Last weekend we remembered Father George Brennan’s 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood. Today, Sunday, May 20¸is Father Mike Donald’s 46th Anniversary of his Ordination to the priesthood. Sincere congratulations, thoughts, and prayers to our long-time beloved Senior Associate Pastor on his 46th Anniversary. May you have many more blessed years of service! Ad multos annos!
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church. This powerful feast tells us about the early church, but it is also a clarion call for us as a community and as individuals. The images of fire, wind, breath, a cacophony of voices are meant to evoke a collective “fire in the belly” that motivates us to do what we are called to do. Today we are assured that the Spirit is with us, as it was with them on that first enlivening Pentecost.
I hope the 11:30 Mass isn’t a “cacophony of voices,” but several parishioners proclaiming part of the reading from the Acts of the Apostles in their own native tongues. We don’t have as many as I would have hoped, but I hope it does something to speak of the universality of the Church. Then, please, don’t forget the “food trucks” coming for a “mini-festival of nations” to celebrate the universality of the church.
Next weekend we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. We will celebrate the relationships at the heart of our faith. As God eternally participates in the relationship of Father, Son and Spirit, we too participate in this sacred community and in the great historic sweep of God’s people past, present, future. Through baptism, we are called by God to become part of this deeply connected family. Let us commit to loving and serving not only members of this family, but all people.
A friendly reminder of the annual “Easter Duty” that is required of all Latin Rite Catholics to worthily receive Holy Communion between the First Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday. I am sure most of you who are reading this have already done that … but I thought it would be appropriate for a “friendly reminder” in case you need to get to Confession this week.
Commissioning of all the Baptized: This weekend the Archbishop has asked that we commission ALL the members of the parish to be evangelizers. In lieu of the Creed today we will renew our Baptismal Promises and then there will be a blessing for all present to recommit themselves to live out their Baptismal and Confirmation commitments. We all need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us, so may we be faithful in doing that! May we truly “go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
Speaking of all the Baptized, next Saturday the Archdiocese will have two new priests ordained, including Rev. Mr. Christopher Rubie, who did some of his “supervised training” here with Father Bob Evans. Please pray for him and Deacon Gerson Parra to be ordained with him. Then Saturday, June 2, there will be 25 new permanent deacons ordained, including Kirk Lackas, the son of our parishioners Shirley and Duane Lackas. Please pray for ALL being ordained deacons and priests at this time of year.
Miss Suzanne Bowles: Many thanks to Miss Bowles for her 48 years of faithful teaching in the Catholic School System of the Archdiocese … most of them here, with some early years at the former Saints John and James Parish School in Ferguson. Although she will be retiring from the classroom, Miss Bowles will be our part-time librarian, Bellarmine Speech League Coordinator and doing other “odds and ends.” We wish her the best as she retires from full time teaching.
Graduations: Congratulations to all those who are graduating at this time of the year. Special congratulations to our eighth graders who will graduate during a special Mass this coming Wednesday evening. Thanks to their parents for being good role models and choosing Catholic Education for them. Many others have already (or will soon) graduate from various levels of education. I would like to acknowledge all of them together on the weekend of June 2 and 3. If you want to be recognized in the bulletin that weekend, please send your name, degree (certificate, or high school diploma) to either Patty Greaves, email@example.com, or me, firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Tuesday May 29th, so we can put your names in the bulletin the following weekend. Thank you.
New Feast Day: Tomorrow, the Monday after Pentecost, will be the Obligatory Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. Pope Francis instituted that feast earlier this year so our Missalettes, Magnificats, Give Us This Days, or Missals won’t have the prayers or the readings for the day. In the event that you want to read the readings before attending Mass on Monday they are: First Reading: Genesis 3:9-15, 20 or Acts 1:12-14; Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7; Gospel: John 19:25-34. The Second Vatican Council used this title several times in its documents. Pope John Paul II added this invocation to the Litany of Loretto. After he was shot he had a new icon installed in Saint Peter’s Square, with the title “Mater Ecclesiae,” Mother of the Church, under it. Pope Francis wanted to remind all Christians that Mary was present at Pentecost and she is still interceding for the Church through her prayers and presence in heaven.
Memorial Day is next Monday, May 28th. As is our custom we will have one Mass, at 9:00 A.M., followed by a Flag Ceremony and decorating the graves of the veterans buried in our cemetery. While the Scouts will be involved with the decorating of the graves, I hope many come and participate. While we commemorate those killed in the service of our country next Monday I invite all veterans (obviously we are still living!) to come with their service hats (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, American Legion, VFW, Amvets) to be worn during the ceremony following the Mass. (If you can still get into your uniform, all the better!)
May God the Holy Spirit truly enlighten and enliven us as we see Him in all that we do!
Fr Joe Weber