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March 2016 - Overview for the Month

The Lord has put his faithful servant in charge of his household.
Highlights
March 17
St. Patrick
St. Patrick is called the "Apostle of Ireland." He established the Catholic Church throughout Ireland on lasting foundations. He traveled all over the country preaching, teaching, building churches, opening schools and monasteries, converting chiefs and bards, and everywhere supporting his preaching with miracles.
Recipe of the Month
St. Joseph's Cream Puffs
For St. Joseph's Day try this simple of version of a special dessert for the Solemnity of St. Joseph called St. Joseph's Sfinge.
Activity of the Month
St. Joseph's Table
The Solemnity of St. Joseph is celebrated in a variety of ways all over the world. The most well-known tradition is the St. Joseph's Table, started in Sicily. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph in your own home.

Symbols
The only record of St. Joseph is found in the Gospels where it states that he was a just man, of Davidic descent, who worked as a carpenter. His symbol is a carpenter's square and a lily of the Madonna.
St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, spoke of himself both as a Roman and a Briton. The exact place of his birth is not known. At the age of fifteen, after a raid, he was carried off to Ireland. When released he traveled abroad, studied and received Holy Orders. He returned to Ireland as a bishop.
The Bishop of Jerusalem, a teacher and scholar, who triumphed in his struggle against Arian doctrines. The moneybag refers to a story that he sold the ornaments of the church to provide food for the poor.

St. Joseph & Jesus
O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.

The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The beginning of March falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of the month falls in the Easter season in which white, the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence, is the liturgical color.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of March 2016

Universal: That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments.

Evangelization: That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church. (See also Apostleship of Prayer)

Feasts for March

The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are:

3. Katharine Drexel (USA), Opt. Mem.
4. Casimir of Poland, Opt. Mem.
6. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
7. Perpetua and Felicity, Memorial
8. John of God, Opt. Mem.
9. Frances of Rome, Opt. Mem.
13. Fifth Sunday of Lent, Sunday
17. Patrick, Opt. Mem.
18. Cyril of Jerusalem, Opt. Mem.
19. Joseph, husband of Mary, Solemnity
20. Palm Sunday, Sunday
24. Holy Thursday, Triduum
25. Good Friday, Triduum
26. Holy Saturday, Triduum
27. Easter Sunday, Solemnity
28. Easter Monday, Solemnity
29. Easter Tuesday, Solemnity
30. Easter Wednesday, Solemnity
31. Easter Thursday, Solemnity

Focus of the Liturgy

The Gospel readings for March are taken from St. Luke and St. John. All are from Year C, Cycle 2.

March 6th - 4th Sunday of Lent

This Gospel recounts the parable of the Prodigal Son.

March 13th - 5th Sunday of Lent

The Gospel is about the woman caught in adultry.

March 20th - Palm Sunday

The Gospel is the reading of the Passion of Our Lord.

March 27th - Easter Sunday

The Gospel tells of the visit of Mary Magdalene to the empty tomb.

Highlights of the Month

As we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance.

The Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed upon the foster father of Jesus. And if you are Irish (who isn't), St. Patrick's feast is another cause for a joyful celebration.

The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are St. Katharine Drexel (March 3), St. Casimir (March 4), Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7), St. John of God (March 8), St. Frances of Rome (March 9), St. Patrick (March 17), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18), and St. Joseph (March 19)

This year the feast of the Annunciation will be celebrated on April 4 since the 25th falls on Good Friday. The feast of St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23) is superseded by the Holy Week liturgy.

A Time of Penance and Promise

Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!

During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection. The feast of the Annunciation, normally celebrated on March 25, has been transferred to April 4 since it falls on Good Friday.

Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

Go to Joseph