Preparing for Pentacost Sunday

06-02-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I had a very relaxing Memorial Day. After celebrating Holy Masses that morning, I enjoyed watching the parade. The rectory’s front porch is the perfect seat for the parade, and it is nice to see it so easily. After that, I had a quiet day at the rectory, which was really very nice.

I am happy to announce that our parish will sponsor a bus trip to the Priesthood Ordinations in St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral on Saturday, June 22nd. The bus will leave the school parking lot on Roseberry Street at 8 AM that day and be back by 1:30 PM. There is no charge, but you must register ahead of time so we can make sure everyone has a seat. Call the parish office (908-454-0112) to reserve a space.

Our parish is blessed to have two of her young men being ordained to the priesthood that day. My hope is that many of our people will make the trip to Metuchen for the Ordination Mass, which will begin at 10:30 AM. If you have ever attendeda priestly ordination, you will be in for a treat! It is a beautiful and inspiring Mass!

I am scheduled to make my annual priest retreat from Monday, June 17 to Friday, June 21. Every priest is required to make a five-day retreat every year – for spiritualrenewal and growth. As usual, I will return to St. Mary’s Seminary and will take time to pray at the tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who is buried nearby. I will be happy to pray for your intentions – just write them on a slip of paper, and give them to me next weekend. It’s always a privilege to bring your intentions on retreat with me and keep them in my prayers.

Remember that next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday – the 50th day after Easter. The day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Blessed Mother, Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season. It is a good day to remember that, in Confirmation, each of us was likewise strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that we could follow Christ and spread His Gospel in the world.

I’ve been in parishes where the pastor asked everyone to wear something red (the color worn by the priest on Pentecost) to the Church on Pentecost. While that can be fun – and isn’t a bad idea – there’s a lot more we can do to celebrate Pentecost. FORMED – (contact information can be found in both the bulletin and on the parish website) has some very good programs about the Holy Spirit. You could also read the section about the Holy Spirit from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you don’t have one, I always keep paperback copies of the Catechism in my office and would be happy to give you one. Finally, you could spend some time reading the story (Acts 2:1-11) and meditating upon it.

Whatever you do for Pentecost, please also remember that daily Hail Mary for me – and be assured of my prayers for you. May each of us – with the strength the Spirit provides – stay always faithful to our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Have great week!

Fr. John

P.S. Please take time to read the insert in this week’s bulletin about the Born Alive Act and to take action to ensure that babies born alive are protected and cared for!