Memorial Day

05-30-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to start by wishing everyone, especially the veterans of our parish, a very Happy Memorial Day! We owe the freedom we enjoy, and often take for granted, to those who sacrificed so much to defend it over the years. On Memorial Day, take a moment to say a prayer for those who died defending our country, and to thank the veterans you know.

Holy Mass will be offered in our Church on Memorial Day at 6:45am and 8:00am. The 8:00am Mass will be offered for all those buried in our parish cemetery. Those who were buried there since last Memorial Day will be mentioned by name in the intentions of that Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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What Have You Done to Spread the Gospel Lately?

05-23-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

What have you done to spread the Gospel lately? That’s a good question to ask yourself on this Pentecost Sunday.

On Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help the disciples spread the Gospel to many peoples and places. In Baptism, and especially Confirmation, Jesus sent that same Holy Spirit to help us spread the Gospel in the world today. Many of you did this by teaching your children about the Faith and sending them to Catholic School or CCD classes. Many also do it by supporting the missions. Still others do it on a personal, one to one basis, sharing their faith with others in conversations and other ways.

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Talking to Family and Friends about Interest in the Priesthood

05-18-2021Vocations

Maybe you’re considering the priesthood and you feel peaceful about following God’s call and applying for seminary. But what about your family and friends? What if they don’t understand? What if they reject your choice, or - even worse - you?

It’s true that breaking the news can sometimes be difficult. When surveyed, over half of the priests ordained in 2010 reported some degree of parental opposition when they first voiced an interest in priesthood.

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The Holy Spirit

05-16-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I hope that all the mothers and grandmothers of our parish had a lovely Mother’s Day last Sunday. It was nice to be able to visit my mom that day. My sister Natalie and brother-in-law Phil were also there, and it was a very nice time. My sister made a delicious dinner that we enjoyed together, along with each other’s company.

Remember that next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day after Easter. The day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Blessed Mother, Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season. It is a good day to remember that, in Confirmation, each of us was likewise strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that we could follow Christ and spread His Gospel in the world.

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Mothers, Saint Philip and Saint James

05-09-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers in our parish! Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and other good works that too often go unnoticed.

Indeed, it is often said that motherhood is the most underappreciated vocation in the world, and I can see why people say this. We love our moms and know we owe them the world, but often take them for granted. Moms – perhaps more than anyone else in our world – tend to ‘fly under the radar.’

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The Month of Mary

05-02-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

May is of course the Month of Mary. With that in mind, try to do some little things to honor Mary this month. If you don’t already pray the Rosary daily, this would be a good time to start. If you can’t pray a whole Rosary, why not pray at least a decade of it a day? It is a powerful prayer, one of my favorites, and is recommended by countless saints.

As a parish, we will honor Mary by setting up a special statue of her near the side Altar. It will be left in place throughout the month of May. My hope is that it will inspire us to think of Mary’s good example and strive to follow it in our lives.

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The Very Heart of Being Catholic

04-25-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

We have reached that time of year when many sacraments will be celebrated in our Church. Approximately 45 children, mostly second graders, will receive their First Holy Communion this and next weekend. In May, a similar number of young people, mostly 8th graders, will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on various Friday evenings.

This being the case, I thought this might be a good time to talk about sacraments, and why they are so important to us as Catholics. When I was in the seminary, Monsignor Carroll Satterfield, of blessed memory, taught us several semesters’ worth of classes on the sacraments. I remember him stressing, over and over, that having a sacramental relationship with Christ is at the very heart of being Catholic.

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Lots of Good News

04-18-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

It’s always nice to have some good news to report, and we have lots of it this week. Our second-grade school and CCD students will be receiving their First Holy Communion over the next couple of weekends. First Communion is always an uplifting celebration, perhaps my favorite of the whole year.

Please pray for the children and their families. May the children’s reception of Jesus in Holy Communion be for them and their families a powerful inspiration to stay close to Jesus throughout their lives.

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Discerning the Priesthood: Why Celibacy for Priests?

04-14-2021Vocations

St. Joseph is a model of chastity for those who seek to bring Jesus to others by living a celibate life.

You might think that the issue of priestly celibacy is a “newer” matter in the Church. After all, the Roman Church has continually reiterated the law of priestly celibacy for most, if not all, of her history. So it seems that celibacy must have been pretty well accepted by the Church and the clergy, right?

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My Favorite Part of Holy Week!

04-11-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

It was wonderful to have so many people at the Liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. Although the number of people is a far cry from what we’ve been used to, when people literally crowded into the Church, it was a lot better than last year, when you could only watch online. Thanks to all who took part in the Liturgies, and all who watched and prayed with us from home. I hope these celebrations were as much a source of grace and comfort to you as they were to me.

I suspect we all have our favorite parts of the Holy Week and Easter celebrations. One of my favorite parts of Holy Week is watching people venerate the Cross on Good Friday. It was so nice to be able to do that again this year, if only by bowing our heads and not actually kissing it as is our custom.

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Happy Easter!

04-04-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John 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.

Just being able to celebrate Easter Mass with at least some of you in Church is perhaps the best Easter gift I could get. It sure beats the chocolate rabbit I get from the Easter bunny!

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