A Busy Time of Year

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

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend and is ready to get back into the swing of things! Our parish – which is always busy in some way or another – really seems to get busy this time of year. The beginning of school and CCD is a big reason for this, but there is much more happening.

This Sunday morning is our annual Parish Communion Breakfast, following the 9 AM Mass. If you are reading this before then and would like to attend, you are most welcome to do so. The Knights of Columbus always have enough food to go around – and then some! More than that, it will be good to see you there.

This weekend we are welcoming our old friends from the Holy Land. They visit our parish each year at this time to tell us a bit about the plight of the Christians in the Holy Land. They also make available the most beautiful religious articles – made from olive wood in the Holy Land – to help support the Christians there.

I have mentioned – both in this column and in some homilies – many times this year about the Cross that is being borne by our brothers and sisters in the land that Jesus made His home whilst on this earth. Churches attacked and burned, kidnappings and forced conversions, and – in too many cases – true martyrdom. They need our prayers, advocacy, and the support of those whose means permit it. Let's not let them down.

An important Confirmation Meeting will be held for all 8th graders (or those in high school who are not yet Confirmed) next week. A parent or guardian should attend this meeting with them – to get important information about Confirmation. For your convenience, you may choose to attend one of two meetings to be held at the following times: Sunday, September 16 after the 9 AM Mass or Wednesday, September 19 at 7 PM in Mercy Hall. Each meeting will last about 45 minutes, during which I will answer questions and make sure everyone knows what they need to do to get ready for Confirmation. Please share this information with any 8th graders you know, and their parents. We want to be sure that all our young people have the grace of this sacrament, in which the Holy Spirit strengthens us in a very special way!

Those looking for help dealing with the recent scandals in the Church might google Bishop Barron's "Why remain Catholic." It will lead you to a nice, short video presentation by one of our country's younger and most well-spoken bishops. It was recommended to me by someone who watched it and found it helpful – and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you. View the video HERE.

Please keep me in your prayers, and be assured of my prayers for you. I am so grateful that so many of you pray that one Hail Mary for me each day. I keep you in my prayers throughout the day – starting with my early morning prayers and finishing before bed at night. Let's also pray for the healing of those who have been hurt by the Church, for the Christians in the Holy Land, and for peace.

Have a great week!
Fr. John