Pastor's News

09-29-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

It was great to have our choir back at 11AM Mass last Sunday, after their usual summer break. They add so much to our worship, and help us celebrate Holy Mass with joy and reverence. I’m sure they could use a few new voices – and would be glad to have anyone who loves God and wants to praise Him in song!

Later that afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the annual choir picnic. It was hosted by our music director, Paul Kucinski, and his wife, Donna. I really enjoyed talking and eating with these wonderful people who serve our parish so well.

Last Sunday I also had the pleasure of joining our parish Boy Scout Troop at their annual Red and White Brunch. It was a time to celebrate the many merit badges and projects of these great kids – some of whom had just received their religious medals at the 11 AM Mass. These scouts do a lot for our parish, such as carrying the gifts we bring for the Giving Tree, collecting food for the Thanksgiving Food drive, and taking care of the fire during the Easter Vigil Mass. I appreciate all they do.

The Wednesday morning, October 2nd. I will head to the seminary for my annual reunion. In addition to reconnecting with many brother priests with whom I studied years ago, I will also concelebrate a number of Holy Masses. I will keep all of you in prayer during each of them.

I will also visit the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who is buried in Emmitsburg, MD – the same town in which my seminary is located. As usual, I will be happy to pray for your intentions while there. If you wish, you can write down your intentions on a piece of paper and give it to me by Monday afternoon or first thing Tuesday morning. I always bring these papers to Mother Seton’s tomb and mention each one of them in my prayers there.

In the past I have told you that Mother Seton is very dear to me. She was a constant source of inspiration while I was in the seminary, and my family has received many favors in answer to her prayers. Chief among these was the healing of one of my cousins who, as a young girl, had a life – threatening illness. My aunt made a pilgrimage to Mother Seton’s Shrine to pray, and my cousin recovered beyond all expectations. Being only about 11 or 12 at time, I had never even heard of Mother Seton – nor did I have any idea that I would one day study in the same town where she lived and did so much good work! Indeed, it was all part of God’s plan – and I am truly thankful for that.

October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. We will have the traditional blessing of animals in his honor next Sunday, October 6th . It will be held in the parking lot adjacent to Mercy Hall at 12:30 PM. I am happy that Fr. Pat Boyle, OFM, our weekend assistant and a priest of the Franciscan Order, will lead the Prayer Service. Everyone is welcome to bring their pets this ceremony.

October 6th is also Respect Life Sunday. As usual, there will be Life Chain along South Main Street that afternoon at 2 PM. It’s not a chain per se, but a group of people who stand and pray quietly along the sidewalk. I usually pray my Rosary quietly during this event, and invite you to join me. Unborn children, the terminally ill, those confined to their homes by illness or disability, the poor, and those elderly who live alone with limited income or mobility can easily ‘fly under the radar’ and go unnoticed. It’s up to us to be aware of their needs and do what we can to serve them. Let’s make every effort to be there.

Finally, there is an insert in this week’s bulletin about the trip to the Miraculous Medal Shrine on October 12th. It will be a time to pray and visit a beautiful shrine, and to learn a bit more about our Faith. I always enjoy these little one pilgrimages, and am looking forward to this one!

Please pray a Hail Mary for me today and every day! Our prayers are a great gift to each other, and a powerful witness to our Faith in Jesus Christ.

Have a great week!

Fr. John