A crazy summer!

08-02-2020From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

Can you believe it’s already August? It’s been such an unusual summer. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been such an unusual summer that–in so many ways–it seems like it wasn’t summer at all! I expect that’s true for many of you, too!

And now, with the arrival of August we get the news that our wonderful parochial vicar (associate pastor), Fr. Wojciech Kusek, is being transferred on September 1st . As I explained at Mass this weekend, while this is sad for us, it is part of the necessary process that has to happen for Fr. Wojciech to realize his dream of being incardinated into our diocese.

Incardination is the name the Church gives to the process by which a priest changes from one religious order or diocese to another. Fr. Wojciech, following what he believes to be God’s call for him, has asked to be incardinated from the Redemptorist Fathers to our own Diocese of Metuchen. For that to happen, he must first spend time in a couple of our parishes. This allows the diocese to get to know him better, and for him to earn the recommendation of several pastors in our diocese.

While I am truly sad to see Fr. Wojciech go, I am happy to give him the best of recommendations. He is a very fine priest with a heart for serving the people of God. Not only has he been faithful to all the duties assigned to him in this parish, he has also been a big help to me in so many ways. This has been especially true during the recent coronavirus crisis–when he was ready to help in any way at a moment’s notice.

We are pondering some suggestions as to how we can say ‘good bye’ to Fr. Wojciech, and will share the information with you as soon as we can. In the meantime, please keep him in your prayers as he takes this important step in answering God’s call for his life.

Please also pray for the new priest who will be coming to our parish. As I said on Sunday, I don’t yet know who it is, but I look forward to welcoming him to St. Philip and St. James. Indeed, since the day I arrived here I have been touched by the way this parish welcomes and cares for its priests. It is a great testimony to your faith and basic goodness, and I and all the priests I know who have been here really appreciate it.

This weekend we have the Mission Co–op Appeal. Our offering will support the work of the Salvatorian Missions in Tanzania. More information can be found on the parish website at spsj.org. If you did not make a donation this week, you can still do so by putting it in an envelope marked ‘MISSIONS’ and putting it in next week’s basket or sending it to the office. I believe you can also give online through the parish website.

Please remember to say a prayer for me, at least a Hail Mary every day. I pray daily for each of you. Let’s also pray for the missions, for Fr. Wojciech and our new priest. Finally, let’s pray that many people will open their hearts to our Lord and the peace that only He can give–so that He may truly reign in every human heart, and establish His Kingdom of Peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John