Breath of Life

09-22-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

Last Saturday evening, Aliento de Vida – the Spanish Prayer Group in our parish – celebrated their eleventh anniversary. Aliento de Vida means ‘breath of life.’ It is a name given to the Holy Spirit. Just as we breathe regular air to support our physical life, so the Holy Spirit is the breath that sustains our New Life as God’s Children.

I was happy to give the group a blessing as they began a Prayer Vigil in Church at 6 PM. About three hours later, when the Vigil ended, I had the pleasure of joining them for coffee and refreshments in the Parish Meeting Room. It was great to see so many people praying and enjoying themselves together.

Of course, the Holy Spirit is indeed the ‘breath’ of so many of the good works and activities that happen in our parish. Among these is the accomplishment of several boys in our parish Scout Troop, who recently earned the Ad Altare Dei Medal. To earn this medal, the boys had to learn a great deal about our Faith. Kiernan Lopez and Logan Shoudt (who are also great Altar Boys), Michael Iorio, Vincent Lamberti, and Zachary Sumner will receive their medals at today’s (Sunday) 11 AM Mass. They deserve our congratulations. The next Catholic medal for them is the Pope Pius XII Award, which I hope they will all earn this year!

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, all of our 8th graders who wish to be Confirmed this year should have already attended a Confirmation Meeting with one of their parents. Most of them did this last year, and a few more did so last Sunday. I would ask the parents of any 8 th grader who has not yet attended a Confirmation Parent/Candidate Meeting to call me or Mrs. Cindy DePillo as soon as possible. You can reach us at the Parish Office, 908-454-0112. We will be happy to get you caught up with any information you missed.

Our new priest, Fr. Wojciech Kusek, C.Ss.R. will join us on October 1st. I have met him several times and he seems to be a fine priest. He is a member of the Redemptorist Order, which is the reason for the letters after his name. They stand for Congregation of the Holy Redeemer. The Redemptorists were founded in Italy by St. Alphonsus Ligouri in 1732. Their main work is to preach and invite people into a deeper relationship with the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. There are about 5,000 of them in the world today. Fr. Wojciech has served in Poland, the Virgin Islands, Argentina, and the United States. His interests include bicycling and soccer. He also plays the guitar. You can find a more complete biography of him on our parish website.

Once Fr. Wojciech arrives, I will go to my Seminary Reunion in Emmitsburg, MD. As usual, I will be praying at the Shrine (and tomb) of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. If you have any special intentions you would like me to include in my prayers, just write them on a slip of paper and give them to me next weekend. I am always happy and honored to pray for your intentions – especially at the Shrine of a saint so dear to me and my family.

In the meantime, please remember to pray a Hail Mary for me today and every day. Why not pray one for Fr. Wojciech, too? Let’s also pray for the kids who head back to CCD this week, and for all the teachers and students in our parish school and CCD programs. May the Holy Spirit bless them with a year of growth in knowledge and holiness.

Have a great week!

Fr. John