The Power of Prayer

09-19-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This week Father Gilbert will make his annual priest retreat. In her wisdom, the Church requires every priest to make a five day retreat each year. Experience has taught the Church that doing so not only brings many blessings to her priests, but also to the people they serve.

Please pray for Father Gilbert as he makes his retreat. Having enjoyed the assistance of your prayers when I made my own retreat back in June. I know how powerful it is to have many people praying for you while on retreat. God grants so many blessings to us in answer to our prayers for each other, and we should always be grateful to Him for that.

While not everyone can make a formal retreat, everyone can make time for prayer in their life. Taking an hour or so each week to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is a good way to do so. While we should pray every day, setting aside a special hour or so for more intense prayer and adoration weekly can be a powerful source of grace andblessing. Ihighlyrecommendit!

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Pride in Priest’s Dinner with some of our Knights of Columbus. Many priests and knights from around the diocese were there. It was a good time with some very good people of faith.

I often mentioned how much the knights do for our parish in this column. Today’s Communion Breakfast in honor of our Blessed Mother’s Birthday is just one example. I want to thank them once again.

Another area in which the Knights of Columbus take a great deal of leadership is the defense of human life. They help pay for our parish bus trip to the March for Life each year, among other things. I mention this because there will be a Life Chain in front of our Church on Sunday, October 3rd. I’ll say more about this next week, and you can find more details elsewhere in the bulletin.

Another event to look forward to on Sunday, October 3rd, is the Annual Blessing of Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Pat Boyle, OFM, our weekend assistant who is himself a Franciscan, will be the celebrant again this year. It will be held in the parking lot next to Mercy Hall at 12:30 PM. Everyone is invited to bring their pet to be blessed that day.

By this time, all of our eighth graders, in the parish school or CCD program, should have attended a Confirmation Meeting with one of their parents. If you or your eighth grader missed it, please call the parish office at (908–454–0112) and speak with me or our Confirmation coordinator, Escarlen Duran. Either of us will be happy to speak with you and get you up to date on any information you missed. This is important for any eighth grader who wishes to be Confirmed this year.

By this time, any family with children in grades 1–8 that attend public school should have registered them for CCD (Religious Education). If you have not yet done so, please give the office a call or visit the parish website to do so. We want to make sure that all of our wonderful children and young people are learning about our Faith in Jesus Christ and preparing for the Sacraments (First Communion and Confirmation).

Finally, I will be heading to my seminary reunion in Emmittsburg, Maryland, on Wednesday, September 29th. As usual, I will visit and pray at the tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton while there, and be happy to pray for any special intentions you may have. Just write them on a slip of paper and hand it to me next weekend!

Please also pray that Hail Mary for me today and every day. I really appreciate your prayers for me, and assure you of my daily prayers for you.

Have a great week!
Fr. John