Father Carey’s Pastor’s Corner
(Week of 06/26/2022)

My Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrate the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time. Having celebrated the great Feast of Corpus Christi last Sunday, we now move into these familiar days and weeks of wearing the green vestments of Ordinary Time continuing to reflect on the events of the life of Christ. And so, in this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus begins His journey up towards Jerusalem, which will end with His final days of ministry there. Immediately, Jesus is met with rejection as a Samaritan village will not receive Him because He is going to Jerusalem. There was great animosity between the Samaritans and the Jews. In today’s Gospel, the disciples James and John want to call down “fire from Heaven” to destroy the people in the village, but Jesus rebukes them and then moves on. There is often the temptation to use violence to achieve right. Jesus has come to break this temptation. He is aware too that He must undergo violence Himself before He can enter His glory.

The rest of today’s gospel is about the radical demands of discipleship. There are 3 people who “step up” to volunteer to become disciples on this journey but the Gospel shows that they do not understand the demands Jesus will make of them. Neither care of self, care for the dead, nor care of one’s family can come before the demands of discipleship. Jesus reminds the first volunteer, who would go wherever Jesus goes, that animals in the wild have more security than do Jesus and His followers. The second, who wants to bury a parent, is reminded that the demands of proclaiming the Kingdom of God must always take precedence. And the third, who wants to say farewell to his family, is reminded that once you put your hand to the plow you cannot look back or the furrow will be crooked. Such a person is not ready for the Kingdom of God.

While it seems that Jesus is speaking very harshly here, in reality He is only asking of His disciples what He asks of Himself. Jesus’ unconditional commitment to God’s saving work will demand of Him, His very life. He knows this, but the disciples do not understand. Jesus does not want anyone to rush into discipleship, because the demands of discipleship require everyone considering it to be aware of the cost that it requires. But once we do understand and give our yes to Him, we can confidently go forward without ever looking back.

Our Festival Thermometer is back! This thermometer, located in the main vestibule of our church is used every year as an incentive to help raise money for our annual Italian Festival. Our fundraising goal this year has been set at $7, 500. It is our hope that by reaching this goal, we will be able to cover the many expenses associated with the day: namely, catering, the rental of tents, entertainment, etc. Any monies leftover will be used to benefit the operational expenses of our parish. A box is located in the vestibule of the church for your donations or you may also donate online through Parish Giving. Please consider making a generous donation to this years’ 113th Festival. I ask your help in spreading the word by inviting your family and friends. We are really hoping and praying that this year will be a huge success and a day of good food and great fun for all. Thanks again for your support!

I am happy to report that last Saturday we shipped 1,533 backpacks to a port in New Jersey where they were shipped by boat to Togo, Africa. As you know, this appeal was begun at the request of Fr. Kassa and we exceeded our goal. He is so grateful and I also want to thank everyone who contributed to this great cause. We will be providing updates on the progress of the shipment and later we hope to share pictures and/or videos from Africa of the children in Togo when they are received. Thank you all again for your generosity!

Last weekend, we concluded our annual Baby Bottle Drive for Mother’s Home in Darby, PA. If you forgot to bring your baby bottle in last weekend, there is a container in the main vestibule where you can drop it off. We will follow up soon with the results of this appeal as well. Thank you!

As a reminder, our celebration of our Children‘s Liturgy of the Word at the 10 AM Mass will be suspended during these summer months until the Fall. I am so grateful for all of our catechists who have given so generously of their time and we look forward to resuming this program in September.

Once again, I thank you for your continued support of our parish. Your prayers and sacrifices mean so much. You remain in my prayers and may God continue to bless you and your families throughout these summer months!

Love and Prayers,
Father Carey