Nice To Go – and Nice to be Back Home!

08-28-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Most of you know that I just came back from my vacation. I had a wonderful trip. It was restful, and I saw lots of trains, which is exactly what I wanted to do! While it was nice to go on this trip, it is always nice to be back home.

While on the road I read (or listened to) some good books. The first was The Guns of August by Barbara Tuckman. It is a very thorough, yet enjoyable, account of the opening days of World War I. One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was the way the author went beyond the names and dates and explored the personalities of so many of the generals, leaders, and other people involved.

The next book I read was called Lou Gehrig, the Lost Memoir. For those who don’t know, Lou Gehrig was the Yankees first baseman between 1925 – 1939. He set a record for most consecutive games played which stood until recently. He was a teammate of Babe Ruth and played for some amazing teams until he was struck, in his early thirties, with a degenerative disease (ALS).

He had been asked to write a personal memoir in 1927, a year in which he matched Babe Ruth homer for homer until falling off pace in the end. He would finish with 47 homers that year, while Babe hit 60. These memoirs were published in an Oakland newspaper at the time, then essentially lost until recently. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed listening to his first - hand account of those times! I would recommend this book to any baseball, or sports fan.

I also read a good book by the former Mets and Yankees pitcher, David Cone. It was also really enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the way the author spoke about his relationship with his Dad, and the tremendously positive affect his father had on him.

There was only one glitch on my trip, I broke down in Iowa and had to leave my car with the dealer there since the parts that were needed to repair it are on back order! Thank God I wasn’t in a really remote place when this happened.

The good news is that I met a lot of really nice people because of this. The gentleman who came to tow me, and the people who worked at the repair shop and car rental place were all a big help. It was a wonderful reminder that, for all the problems in our world, there are an awful lot of good people in it, too!

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who came to celebrate Fr. Gilbert’s first anniversary at last Sunday’s 11:ooam mass.

His parents and some of his family also came, which was very nice. Our parish is truly blessed to have a recently ordained priest who is zealous and good hearted. Please take a moment to pray that our good God will continue to bless Fr. Gilbert’s priestly ministry among us. Please also remember to pray for me, at least one Hail Mary a day. I had a lot of time to pray on my recent trip, and kept all of you in those prayers. I also made special mention of all of you who asked me to pray for specific intentions. Let’s also pray for the people who are sick, those suffering from the earthquake in Haiti and other disasters, and for those whose lives are affected by the chaos in Afghanistan.

We can feel so helpless at times. But the Good News is that God is never helpless and uses our prayers in more ways than we will ever know.

Have a great week!
Fr. John