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A Great Easter!

04-28-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I had an absolutely wonderful Easter – and hope that you did, too. First and foremost, I was happy to celebrate Easter Mass with so many of you. The Easter Vigil and my Mass on Easter morning were the very heart of my Easter celebration. Concelebrating with Fr. Leo – who offered such a beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday – was another highlight of this Holy Week.

For many years, I have had a special place in my heart for the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion at 3 PM on Good Friday. This year – as always – I was deeply moved during that Liturgy. Watching so many people come forward to venerate the Cross was truly inspiring. I especially enjoyed watching so many parents, grandparents, and even big brothers and sisters showing little ones how to kiss the Cross. This is how we pass on our Faith – and I’m glad that so many of you do so!

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Joy We Really Need

04-21-2019From 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. It is my favorite day of the year, and I am always happy 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.

The Rite of Sprinkling with Holy Water will replace the Penitential Rite at most Sunday Masses during the Easter Season. This is to remind us that the New Life Christ gave us in Baptism has as its goal our Resurrection and Eternal Life in Heaven. Additionally, the Gloria will be sung as a joyful hymn. May these beautiful ceremonies fill us with the joy that the first disciples felt when they saw the Risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday.

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2019 Holy Week

04-14-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Saturday evening I had the real pleasure of attending the parish Faith and Service Dinner at Flynn's. This dinner is held annually to celebrate our school, its alumni, and people who have made significant contributions to our parish and school community. This year's honorees were Mrs. Jo-Ann Scott, our long-time Religious Education Director, and Frank Stettner, a lifelong member of our parish and graduate of our parish school. I was especially moved to hear both of them speak about the role their family, parish, and community plays in their lives. A special thank you is owed to everyone who made this event such a good time and a success.

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. 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 are a token of our appreciation of all that He did.

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Pope Francis on Confession

04-07-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was nice to see so many people take time to be with Jesus during last week's 24 Hours for the Lord. I made a holy hour between midnight and 1 AM – and counted about 15 other people who remained in the Church for that hour. Even more came in and out for brief visits with our precious Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Spending quiet time like that with Jesus is such a beautiful thing to do!

Believe it or not, next Sunday is Palm Sunday – which means that Lent is almost over! If you have not yet been to Confession this Lent, please do so this Saturday. Fr. Leo and I will be in the Confessionals this Saturday from 9:00-9:30 AM and 3:15 – 4:15 PM. If those times don't work, you can call one of us for an appointment.

Right now, I'd like to share some answers that Pope Francis gave to people who asked him questions about Confession.

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