Back to School

08-25-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

It was really good to see so many people at Mass for the Holy Day last week. It was a real testimony to your love of our Blessed Mother and faith in her Son, Jesus. I really enjoyed the Masses I celebrated on the Assumption with each and every person who took the time to be there.

It was also good to see the wonderful response to the Sneakers for Small Souls program. I just walked into Mercy Hall and saw several tables full of sneakers, socks, crayon and other school supplies. These will be distributed to children who need them as the new school year begins. Thanks to everyone who took part – and to those who organized this wonderful event. It is a great act of charity.

Believe it or not, this will be the last weekend that Tim Eck, our summer seminarian, will be with us. He will take a little time to visit his family before returning to Rome the beginning of September. Please keep him in your prayers as he does so.

While I'm sad to see him leave, I'm happy that he is drawing ever closer to the sacred priesthood. Time was a big help to me this summer. I am especially grateful to him for leading and giving reflections at the Novena on Monday nights and teaching a Bible Study on Wednesdays. Many people told me that they learned a lot from him – which is great!

Of course, Tim's departure coincides with the whole Back to School business here. Our parish school begins classes this year on Wednesday – around the same time as most of our local public schools. Let's pray that all our students and teachers have a year filled with both academic, personal, and spiritual growth.

This Monday, August 26th the teachers from our Parish School will attend the 8AM Daily Mass and to receive a special blessing in our Church. If you are able to do so, why not join them? It would be especially nice if some of our school parents – and students – could be at the Mass that morning to pray for and with the teachers as they get ready to start the new school year.

Next weekend our parish will be visited by our friends from the Holy Land, with the beautiful olive wood statues, rosaries, and religious articles they always bring. The sale of these things is an important way that we can support the Christian population of the Holy Land – which is facing tremendous challenges and great suffering these days. Churches are burned and looted, discrimination in getting jobs or houses, and even martyrdom are just a few sufferings faced by Christians who live in the places where Jesus lived, taught, died, and rose from the dead. Let's do what we can to help them.

As always, I close by asking you to pray at least one Hail Mary for me each day. Pray also that God will raise up many wonderful priests from our parish. Let's also be sure to pray for the Christians in the Holy Land, the teachers and students who are returning to school and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John