Our Personal Pentecost

09-16-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was nice to see so many people at the Communion Breakfast last Sunday morning. While the weather was lousy, a good number of people showed up for breakfast and fellowship. The Knights of Columbus – who did most of the cooking and donated the food – the Columbiettes, and the Legion of Mary all deserve thanks for their efforts.

Although I've been here for almost 10 years, I still meet new families at events like the Communion Breakfast. Sometimes they are new to our parish. Sometimes they are familiar faces that I see all the time, but never had a chance to speak with personally. Getting better acquainted with more and more of the wonderful people in our parish is one of my favorite parts of such events.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time at Soccerfest. Many of our parish teams were involved, as were other teams from the area. I'm sure lots of our families with school age kids were there – since I saw more than a few of you. It was good to see so many people having a good time.

The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost – 10 days after Jesus ascended to Heaven – was a watershed moment for the Catholic Church. On that day, the Holy Spirit strengthened the disciples to begin the work that Jesus gave them: to preach His Gospel to all people. Strengthened by the Spirit, the disciples began the work of preaching and converting that gradually built the Church that Jesus began.

In a similar way, the Celebration of Confirmation is a watershed moment in the life of our parish each year. Confirmation is our personal Pentecost – the day on which the Holy Spirit strengthens us to live and bear witness to our faith in Jesus Christ. It is usually celebrated in the 8th grade – or by highschoolers who missed it at that time.

For this reason, all the 8th grade aged young men and women of our parish are invited to a Confirmation Meeting this week. There will be two of them – so you can choose the time that works best for you. The first is today (Sunday) after the 9 AM Mass – as was announced last week. The other option is this Wednesday, September 19 at 7 PM in Mercy Hall. Every 8th grader who wants to be confirmed this year should attend one of these meetings with a parent or guardian. If you are in high school and never made your Confirmation, you are likewise welcome toattend.

The meeting will not be long – probably 45 minutes. But it will be filled with important information about this holy sacrament. I hope to see all the 8th graders of our parish at this meeting – and lots of high schoolers, too. (If you cannot attend either meeting, call me or Mrs. Cindy DePillo at the Parish Office – 908-454-0112 – as soon as possible. We will behappy to help you.)

Please continue to pray for me – at least one Hail Mary a day. Let's keep praying for the healing of all those hurt by priests or others in the Church, and for peace in our troubled world.

Have a great week!
Fr. John