Getting in shape for the Lord

09-08-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

It has come to my attention that some of our parishioners have begun taking steps to prepare for the Walking Pilgrimage on September 21st! Specifically, they have been walking each day to build up their stamina for the pilgrimage. Their efforts remind me that we all have to work at getting our soul in shape each day.

St. Paul used this analogy in his First Letter to the Corinthians. “While all the athletes in the arena compete, the award goes only to one. Therefore, compete so as to win!” (1 Cor. 9:24). His point is that – as Christians – we should work as hard at getting to Heaven as athletes do at winning games. We do this best by regular prayer, works of charity, and frequent Confession and Holy Communion.

Speaking of pilgrimages, I am glad that our parish has gotten into the habit of making a regular one – day pilgrimage over the past several years. These have taken the form of bus trips to shrines – such as our visit to the Shrine of St. John Neumann last year. This year’s trip will be held on Saturday, October 12th. We will visit the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia for a tour, Mass, Confession, and prayer. Watch for more details in upcoming bulletins.

I want to thank everyone who supported the Christians from the Holy Land who visited our parish last week. It was a pleasure for me to bless so many beautiful religious articles. Knowing it was for such a good cause made it all the better.

Please remember that there will be a Confirmation Meeting for anyone in 8th grade who wants to receive that Sacrament in our parish this year. High school aged parishioners who have never been Confirmed and would like to be may also attend this meeting. Please bring a parent or guardian, too. (If you went to the Confirmation Meeting held for 7th graders last year, you do not have to attend this one, too!)

We have received word that Confirmation will be celebrated in our Church on February 7th at 7PM. We will have a rehearsal on February 6th. While that seems far away, it will be here before you know it! Those preparing for Confirmation this year should mark these dates on their calendar.

Fr. Wojciech, the priest who will be joining our parish on October 1st, recently sent me a photo and brief biography of himself. I will put it on our parish website this week. He is looking forward to joining us and getting involved in parish life. Please pray for him as he makes this transition – and welcome him when he arrives.

Please also keep praying for me – at least one Hail Mary a day. I truly believe that your prayers are a great blessing to me – and the source of many graces for our parish. Be assured of my prayers for you.

Have a great week!

Fr. John