Friday, February 12, 2016

A Lenten Message from the Foundation

This past Wednesday started the season of Lent; a season of reflecting on our relationship with Jesus. On Monday, The Reason For Our Hope Foundation sent out a message from Father Larry with guidance for our Lenten journey. Here's an excerpt from that email:

Praised Be Jesus Christ!
And so we begin another Lent. Lent is that special time of year when we examine our relationship with Jesus and ask Him how He would like us to grow closer to Him through this very blessed season. This is what you must remember - Lent is about a relationship with Jesus Christ - not just about giving things up! We have a chance to be with Jesus these next 40 days and to allow Him to transform us into Himself through our prayer, fasting, and alms giving. This transformation must involve our being crucified with Jesus, so that we may rise with Him when we celebrate Easter. So, what is Jesus calling YOU to do for Him this Lenten Season?
As I have said, the three traditional practices of Lent are fasting, alms giving. and prayer. I would encourage you to do something in each of these areas.
Most people give up something they like. You know -- chocolate, pop, etc. And that is OK, but it is not enough. I think I can hear Jesus saying sometimes: "I gave up my life for them, and they give up chocolate for Me!" When it comes to fasting, we need to look at where our sins are, and then give up something that will help us deal with that sin. For instance, let us say that we are lazy and that we waste a lot of time watching TV instead of doing what we need to be doing -- then give up TV. You get the picture. Fasting should help us to die to self and sin, so that we can live more fully for God and others.
In regard to alms giving, this is something that we should be doing all year, but most especially during Lent. This means taking care of the poor. This would be a great time to adopt a Third World child, through one of the many agencies that do offer this. Or you can give to a local food bank or other charity that helps the poor.
The next practice must be the most important one, and that is prayer. We need to be people of prayer! You can decide to read the Bible every day, go to daily Mass, say the rosary, or say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. However, God is calling you to grow in intimacy with Him through prayer; DO IT! Just make sure you take time to LISTEN more than talk - - more than anything, this is what God calls us to do this Lent!

So pray about what Jesus wants YOU to do, and then, "Do whatever He tells you!"

At the end of his message Father Larry said that one the most important comments he gets from people is, "Father, I pray for you every day." There is nothing that means more to him! I ask you to include praying for Father Larry, The Reason for Our Hope Foundation, and our ministry in your Lenten prayers. Please know that Father Larry prays for you daily! 

- Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Manager: The Reason for Our Hope Foundation 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January and February 2016

Here at The Reason for Our Hope Foundation the beginning of the year started off with a bang! Our Annual Appeal, which started in November, was in full swing. We would like to thank all who donated, you helped us raise $81,000 that is going towards the Hope House Retreat Center.

Speaking of the Hope House Retreat Center, our first floor renovations are complete. You can view pictures from our December Open House on our Facebook page. We are now booking day retreats. In fact we have quite few on our calendar already. Our first day retreat was held on January 30. The Seminarians from the Diocese of Erie held their Day of Recollection at the Hope House! They really enjoyed their time reflecting in the Avila Chapel and interacting with each other in the Conference Room. According to Fr. Nick Rouch the meals were excellent as well! We are looking forward to February where we will be hosting a couple Confirmation retreats.

In other Hope House news, our website is currently under development and we are hoping to launch it in February. We are excited for this new endeavor in growing the Retreat Center. As for now you can find us on Facebook and Pinterest. We are planning to get the second floor completed this spring so we can start hosting overnight retreats.

January found Fr. Larry traveling for retreats, Men's Conferences, and Parish Missions. The New Year started with him leading a retreat for seminarians in Indiana. He held a Parish Mission at Saint Peter's in Deland, Florida and traveled to two conferences one in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and one in Boise, Idaho.

February has him in Florida for the beginning of the month for a Parish Mission at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Panama City and the Tampa Bay Men's Conference in Tampa Bay. Then he comes home to celebrate the start of Lent with his Parish. Next it is off to the Midwest as he is a speaker at a Men's Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The month rounds out with two Parish Missions one at St. Agnes in Sellersville, Pennsylvania and one at Holy Infant Catholic Church in Ballwin, Missouri. It ends with the Columbus Catholic Men's Conference in Columbus, Ohio. For more information on these events or if you are interested in booking Father Larry please head to The Reason for Our Hope Foundation's website and click the tab Meet Father Larry.

Here at the Foundation's office we are excited to announce we are growing, as we hired a new Marketing/Operations Coordinator in September. Caitlin has been off and running with managing the social media accounts and finding different ways to spread the mission of the Foundation.

We are anxious for March to come as our 3rd Annual 22:32 Men's Conference will be held on March 12 at the Warner Theatre. We have three excellent Catholic Speakers coming, Matt Birk, Tim Staples and Deacon Ralph Poyo. We are very excited to hear what these upstanding men have to say and hope you are able to join us. To register or if you'd like to read more about this wonderful opportunity please head to the 22:32 Men's website or check them out on Facebook!

As always we ask for your prayers and know that you're in ours.

~Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Manager, The Reason for Our Hope Foundation.