Treasuring and teaching the Word of God

01-26-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

This weekend we celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God for the first time. Pope Francis established this new feast day, which will henceforth be observed on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time each year, to remind us of the importance that God’s Word should have in our lives. Family and personal Bibles will be blessed at all the Masses this weekend, to remind us to make good use of them!

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “People whose Bibles are tattered usually have lives that aren’t!” The point is that people who read their Bibles often, and allow the Word they read to guide them, usually have lives that are well directed. Even when such people encounter the troubles and trials that are part of every human life, they find comfort and strength in reading the Word of God.

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The Dignity of Life

01-19-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

“No human being can ever be incompatible with life, not for his age, nor for his health conditions, nor for the quality of his existence.”

Pope Francis spoke those words not long ago. He was speaking of something that we, as Catholics, believe quite deeply – that every human being is sacred, created in the image and likeness of God, and has a God given right to life.

This Wednesday will be the 47th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, which effectively legalized abortion on demand in our country. The statistics since then are staggering with well over 53 million abortions since that time. While the number of annual abortions has actually declined in recent years for a number of reason, the lives of nearly a million unborn babies are ended this way in our country each year. Add to that the fact that so many other lives are shattered by violence, hunger, and neglect and it is clear that we have much work to do.

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Baptism of the Lord

01-12-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

This weekend we finally bring the Christmas Season to a close as we remember the Baptism of Jesus. While many of us remember when Epiphany marked the end of this season, the Church – since Vatican II – has extended her celebration of Christmas to today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Ending the Christmas Season with this celebration reminds us that the same Jesus, who was born as a Child in the manger, chose to be baptized and to make baptism one of His holy sacraments.

Last Saturday evening, many members of my family came to the 4:30 Mass at our Church. Afterward, they visited with me in the rectory. I’ve told you before that my family enjoys coming to Mass at our Church – and I thank each of you for making them feel welcome. Gathering with my family made me think of how, at our own Baptism, we became part of Christ’s family – the Church. This is yet another aspect of today’s Feast of the Baptism of our Lord.

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Epiphany

01-05-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I hope everyone’s Christmas was as nice as mine! It was wonderful to see so many people at Mass – especially on Christmas Eve. Celebrating the Solemn Mass at Midnight was the highlight of my Christmas – and I want to thank all those who filled the Church for it! I particularly want to thank the choir for lending a great deal of solemnity to that Mass. It was a fitting celebration of our Savior’s birth.

I also want to make a special mention of the Children’s Nativity Pageant that preceded the packed Mass at 4PM on Christmas Eve. They did a great job telling and acting out the story of Jesus’ birth! Thanks also to all those grown-ups who worked behind the scenes to make the pageant so nice!

After Mass on Christmas I went to my sister Christine’s home for dinner. My mother was there – as were some of my nieces and my nephew. We were joined by some of my sisters in - laws and family friends – all of which made for a great time. I hope you had fun with those close to you this Christmas!

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