We are all missionaries!

07-19-2020From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

I am happy to announce that our parish will participate in the annual Mission Co–op Appeal the weekend of August 1–2. Fr. John Tigatiga, SDS will visit our parish and preach at all of our Masses that weekend. He is a Salvatorian Father.

The Salvatorian Fathers were founded by Fr. Francis Jordan in the late 1800’s. He was a German priest who was concerned about the effects of the Kulturkampf that was occurring in Germany at that time. The Kulturkampf – as some of you history buffs out there may know – was an attempt by the German chancellor at the time, Bismark, to secularize Germany. This led to harsh restrictions being placed on Churches and their ministries and pastoral activities.

The Salvatorians were formed at that time to pump some new life into the faith and life of the Church. They seek to be apostles who make the savior known to all people through their preaching and good works. Today they are a world-wide religious order.

Fr. Tigatiga represents the Salvatorian missions in Tanzania – a country in Africa. The missionaries in Tanzania work at parishes and schools. They also run things like health clinics, clean drinking water projects, and Catholic radio stations. Like so many missionaries who went before them over the years, Fr. Tigatiga and his fellow Salvatorians bring the message of Jesus Christ and His Church to people through their teachings and actions!

The Mission Co–op Appeal is taken each year in every US parish. Unlike the regular Mission Sunday Collection– which happens in the fall and serves the world wide missionary efforts of the universal Church–the Mission Co–op allows each parish to hear from and support a specific missionary effort. Fr. Wojciech and I were talking about how we look forward to the Mission Co–op each year because it gives us a chance to meet and hear from a missionary in the field. Hosting them at the rectory for the weekend has–over the years–truly broadened my understanding of the catholicity of the Church–and her missionary efforts!

We will take a second collection at Mass for Mission Coop Appeal. Those who send in donations–as so many do these day–can support it by simply writing Mission Co–op on their check or the envelope they include. We will make sure it gets where it should!

Thanks in advance for your support of the Mission Co–op Appeal. This parish is always very good to missionaries. I’ve seen that–and been impressed by that–since I first arrived in this parish. It shows that our community truly understands that Jesus’ command to teach all nations means that we our all missionaries!

Parents of children whose First Holy Communion was postponed due to the pandemic should receive–or have just received–information about rescheduling First Holy Communion. This would include all the families who had children in the second grade of our CCD program or Parish School last year. If you did not get this information, please call the Parish Office so we can get it to you. First Communion is always my favorite day of the year in our parish–and I look forward to finally celebrating it with the beautiful children and their families!

Please keep me in your prayers–at least one Hail Mary a day. I really appreciate your prayers for me–and assure you of my prayers for you! Let’s also pray for the missions–and especially for Fr. Tigatiga and the rest of the Salvatorian missionaries. Finally, let’s keep praying for peace and healing and a return to a good kind of normal!

Have a great week!

Fr. John