It is a Good and Holy Thing to Pray for the Dead

10-21-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I had a nice time at last Sunday's Roast Beef Dinner at our parish school. The Knights, Columbiettes, and all their helpers are to be commended for a job well done. I had both lunch and dinner there – and enjoyed both meals! Even better was the time spent with so many good people that day.

As I was looking ahead in my envelope packet, I noticed that it's time to complete our All Souls Envelopes. That being the case, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time explaining why we do that.

St. Monica was a woman of great faith who lived in the 300's. During her final illness, her sons asked if she wanted them to send her body back to her native land for burial. Her answer to them was classic: "Bury this old body anywhere. Don't trouble yourself over it. I simply ask you to remember me at the Lord's Altar wherever you are."

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Matrimony: A Sign of God's Love

10-14-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I had a great time at my seminary reunion a couple of weeks ago. Not only was it nice to see old friends, it was even nicer to be at the place where my priestly vocation matured in so many ways. I made a point of praying for all of you both at the Tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the National Grotto of Lourdes (a beautiful place of prayer on the mountain behind the seminary). To those of you who gave me special intentions – please know that I made a point of reading each one and mentioning it in my prayers.

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St. Francis and Respect for Every Human Person

10-07-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

The Blessing of Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi will take place today (Sunday) at 12:15 PM. Everyone is welcome to bring their pets (or other animals) to the parking lot next to Mercy Hall for the blessing. As Catholics, we ask God's blessing upon our animals as a way of thanking Him for them, acknowledging the special role they play in creation, and asking Him to protect them. I always enjoy seeing people and their pets at this brief ceremony.

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Blessing of Animals

09-30-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This Tuesday morning, October 2, I will head to the seminary for my annual reunion. In addition to reconnecting with many brother priests with whom I studied years ago, I will also concelebrate a number of Holy Masses. I will keep all of you in prayer during each of them.

I will also visit the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who is buried in Emmitsburg, MD – the same town in which my seminary is located. As usual, I will be happy to pray for your intentions while there. If you wish, you can write down your intentions on a piece of paper and give it to me by Monday afternoon or first thing Tuesday morning. I always bring these papers to Mother Seton's tomb and mention each one of them in my prayers there.

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The Campaign Continues!

09-23-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by thanking all the 8th graders (and their parents) who attended one of the Confirmation meetings last week. It looks like we will have a wonderful group of young men and women preparing to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in that sacrament this year. Please keep them in your daily prayers!

If you are an 8th grader (Public or Catholic School or Home School) and did not attend one of the meetings, please call me or Mrs. DePillo (our Confirmation Coordinator) as soon as possible so we can help you get started! High school students who – for whatever reason – have not yet been Confirmed should also call. We will be happy to help you take this important step in your relationship with Jesus!

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Our Personal Pentecost

09-16-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was nice to see so many people at the Communion Breakfast last Sunday morning. While the weather was lousy, a good number of people showed up for breakfast and fellowship. The Knights of Columbus – who did most of the cooking and donated the food – the Columbiettes, and the Legion of Mary all deserve thanks for their efforts.

Although I've been here for almost 10 years, I still meet new families at events like the Communion Breakfast. Sometimes they are new to our parish. Sometimes they are familiar faces that I see all the time, but never had a chance to speak with personally. Getting better acquainted with more and more of the wonderful people in our parish is one of my favorite parts of such events.

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A Busy Time of Year

09-09-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend and is ready to get back into the swing of things! Our parish – which is always busy in some way or another – really seems to get busy this time of year. The beginning of school and CCD is a big reason for this, but there is much more happening.

This Sunday morning is our annual Parish Communion Breakfast, following the 9 AM Mass. If you are reading this before then and would like to attend, you are most welcome to do so. The Knights of Columbus always have enough food to go around – and then some! More than that, it will be good to see you there.

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Do You Also Want to Leave?

09-02-2018From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It's nice to be back from my vacation, on which I had a very nice time. As you can imagine, I watched a lot of trains, took some great pictures, and listened to some good books in the car. One, called The Yanks Are Coming, was about American involvement in World War I. The other was about Attila the Hun. (What can I tell you – I like history!)

I also had the pleasure of attending three Appalachian League baseball games. Being a Rookie League, the teams in the Appalachian League are populated by very young ball players. Indeed, there were several players as young as 17 on the field – and the oldest player I saw was 21. They had an energy and enthusiasm that was truly tangible.

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