Pray for Our Seminarians

07-24-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

I wrote these words while I was watching the Yankees game on TV last Sunday. As I watched, it occurred to me that the Yankees won the World Series the year I arrived here. While they are having a really good year, I won’t make any World Series predictions for them, especially with the Mets also having a good year and even the Phillies in the mix for the playoffs. Indeed, if I predicted anything, and that team lost, someone would be convinced I ‘jinxed’ them!

It also occurred to me that sports has been used as an analogy for the Christian life since apostolic times. Saint Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, noted that athletes practice and work hard to win. In the same way, we should work hard at being good Christians and following Jesus closely. St. Paul tells us, we should work even harder since we are working “not for a crown that perishes, but one that is eternal.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Last Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of attending a gathering of the seminarians of the diocese with our bishop. The families of the seminarians had also been invited. I enjoyed talking with our seminarian, Randy, and some of his family. I also saw Luis, who was here last summer, and his parents. Dawid was also there, and sat with me and some other priests because his family is obviously in Poland.

Seeing these young men and their wonderful families gives me great hope for the Church. Our Lord continues to call faith filled and intelligent men to the priesthood. Please pray for them, as they answer His call.

Speaking of seminarians, I want to thank Randy Gamboa, the seminarian assigned to our parish this summer. It has been a pleasure getting to know him and working with him these past couple of months. I think he will make a great priest.

Tuesday, August 2nd, will be Randy’s last day here, at least for now. It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for him to return to the seminary. Randy is scheduled to be back during the Christmas and Easter breaks, to celebrate those glorious holy days with all of you. Please be sure to keep him in your prayers, and to wish him well.

Please also keep praying that Hail Mary for me each day. After the 9 AM Mass next Sunday, I hope that many of you can join Randy and I in Mercy Hall for refreshments and fellowship. It will be nice to spend time with you before we go.

Please also pray for the poor and the people whose lives are scarred by violence these days. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, bless our world, and each person in it with His peace.