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Our Wonderful Young People!

02-24-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This is one of those times when I had to write my article earlier than I like, due to the President's Day holiday. I hope you had a good one!

By the time you read this, about 75 young men and women – mostly eighth graders – will have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Since I had to write this before the ceremony, I can't tell you much about it. But I can tell you how much I have enjoyed working with these candidates as they prepared for this great day.

I especially enjoyed giving their Confirmation Retreat, and seeing them grow in their understanding of what it means to be a witness for Jesus Christ. Teaching some make-up classes for those in CCD was a pleasure, as was teaching the 8th graders in our school each week. Reading what they admired about the saints whose names they chose for Confirmation was very inspiring – as many of the young people clearly put a lot of thought into their choices.

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"I came that they may have life, and have it fully."

02-17-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Our parish honored several religious sisters at last Sunday's 11 AM Mass. Their good work is a blessing to many people in our community. Sister Clare, SJH, teaches a "make up" class in our CCD program – where she gets children who did not receive First Communion at the usual time ready for that Blessed Sacrament. Sr. Ellen, SJH, and Sr. Megan, SJH, both teach religion in our parish school. Sr. Michaelita, RSM -- who once was principal of our parish elementary school, now runs the local Catholic Charities, and helps many local families by her work.

Students from our parish school and CCD program presented the sisters with flowers, as the assembly at Mass gave them a grateful ovation. It was especially inspiring to me to see so many of our people stop to say a word of thanks to the sisters after Mass that day.

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Things You Can Do for God -- and Yourself

02-10-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Monday I had the honor of celebrating a Funeral Mass for Sr. Helen Rado, MPF, who passed away after 77 years of religious life. She had been the Religious Education Director in my previous parish, and was a wonderful example of a person who did an awful lot for God in her life. While her 77 years as a religious sister are her most obvious gift to God, Sr. Helen never rested on that. She was a teacher, principal, Director of Religious Education, RCIA Director, and parish visitor of the sick who also made a life-long effort to grow in prayer and good works every day of her life.

Her service to God over the years made me think of the ways that we can serve God. All of us are called to serve God by living our faith and growing in holiness each day. Like Sr. Helen, we do this by making the effort to grow in prayer and good works each day. But we also do it by finding things we can do for God.

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Parish Mish-Mash

02-03-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

My column in this week's bulletin is going to consist of a mish-mash of news about things that are happening in our parish. Today (Sunday), is ordinarily the Feast of St. Blaise – a bishop who lived in Armenia and was martyred for his faith. Because a boy – who was choking to death from something caught in his windpipe – was suddenly healed when Bishop Blaise blessed him, Catholics traditionally have their throats blessed on his Feast Day. This blessing of St. Blaise is an act of faith in God's power over illness, and a prayer for protection against illness and evil. Everyone is invited to remain after Mass today to have their throat blessed.

This Sunday is Boy Scout Sunday in our parish. For this reason, some of the Boy and Cub Scouts from our area will attend the 9 AM Mass together. A number of them will be recognized for earning their Catholic Religious Awards – and I want to offer each of them my sincere congratulations.

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