Dear Anna Maria Community,

In the midst of all that has been going on the last few weeks, we may not have even realized that Palm Sunday and Holy Week are mere days away. The holiest time in the Church could easily get brushed aside amidst the uncertainty and ever-changing news cycle. Yet, this time in history is calling us more than ever to embrace Holy Week and all the lessons and graces we can receive from it. Lent became something much more profound than many of us ever would have expected. We were not only asked to fast from meat on Fridays but to fast from the most life-giving aspect of our faith, the Mass and Eucharist. While it has no doubt been a challenge and a source of suffering, this is the time to remember- there is no Easter Sunday without a Good Friday. We are an Easter people, but only by the acceptance of our sufferings first.

While we remain in a state of social distancing throughout next week, there are still many ways we can embrace the holiness of it within our own homes and families. I encourage you to choose at least one act of solidarity each day as we journey through this upcoming week. The Campus Ministry Department has compiled a list of resources and ideas for you. Please see below as well as the attached PDF file for an in-depth guide.

We are also excited to announce the launch of our VIRTUAL PRAYER WALL! This is a place where anyone can submit a prayer request, share testimony of an answered prayer, see all the other prayer requests and take them to prayer in their own unique way, and subscribe to the Prayer Chain Email List to be notified every time a new intention is added as a way to have a more consistent connection. All intentions will be offered by our Chaplain, Fr. David Cotter, at his Sunday Masses. Let us use this as a place to pray for all those suffering during this time, especially our first responders.

If you are still looking for livestream Mass options, Fr. Cotter will also be livestreaming the Holy Week Masses from his parish, St. Columba’s in Paxton, via their website and YouTube channel. We invite you to join! Plus, if you live in the area, he will also be distributing blessed palms from 11 AM – 12 PM this Sunday at the church’s side door.

In hope, faith, and love let us endure these current sufferings with a firm knowledge of the joy in the Easter Sunday that is right around the corner!

Have a blessed Holy Week! We are praying for you all,

Melissa LaNeve & the Campus Ministry Department


Ideas for a Meaningful Holy Week

Palm Sunday:

-Reflect on the word PREPARE

-Take palms if you’re able to get them, or any green plant, and set it in the center of your table, on your front door, or on your porch to symbolize Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem and your home.

-Fr. Cotter’s livestreamed Mass at 10 AM

-Fr. Cotter’s Palm Sunday reflection

Holy Thursday:

-Reflect on the word TOGETHER

-Read John 13:1-15

-Enjoy a meal together with those you are living with. After your meal have everyone take turns washing each other’s feet or hands. Leave a bowl, pitcher and towel in the center of your eating table. Leave them there until 12 p.m. on Good Friday.

-Fr. Cotter’s livestreamed Mass at 7 PM

Good Friday:

-Reflect on the word SACRIFICE

-Place a Crucifix in a prominent location

-Keep a period of silence (or quieter than normal) from 12 PM – 3 PM

-Read John 18:1-19:42

-Pray the Stations of the Cross

-Fr. Cotter’s livestreamed celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 7 PM

Holy Saturday:

-Reflect on the word SILENCE

-In the evening set a lit candle in the middle of your table. This is to remind us that Christ is the light of the world and we are called to bring that light wherever we go.

-Fr. Cotter’s livestreamed Vigil Mass at 7:30 PM

 Easter Sunday:

-Reflect on the word JOY

-Call/FaceTime your loved ones to check in with them and share in the joy of the day together

-Write messages of hope and joy in chalk on your driveway and sidewalk

-Fr. Cotter’s livestreamed Mass at 10 AM