Recent News

07-22-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Our parish is blessed to welcome our bishop, Most Reverend James F. Checchio, who will celebrate our 11 AM Mass this Sunday. Since arriving in our diocese a few years ago, Bishop Checchio has made several visits to our parish. I want to thank him for taking time to be with us – and especially for celebrating Holy Mass in our Church.

This weekend our parish is also welcoming a new seminarian, David Keyes. Born and raised in rural Wisconsin, David felt called by God to serve in a more populated area. He was introduced to New Jersey by a priest who taught him
in seminary.

On his first evening in our parish, Fr. Leo and I had dinner with David. (Fr. Tom was on his spiritual retreat.) After that we took him for a ride around the parish – stopping, of course, for ice cream. He seems to be a wonderful candidate for the priesthood. Let’s all do our best to make him feel welcome here at St. Philip and St. James!

Please pray for some members of our parish Youth Group who are making a special retreat this weekend. Deacon Rob Fisher is with them, along with some of their other advisors. The retreat is sponsored by the Franciscan University of Steubenville and has been enjoyed by various members of our Youth Group over the past several years. I am always inspired to see our young people come home from this retreat with a deeper appreciation of and enthusiasm for their Faith.

Please also pray for our old friend, Fr. Mike Fragoso. His father, Dr. Miguel Fragoso, MD, died last week. By the time you read this, Fr. Michael will have celebrated his Funeral Mass (which I hope to have attended).

I sent Fr. Michael a Mass Card from our whole parish, with a note assuring him of our prayers. Indeed, we are truly blessed to be able have the Holy Mass offered for any of our loved ones who die. The Mass is the most powerful prayer we have – and we can be sure that offering it for our deceased loved ones helps them on their way to Heaven.

Anyone who wants to send a personal card or note to Fr. Michael is welcome to do so. His address is: St. James the Less Church, 36 Lincoln Avenue, Jamesburg, NJ, 08831. I’m sure hearing from us – and knowing of our prayers – will be a great comfort to him.

Please remember to pray for me – and our parish – each day. I ask each of you who is able to kindly pray at least one Hail Mary for me daily. Let’s also be sure to pray for the poor and all those affected by natural disasters, war, and senseless violence. Finally – be sure to say a prayer each day for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John