…”Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.” It’s hard to believe that Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. This weekend’s Gospel really asks the right question for us to ‘prepare’ for our Lent journey. Instead of noticing the splinter in the eye of our sister or brother, we need to use the next forty days to remove the splinters and beams in our own eyes/hearts/lives. It’s often so much easier to focus on ‘others’ so we don’t have to focus on ourselves. Lent is all about reflecting deeply on our lives so we can be holier, happier, better people.

…Last weekend about 400 people signed up to participate in Lent 1.3 – faith sharing groups. They join the hundreds of others who have already joined groups and are having deeper, meaningful conversations with each other and God. There’s still time for you to join a group this Lent. Remember, it’s one hour – three times – to grow closer to God and forge bonds of meaningful discussions and friendship with members of our community. To sign up, please call Jane Baldwin at JBaldwin@StAmbrose.us or go online to: www.StAmbrose.us/faithgroups.

…Over the week, about 1000 people have taken home Little Black Books which offers a short daily reflection that will help you focus your heart and life each day of Lent. There are Little Black Books at the doors of the Hall this weekend.

…One day…one step at a time!! We are blessed to have an app designed to help each of us develop a spiritual workout plan for Lent. Each day the ‘app’ will send resources, inspiring quotes, and hold us accountable to the ‘workout’ plan. I know that, for me, in the busyness of the day, I need a reminder to stop…pray…read God’s Word…take a moment or two to reflect deeply on God’s presence and action in my life. One day…one step at a time…is designed to help you build your own Lent plan and help you be accountable to doing the work to use these forty days – one day, one step at a time – to more fully embrace and integrate Christ in your life and day. Give it try. Go to www.stambrose.us/lentmadeeasy to learn more and/or to download.

…Our Parish Communication/Marketing Committee met this past Tuesday for their monthly meeting. It’s a great group that brings a lot of experience, energy and passion to our discussions on to how best communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ, and to communicate effectively with our parish community. The group is presently working on the Lent App. If you have a background in marketing, communication, website design, video production, social media marketing – we need you and would love to have your insights and ideas in the conversation. To learn more, or to join the group, contact Natalie English at nenglish@Stambrose.us.

…Natalie does a great job preparing our weekly bulletin and eblast. We are so blessed. She can use some help. We could use a few more photographers who can take pictures of our parish events/activities. If you can help, even a little, she would love to hear from you. She’s a great spirit and would be thrilled to have you help make sure we have a great bulletin. Please contact Natalie at NEnglish@StAmbrose.us.

…Ash Wednesday is the start of the Season of Lent. It’s the day we come to be ‘marked’ with ashes as a sign of our awareness that we need to use this season to remove the ‘splinter’ from our eyes/lives. Please join us on Ash Wednesday. We will have a prayer service with Ash Distribution at 6:30, 10:30 am, and 4:30 pm. We will have a full Mass, with the distribution of ashes, at 8:15 am, 12 noon and 7:00 pm. Please invite your family/friends to come together on this ONE DAY to start the season of Lent.

…Did you hear this past week about the case the Supreme Court is going to hear about a WWII Memorial in Maryland? There’s a group fighting to remove the memorial because it is a Cross. We need to come together on Ash Wednesday to boldly ‘wear’ the Cross as a sign of our commitment to Christ.

…Our youth ministry team will be distributing Ashes on the Asphalt at the Rec Center on Wednesday at 6:50 am. For all the details check out the FIAT Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/stambrosefiat.

…Our Lent Fish Fry begins this Wednesday and continues every Friday to Easter. We have a great team who prepare fresh food at a very affordable price. Come and see for yourself. All the proceeds from the Fish Fry will help us install new sidewalks by Hilkert Hall, along with some new landscaping. In the coming weeks, you will see the diseased trees removed. In a good way, we may get the long sought after sidewalk directly from the parking lot to Hilkert Hall!!!

…With the start of Lent, we begin the countdown to Easter and returning to the Church. Make sure you check out the video with all the Construction Updates. I am very hopeful that you will be thrilled with what you see. Go to www.stambrose.us/vision2020.

…Three wonderful moments of your goodness: This week we received wonderful pictures of people who live on the streets of Akron and Cleveland receiving a Valentines Card and bag filled with love and some ‘street’ necessities. God bless our second graders. I also saw pictures of all the food and supplies that our school children collected for young families in need in our region….the van was filled. We have a new team of folk preparing a hot meal for the Peter Maurin Center in Akron. It’s a great blessing and examples of your goodness and care for those in need.

….A sure sign that spring is near……this past week our good friends at Brunswick Auto Mart renewed their commitment to help us have a GREAT GRAND PRIZE for our summer festival. Our friends at Universal Windows Direct did the same. We are so blessed. If you see Gary or Brian Panteck from BAM, or Mike Strmac from UWD, please express your thanks for their great support.

…It’s hard to believe that March and Lent are upon us. Outside we are seeing more sunshine and warmer days. Inside may we seek more Light and a fuller life in Christ. Please take advantage of the many ways to grow this Lent at Saint Ambrose so ONE DAY we can all be together with the Lord in heaven.