Two Great Saints!

03-14-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

This week our Church celebrates feasts in honor of two great saints. Everyone knows that St. Patrick’s Day is this Wed, Mar 17. Not as many people know that this Fri, Mar 19, is St. Joseph’s Day.

Saint Patrick served God primarily as a missionary, one of the greatest missionaries in history. While he was not the first bishop of Ireland, he followed a bishop named Palladius there, he was the bishop thru whom God worked to bring the majority of the Irish people to Christ. When Patrick arrived in Ireland, the Christian community there was small and paganism dominated the country. By the time Patrick died in 461 the country was largely Catholic.

Saint Joseph served God by being the foster father of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. That God chose Joseph for this mission tells us that Joseph must have been a very good man. The Scriptures tell us that St. Joseph was a ‘just man,’ meaning that he was right with God and with other people. In the Bible, a just man is someone you can rely on to do the right thing, all the time.

These two saints served God in very different ways. In this St. Patrick and St. Joseph remind us that each of us is called to serve God in different ways. Some serve quietly behind the scenes, perhaps collecting or cooking food for the poor. Others serve more prominently, perhaps as lectors or teachers. Some serve as priests or consecrated religious, others by raising families and bringing them to Christ. In whatever way we are called to serve, may these two great saints remind us to serve God as best as we can.

Speaking of St. Joseph, our novena is well under way. You can even watch it livestreamed on the parish website at 6:30 PM each day this week. You can also find the novena prayers, in English and Spanish, on the website. I hope many of you will take part in this novena, and pray for our Church, our families, and our world.

Please remember that we have Confessions every Saturday from 9:00–9:30am and from 3:15–4:15pm. Two priests are available at those times. We have things set up to maintain proper distancing at Confession, and ask that you wear a mask to Confession.

While it will be hard to have a traditional penance service this Lent, we will offer an additional time for Confession on Fri, Mar 26, from 6:00–7:00pm. We will have at least two Confessors in the Church at that time for those who cannot come to Confession on Saturdays. I will try to get an additional Confessor or two to join us as well, just to give everyone an extra option and to keep the lines moving.

By now I’m sure that many of you have received your first letter about this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal. There will also be information in the bulletin and videos you can watch about it on the website. Support of the Bishop’s Appeal goes a long way in helping the Church’s mission.

One tangible blessing the Appeal helped bring to our parish is our newly ordained priest, Fr. Gilbert. The appeal supports seminaries that educate and train our new priests, who are such a blessing to our Church.

Another tangible way the Bishop’s Appeal supports our parish is through the financial support the diocese provides our parish and school. Our diocese has carried our parish’s debt for many years, something we simply could not do on our own. Supporting the Bishop’s Appeal is a way to say thanks.

Speaking of support, I want to thank all those whose generous support of our Capital Campaign made it possible for us to do so much work in our Church. The repairs and painting look good. Many people told me they appreciate the brighter appearance of the Church. Indeed, some of you have been asking for that for years!

Please say a prayer for me today, at least one Hail Mary. Be assured of my prayers for you. It is such a privilege to be one of your parish priests, and I am happy to pray for and with you. Let’s also remember to pray for the sick and for peace.

Have a great week!
Fr. John