My Dear Parishioners,
This Sunday, we celebrate the Seventh Sunday of Easter. While we are in post-Resurrection times, our Gospel reading this weekend looks back on Jesus’ last days and moments before His death. This Sunday in John’s Gospel, we listen to Jesus’ prayer that He offers to His Father for His disciples before he makes His final journey to God. It is often called His Farewell Discourse and/or referred to as the High Priestly Prayer.
Jesus is concerned about those whom He loves so dearly, those who will be left now to carry on the work of evangelization and the mission of His love. Jesus’ prayer captures His deep concern for His beloved ones as He now with great affection, entrusts them to God. Jesus will soon pass on to Heaven. Jesus’ disciples must now carry on with their lives and their work to fulfill Jesus’ vision and mission. Likewise, all of us are reminded this weekend that we too must continue on with our lives in faith as we try to fulfill the mission and legacy of love that has been entrusted to us by the One who has loved us first.
I am happy to announce that despite the pandemic ban on large gatherings in the church, we have begun the process of celebrating the sacraments of First Penance and First Holy Communion with this year’s third grade class. As I mentioned last week, we have offered the option to the parents of our young children to have their child receive these sacraments in smaller “individual” ceremonies. Last week, we celebrated these sacraments with two of our families while keeping to the regulation of only 10 persons in the church at a time. It is such a great honor for me as your pastor to offer these sacraments in a timely way. It is my hope that these individual “smaller” ceremonies will be enriching to both our children and their families who desire them. While not all of our families are taking advantage of this provision at this time, we eventually plan to have a larger communal celebration all together so that all of our candidates can be recognized with greater solemnity.
As I speak to you about this, I take this opportunity to remind everyone that for those who wish to have their child receive the sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion that they must begin their instructions in the faith (catechesis) at the beginning of the first grade so they may be properly prepared to receive them by the third grade. We warmly invite those who are attending private/public schools to enroll in our PREP program now so as to prepare them for these sacraments of Initiation culminating with Confirmation in the seventh grade. Please contact us as soon as possible if you have any further questions.
Next weekend, we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday and the outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit. We recall the disciples gathered in the Upper Room with Mary and the birthday of the Church. Because our parish is placed under the patronage of Mary, we will have a special re-consecration to her following the Mass. We have chosen this day to do so not only because of her presence in the Upper Room but also because our Holy Father, Pope Francis has designated the following day to be observed as a feast in honor of Mary as Mother of the Church. We will offer devotional prayers asking Mary to intercede for our local parish church, the Universal Church and the world at this time of pandemic. As we re-consecrate our parish to Mary next Sunday, may the Holy Spirit lead us into a brighter and faith-filled future!
Once again, I thank all of you who continue your weekly giving during these uncertain times. I am so grateful and truly edified by your love and generous support for our parish. Thank you!
Finally, don’t forget to “tune in” to Sunday Mass at 10 AM through our parish Facebook page and website. Until next week, I pray that you and your families will continue to be blessed with the joy and peace of the Risen Christ!
Love and prayers,