My First Memories of Missionaries

07-26-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

Last week I told that our parish would participate in the Annual Mission Co–op Appeal the weekend of August 1–2 (next weekend). Today I want to share a story about how I learned about the missions when I was just a boy.

My first memory of missionaries is of a man I never met, but with whom my father corresponded for many years. His name was Fr. Michael Reen and he was a missionary serving in Kenya. If memory serves me well, he was a priest from the New York area serving in the missions. When my dad was in the seventh grade, his religion teacher–a Dominican Sister –had him write a letter to a missionary as an assignment. When Fr. Reen answered the letter, my future dad wrote back. Thus, began a correspondence that lasted for many years.

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We are all missionaries!

07-19-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I am happy to announce that our parish will participate in the annual Mission Co–op Appeal the weekend of August 1–2. Fr. John Tigatiga, SDS will visit our parish and preach at all of our Masses that weekend. He is a Salvatorian Father.

The Salvatorian Fathers were founded by Fr. Francis Jordan in the late 1800’s. He was a German priest who was concerned about the effects of the Kulturkampf that was occurring in Germany at that time. The Kulturkampf – as some of you history buffs out there may know – was an attempt by the German chancellor at the time, Bismark, to secularize Germany. This led to harsh restrictions being placed on Churches and their ministries and pastoral activities.

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Slowly getting back to normal!

07-12-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing my mother and having brunch with her. We were at my sister and brother in law’s home, where my niece was visiting. It was only the second time I saw my mom since the ‘stay at home’ orders were issued due to the coronavirus.

It was nice to see some family – even if it was just a couple of us. I’m sure many of you are having similar experiences as things begin getting back to normal, however slowly.

As we get back to normal at Church, I want to take a moment to really thank those who have been helping make this happen. The ushers who are helping people find their reserved seats and those who clean up after each Mass are offering our parish a truly indispensable service at this time. So are all of you who call ahead to reserve a spot at Mass. I know this is a nuisance for some of you, but it’s helping us ensure everyone’s safety. For this, I thank you!

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St. Peter and St. Paul: Great examples for us!

07-05-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I wrote these words this past Monday-which was the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. As I wrote I could not help thinking of how these two great apostles are great examples for you and me. Although they lived long ago both St. Peter and St. Paul have a lot to teach us about following Jesus today.

Jesus gave both St. Peter and St. Paul a great mission in this world. As Catholics we believe that St. Peter was the first pope. Although Peter would not have used that term, the fact that Jesus made him the leader of the Church on earth is obvious from even a casual reading of the New Testament.

Peter is mentioned 191 times in the Bible-more than three times as much as any other apostle. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, Peter took the lead in many different ways. He proposed and led the process of picking a new apostle to replace Judas Iscariot, he preached the homily after the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost explaining why the crowd heard all of the apostles in their own languages. In the first disputes that arose in the early Church, Peter took the lead gathering the others, leading the discussion, and speaking for the Church once a decision was made.

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