Happy Easter!

04-04-2021From Fr. Antony'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!

Easter is so important to us that we celebrate it not just for a day – but for a season of fifty days. The Easter Season is longer than Lent because the joy of the Resurrection is greater than penance of Lent. As part of our celebration of this joyful season, our Church will be decorated throughout the Easter Season. The new Paschal (Easter) Candle will stand near the pulpit, rising high into the air as symbol of Christ’s glorious Resurrection. The Gloria will be sung as a joyful hymn. May these beautiful ceremonies fill us with the joy that the first disciples felt when they saw the Risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday.

I don’t have to tell you how much we really need that joy today! The pandemic has weighed heavily upon us, affecting different people in different ways. Many people have lost loved ones, or know people who did. Others had their jobs affected. Still others suffered the emotional strain of separation from family and friends. Add to that the sad news that Christians are being persecuted in many places – and that violence and tragedy touches too many people right here in our own country.

But the Good News of Easter reminds us that Christ has ultimately triumphed over death and sin. United with Him, through Baptism and by living as He taught, we will triumph and rise with Him to Everlasting Life.

I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to everyone who did their best to make this a great Lent, in spite of the challenges. It was great to see so many people at Daily Mass and the Stations of the Cross. I was particularly happy to see a good number of people at the Novena to Saint Joseph, and to know that many more were following it on line or praying it privately at home. Seeing people use Lent as a time for spiritual growth was very rewarding for me, and I’m sure for them, too.

The Legion of Mary will host a special Acies Mass in our Church on Saturday, April 17th at 1 PM. Members of the Legion renew their commitment to our Blessed Mother at these Masses. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether you belong to the Legion of Mary or not. Indeed, anyone who is devoted to our Blessed Mother will undoubtedly enjoy this Mass.

After Mass on Easter, I will get together with my mother and some of our family at one of my sister’s homes. I know it sounds odd, but I had to write this before I knew the exact details for that day. Wherever it is, I know it will be good to be with some of the family.

With school closed the week after Easter, I’ll be away from the office a few days. But I’ll be back for next weekend’s Masses though and look forward to seeing you then

Happy Easter!
Fr. John