Fr. John's Column

02-16-2020From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

Last Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of spending some time with the RELIT group’s movie presentation in Mercy Hall. They, and some other parishioner’s, watched a movie about our Blessed Mother, Mary. For those who may not know, RELIT is a group of parishioner’s dedicated to growing their own faith, and helping others do the same. I appreciate their effort, and encourage everyone to join in some of their events.

Speaking of helping people grow their faith, our parish is blessed by the presence of some very special women who have truly dedicated their lives to this. They are the religious sisters who minister in our community: Sr. Clare, SJH, Sr. Ellen, SJH, and Sr. Michaelita, RSM.

Sr. Ellen and Sr. Clare are members of the Sisters of Jesus, Our Hope. They teach in our parish school and are a great witness to the students and faculty. Their community also hosts our faculty for annual Days of Recollection-which helps all our teachers to deepen and enrich their faith.

Sr. Michaelita, RSM, runs the local Catholic Charities on South Main Street. She does a great deal to help the local poor, and is a great help and inspiration to me. Sister recently was instrumental in hosting Project Homeless Connect in Mercy Hall, where many local people were able to access all kinds of essential services. I cannot possibly thank her enough.

Our parish will honor all these sisters at Saturday’s 4:30pm Mass this weekend. I ask that you keep these sisters, and all religious sisters who have served our parish and community over the years, in your prayers. Be sure to say thanks when you see them!

Speaking of Catholic Charities, the Bishop’s Appeal is kicking off soon. This appeal is a great source of support for Catholic Charities. It also supports the education of future priests and a million other things. You will be seeing announcements about the Bishop’s Appeal in upcoming bulletins and receiving mailings about it as well. Please read them, prayerfully consider what you can do to help, and do it!

In responding to the Bishop’s Appeal, please also remember how much the diocese does for our St. Philip and St. James Church. Remember how they have been carrying our parish debt for a number of years, not to mention our property and liability insurance. Our parish is one that truly gets a great deal of help from our diocese, and any gift to the appeal is a good way to say ‘thanks!’

I know that not all of us can give much to the appeal. But we can all give something. Even if it is a small gift, it is great when added to the others. Remember the widow who was commended by Jesus for giving what she could, little as it was.

My hope is that all of us -100%- will give something to the appeal. In this way we can show gratitude to our diocese and do our part to share in the mission of the larger Church. Please say a Hail Mary for me today, and every day.

Please also pray for the local poor and homeless, and for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John