Happy Independence Day!

07-04-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing everyone a very happy Independence Day. While most people call it the Fourth of July, I prefer Independence Day because it reminds us of the holiday’s connection to the founding of our nation. Recalling and celebrating our nation’s beginning rightly leads us to give thanks for the many things we have accomplished as a nation over the years.

At the same time, it is good for us to remember how much room we have for improvement. The continued existence of abortion on demand in our country reminds us that we still fall short of realizing the ‘inalienable right to life’ promised by the Declaration of Independence. Incidents of discrimination and prejudice, sometimes truly shocking incidents perpetrated by people who truly should know better, remind us that we still have a way to go to realize the Declaration’s assertion that ‘all men are created equal.’

I might add that the continual removal of any reference to God in public life runs completely contrary to the Declaration’s statement that people are ‘endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’ I say this not to deny true religious freedom, which is one of our nation’s great gifts to the world, but to remind us that we cannot live our lives in denial of the reality of God and the natural law He has created and imposed on the universe.

As Christians, especially Catholic Christians, we have a great deal to offer our country at this particular moment in time. Our belief in the dignity of all human life – from conception until natural death – should be evident to all. It should move us to speak up for the defenseless unborn and to treat people from every race and culture with respect and compassion. It should also remind us that we can, and sometimes must, keep God in mind as we face the challenges confronting our nation and world.

It was wonderful to have Father Timothy Eck celebrate the 11 AM Mass last Sunday. Many of you remember him from the summer (2019) that he spent here as a seminarian. Having him celebrate one of his first Masses as a priest with us is truly a blessing for our parish. Please keep him in your prayers as he begins his priestly ministry.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of celebrating a special Mass for the Boy and Girl Scouts of who earned Catholic religious medals. Several boys from our parish troop, Ethan and Kiernan Lopez, Vincent Lamberti, Michael Reilly, Logan Shoudt, Zachary Sumner, Connor Sumner, and Michael Iorio all received the Pope Pius XII medal. This medal is so challenging to earn that, in all my years of

working with Catholic Scouts, I have only seen a handful of scouts earn it.

Also receiving an award that evening was Allison Frasca – a member of our parish who has been involved in scouting for many years. She was instrumental in mentoring the scouts as they worked to earn the Pope Pius XII Award. Allison was nominated for and received the Bronze Pelican Award – a recognition given to adults who go over and above in their work for scouts.

As usual, please say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day! Let’s also pray for the sick, and those suffering the effects of the terrible droughts out west. Finally, let’s pray for peace.

Have a great week!
Fr. John