Our Journey to Jesus

07-21-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

Ever since I was a child, I always associated summer with the outdoors. It always seemed like, once the weather got warmer, my family and friends did more outdoor things. I particularly remember things like swimming, picnics and going for long walks in the woods near my home as outdoor things I enjoyed doing with my friends.

As Catholics, we have a tradition of religious ‘long walks’ called pilgrimages. From the time the Church began, Christian people would make pilgrimages, journeying to see and pray at the places where Jesus was born, preached and performed miracles, died, and rose from the dead. They did this in imitation of the Holy Family who used to make pilgrimages of their own, such as journeying to the Temple of Jerusalem to celebrate Holy Days. More than just a holy road trip, a pilgrimage reminds us that our whole life on earth is a journey towards Heaven.

On Saturday, September 21st, our diocese will hold a walking pilgrimage as part of the Year of Spiritual Awakening in preparation for our consecration to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will travel 9 miles – the distance St. Juan Diego walked to the Bishop’s house from the place where Our Blessed Mother appeared to him. Along the way will be time for prayer, Confessions, and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

There will be an insert in next week’s bulletin with more details about the pilgrimage. For now, mark the date, and think about participating in this holy event. I would especially encourage families to see this as an opportunity to teach their older children about this beautiful and ancient Catholic tradition.

As we journey through this world to Heaven, we stand always in need of guidance. Just as Christians have long gone on pilgrimages, so have they looked to the Holy Bible – the Word of God – for guidance on the journey of life. A good way to do this would be to attend the Bible Study in Mercy Hall each Wednesday evening at 7pm. Our summer seminarian, Tim Eck, will be offering reflections on God’s Word every Wednesday between now and August 25th . I hope many of you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

I would like to remind everyone that, if you or a family member is hospitalized and would like to see a priest, please call the parish office. In the old days, the hospital would give us lists of Catholic patients to visit. This is no longer done by our local hospital for a number of reasons, not the least of which is contemporary privacy laws. That’s why it’s important to call us when you or a loved one is in the hospital. We don’t want to miss anybody.

As usual, please say a Hail Mary for me today and every day. I keep you in all my daily prayers, especially my Masses and Rosaries. Let’s also pray for the sick and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John