A Busy Weekend!

10-13-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

Last weekend was a very busy one, as we welcomed Fr. Wojciech to our parish. Among the many activities was the Blessing of Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Pat conducted a beautiful ceremony – to the accompaniment of many dogs barking. About 40 people brought various pets and farm animals to be blessed. In addition to the usual dogs and such were a lamb, a goat, and a bunch of ducks! I want to thank everyone who came, and Fr. Pat for preparing and leading the celebration.

Later that afternoon, about 20 hearty souls took part in the annual Life Chain on South Main Street. I was afraid that the treat of rain might deter them, but they came out in defense of human life. It was a true privilege to be with them.

Earlier in the day, I was happy to join the Catholic Daughters at their annual Communion Breakfast at Flynn’s. I am always impressed by the good work these women have done and continue to do for our parish and community. They meet monthly in Mercy Hall – and I am pleased to be their chaplain.

Remember that our parish will celebrate its 160th anniversary on Sunday, November 17th at the 11 AM Mass. Several priests who grew up in our parish have already told me they will join us for Mass that morning. Following Mass we will have a light breakfast in Mercy Hall. Details about tickets can be found elsewhere in this bulletin. There is no cost for the breakfast, but tickets are necessary to ensure that we have an accurate count and enough food! I hope many of you will be there.

Remember that the Icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians is visiting our Church this week. It is set up near the Altar. Take a moment to visit the icon, meditate on the image of our Blessed Mother, and say a prayer for the far too many people who are persecuted for their faith around the world. Pray also that every nation on earth may grant its citizens true religious freedom.

The Knights of Columbus, who are sponsoring the icon’s visit to our Church, will have their annual Roast Beef Dinner at the Parish School on Roseberry Street on Sunday October 20th. I always enjoy that dinner very much. Not only is it a great dinner, it’s also a great time to visit and talk with fellow parishioners.

I am happy to announce that our parish was recently able to pay off one of the debts we owed to our diocese. It was a loan of $300.000 given to us about a year before I arrived here. Our recent sale of the old convent allowed us to finish paying off this loan – which we had been chipping away at for some time. It also allowed us to make a payment towards some other liabilities we have to the diocese.

Please keep in mind that we will still owe the diocese a great deal money from a larger and older loan that was given to our parish. Nonetheless, it is encouraging to have one of our loans paid off. Complete details of this matter will be presented in the Parish Financial Statement that will come out later this Fall.

As you know, I recently attended my reunion at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary. I took time to pray for all the intentions that so many of you gave me when I visited Mother Seton’s tomb. The list of intentions was quite long this year, and I was moved to read each one of them. Please know that I will keep all of you in my ongoing prayers – just as I ask each of you to pray a Hail Mary for me each and every day.

Have a great week!

Fr. John