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.

I'm sure many of you have noticed that our Confessionals have gotten quite a make-over. Mitchell Frasca, who is both an acolyte and Boy Scout in our parish, has been doing this work as an Eagle Scout project. I am especially happy with the "new" kneelers he used. I put new in quotation marks because they are not new at all – but old ones that once were in our Church but have been stored in a garage since before I arrived in Phillipsburg! I'm glad that these pieces of parish history are back in service!

Over the next two Saturdays our parish will celebrate First Holy Communion. I always enjoy those Masses. Please pray for the children as they celebrate this milestone in their relationship with Jesus. My own First Holy Communion is – to this day – one of my fondest memories. I hope the same is true for these children.

Remember that our Parish Carnival is coming soon. It will run from Wednesday, May 2 through Sunday, May 6. The carnival is lots of fun, and I always look forward to seeing families have a good time at it!

Our carnival is also one of our more important fund raisers of the year. Tickets for the annual Carnival 50/50 Raffle have been sent to our families. If you can purchase them, that's great. It's a good way to support the parish – and I really appreciate it.

This weekend our parish welcomes Greg Zanetti – a seminarian of our diocese. Greg is studying for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary (Seton Hall). He will speak about his vocation to the priesthood – and ask us to pray for vocations.

Greg's visit is part of our celebration of Good Shepherd Sunday. The Fourth Sunday of Easter is called this because the Gospel at Mass comes from the section where Jesus speaks about Himself as the Good Shepherd – and about what it means to be a good shepherd. It is a good day to pray that God will raise up many fine young men to serve as good shepherds for His people.

Our parish has a long history of vocations. We are all looking forward to the ordination of Matt Marinelli and Joe Illes next month – even as we enjoy the weekend ministry of Fr. Pat Boyle, OFM, who, likewise, grew up in our parish. Add to these the many other men of our parish who currently serve as priests – and the parish daughters in religious life – and it is clear that people have long heard God's call in this community. May that always be the case – and may each of us do our best to help others hear and answer God's call. Please say a Hail Mary for me today – and be assured of my prayers for you.

Have a great week!

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