Blessing to our Parish

02-06-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by congratulating Michael Juliano, a member of our parish who received the St. Timothy Award from our Bishop last week. Most of you would know Michael if you saw him, for he is a very faithful acolyte who serves many Masses. The Saint Timothy Award is given to young men and women around the diocese who take initiative to live and share their Catholic Faith.

Our parish has been blessed to have several of our parishioners win this award over the past few years. This is a testimony to the families of our parish who first shared their faith with these fine young men and women. Such great families are one of our parish’s greatest blessings.

Speaking of great young people, about 50 eighth graders will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this Thursday evening. Bishop Checchio will be here to confer the sacrament upon them. Having taught a number of them, both in our school and CCD program, I know that they are really fine group of young Catholic men and women. Please keep them in your prayers as they are strengthened by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation.

This coming Sat, Feb 12, our parish will host Fr. Carlos Martins. He will bring some 150 relics for us to see and venerate. Fr. Martins will make a presentation on our Catholic beliefs and practices regarding relics in the Church at 1:30pm. After that, we will go over to Mercy Hall to view the relics, venerate them, and pray.

I’m sure that many of you are aware of the powerful blessings that God often pours out to those who venerate the relics of His saints. This is one of the reasons I go to pray before the tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton a couple of times a year, and ask you for your prayer intentions when I do. I cannot begin to count the blessings and graces that have to come me through these prayers.

You can get more information about Fr. Martins and his ministry at There is also some information on our parish website.

Experience has taught us that venerating these holy relics move many people to deeper faith, and the repent of past sins. If that proves true for you, remember that Confessions will be held in Church on Saturday at 3:15 – 4:15pm. We will have two priests available at that time.

Next Saturday is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. This is due to its proximity to the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Our Blessed Mother’s appearance at Lourdes, France, in 1858 occasioned many physical and spiritual healings. Even today, pilgrims go to Lourdes by the tens of thousands to pray and seek healing.

For this reason, we will have a Prayer Service after the 4:30 PM Mass next Saturday. As part of this service, the Anointing of the Sick will be offered to those who are disposed to receive it. Everyone is welcome, especially those who are sick or suffering from chronic ailments, to join us at this brief service.

Please keep me in your prayers this week, at least one Hail Mary a day. Let’s also keep praying for peace in our troubled world.

Have a great week!
Fr. John