Laetare Sunday, March 19!
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Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 18-19, 2023

St. Berard Mass Saturday 6:00 pm
OLBS Mass Sunday 9:30 am
St. Francis Mass Sunday 11:30 am


     PO Box 70, Fort Defiance, AZ 86504
       Parish Office 928-729-5068            
Pastor - Fr. Pjey Pabatao  928-349-5278
Office Hours:  Mon -Tues 9-12, 1-4; Wed 9-12

                                          OLBS Ministers for 9:30 am Mass   

03-19   Paula Seanez
03-26   Kathy Lucas
03-19    Amelia Holtsoi Family
03-26    Daniel & Kate Martin Family
03-19    Elvira Begaye
             Dcn. Daniel Martin
03-26     Sherri Toadlena
              Dee Tso

03-19   David Mitchell Jr. Family
03-26   Deb Dineyazhe Family

Prayer Intention(s) for week of

                                          March 18-19
                                               St. Berard – Lupe & Tina Rosetta Family
                                               OLBS – Mary L. Begay Family
                                               St. Francis – Jayme Yazzie Family

                                           March 25-26
                                               St. Berard –Rita Shurley Family
                                               OLBS – Richard Begay Family
                                               St. Francis – Janelle Yazzie Family


Parish Collection     March 4-5                     
                               OLBS                               $291.10     Thank You
                               St. Berard/St. Francis     $ 179.00     Thank You

Bishop’s Annual Appeal – Faith in Action Today Appeal (FIAT) has begun for 2023.  The money gathered throughout the year assists many programs and organizations, ie. Catholic Charities and schools, who serve our local diocesan communities.  Your prayers are also gratefully needed.


Community Announcements

Please contact the Parish Office to make arrangements for:

Preparation session prior to receiving the Sacrament

MARRIAGES:  At least 4 months in advance.

PRAYER SUPPORT:  You or a Family Member are in need of prayers i.e. in the hospital, home bound, etc, or if  you would like to receive the Eucharist

Water with Blessings – See flyer on bulletin board for more info.  This is an opportunity to provide clean drinking water to anyone/family that wishes to use the filter.  A training is provided.  Please call Juli at 928-871-4171, ask at our parish office, or see Charlene Nelson for more information.

The Food Pantry is available at St. Francis in Sawmill – If items are needed, please phone Rita Bia at 928-206-2853.  Donations are greatly appreciated.

“Come and See” weekend for men interested in becoming a deacon in the Diocese of Gallup.  A deacon is an ordained minister of the Catholic Church.  Deacons are ordained as a sacramental sign to the
Church and to the world of Christ, who came "to serve and not to be served."  The entire Church is called by Christ to serve, and the deacon, in virtue of his sacramental ordination and through his various ministries, is to be a servant in a servant-Church.
  It begins on Friday, April 21, 2023 at Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Gallup around 6:00 pm with a light meal and welcome and we conclude with the 11:00 am Sunday Mass, on April 23 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.  No fee is needed.  If interested, contact Deacon Timoteo Lujan at

Nutrition, Health, and Diabetes Meeting – Wednesday, Mar. 29 at 6 pm
in OLBS parish office.  For more information, call Wanda at 1-505-722-8871.

Need legal help with a free will, medical power of attorney, a living will or memorial instruction?  On March 20-23 at the Window Rock Sports Center Complex, supervised Law Students will be available to assist any tribal member to do this.  Call John Roach at 505-716-6788.

Lenten Opportunities:
A TIME OF PRAYER - Way of the Cross and Benediction  
                     Friday, March 24 at 6 pm at OLBS in church

Borrow or keep the resources available on the front entrance table to help enrich your prayer life.

A TIME OF FASTING - Fridays are days of Abstinence. Abstinence means that those over 14 do not eat meat. Fasting means that those between the ages of 21 and 59 eat less, having only one main meal and two smaller meals and not eating between meals.

What can I give up (fast from) during this season of Lent or do more of in order to better prepare myself for Easter?
A TIME OF ALMSGIVING - Operation Rice Bowl is a program sponsored by Catholic Relief Services. It is suggested that we have a light meal once a week and give the money we would have spent to the poor.   Please return them to the parish during the Easter season.

You could also support the Food Pantry at St. Francis, Sawmill with monetary donations or food, diapers, baby wipes etc.  
How can I give of myself during this season of Lent?

OLBS Announcements

Navajo Choir  Sun. 10:45 am in Drexel Room South of Convent
English Choir    1st and 3rd Sun. 10:45 am in the Hall

Sunday 8:30-9:10 am   Please not right before Mass
Any other time upon request.  Call Fr. Blane at 928-729-5068

RCIA (Adults & Children)  Sun. 10:45 am - noon
Grades K-12  Sun. after Mass 10:45 am -11:45 am 

Parish Covenant/Address Update   Please update your contact information for 2022 with the parish office.

Liturgical Committee for Holy Week – If anyone is interested in helping with the preparation/how to or what to do for Holy Week liturgies, please let Chris know or contact parish office before March 26.

St. Berard/St. Francis Announcements
Registration of Parishioners  Please fill out a Covenant Form if you have not yet done so and put it in the collection basket. Thank you.

                                      FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, March 18-19, 2023
                                [I Samuel 16:1, 6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5: 8-14; John 9: 1-41]
                                    “Brothers and Sisters, You were once darkness,
                              but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light”

  Our theme today is that of Light.  As you remember, last Sunday Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus promised her “The Living water so that she would never thirst again.”   She wanted that water so she would not have to come to the well every day.  Jesus was not talking about that kind of water.  Jesus was talking about the Water of New Life in God.  We have all received that water at our Baptism, and we are able to live with a new kind of life, the Life of Grace.
   Today, our theme is LIGHT.  Jesus heals the man born blind so that he can see in the physical world.  Jesus wants to heal us of our blindness.  We are not physically blind.  But Jesus wants us to see like He does.  Jesus looks into our heart and our soul, as He does with all people.  He is not limited to physical appearances.  We see that He gave that gift of grace to the man he cured of physical blindness. When Jesus found the man, He asked him: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  And the man answered: “Who is he sir that I may believe in him?” Jesus said: You have seen him, the one speaking to you is He.”  The man answered: “I do believe Lord.”
    As we journey through the rest of Lent, may it be our prayer that we too receive the gift of spiritual vision.  Spiritual vision is a gift we all need. We often see only the faults and differences of each other.  May we be given that gift of grace to be able to see, and bring out, the goodness in all people we meet as well as in ourselves.

Laetare is Latin for “rejoice”.  On Laetare Sunday, the Church expresses hope and joy in the midst of our Lenten fasts and penances. The change in color from purple to pink/rose vestments indicates a glimpse of the joy that awaits us at Easter, just before we enter into the somber days of Passiontide.


The indoor mask mandate has been lifted on the Navajo Nation for all general public and all businesses except:
Early Childhood Education
Nursing Homes on the Navajo Nation and those who serve these vulnerable populations
Healthcare facilities who require masks
Individuals who have tested positive with COVID-19

Please continue to use caution and good judgment to care for yourself and others.

Churches are opened on the Navajo Nation.
Please call your parish to find out the locations and times.
Continue to walk in beauty and safety.

Opportunities to pray before the Blessed Sacrament

St. Michaels - the church is open daily from 6 am-6 pm.  The outside door by the sacristy is open...please, use the ramp.


To contact Fr. PJey Pabatao, our pastor/administrator, please call Our Lady of Fatima in Chinle at 928-674-5413 or 928-674-5254.



Catholic Extension has given a special gift to the Diocese of Gallup and all its parishes and schools. Access for all the Diocese of Gallup entities is through the same portal on the #igiveCatholic site:   Select Parish, and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament from the drop down list under Organization Name. 
The Faith in Action Appeal is also available on that same site.









Jubilee Books Available 
$10 donation

Monday 9-12 pm; 1-4 pm         Tuesday 9-12 pm; 1-4 pm
Wednesday 9-12 pm


March 17 - Way of the Cross and Benediction at 6 pm
St. Patrick's Day

March 19 - 4th Sunday of Lent

March 20 - Solemnity of St. Joseph

March 25 - Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

March 26 - 5th Sunday of Lent

April 2 - 6th Sunday of Lent
                 Palm Sunday

April 6 - Holy Thursday

April 7 - Good Friday

April 8 - Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil

April 9 - EASTER...ALLELUIA!!!

Special Collections

Faith in Action Today (FIAT) Appeal  in the Diocese of Gallup begins March 4-5

Holy Land - April 7 (Good Friday)


Food Pantry at St. Francis in Sawmill is open the 3rd Monday and Tuesday of each month

If you would like to donate items you can bring the items to church. (see list below.)  If you would like to make a money donation, put in an envelope, and mark it Food pantry. Put with the collection.  Checks can be made out to St. Berard.



Baking soda



Canned fruit

Canned corn, green beans, peas

Peanut butter

Canned beans

Canned chili



Macaroni & Cheese

Instant potatoes

Spam/corn beef


Tomato sauce

Boxed unrefrigerated milk




Hand soap
Baby wipes