Upcoming Corpus Christi Procession

05-27-2018From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Saturday our parish was blessed to have two of her sons – Matthew Marinelli and Joseph Illes – ordained deacons. This is the next to last step on the long road to priesthood that they have been walking for several years. God willing, they will be ordained priests around this time next year. Please pray for them!

Deacon Matthew preached his first homily at the 4:30pm Mass last Saturday, while Deacon Joseph preached his at the 11:00am last Sunday. They both did a great job! Deacon Matthew made special mention of how much it meant to him to preach his first homily in his home parish, with so many people he has known for years in attendance. Deacon Joseph spoke of how the Holy Spirit helped the first disciples spread the Gospel – and how we can rely on that same Holy Spirit to help us serve Christ today. Both thanked everyone for their prayers and support over the years!

Remember that next Sunday is Corpus Christi – the Solemn Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. On that day, we celebrate our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist – under the appearance of bread and wine. As part of our parish celebration of the feast, we will have a Corpus Christi Procession around the Church at the conclusion of the 11:00am Mass next Sunday.

I encourage everyone to come and take part in the procession. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and children who just made their First Holy Communion should make a special effort to be there. The Knights of Columbus have already told me that they will join in, and I am glad to have them!

For those who don’t know – during a Corpus Christi Procession, the priest carries the Eucharist, proceeded by the deacons, other priests, and altar servers. When possible, the procession moves from the Church to another place – usually a chapel or little shrine – where prayers are said. The procession then moves to yet another place – until it ultimately returns to the Church for Benediction.

What we will do is keep the procession right in the Church – so that we don’t have to worry about the weather! As I carry the Sacred Host in procession, the choir will lead us in singing Eucharistic hymns. When we reach the Altar at the end of the procession, we will say some prayers and have Benediction. It won’t be long – but it will be inspiring and a source of grace and blessing. Again – I really encourage everyone to attend. Be sure to bring your children – so they can experience this wonderful Catholic tradition.

I want to end by wishing everyone a Happy Memorial Day! We owe so much to the brave men and women who gave their lives in defense of our freedom over the years. On Memorial Day, let’s say a prayer for those who died – and offer a word of thanks to those veterans we know.

The news these days is all too full of stories about people who do not enjoy the freedom we often take for granted. Christians – in some of the very places where Christianity first took root nearly 2,000 years ago – frequently suffer for practicing their faith. As a priest, I am particularly grateful to our veterans for the religious freedom we enjoy. Thanks – one and all!

Finally, thanks to all who attended Deacon Jack Sheridan’s funeral. He gave a lot of himself to this parish over the years and was a big help to me personally. Let’s all say a prayer for his soul – and his family’s consolation.

Have a great week!

-Fr. John