The Assumption

08-12-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Sunday I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Mitchell Frasca. Mitchell is the Boy Scout who recently renovated our Confessionals and Crying Rooms. I was very happy that he agreed to take on the project – and even happier at the thorough job he did.

Not only do I want to congratulate Mitchell on becoming an Eagle Scout, but also thank him for a job well done. I also want to say what a nice time I had catching up with a number of young men who have graduated from our parish school or Boy Scout Troop over the years. It is good to see them doing so well.

Following Mitchell’s ceremony, I was happy to attend a picnic/party given by one of our basketball teams. The team – mostly boys headed into sixth grade – have played in a summer league the past two years. They had a good time and improved their skills – and I was happy to be invited to their party.

Both the Eagle Scout ceremony and the basketball team’s party are a testimony to the many good families that are such a blessing to our parish. I have recently been training some new Altar Servers – who also learned so much about our Faith from their families. As Catholics, we believe that families are the basic building blocks of the Church – the place where most of us first learn and practice our Faith in Jesus Christ. I am always inspired by the number of families in our parish who take that role to heart!

Please remember that Wednesday, Aug 15, is the Solemn Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning that every Catholic who is able to do so has a serious duty to attend Mass that day. Indeed, coming to Mass to celebrate the day when our Blessed Mother was taken, body and soul, into Heaven, is one way that our spiritual family honors her holy Mother.

Masses for the Assumption will be offered in our Church on Tuesday evening at 5:30pm and on Wednesday at 6:45am and 8:00am and 12:10pm and 7:00pm. Let’s all be sure to honor our Blessed Mother on her special day!

This Monday morning I will be leaving for my annual vacation. As usual, I will take a road trip to a couple of places where I can relax and see a lot of freight trains. On the way home, I’ll also be catching some Appalachian League baseball games. It should be fun, and I’ll tell you all about it when I get home.

Before I leave, I will write an article for next week’s bulletin. I’ll use that opportunity to talk about Pope Francis’ recent statement on capital punishment. While the news media touched on it, I want to give a more thorough catechesis (teaching) about what he did (and did not) say and what it means for us as Catholics.

In the meantime, please keep me in your prayers – at least one Hail Mary a day – and be assured of my prayers for you.

Have a great couple of weeks – and I’ll see you when I get home.

Fr. John