Lent is the time of year for parish missions and I will be on the road quite a bit in the coming weeks. Right now I'm in Port Austin, Michigan, located in what is known as "the thumb" of the lower peninsula. The pastor of St. Michael's parish, Fr. Andy Boom, was on a retreat that I gave to priests of the Saginaw Diocese last year and he invited me to come for a parish mission. Last year he started a "40 Hours Mission". On each of three days Mass is celebrated at 8:30 AM and is followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Parishioners sign up and come to adore our Lord throughout the day. I am available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at 6 PM. At 7 PM we celebrate Vespers and I give a mission talk. Yesterday's talk was entitled "Reconciliation: A New Look at an Old Tradition" and tonight's talk is entitled "The Eucharist: Healing the Wounds of the Body." We close each evening with Benediction and repose the Blessed Sacrament until the next morning. The 40 Hours Mission will end Friday evening with Mass and a homily about the "Living the Eucharist through the Daily Offering."
For the past two months Fr. Boom has also been the administrator of two nearby parishes--St. Edward the Confessor and St. Mary of Czestochowa--ten miles south in the town of Kinde. So our 40 Hours Mission is on the road just as I am. We began yesterday at St. Edward's and today we are in St. Mary's. Tomorrow we will finish in St. Michael's here in Port Austin where I am staying.