The month of February brings some special days that every family can celebrate. Please take a look at this information and consider how you individually or as a family can highlight these days.

This year Lent begins on March 2, so all of February is “Ordinary Time”. As you may know the Church speaks of Ordinary Time in liturgical terms in a rather unique way. This description of the days between major liturgical seasons comes from the word “ordinal” and is used to describe where the days fall in relation to the liturgical calendar, for example, “tomorrow is Saturday of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time. As you can see Ordinary Time is really far from ordinary, instead it is about counting the days until the next feast or season.

I encourage you to pay special attention to the following dates:

Wednesday, February 2 –  this is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we reflect on this passage from the Gospel as we pray the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. It is a day to celebrate Jesus Christ as the Light of the World and traditionally it is a time to bless candles. Consider having candles blessed for your home and using them through the year as prayer candles. You can also check with your local parish to see if they plan something special for this important day.

Thursday, February 3 – the Memorial of Saint Blase bishop and martyr is a traditional day for blessings of the throat. Your parish may offer this on the following Sunday. Due to the illness that so many are dealing with it could be especially meaningful this year.

Thursday, February 10 – the Memorial of Saint Scholastica, sister of Saint Benedict. 

Friday, February 11 – the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes offers a very important opportunity to pray for healing and strength for all those who are Ill. I will celebrate the 7:00 AM Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler on that day. The Mass will be preceded by Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction beginning at 6:00 AM. The Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes will be prayed after the Mass, this is a brief Litany that will take five minutes to pray. I share it here it at the end of this post, courtesy of EWTN.

Saturday, February 12 – We observe World Marriage Day with a Mass to honor married couples in the Diocese of Tyler who are celebrating their 5th, 15th, 25th, 40th, or 50th+ anniversaries in the year 2022. Today we can pray for these and all married couples.

Monday, February 14 – Saint Valentine’s Day, the liturgical Memorial is Saints Cyril and Methodius, they are great saints but of course our culture is all about Valentine’s Day.  Let’s make sure it is Saint Valentine’s Day and that more than candy and flowers it is about God’s sacrificial love as He gives us His Son Jesus Christ. A great day to attend Mass and offer your prayers for your sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 22 – Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter- a great day to celebrate our 1st Pope and the Keys of the Kingdom that Christ gave him to empower him to lead the Church. Let us pray in a special way for Pope Francis and the heavy burdens he carries in the world today. May the Light and Truth of Jesus Christ be his strength.

Wednesday, February 23 –  Memorial of Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr 

 Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes

Author: NA

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.

Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven; Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world; Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit; Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God; Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary; Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God; Pray for us.
Mother of Christ; Pray for us.
Mother of our Savior; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Help of Christians; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Source of love; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the poor; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the handicapped; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of orphans; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of all children; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of all nations; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the Church; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Friend of the lonely; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Comforter of those who mourn; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Shelter of the homeless; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Guide of travelers; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Strength of the weak; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Refuge of sinners; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Comforter of the suffering; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Help of the dying; Pray for us.
Queen of heaven; Pray for us.
Queen of peace; Pray for us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us.

Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us. Let us pray: Grant us, your servants, we pray you, Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body. By the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may we
be delivered from present sorrows, and enjoy everlasting happiness. Through Christ
our Lord. Amen.

By Bishop Joseph E. Strickland

Bishop Strickland was born the sixth child of Raymond and Monica Strickland in 1958. He grew up near Atlanta, Texas, where the Strickland’s were founding members of St. Catherine of Siena Church. On June 1, 1985, Strickland was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Dallas by Bishop Thomas Tschoepe at St. Monica Catholic Church. Upon the creation of the Diocese of Tyler in 1987, Father Strickland joined the presbyterate of the new diocese and was named the first vocation director in March of 1987 by Bishop Charles Herzig. In August of 1992, he was assigned to study canon law at Catholic University of America. After completing his licentiate (JCL) in canon law in May of 1994, Father Strickland was assigned by Bishop Edmond Carmody as pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. He was appointed judicial vicar for the diocese in 1995 and was named a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1996. In September of 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Strickland as the fourth Bishop of Tyler. He was consecrated as bishop on November 28, 2012 by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.