Back to Church!

03-07-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

It is so good to be back in Church for Mass this weekend. While celebrating Mass in Mercy Hall worked out well enough, it is good to be back in Church. As I said last week, there are some finishing touches that still need to be completed, but it’s good to see a job well done.

Since we are now able to celebrate Holy Mass with the Church at 50% capacity, which means about 325 people, it is no longer necessary to call ahead and reserve a spot. The one exception to this will be Holy Thursday (7 PM), Good Friday (3 PM), Holy Saturday Easter Vigil (7 PM), and Easter Sunday (7, 9, 11, AM in English and 1 PM) in Spanish). I would ask you to call ahead for those days, just to make sure we will have room for everyone who wishes to attend.

As Lent continues, we will begin celebrating the Scrutinies at the 11 AM Mass. The Scrutinies are a series of prayers for our catechumens, those adults who will be Baptized in our Church at this year’s Easter Vigil. They occur on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. Please pray for our catechumens, Gabrayal and Shannon, as they prepare for Holy Baptism.

Next Saturday, March 13, our second-grade parish school and CCD students will make their First Confession. This is a big step on their path to First Holy Communion, which they will celebrate this Spring. Please pray for them, that their First Penance will be a powerful experience of God’s love for them.

This week we will begin our Novena of Prayer leading up to the Feast of Saint Joseph. The first night of the novena will be Thursday, March 11. Fr. Gilbert will lead the novena prayers and offer a little homily that evening. The rest of the novena schedule is elsewhere in this bulletin.

The practice of praying a novena, or nine days of prayer for a specific purpose, began when Jesus commanded the disciples to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and prayed for the Spirit’s coming for nine days. On the tenth day, Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples–strengthening them of the mission Christ had given them.

Praying the Saint Joseph’s Novena is a good way to pray for your loved ones and their intentions. It is also a good way to honor the great man whom God chose to be foster– father to His Son. Finally, it can help and inspire us to follow Saint Joseph’s good example of faith in God, and love for Jesus and Mary.

My hope is that many of you will join us at the Novena, and that those who cannot will pray it at home. If you need a copy of the Novena Prayers, you can call the parish office and we’ll be happy to get them to you. I will also have them posted on our website for those who wish.

Please remember to include me in your novena prayers, and to add a Hail Mary for me each day. I am always grateful for the many prayers so many of you offer for me each day, and I assure you of my prayers for you.

Have a great week!
Fr. John