A Very Busy Time of Year!

09-12-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend and is ready to get back into the swing of things! Our parish, which is always busy in some way or another, really seems to get busy this time of year. The beginning of school and CCD is a big reason for this, but there is much more happening.

One of those things is our annual Parish Communion Breakfast, which we had to cancel last year and are glad to have again. It will be held next Sunday (September 19th) following the 9 AM Mass. This year’s affair will consist of a Continental Breakfast. Many thanks are due the Knights of Columbus, who are providing the food for the breakfast.

We hold our Communion Breakfast in September to honor our Blessed Mother’s Birthday. The Church celebrates the Blessed Mary’s birth on September 8 each year. Why not bring your children and/grandchildren to celebrate Mary’s birthday and have a good time? Tickets (which are only $1 and no more than $5 for the whole family) can be had by calling or stopping at the Parish Office (908–454–0112).

This weekend we are welcoming our old friends from the Holy Land. They visit our parish each year at this time to tell us a bit about the plight of the Christians in the Holy Land. They also make available the most beautiful religious articles, made from olive wood in the Holy Land, to help support the Christians there.

In last week’s column I wrote about the Cross that is being borne by our brothers and sisters in the land where Jesus made His home whilst on this earth. Churches attacked and burned, kidnappings and forced conversions, nuisance check points, and, in too many cases, true martyrdom. They need our prayers, advocacy, and the support of those whose means permit it. Let’s not let them down.

An important Confirmation Meeting will be held for all 8th graders (or those in high school who are not yet Confirmed) this week. A parent or guardian should attend this meeting with them, to get important information about Confirmation. For your convenience, you may choose to attend one of two meetings to be held at the following times:Sun, Sep 12 after 9:00am Mass or Wed, Sep 15 at 7:00pm in Mercy Hall. Each meeting will last about 30 minutes, during which I will answer questions and make sure everyone knows what they need to do to get ready for Confirmation. Please share this information with any 8th graders you know, and their parents. We want to be sure that all our young people have the grace of this sacrament, in which the Holy Spiritstrengthensusinaveryspecialway! If they cannot make either meeting, please tell their parents to call me or our Confirmation Co–Coordinator, Escarlen Duran, at the Parish Office. We will be happy to help them.

Next Saturday I will be out of the parish for a special family celebration. My eldest niece, Veronica, will be married at her parish Church. It will be a great joy for me to celebrate her Wedding Mass. Please pray for her, and her fiancé, Steve, as they enter into Holy Matrimony.

Finally, please see the insert in this week’s bulletin about ways to help the victims of the recent storm. The diocese has set up a special fund. The insert contains a letter from our bishop with all kinds of information about this, including ways you can either help out or ask for help you may need. Our parish is always very good about helping out at times like this. I cannot thank you enough for that. Your generosity to those in need, in spite of your own challenges, is truly inspiring.

Please also keep me in your prayers, and be assured of my prayers for you. I am so grateful that so many of you pray that one Hail Mary for me each day. I keep you in my prayers throughout the day, starting with my early morning prayers and finishing before bed at night. Let’s also pray for the healing of those still suffering the effects of the hurricane and those trying to get home from Afghanistan, for the Christians in the Holy Land, and for peace.

Have a great week!
Fr. John

P.S. RCIA will begin next month. We have some candidates, but will always welcome more. Be an apostle and reach out to those adults who may be ready to convert to the Catholic Faith, and to those Catholic Adults who have yet to make their Communion and/or Confirmation.