Dear Friends of Saint Ann’s Shrine,
Before the Christian world enters into the spiritually renewal time of Ash Wednesday and Lent on March 2nd, the secular world celebrates Valentine’s Day, a day when we can openly express our love and appreciation to special people who enrich our everyday lives. In the weeks leading up to this festive day, we see red hearts everywhere enticing us to open our hearts not only to family and friends, but also to people we work or study with or just casually run into every day. For Christians, the spirit of Valentine’s Day is every day. It’s a quality of our soul to freely give our love to others, especially to people who are elderly and live alone or seemingly forgotten by family and friends; to the sick, to people grieving the loss of a loved one or who have suffered a momentous setback. Everyone needs to feel loved and appreciated as a human being and a child beloved of God –and God works through you and me.
Imagine for a moment that the crucifix in your home or in church or on your rosary were suddenly to become a giant red heart, and a gentle voice would say to you: You (name) are my valentine. I give you all my life, all my love, all my forgiveness and all my unequivocal acceptance forever…will you give Me your heart also? This is the question we need to answer daily, especially as we enter the season of Lent.
Jesus was born to make visible the Sacred Heart of the invisible God, creator of all life. However, being human like us, Jesus was subject to the same temptations we have and needed to make difficult choices between good and evil, right and wrong, whether to act morally or immorally, to be selfish or selfless, to give in to sin or to choose God and his powerful grace – just as each of us must.
We can easily agree that everyone is inclined to lie, to cheat, to show prejudice, to be angry and even violent, to act unjustly, to feel superior, to break promises, to refuse forgiveness and to hold on to feelings of hurt and betrayal, etc…But thanks to our baptism in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we too, like Jesus are armed with the spiritual power of grace to say NO and so imitate in these little victories, the power of Jesus acting in our lives.
On Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, we are challenged to Turn Away From Sin and Be Faithful to the Gospel. Let us take up that challenge and with the Grace of God always available to us in Prayer and in the Eucharist, we will be better able to resist sin in our lives and give a more honest answer to the question: What power or what god is in charge of my life? To whom have I given my heart? Make Jesus your Valentine!
Don’t forget to return the enclosed prayer intention form, and whatever donation you may be able to offer to help support Saint Ann’s Shrine as it helps provide health care for our aging priests and brothers.
Yours in Jesus Eucharistic,
Father Roger Bourgeois, SSS
*Our Blessed Sacrament religious in Bethany and at Regina Health Center pray for you daily. Please let us know of any special intentions you’d like us to remember. The Blessed Sacrament Community supports you in prayer and Eucharist. You can submit your prayer though our website and request a candle to be lit for your special intentions at st-ann-shrine.org.
*We invite you and your group to join us at Saint Ann’s Shrine for Daily Mass at 11:30AM, Monday-Friday (call for Holidays). Mass is currently being held while following social distancing guidelines.
*The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament offers a daily devotion/reflection by email. If you’d like to receive this uplifting message, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*We have Blessed Oil and Holy Water available for a donation. Contact Saint Ann Shrine at 440-449-2700 or visit our website at st-ann-shrine.org.
*Please ask your employer if they support a matching gift program and your donation may be doubled!
*We ask you to consider becoming a member of our Legacy Society by naming Saint Ann’s Shrine or the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in your will.
*If you are 70 ½ years of age or older, you can support Saint Ann’s Shrine or the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament through distributions from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Your IRA Charitable Rollover Gift may satisfy your annual required minimum distribution and reduce your taxable income. Consult your financial advisor for the most advantageous opportunities for you.
*You may also consider donating gifts of stock. Depending on the stocks current value, you may avoid capital gains tax or deduct the loss in value while donating the proceeds of the sale to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Consult your financial advisor for the most advantageous opportunities for you.
*Please share your story of how the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Community or Saint Ann’s Shrine has made an impact on your life! We would be so grateful to hear from you! You can reach me at email@example.com or 440-449-2700.
*Your loved ones can be remembered during Mass at Saint Ann’s Shrine. Call 440-449-2700 for details.
*Be sure to “Like” Saint Ann’s Shrine on Facebook!
*If you’ve ever visited Saint Ann’s Shrine in Cleveland, we encourage you to submit your comments on Trip Advisor so those who may consider visiting us can read of your experience! We hope to see you again soon!
* You may choose to make a secure, recurring monthly gift to Saint Ann’s Shrine or the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Please check the box on the reply slip and we can automatically process your credit card gift each month!