A Thank You to All

10-10-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was nice to see so many people and animals at last Sunday’s Blessing of Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Pat conducted a beautiful Prayer Service. It included some prayers, a Gospel Reading, and a really nice reading from the Life of St. Francis. There was even a song or two.

In addition to a lot of dogs, there was also a cat, a parrot, and even a chinchilla. While some of the animals got a bit restless, they were all good enough that I could hear the whole service! It was nice to gather and pray with so many people whose pets mean so much to them.

It was also nice to see so many students from our parish school at the 9:00am Mass last Sunday, with their parents and families. Praying with so many people is always inspiring. With so many people having to be cautious about Mass attendance last year, it is good to see attendance getting back to normal.

I want to thank the small but faithful crowd at the Life Chain on Sunday afternoon. It is always inspiring to see you pray silently and powerfully as a witness to the sanctity of all human life. It was great to see so many people in passing cars give you a thumbs up or wave. Believe me when I say that your efforts are appreciated by more people than you know.

There will be a Parents Meeting for any parents who want their children (in at least the second grade) to receive their First Holy Communion in our Church this year. Parents may choose to attend either of the following meetings:

Sun, Oct 17 at 10:00am or Wed, Oct 20 at 7:00pm.

Both meetings will be held in Mercy Hall and will last less than an hour. I will give you lots of information about First Holy Communion, and answer questions you may have. If you cannot attend either of these meetings, please call the Parish Office at 908–454–0112, ext. 3, and let us know.

Remember that All Souls Day is coming soon. All Souls Day, November 2nd, Catholics around the world remember and pray for their deceased loved ones and all the faithful departed. You may list the names of specific loved ones on the All Souls envelope in your packet, or that are placed around the Church. Offerings are completely optional.

The envelopes will be kept near the Altar beginning on All Souls Day, and throughout the month of November, so that our priests can include them in their prayers at every Mass.

We will have an insert about prayers for the dead, an important aspect of our Catholic Faith, in an upcoming bulletin. We are told in the Holy Bible, in Second Maccabees, that ‘it is a good and pious thing to pray for the dead’. Doing so helps them on their way to Heaven by asking God to cleanse them of any sin that may be attached to them. This is why Funeral Masses are so important, since the Mass is the most powerful prayer we have.

Speaking of prayer, please pray a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. I appreciate all of your prayers, and pray for you daily. While at the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton last week, I made a point of remembering our entire parish in prayer, with special mention of the intentions so many of you gave me. May our good God pour out His abundant blessings on all of us.

Have a great week.
Fr. John