Memorial Day

05-29-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to start by wishing everyone, especially the veterans of our parish, a very Happy Memorial Day! We owe the freedom we enjoy, and often take for granted, to those who sacrificed so much to defend it over the years. On Memorial Day, take a moment to say a prayer for those who died defending our country, and to thank the veterans you know.


New Deacons and A New Day for the Ascension

05-22-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last weekend was a blessed one for our parish. Seeing so many of our parishioners at the Cathedral for the ordination of Deacon Paul Flor and Deacon Francisco Jaurides really filled my heart. So did the ordination itself, in which a number of deacons were also ordained.

Remember that these new deacons will both assist Fr. Gilbert at the 1pm Mass today (Sunday). Following that Mass, everyone is invited to Mercy Hall for coffee, cake, and refreshments. It will be a great time to congratulate Deacon Paul and Deacon Francisco, and to celebrate their ordination.


Mary: Model for Deacon

05-15-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin my remarks this week with thanks to God for the ordination of Paul Flor and Francisco Jaurides to the diaconate. These men are known to many of you, as they have been members of our parish for many years. Their ordination is the culmination of several years of study, spiritual growth, and pastoral education.


Mothers and Vocations

05-08-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers in our parish! Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and other good works that too often go unnoticed.


A Busy and Blessed May

05-01-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to thank all of you who asked about my little vacation last week. It was a wonderful break but, as always it’s good to be home with you again.

May is always a busy month in our parish. In addition to being the Month of Mary, it is filled with things like First Holy Communion, which will be celebrated in our parish this and next weekend. Please pray for the children as they receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.


The Joy of Easter

04-24-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was so nice to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with all of you here at St. Philip and St. James. The presence of so many people at all of the Masses was inspiring and uplifting. Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating this holy time of year.


The Joy of Easter

04-18-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing each and every one of you a blessed and happy Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus stands at the very heart of everything we believe as Catholics. It is my favorite day of the year, and I am always happy to celebrate it with you.


Palm Sunday

04-10-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

For some reason, I’ve always loved Palm Sunday. It was easy for me, even as a little kid, to see that Mass was a bit different that day. The blessing of palm, the longer Gospel, and the crowds of people at Mass all told me that there was something special about Palm Sunday. Indeed, there is something very special about Palm Sunday.


A Good Finish To Lent

04-03-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s hard to believe, but next Sunday is already Palm Sunday. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all of the Masses. Please take some Blessed Palm, and treat it with respect since it is a Sacramental we use to praise God, be reminded of His presence, and disposed to cooperate with His grace.


Laetare Sunday

03-27-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, is often called Laetare Sunday. Laetare comes from the Latin words that mean rejoice. The priest often wears rose colored vestments on this Sunday, rather the usual Lenten violet, reminding us to rejoice in the Lord.

Lent is a penitential season and there is so much sorrow in the world that can make it hard to be joyful. But Laetare Sunday reminds us that Christians always have reason for a certain holy joy. We can be joyful that God loves us and sent Jesus to save us. We can rejoice that He hears our prayers and allows us to offer our sufferings to Him, as our share in the Cross of Christ, to help us on our way to Heaven.


St. Joseph and Lent

03-20-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

March 19th is the Solemn Feast of Saint Joseph. I think it’s great that we honor St. Joseph during Lent, because he is an example to us of what Lent is all about. When the Gospel first introduces us to Saint Joseph, it tells us that he is a ‘just man.’ In the Bible, a ‘just man’ is someone who is right with God and other people.

Saint Joseph was certainly right with God, so right that God chose him to be Jesus’ foster father. His willingness to take Mary into his home, and to raise her Son as his own, tells us that Joseph was right with the people around him.


Off To A Good Start!

03-13-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s good to see Lent get off to a good start in our parish. Seeing so many people in Church on Ash Wednesday really lifted my spirits. I pray that we all make a great Lent, so that we can celebrate Easter with our hearts renewed and our souls filled with God’s grace.

Speaking of souls filled with grace, we will have our Lenten Penance Service this Monday, March 14, at 7 PM in Church. About 10 priests will be there to hear Confessions. This will be a good time to make your Lenten Confession, and be sure that your soul is free from sin and filled with God’s grace for Easter.


Catholic Spring Training

03-06-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. I always associate Lent with baseball’s Spring Training. Both happen at about the same time, and both have a similar purpose.
Ballplayers use Spring Training to get in shape for the upcoming baseball season. Catholics use Lent to get in shape spiritually.

As I write these words, I don’t know if baseball will even have a Spring Training this year. But, as Catholics, we need to get in spiritual shape just the same. Indeed, Lent is our yearly reminder to not be complacent about our relationship with Jesus.