The Family of God

10-31-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

One common way to think about the Church is as a big spiritual family. God is our Father, and in Baptism we become his adopted children, and brothers and sisters to each other. This week we celebrate, with Catholics around the world, two holy days that help us think about the whole family of God.

November 1st is All Saints Day, a day to honor all the saints in heaven. I like to think of the saints as our older brothers and sisters in God’s family. We all know that you can learn a lot from watching and listening to your older brothers and sisters. That is especially true of our relationship with the saints. Their example and words teach us how to be good members of God’s family – just as they were when they walked this earth. Moreover, just as a good older brother or sister is always happy to help us, so the saints help us with their prayers before God’s throne.


What do Catholics Believe about Purgatory and Praying for the Dead?

10-29-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

There is a great story in the Second Book of Maccabees, Chapter 12, which tells how Judas Maccabee, the hero of the story, comes across some of his soldiers who were killed by the enemy.  These soldiers were fighting for Israel’s religious freedom against pagans who were persecuting and killing those who practiced their Faith in the One True God.  But they were wearing pagan amulets, a big sin against the First Commandment.  They were basically good men who had done something wrong.


The Importance of Funeral Masses

10-24-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

As All Souls Day (November 2) approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to our loved ones who died over the years, and to all the faithful departed. All Souls Day, and the whole month of November, is a special time for Catholics to pray for all those who have died. It is our firm belief that God can and does use our prayers to help our loved ones get to Heaven.

That said, I want to turn my attention to the most important prayer we can offer for someone who dies, the Funeral Mass. The Holy Mass is the most powerful prayer we have, thus the Funeral Mass is the most powerful prayer we can offer for a loved one who has died. While other prayers, such as those said at the Funeral Home during the Wake or at the graveside before burial, are also important, they pale in comparison to the Funeral Mass.


World Mission Sunday

10-17-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Next weekend we observe World Mission Sunday. It is a day to pray and support the work of missionaries around the world. Since our Lord first commanded His disciples to ‘teach all nations’, the Church has endeavored to do just that.

Among other things, there is a special collection on World Mission Sunday. Unlike the Mission Co–op Appeal which was held a few months ago to help support a specific mission, the collection on World Mission Sunday is used to support the missionary work of the universal Church. You may use the Mission Sunday envelope in your packet, or simply put your offering in an envelope marked “missions.”


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.