Summer Happenings

07-14-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to start by thanking everyone for their generous support of the Mission Co-op Collection last weekend. As usual, our parish responded generously to the call to "teach all nations" by supporting Franciscan Works in Liberia. Thanks again to one and all.

As I write these words, our historic pipe organ is being dismantled and carried from our Church. It will be transported to the workshop of the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company where it will be completely renovated and returned for service in a few months. Our music ministers will use a keyboard and other instruments in the meantime to support our singing and chanting.

The work on the pipe organ is another tribute to the generosity of our people. Your support of the ongoing Capital Campaign has already provided much improved lighting and electrical work in our Church, a new roof on our school gym, upgraded electricity in our rectory, and improvements to our school's heating and ventilation system. Before the summer is over, the steeple will have many repairs made to it, and the school's parking lot will be repaved. It inspires me to see how the people of our parish family take care of our spiritual home!

Before sitting down to write this column, I visited Camp Sts. Philip and James. The 'camp' is being run by the Sisters of Jesus, Our Hope, in lieu of our usual Vacation Bible School. Assisting them are a great number of parents and older brothers and sisters. It was so nice to see the younger children engaged in projects (today's centered on our Blessed Mother) that help them learn the Good News in fun ways. They will also participate in adoration (with Deacon Larry's help.) A special word of thanks is due to the sisters and all the other helpers!

It was really nice to see so many people at last week's 9 AM Mass and reception for Fr. Leo. He is a wonderful priest and a fine gentleman who will be missed by our whole parish. I will always be grateful for the many kindnesses he showed me personally during his all too short stay in our parish. Please join me in praying for him as he continues to serve our Lord. Remember that our summer seminarian, Tim Eck, will be leading a Bible Study in Mercy Hall for the next several Wednesday evenings (July 17-August 25). I hope many people will take advantage of this opportunity to learn about God's Word. My conversations with Tim have shown him to be a real student of God's Word whose insights are worth hearing.

Over the years, you have read many times about my visits to my mother's home. My visit this past Sunday was unique as I spent it helping her pack up my old room. She has decided to move into a one floor home not far from where she lives now. Aunt Andrea is doing the same thing.

Neither of them is in a situation where they have to make this move. In fact, I often say my mother is in better shape than me! But, they are both looking ahead, which is a good thing. Please say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day, if you can. I pray for you daily and greatly appreciate your prayers. Let's also pray for peace and a successful completion of all our parish projects!

Have a great week!
Fr. John