Pentecost Sunday

05-31-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

On Memorial Day morning, I offered Mass in our chapel – assisted by our seminarian, Joseph – at 6:45 AM. As I read the list of names of those people buried in our parish this past year, I thought of many of you. Each name brought to mind family members and friends who – if it were possible – would have been at Mass praying for them that morning. Know that I included all of you – as well as our departed loved ones – in my Memorial Day Mass.

I was inspired to see the nice turnout for Communion in the Parking Lot last Sunday. It went well enough that we will continue to do this for at least the immediate future. People were reverent and thankful. The looks on so many faces as people received our Blessed Lord for the first time in months spoke volumes about their faith in His Real Presence in Holy Communion.

The Knights of Columbus and Columbiettes who helped out deserve a great deal of thanks for making everything go so smoothly. So does the Phillipsburg Police Department, that was very helpful in getting this set up and run so well. Communion in the Parking Lot was truly the product of many people working together – each doing their part for our Lord and each other. Isn’t that exactly what Church is all about?

As the news starts blasting us with reports about reopening of Churches and other things, I’d ask you to please watch the parish website for details about things in our parish. Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty about how and when things will happen. I do know that, whenever we ‘get back’ to Church, it will be with a number of important restrictions and policies designed to protect everyone’s health and well - being. As I learn exactly what these policies will be, they will be posted on our website. Please pay close attention!

We have reached the point where we can have Adoration in the Church from 2 – 4 PM daily. The Church itself remains open for private prayer each day from 7 AM until 6 PM. Please remember to maintain social distancing (6 feet away from people other than your own family), and to wear a mask. There is now a hand sanitizer dispenser in the narthex of the Church – near the Holy Water tank. Please use it!

Please also use common sense – and prudence! People in high risk groups should probably not come out to things like Adoration or Parking Lot Communion just yet. Also, we will all need a lot of patience with practices and policies that we must observe as we get back to Church. Remember that prudence and patience are of the Holy Spirit – effects of His gifts to us. Just as His gift of fortitude helps us be strong in faith – and piety fills us with love for God – the gift of counsel helps us make prudent decisions in difficult circumstances.

Speaking of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, today is Pentecost Sunday. It is the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Blessed Mother – strengthening them for the mission entrusted to them by Jesus. We, too, were strengthened by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, and can draw on His gifts to give us strength, make us patient, and help us make intelligent choices in these challenging times.

Why not celebrate Pentecost by praying for an increase of the Holy Spirit’s gifts in your life. Or by watching a program about the Holy Spirit on FORMED (you can log into it thru the parish website)?

Please say a Hail Mary for me today – and every day. I am praying for all of you daily.

Have a great week!

Fr. John

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