we making ample efforts to avail ourselves of God’s benevolent offer? Are we receiving the Sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist, frequently? Are we working hard enough to improve our souls, such that our relationships with God are becoming more respectful and loving? Lent is a time to be transformed!
“How great is the power of prayer! For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed at heaven, it is a cry of gratitude, and love in the midst of trial, as well as joy, . . . it expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.” -- St. Therese of Lisieux
The Parish Office has received a limited number of COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits. Please stop by the parish office during normal business hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) to obtain one. There are 2 kits per package. A limit of 2 kits per family while supplies last.
We are challenged to take comfort and to reflect on and believe that God hears our prayers and cries for help, and that God sees and knows about all of our trials and kinds of suffering. Let’s take comfort in that knowledge and take time to thank God for His consoling and liberating help.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days . . . Luke 4:1 Press orange title for a complete list of our scheduled Lenten prayer, devotional and liturgical prayer-filled experiences in our linked parish community:
If we choose holy and heavenly and faithful reading material or teachers, our speech and beliefs and actions will reflect their holy sources and will help us to bear good fruit. Before Lent begins, let’s reflect on “whom” our teachers are. Are the media and people we choose as our teachers leading us to Heaven or to Hell? Choose those helping you to bear good fruit. (Click title for complete reflection.)
Luke 6:27-38: Today, Jesus gives us the powerful, but challenging commandment to love our enemies and to respond with love, generosity and mercy to those who persecute us and even hate us. Today’s first reading gives us a vivid picture of what this kind of mercy and unconditional love looks like. Nowhere do any of these readings suggest that this radical and undeserved love is easy. Truth be told, this kind of love is a great challenge and strong are the temptations to give it up. However, instead… this week, let’s pray to be filled with love and mercy. Let’s pray to see our enemies as God sees them. Let’s pray to be made more aware of their virtues and our own great need for forgiveness. Humility makes it so much easier to forgive others; as we see our own imperfections as more seriously urgent.
During Phase One, in preparation of the linking of our parishes in Olean and Allegany, the Basilica and St. John’s parishioners can help guide the future of the Catholic Community in our area by completing a short survey. All will asked to participate in a 10-15 minute survey online (Paper surveys will be made available to those who have no computer access). The survey can be accessed through an online link from March 2 – April 4. You will be asked to reflect on your own spiritual growth and enable you to provide feedback on our parish’s efforts to help you grow. All responses will be held in strict confidence and the parish will receive information about the community as a whole. The online link and paper copies will be shared with you a bit closer to the launch of the survey. The highest possible response rate is very important. The information gathered is fundamental in our planning for the future. The results of the survey, the Disciple Maker Index (DMI ), are used by the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) as a tool for listening to the People of God to help give feedback to aid in the renewal process. This instrument will include information you provide which will be summarized by CLI to provide a foundation in guiding us into the future with: An objective assessment of the community landscape including parishioner needs and dynamics, and clergy and leadership strengths and limitations A snapshot of parishioners’ faith journey The foundational tools needed to plan for growth over a two- to three-year time frame Stay tuned for more information concerning Phase One of the Assessment and Feedback process . . .
Remember Our Great God, Who out of unimaginable love, created us and Who loves us abundantly. He gave us the two great commandments of Love — to love God with all your being (Deuteronomy, 6:5) and to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18) [Mark 12:31]. Let us all live out the vocation to love in self-giving. We can make bold statements of love or through simple, small random acts of kindness, we can demonstrate His love embraced by St. Valentine and many others throughout the centuries.