God is Never Outdone in Generosity!’

07-25-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to thank everyone for their generosity to last week’s Mission Co–op Collection. As usually, the good people of our parish were welcoming and supportive of the missionary who visited us. Fr. Cesar wanted me to express his thanks to all of you, not only for your donations but, most especially for your prayers.

You can see the results of the mission elsewhere in this bulletin, where the weekly collection is listed. Your generosity is a testimony to your embrace of Jesus’ command to ‘teach all nations.’ Thanks!

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A Tradition of Support for the Missions!

07-18-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This weekend we welcome Fr. Caesar Santa Cruz to our parish. He is here to make the annual Mission Co–op Appeal. I know we will make him welcome.

As most of you know, the Mission Co–op Appeal happens every year in all the parishes in the United States. Missionaries, like Fr. Santa Cruz, visit and speak at all the Masses about the missions. A second collection is taken for the support of that mission.

Our parish has a long history of strong support for the missions. Several men and women from our parish have served as priests and sisters in the missions over the years. Moreover, the good people of our parish have been generous to the Mission Co–op Appeal and Mission Sunday collections over the years. Add to that all the prayers so many of you offer for the missions and it makes a great tradition of support for the mission in our parish.

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07-11-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

We all know that, before ascending to Heaven, Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples to spread the Gospel to all people. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, those disciples made a great start at this mission. Within a generation after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, the Gospel had been preached in most of the Roman Empire, and many people had been converted to Christ.

Today, our Church continues the mission that the apostles began in many ways. One of them is the annual Mission Co–op Plan. As part of this plan every parish in our country, and in many others too, is visited by a missionary who preaches about the missions at Sunday Mass. A second collection is then taken to support the work of that missionary and his or her community.

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Happy Independence Day!

07-04-2021From Fr. John'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.’

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New Priests and Missionaries

06-27-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Saturday I had the blessed occasion to attend the ordination of four new priests, and one deacon, for our diocese. It was held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (the Blue Army Shrine) in nearby Washington, New Jersey. The Mass was long, but beautiful.

Among those ordained to the priesthood was Fr. Timothy Eck. Many of you undoubtedly remember when, as a seminarian, he served the summer of 2019 in our parish. It was really a pleasure to see him ordained to the holy priesthood and to attend his First Holy Mass at St. Jude’s Church in Blairstown last Sunday afternoon.

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Happy Father's Day

06-20-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by offering a very Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and spiritual fathers in our parish.

Seeing so many Father’s Day envelopes come in, with the names of fathers both living and deceased on them, tells me that many of us both appreciate and want to pray for our fathers and grandfathers. We will keep those envelopes near the Altar throughout this month, and include the names on them in all the Masses that are offered. Let’s also be sure to keep our fathers and grandfathers, and all those men who have been a blessing to us, in our personal prayers as well.

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The Sacred Heart of Jesus

06-13-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was wonderful to see so many people at Holy Mass on Corpus Christi. I especially enjoyed celebrating the 11am Mass, with the Procession and Benediction that followed. As I carried the Blessed Sacrament around the Church, I could not help seeing the devotion on the faces of so many people as they gazed at our Blessed Lord. It was moving for me, and I hope for many of you, too.

As I thought about my homily from Corpus Christi, it occurred to me that I made a little mistake! I told you, correctly, that a shrine in Paris called Sacre Coeur has had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for 155 years without interruption! My mistake is that I also said that Sacre Coeur was built some 800 years ago to house the Crown of Thorns.

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No One Has to Tell Me to Go to Mass!

06-06-2021From Fr. John's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This weekend is Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a day to celebrate and reaffirm our Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. As many of you know, it is also one of my favorite holy days of the year.

It seems appropriate that things have improved so much that our dispensation from attending Holy Mass due to the pandemic has been removed on Corpus Christi. It was a year ago that we began having public Masses again, after several months of just virtual ones. Now we are blessed to be pretty much back to normal, with our bishops reminding us that we need to be at Holy Mass personally each Sunday, unless we are truly sick or have other just cause to be excused.

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