My Favorite Part of Holy Week!

04-11-2021From Fr. Antony'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.

From the priest’s chair, I watched as so many different people came forward to venerate the Cross. Young and old, people of different races, cultures, and backgrounds. In short, it was like watching a microcosm of the Catholic Church.

Watching all these different people, who are so much a part of our parish, was truly inspiring to me. I especially enjoyed watching so many parents, grandparents, and even big brothers and sisters bringing little ones up to the Cross, and showing them how to venerate it. This is how we pass on our Faith, and I’m glad that so many of you do so!

We welcomed three people into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Mass. Shannon Gunn and Gabryal Bennett were Baptized, and John Hardcastle, who had been Baptized in a Protestant Church, was received into the Catholic Church. All three were also Confirmed and shared Holy Communion with us for the first time that night. They had participated in the RCIA process this past year, and we want to welcome them into our family of faith.

After the Easter Masses I went to the homes of both of my sisters! My first stop was the home of my sister Natalie and brother-in-law Phil. I had some appetizers with them and their daughters, Catherine and Veronica. Then I went to my sister Christine’s home near the shore, and had dinner with her family and in-laws. While it was a bit crazy, it was good to be able to see all of my nieces and nephews, my mom, both of my sisters and brothers-in-law on Easter Sunday!

Next Sat, Apr 17, the Legion of Mary will celebrate an Acies Mass at our Church at 1:00pm. They will renew their commitment to our Blessed Mother and her legion during that Mass. Everyone is invited to attend, whether or not you are part of the Legion of Mary. Indeed, anyone who loves our Blessed Mother will likely gain spiritual profit from attending the Acies Mass.

Please say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. I always keep you in my prayers. The help God grants in answer to our prayers helps us truly become the people He wants us to be.

Have a great week!
Fr. John