The Joy of Easter

04-24-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was so nice to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with all of you here at St. Philip and St. James. The presence of so many people at all of the Masses was inspiring and uplifting. Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating this holy time of year.


The Joy of Easter

04-18-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing each and every one of you a blessed and happy Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus stands at the very heart of everything we believe as Catholics. It is my favorite day of the year, and I am always happy to celebrate it with you.


Palm Sunday

04-10-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

For some reason, I’ve always loved Palm Sunday. It was easy for me, even as a little kid, to see that Mass was a bit different that day. The blessing of palm, the longer Gospel, and the crowds of people at Mass all told me that there was something special about Palm Sunday. Indeed, there is something very special about Palm Sunday.


A Good Finish To Lent

04-03-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s hard to believe, but next Sunday is already Palm Sunday. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all of the Masses. Please take some Blessed Palm, and treat it with respect since it is a Sacramental we use to praise God, be reminded of His presence, and disposed to cooperate with His grace.


Laetare Sunday

03-27-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is often called Laetare Sunday. Laetare comes from the Latin words that mean rejoice. The priest often wears rose colored vestments on this Sunday, rather the usual Lenten violet, reminding us to rejoice in the Lord.

Lent is a penitential season and there is so much sorrow in the world that can make it hard to be joyful. But Laetare Sunday reminds us that Christians always have reason for a certain holy joy. We can be joyful that God loves us and sent Jesus to save us. We can rejoice that He hears our prayers and allows us to offer our sufferings to Him, as our share in the Cross of Christ, to help us on our way to Heaven.


St. Joseph and Lent

03-20-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

March 19th is the Solemn Feast of Saint Joseph. I think it’s great that we honor St. Joseph during Lent, because he is an example to us of what Lent is all about. When the Gospel first introduces us to Saint Joseph, it tells us that he is a ‘just man.’ In the Bible, a ‘just man’ is someone who is right with God and other people.

Saint Joseph was certainly right with God, so right that God chose him to be Jesus’ foster father. His willingness to take Mary into his home, and to raise her Son as his own, tells us that Joseph was right with the people around him.


Off To A Good Start!

03-13-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s good to see Lent get off to a good start in our parish. Seeing so many people in Church on Ash Wednesday really lifted my spirits. I pray that we all make a great Lent, so that we can celebrate Easter with our hearts renewed and our souls filled with God’s grace.

Speaking of souls filled with grace, we will have our Lenten Penance Service this Monday, March 14, at 7 PM in Church. About 10 priests will be there to hear Confessions. This will be a good time to make your Lenten Confession, and be sure that your soul is free from sin and filled with God’s grace for Easter.


Catholic Spring Training

03-06-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. I always associate Lent with baseball’s Spring Training. Both happen at about the same time, and both have a similar purpose.
Ballplayers use Spring Training to get in shape for the upcoming baseball season. Catholics use Lent to get in shape spiritually.

As I write these words, I don’t know if baseball will even have a Spring Training this year. But, as Catholics, we need to get in spiritual shape just the same. Indeed, Lent is our yearly reminder to not be complacent about our relationship with Jesus.


Lent 2022

02-27-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent. Masses will be offered in our Church that day at 6:45am and 8:00am and at 12:10pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm. Ashes will be blessed and distributed at all those Masses.

There are several ways of looking at Lent. Some people see it simply as a time of penance. We give up treats we like to show that we are sorry for our sins and want to do better in the future. This is a good way of looking at Lent.

Other people look at Lent as a time to do something extra for God. They go to Daily Mass or practice extra charity as a way of going the extra mile for God during this holy season. This is also a good way of looking at Lent.


How to Prepare for the Synod Listening Session

02-20-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Thursday, about 60 eighth grade members of our parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation. I want to thank them for being faithful to the process by which they prepared for Confirmation, which included classes, a retreat, and reflecting on the homilies they heard at Holy Mass. Please keep them in your prayers and that they strive to live by the Spirit Who strengthened them in this sacrament.

This coming Friday, February 25, our parish will host a Listening Session for the Synod called by Pope Francis. I devoted my column in the January 22 – 23 bulletin to explain what the Synod is. In short, Pope Francis’ hope is that it will be a time for Catholics around the world to prayerfully think about the Church, her mission in the world, and the part each of us plays in that mission.


Rest in Peace, Monsignor Michael Corona

02-13-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

By the time you read these words, we will have buried Monsignor Corona, who served our parish for 30 years, and was a priest for 54 years! May God reward him for answering the call to the priesthood so generously.

I first got to know Monsignor Corona nearly 35 years ago, when I was a newly ordained priest. As many of you know, my first assignment was in our neighboring parish, St. Mary’s in Alpha. Monsignor, then Father Corona, was always good to me. I remember several occasions on which he invited me to join him and the other priests of this parish for dinner. He always made me welcome, whether at Confirmation or the carnival.


Blessing to our Parish

02-06-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by congratulating Michael Juliano, a member of our parish who received the St. Timothy Award from our Bishop last week. Most of you would know Michael if you saw him, for he is a very faithful acolyte who serves many Masses. The Saint Timothy Award is given to young men and women around the diocese who take initiative to live and share their Catholic Faith.

Our parish has been blessed to have several of our parishioners win this award over the past few years. This is a testimony to the families of our parish who first shared their faith with these fine young men and women. Such great families are one of our parish’s greatest blessings.