Memorial Day

05-30-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to start by wishing everyone, especially the veterans of our parish, a very Happy Memorial Day! We owe the freedom we enjoy, and often take for granted, to those who sacrificed so much to defend it over the years. On Memorial Day, take a moment to say a prayer for those who died defending our country, and to thank the veterans you know.

Holy Mass will be offered in our Church on Memorial Day at 6:45am and 8:00am. The 8:00am Mass will be offered for all those buried in our parish cemetery. Those who were buried there since last Memorial Day will be mentioned by name in the intentions of that Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.

We have received word that the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey will rescind the dispensation from Mass attendance that has been in effect since March of 2020. There is an insert with a very nice letter they wrote about this in the bulletin. The letter also explains the reasons for which one may reasonably excuse themselves from Holy Mass, even without a dispensation. The obligation to worship God by attending Holy Mass on Sunday (or Saturday evening) and Holy Days of Obligation will be restored next weekend, June 5– 6th.

It is beautiful that next weekend is Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ. It is a day to celebrate our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, under that appearance of bread and wine. Corpus Christi is one of my favorite Holy Days – and I look forward to it every year.

You may have read or heard that faith in the Real Presence has suffered these days. Too many Catholics either do not believe it, or do not understand it. This is a shame for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they are depriving themselves of the blessings that come from knowing that Jesus truly comes to them every time they receive Holy Communion.

It is also a shame because not believing in the Real Presence frequently leads people into a casual attitude towards the Eucharist and Holy Mass. I cannot help but think that the reason so many people excuse themselves from Mass so lightly these days is connected to a breakdown in faith in the Real Presence. I suspect the same can be said about the talking and lack of reverence in Church.

Many of us are old enough to remember when there was a truly awesome silence when you entered a Catholic Church. People genuflected reverently and knelt devoutly before the Blessed Sacrament, knowing they were in the presence of Jesus Himself. I pray that all of us will help our brothers and sisters to discover the beautiful blessing that is our Catholic Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus.

We will have a Corpus Christi procession after the 11:00am Mass next weekend. It won’t last too long, but will be a real testimony to our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus. Please be there if you can!

We will also place inserts about the Real Presence in the bulletin. Indeed, I am going to make an effort to use this coming year as an opportunity to build up our parish’s faith in the Real Presence, and help you build each other’s Faith, too!

Please also pray for me, at least one Hail Mary a day. I pray for you daily, and am always grateful for your prayers. Let’s also remember to pray for our fallen service men and women on this Memorial Day, and for peace!

Have a Great Week!
Fr. John