Happy Mother's Day

05-10-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and special women of our parish. Everyone who reads my words in the bulletin knows how much my mother means to me. I’m sure that’s true for all of us. There is a place in our lives that only a mother can fill.

As Catholics, we believe that’s true not only for us as individuals, but as a Church as well. The Acts of the Apostles – the book of the Bible that tells us about the very first days and years of the Church after Jesus ascended to Heaven – makes a point of saying that, when the disciples gathered at prayer, “among them was Mary, the Mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). Mary’s presence was important to the Church from the beginning!

That said, this will indeed be an unusual Mother’s Day for many of us. Concerns about health – especially for those whose mothers are elderly – will preclude many people from being with their mothers this Mother’s Day. I’m sure everyone will find a way to speak to mom on the phone – or whatever works for your family. Let’s also take time this Mother’s Day to pray to our Blessed Mother asking her to intercede with her Divine Son for our dear mothers, living and deceased. While we’re at it, let’s ask her to strengthen our faith and lift our spirits until things get back to normal.

On the good news front, I’m happy to report that we reached the goal of $30,000 for our Easter collection this year. A very generous donor matched that amount by donating $30,000 to that collection – which is just wonderful. Please say a prayer for him today, if you will.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how helpful a gift like that is at this time. I want to thank not only the generous donor who matched the rest of the collection - but everyone who gave any amount at all. Every gift – large and small – helped us reach our goal. Thanks – and God bless you!

Some more good news – although not surprising to you and I – is something I read the other day. The Pew Center for Research – which does a lot of research about religious issues and topics in America – found that faith is helping people cope with the current pandemic. Eighty eight percent of those who go to Church regularly said that their faith is helping them stay positive and maintain their hope at this time. They even found that the more regularly people attended Church – the more their faith has helped them at this time!

Another interesting finding in the research is that among US Catholics, only 2% reported their faith weakening during the pandemic – while 27% said their faith has been strengthened. 63% said their faith was essentially unchanged. Again, the research found that the more regularly people attended Mass and prayed before the pandemic, the more likely they were to find their faith strengthened when the crisis hit.

This, of course, does not surprise us. We who practice our faith know that – like our mothers – Jesus Christ fills a place in our lives that no one else can. He gives us a kind of strength that we find no place else. He – especially by His Resurrection – gives us hope in the midst of every Cross that comes our way. For this, may we always be thankful.

Like always, please pray a Hail Mary for me today and every day. Pray also for our moms, for the sick, and for an end to this pandemic.

Have a great week!

Fr. John