Good News!

05-13-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and great ladies of our parish!

I have so many good things to report this week – which is always good news! The First Communion Masses went beautifully in our parish. The children were excited and devout as they received Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.

One of the things that really impressed me at the First Communion Masses was the number of people who came to celebrate with the children. Of course, there were parents and grandparents and relatives – which I would expect. But there were also many neighbors and other parishioners who just wanted to be there for the Mass – which really touched me! What a beautiful testimony to the sense of community that exists in our parish.The next good news is that – for the first time in I don’t know how long – not a single day of our parish carnival was rained out! Although we had some showers here and there, we had good attendance every day! The end result is that the carnival was very successful and raised over $50,000.

More than that, countless families and children had a good time. As at the First Holy Communions, many people from the larger community came to the carnival. All generations and groups in our parish were represented. It was particularly nice to see some of our "mature" couples come to have dinner in the food tent – just to be part of the fun. Another nice thing is that all three raffle winners this year are parishioners who have been actively involved in parish life for years!

The next good news is that two young men of our parish – Matthew Marinelli and Joseph Illes – will be ordained as deacons on Saturday, May 19. The Ordination Mass will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen at 11:00am. Everyone is welcome to attend as these men take the last big step on the road to the priesthood. Indeed, it would be nice to see a good crowd from our parish at the Cathedral that day. Both of the new deacons will function at Holy Mass next weekend. Deacon Matthew will assist and preach the homily at the 4:30pm Mass on Saturday, May 19. Deacon Joseph will do so at the 11:00am Mass on Sunday, May 20. While it may be a lot for some of you to attend both Masses – it would be a great thing to do. Perhaps you can offer the extra Mass as a special prayer that God will raise up many more young men from our parish to serve Him as priests!

Remember that next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday – the 50th day after Easter. The day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Blessed Mother, Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season. It is a good day to remember that – in Confirmation – each of us was likewise strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that we could follow Christ and spread His Gospel in the world.

I’ve been in parishes where the pastor asked everyone to wear something red (the color worn by the priest on Pentecost) to Church on Pentecost. While that can be fun – and isn’t a bad idea – there’s a lot more we can do to celebrate Pentecost. FORMED – (contact information can be found in both the bulletin and on the parish website) has some very good programs about the Holy Spirit. You could also read the section about the Holy Spirit from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you don’t have one, I always keep paperback copies of the Catechism in my office and would be happy to give you one. Finally, you could spend some time reading the story (Acts 2:1 – 11) and meditating upon it.

Whatever you do for Pentecost, please also remember to pray that daily Hail Mary for me – and be assured of my prayers for you. May each of us – with the strength the Spirit provides – stay always faithful to our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Have a great week!

Fr. John