May is the Month of Mary

05-19-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

By now you have all heard the sad news that our long-time secretary, Cathy Steigerwalt, died suddenly last weekend. She will most certainly be missed by our parishespecially by those who have worked closely with her over the years. I can honestly say that working with Cathy was a pleasure, and I will miss her immensely.

As per her family’s request, the Funeral Services will be private. However, we will have a Memorial Service for her in our Church this Monday, May 20th, at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and pray for Cathy. We will ask God to care for Cathy’s soul, give comfort to her family, and strengthen our faith in Jesus’ Good News about Heaven and Eternal Life. I hope many of you will be there.

After the service, everyone is invited to Mercy Hall for fellowship. I don’t know about you, but the most helpful things to me when someone dies are my faith and my family. The Memorial for Cathy on Monday will be a time to renew our faith and be together as a parish family.

As sad as Cathy’s passing was, there were some very wonderful events in our parish last weekend. We celebrated First Holy Communion for the second week in a row, and we were blessed to see so many beautiful, faith-filled children receive Jesus sacramentally for the first time. Their wonder and joy was so uplifting – reminding me of Jesus’ admonition that we should strive for a child-like faith!

At the 11 AM Mass last Sunday, we continued our celebration of the Month of Mary with a traditional May Crowning. Many of the First Communicants participated in it. Again, it was great to see the simplicity and joy of these children. I’m sure our Blessed Mother was well pleased!

Speaking of our Blessed Mother, we are celebrating the anniversary of the Blue Army Prayer Group in our parish at today’s 11 AM Mass. The Blue Army is a group of people with special dedication to our Blessed Mother and the message she brought to us at Fatima. Essentially, that message was a call for humanity to turn anew to God through prayer and penance. I am grateful to the Blue Army Prayer Group for taking her message to heart!

As usual, I ask you to pray a Hail Mary for me each day. We rely more than we know upon the graces God pours out to us in answer to each other’s’ prayers. Please also pray for our dear Cathy and her family. And, as always, let’s pray for a strong faith and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John