Welcome Father Wojciech!

10-06-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

This weekend our parish welcomes our new priest, Fr. Wojciech Kusek. Father Wojciech was most recently stationed in Christ the Redeemer Parish in Manville, New Jersey. Prior to that he has served in a number of places, including Latin America. He is a member of the Congregation of the Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists.

I am sure that Fr. Wojciech will bring many blessings to our parish. As you might imagine, the celebration of the Spanish Mass will be one of his main priorities each week, but he will also be involved in most parish ministries. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to him and welcome him to our parish.

It was great to have so many students from our school together at last Sunday’s 11 AM Mass. Especially enjoyable was hearing all those young voices in the choir! I hope that many of them will make a point of joining with the young people who sing regularly at the 9 AM Mass each week. Your joyful voices are a great gift to God and an inspiration to all of us!

The Icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians will be on display in our Church beginning next Saturday, October 12th, at the 4:30 PM Mass. It will remain with us for about a week. I hope many of you will make a visit to the Icon and spend some time in prayer before it. It’s presence in our parish is a poignant reminder that many Christians around the world are suffering for their Faith. Take a moment to pray for them. Pray also for a rebirth of true religious freedom around the world.

I want to thank the Knights of Columbus for bringing this Icon to our Church. The Knights do an awful lot to help persecuted Christians around the world – and to promote religious freedom. As always, I encourage all the men of our parish to join the Knight’s in their good work.

The Knights area also very active in promoting respect for human life around the world. Today is Right to Life Sunday. As such, there will be a Life Chain on South Main Street this afternoon. I will be there, and I hope that many of you will be, too.

A few months ago, I remarked in this space that respect for human life seemed to be decline for many reasons. Not the least of these is the passage of radical pro-abortion laws in a number of states. In some cases, these laws have gone so far as to allow a fetus that is born during a botched abortion to die without medical care! When I was a school boy, I remember learning that the ancient Spartans used to let newborns whom they deemed too weak to be warriors die without any care. We were taught to be thankful that things like that don’t happen anymore! How sad to see the laws in some states taking such a giant step backwards in its care of the defenseless!

Our busy parish has some wonderful events coming up. Next Sunday, October 13th, we will have fellowship in Mercy Hall following the 9 and 11 AM Masses. Why not stop by and have a cup of coffee and a donut? I always enjoy speaking and visiting with people at these fellowships. Moreover, it will be good time to say hello to Fr. Wojciech. On Sunday, October 20th, the Knights of Columbus will sponsor a Roast Beef Dinner at the school. Watch for details elsewhere in the bulletin.

Finally, on November 17th, we will celebrate our parish’s 160th anniversary at the 11 AM Mass. Several priests who grew up in the parish will join us for Mass that day. After Mass we will have a little breakfast in Mercy Hall. Again, watch for details in upcoming bulletins. I hope that many of us will take part in this happy occasion. Please remember to say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day. It is a pleasure to keep each of you in my prayers each day. Only in Heaven will we know just how much blessing and grace God poured into our lives in response to our prayers for each other.

Have a great week!

Fr. John