Working for the Lord

09-06-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to start by wishing a Happy Labor Day to all the working people of our parish. Much more than just a holiday marking the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is a time for all of us to reflect on the meaning of human labor. While we often think of work in negative terms-as something we have to do to make a living, the truth is that there is more than that to work.

As Catholics we believe that human work is a way in which God allows us to participate in His work of creation. This is especially apparent in the case of those whose work produces useful things, such as farmers who grow food and those who provide us with clean water-to name just a few. But it is no less true for those whose work helps other people in less obvious ways.

St. Joseph, of course, is the model worker. His work as a carpenter put a roof overhead for Mary and Jesus. But his work as a husband and foster father was even more important. We do well to imitate St. Joseph by doing our best at the jobs we have in life, realizing that in doing so, we are serving God like he did.

This weekend our parish is happy to welcome two men who will be working among us. The first of these is Fr. Gilbert Starcher, a newly ordained priest who will begin his priestly ministry in our parish. The other is Dawid Male, a seminarian who will spend what is called a pastoral year in our parish. A pastoral year is a time for learning some of the more practical aspects that are part of priestly formation. I know we will make them both very welcome.

Evangelization, or spreading the Gospel, is yet an important work that has been entrusted to us by Jesus. One way of doing this is by inviting people to participate in this year’s RCIA. For those who may not know, RCIA is the process by which converts are welcomed into the Catholic Church, or someone was baptized Catholic but never received their First Communion of Confirmation. If you know a person like this, why not suggest that they learn more about RCIA?

In case you are wondering, we will have both in person and virtual options for RCIA instructions this year. I will be happy to answer any questions you or anyone else may have. Let’s all do the work of evangelization, and help others come to know more deeply both our Lord and the Faith He gave us.

There will be a Confirmation Meeting in Mercy Hall next Sunday, September 13th, at 10am. This meeting is for any 8 th grader who wishes to be confirmed this year, and at least one of their parents. The meeting will be taped and put on the parish website for those who prefer to attend that way. If attending in person, please do wear a mask, and respect social distancing. I will keep the meeting brief, probably no more than 25-30 minutes long!

Please pray a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. Ask God to help me be the kind of priest He wants me to be! I pray for you daily and thank you for your prayers for me. Let’s all be sure to pray for those suffering from the storms, violence, and other troubles. Most of all, let’s pray for peace.

Have a great Week!

Fr. John