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A Different Kind of King

11-25-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Bulletin deadlines caused me to have to write these words before Thanksgiving – so I cannot yet tell you about mine. I certainly hope that your own was great! I do want to say a special thank you to all those who supported the Thanksgiving Food for the Needy Drive that provided hundreds of dinners for poor families. Whether you donated food, wrote a check, spent time packing, or helped out in some other way – thanks for celebrating this Thanksgiving with a spirit of charity and compassion!

Today, Catholics around the world are celebrating the Solemn Feast of Jesus Christ, the King. It is a day to consider the place that Jesus has in our lives. While we often think of Jesus as our Savior and Lord, today's feast reminds us that He is also our King. The Bible calls Jesus the "King of Kings". This means that everyone, including the "kings" of this world, are ultimately accountable to Him. As we say in the Creed – Sunday after Sunday – "His Kingdom will have no end."

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Solemnity

11-18-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last week the Church observed the Feast of St. Leo the Great – who was pope between 440 and 461 AD. While he lived a long time ago, his influence on the Church continues right down to our own day. Indeed, he was called "the Great" because of the influence of his homilies and writings, especially about the true nature of Christ.

The Mass is one area where Pope St. Leo's influence touches us quite regularly. He did a number of things to promote the use of good music at Mass, and decreed the singing of the Gloria – which until then was only used at Christmas – at all Sunday Masses except during Advent and Lent. Pope St. Leo did these things to ensure a degree of solemnity at Mass.

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Happy Veteran's Day

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

I'd like to start my words today by wishing a very Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans of our parish. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude and appreciate the sacrifices you made for our nation. I assure you of my prayers today and each and every day. In our troubled world, I find that I appreciate our veterans more and more. Perhaps you do, too. My experience with veterans over the years is that they tend to be level-headed and ready to help at a moment's notice. I see this in many of the veterans I know in our own parish. For this also I want to thank these fine men and women.

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"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

11-04-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt 4:19). Whenever I hear those words, it takes me back to the days when I realized God was calling me to the priesthood. I was only a boy – maybe 8 years old – the first time the idea came to me. When I told other people – I think they mostly thought it was a cute idea that would fade over time. To be honest, as time went on, other ideas came to my head. But the priesthood was the only one that kept coming back. By age 14, I was convinced that was what God wanted me to do. Looking back, I can say that God was very persistent.

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week. It's a time to make a special effort to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It's also a time to think about what we can do to encourage young people to think about whether God might be calling them – and to say yes if He is!

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