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Upcoming Corpus Christi Procession

05-27-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Saturday our parish was blessed to have two of her sons – Matthew Marinelli and Joseph Illes – ordained deacons. This is the next to last step on the long road to priesthood that they have been walking for several years. God willing, they will be ordained priests around this time next year. Please pray for them!

Deacon Matthew preached his first homily at the 4:30pm Mass last Saturday, while Deacon Joseph preached his at the 11:00am last Sunday. They both did a great job! Deacon Matthew made special mention of how much it meant to him to preach his first homily in his home parish, with so many people he has known for years in attendance. Deacon Joseph spoke of how the Holy Spirit helped the first disciples spread the Gospel – and how we can rely on that same Holy Spirit to help us serve Christ today. Both thanked everyone for their prayers and support over the years!

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What have you done to spread the Gospel?

05-20-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

What have you done to spread the Gospel lately? That’s a good question to ask yourself on this Pentecost Sunday.

On Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help the disciples spread the Gospel to many peoples and places. In Baptism – and especially Confirmation – Jesus sent that same Holy Spirit to help us spread the Gospel in the world today. Many of you did this by teaching your children about the Faith and sending them to Catholic school or CCD classes. Many also do it by supporting the missions. Still others do it on a personal, one-to-one basis – sharing their faith with others in conversations and other ways.

St. John Paul II – and his successors Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis – said that our world has need of a "New Evangelization." By "new" they do not mean that we are to preach a "new" message about Jesus – for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb 13:8) Rather, the popes mean that – as Catholics – we need to make a new effort at spreading the Gospel in the world.

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Good News!

05-13-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and great ladies of our parish!

I have so many good things to report this week – which is always good news! The First Communion Masses went beautifully in our parish. The children were excited and devout as they received Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.

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May: The Month of Mary

05-06-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Our Parish Carnival wraps up this weekend. If you can stop by – perhaps after Mass on Saturday evening or this afternoon (Sunday) – please do. It's a great place to have some fun, see other parishioners, and enjoy great Carnival Food! (From last year, my favorites were the meatballs and the Deep Fried Twinkies). Hope to see you there!

May is, of course, the Month of Mary. With that in mind, try to do some little things to honor Mary this month. If you don't already pray the Rosary daily, this would be a good time to start. If you can't pray a whole Rosary, why not pray at least a decade of it a day? It is a powerful prayer – one of my favorites – and is recommended by countless saints. For those who may not know, pamphlets on how to pray the Rosary will be placed around the Church.

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Carnival's Coming!

04-29-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I really enjoyed our parish school play last week. The kids performed "The Little Mermaid" – and did a really nice job. I attended the performances on both Thursday and Friday evenings and enjoyed it both times. As you can probably imagine, it takes a lot to get me to sit still for an entire play – and our students pulled it off! Special thanks also go to Mr. Yesenosky (our music teacher and regular organist) and Mrs. Ciccalese (our gym teacher) who put in quite a lot of time with the students. All those who helped with the sets, refreshments, costumes and all the other details also have my gratitude, as do the students themselves.

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Upcoming Parish Events

04-22-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I had a nice time at a couple of parish events last weekend. The Knights of Columbus and others put together a Pasta Dinner last Sunday afternoon. I want to thank them for a job well done. Throughout the afternoon a steady flow of people enjoyed dinner and conversation – and a good crowd showed up for the last hour or so.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to attend the Annual Faith and Service Dinner at Flynn's. This event is organized by our School Advisory Council as a way to honor various individuals who make a contribution to our school. This year's honorees – Dr. James Finegan and Mr. John Stana – were particularly deserving. I was especially touched to hear so many people speaking of all the good things these gentlemen have done for our school, parish, and the community at large.

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Capital Campaign Update

04-15-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Can you believe that April is already half over? Before long it will be time for our Parish Carnival and other Spring events. One such event is the Pasta Dinner, which will be held in the school cafeteria on Roseberry Street this afternoon. The school will have an Open House at the same time. I'm looking forward to having a nice time and a nice meal with lots of you!

A few weeks ago, I told you that I would give you an update on our Parish Capital Campaign this month, and I want to dedicate the rest of this column to that. We have reached (actually gone just over) our goal of $1,400,000 in pledges. To date we have already received $379,242 in payments.

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Good News for Easter

04-08-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I hope your Easter was as nice as mine. Although I thought we were going to my mother's house on Easter, the plans got changed, and we were at my sister Natalie's home instead. We had more food than you can imagine, and plenty of family and friends. Some of my niece's friends from college joined us – since they live a distance and could not get to their family homes for Easter – and it was nice to have them. It all made for a great day.

As I announced at the Easter Vigil and the 11 AM Mass on Easter, our parish is happy that two of her sons – Matthew Marinelli and Joseph Illes – will be ordained deacons on May 19. They have been studying for the priesthood for several years and have reached this important point in the journey. God willing, they will spend about a year as deacons while continuing their studies – then be ordained priests.

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Happy Easter!

04-01-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing each and every one of you a blessed and happy Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus stands at the very heart of everything we believe as Catholics. I am pleased to celebrate it with you.

Easter is so important to us that we celebrate it not just for a day – but for a season of fifty days. The Easter Season is longer than Lent because the joy of the Resurrection is greater than penance of Lent. As part of our celebration of this joyful season, our Church will be decorated throughout the Easter Season. The new Paschal (Easter) Candle will stand near the pulpit, rising high into the air as a symbol of Christ's glorious Resurrection.

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Events of Holy Week

03-25-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I was really happy to see a lot of people at our recent Penance Service. Given that a number of people went to Confession during the 24 hours of Adoration the previous week, I expected less people than usual at our Penance Service. But lots of you were there, testifying to your faith in Jesus' mercy and the power of Confession!

As we begin Holy Week, I want to encourage everyone to make a real effort to come to Church on both Holy Thursday (7 PM) and Good Friday (3 PM). Our church really should be filled on those most holy days. Indeed, if you can get to church on those days, you really should. They are the days on which Jesus gave us His greatest gift – His Body and Blood, offered on the Cross to take away our sins so we can have eternal life in Heaven! Our presence in church on Holy Thursday and Good Friday is a token of our appreciation of all that He did.

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Parish Capital Campaign Update

03-18-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Can you believe that next Sunday is Palm Sunday? It's amazing how quickly time passes! Palms will be blessed and distributed at all Masses next weekend. I look forward to celebrating Palm Sunday and entering Holy Week with all of you.

I want to congratulate the Girl Scouts who received their religious medals last Sunday. These girls put in a great deal of time learning about our Catholic Faith and completing the requirements for these medals. They also learned about Our Lady of Fatima and earned a special patch for doing so. It's good to see so many girls making such an effort to grow in their Faith!

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My reflections on the Sacrament of Confession

03-11-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Remember that there will be a Penance Service in Church tomorrow (Monday) evening at 7 PM. At least ten priests will be there to help hear Confessions. As usual, there will be old friends (like Fr. Juan Carlos and Fr. James) and priests you probably never met. My hope is that having so many priests will make it easy to go to Confession and experience God's healing mercy.

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Confession

03-04-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by thanking everyone who either helped out at last week's Ministry Fair in Mercy Hall. Thanks also to those who stopped by to learn more about what goes on in our parish. The attendance varied a great deal between the Masses – and it would have been even nicer to see a few more people there. But those I spoke to at the Fair seemed to enjoy it. I know that several families got information about CCD, some new parishioners met new friends in our parish, and some folks who visited after the Spanish Mass spoke with the Food for the Needy representative about how they could get more involved as a group in that and other ministries to the local poor. I was happy to hear that!

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The Case for Jesus

02-25-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Lent is off to a great start in our parish. It was nice to see lots of people at Church on Ash Wednesday. There was a good number at Stations of the Cross on Friday – and an upturn in Daily Mass attendance. I'm happy to see so many people making the most of this holy season.

There are still some copies of the book The Case for Jesus. This book, which was given out on Ash Wednesday, is a good thing to read for Lent. It makes the historical case for the truth about Jesus, and refutes a lot of the nonsense that we hear too often.

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