Whenever I have to write a column before I leave for vacation, I have to think about what to write. Last week I addressed Pope Francis' recent statements about the Death Penalty. This week I'm going to talk about some upcoming Parish Events – because by the time I get home, many of them will be just around the corner!
On Sunday, September 9, our Parish will have a special Communion Breakfast to honor our Blessed Mother's Birthday. For those who may not know, Communion Breakfasts are an old Catholic tradition. The idea is to go to Mass, receive Holy Communion, and then gather for a special breakfast together.
Our tradition here at St. Philip and St. James is to encourage as many people as possible to come to the Communion Breakfast. Tickets are cheap - $1 each and no more than $5 for the whole family. In fact, the only reason we even do tickets for this event is to get a good idea of how many people are coming, so we can have enough food! You can get tickets at the Parish Office.
The Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes do most of the cooking and work for the breakfast. The Legion of Mary will have pamphlets and prayer cards about our Blessed Mother for those who would like them. I will say grace and offer a very brief talk (even shorter than usual). The whole idea is simply to get together for Mass and breakfast with our spiritual family. I hope you will come – and please bring the kids and grandkids!
With the coming of the new school year, Confirmation preparation will begin in earnest for our 8th grade parishioners. If you have an 8th grader who wants to be Confirmed this year, please attend one of the following Confirmation Meetings in Mercy Hall with him or her: Sunday, September 16 at 10 AM OR Wednesday, September 19 at 7 PM. I will answer questions and give you all the information you will need. If you can't make one of those meetings – call me as soon as possible!
On Saturday, September 22, there will be a special Fall Festival on the School Grounds on Roseberry Street. Watch the bulletin for more information. I hope that many of us will have a good time together that day.
As most of you know, our parish has a long history here in Phillipsburg. I want to make sure that we preserve and celebrate that history. To this end, I am hoping to establish a Parish History Committee. After discussing this with the Pastor's Advisory Council, I am asking anyone who might be interested in serving with this group to please let me know as soon as possible. I am hoping to get at least a few "history-minded" people involved. It won't be much work – but it will be truly worthwhile.
Speaking of history, our parish will celebrate its 160th birthday in 2019. While 160 is not what we usually call a significant anniversary (like 100 or 150) – I think it calls for a celebration of some kind. I'm thinking of something both religious and social – like a special Mass followed by something like a 160th Birthday Party. My hope would be to keep it simple and affordable – so that everyone who wants to attend can do so! If you'd like to work with me on this, give me a call.
Whatever you do – say a Hail Mary for me today and every day. I always pray for you.
Have a great week!