Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. This weekend’s Gospel challenges the depth of our relationship to Christ, who calls himself the vine and us, the branches. The immediacy of this relationship was palpable among the early Christians. But what is it for us? We’ve been invited into something far deeper and more intimate than our relationship to our own family or someone we love. How comfortable are we with this invitation?

Next weekend we will celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The more profound things are, the simpler they seem to be. The essence of the Gospel and this season coalesces in next weekend’s focus on God’s love for us and the commandment to love one another. This may seem far too simple; but the reality is amazing and a little terrifying. If we are honest, we know both the impact and the cost of this kind of love from our personal experience.

Confirmation: Auxiliary Bishop Mark Rivituso will be here on this coming Thursday, May 3, to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to our Seventh Graders. The Mass will be at 7:00 P.M. We only have twenty-four candidates, so there will be plenty of room for you to attend and pray with and offer support to our confirmandi. There will be a reception following in the Msgr. Schneider Parish Hall.

The Annual Catholic Appeal (“The ACA”): Branches that Do Not Bear Fruit Are Trimmed Saint Paul tells us two stories: one of a growing Church, one of a Church pruned of the branches that do not bear fruit. The common thread in both stories: God expects results. Love, in words only, is not sufficient. Deeds must follow. Branches that fail to bear fruit are cut away from the vine. These are not easy words to hear, but important for us to hear, take to heart, and use to grow.

The Annual Catholic Appeal is a reflection of much fruitful activity and tremendous acts of love. Each spring the Catholic community invites and encourages everyone to be a part of this Appeal. This year we are also asking people to share their story, using #catholicstl.

The Annual Catholic Appeal is an essential and important way to build the Church. Speak out boldly, as Saint Paul, did in the name of the Lord. Tell your story! Thank you.

I am very sorry about not having the videos available last weekend. The system was tested before the 5:00 P.M. Mass on Saturday and worked fine, except for one issue: with the “more modern” projector, the sound needed to be “re-routed” into the Parish Sound System, and it didn’t work! HOWEVER, many thanks for your generous response regardless to the glitches last weekend! For those who didn’t commit last weekend, the pledge cards are available again this weekend. Thank you for your generosity. We have already surpassed the announced “basic goal” as assigned by the ACA Office. We now need to reach the “challenge goal,” namely, the amount that we pledged last year. I’m confident that we can do that! Thank you again!

I am running this again from Sunday, April 15th. Pentecost: Festival of Nations. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit appeared to the Apostles under the form of tongues of fire. While many nationalities were present in Jerusalem each person heard and understood what the Apostles were saying.

It was suggested by the Pastoral Council that on Pentecost, Sunday, May 20, at the 11:30 A.M. Mass we have the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles read in various languages. I know we have a good number of people here whose native tongue is not American English. So, perhaps, we will be able to come up with a large sampling of the beautiful diversity of our parish on that day. Please e-mail me, [email protected], if you are willing to participate in that celebration. I will need your name and your native tongue. (Hopefully you have a Bible in your language that you could use!) Thank you! IN ADDITION, we are going to engage several FOOD TRUCKS to be here that afternoon for a true “festival of nations.” We hope to get trucks that serve varieties of different food types and help us celebrate our diversity as One in the Body of Christ! This should be a great time to celebrate and rejoice in all of the various gifts we have in this parish!

To date (Tuesday night, April 24th), I have had only one person volunteer to read that day … and that being a native of the Philippines who will do part of the reading in Tagalog. I know we have many, many parishioners who are originally from other nations, including various language groups from India and Africa, how nice it would be for them to assist us on May 20th at 11:30 A.M. Mass. Thank you.

As we begin May, the month of Mary, let’s all try to redouble our efforts in our devotion to the Blessed Mother … especially in praying her Rosary. Thanks!

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: January 2019. There are now a number of parishioners who are signed up to go on this memorable, for many, once in a life time, opportunity of walking in the footsteps of Jesus. I have brochures in Church and will be willing to mail you one if you prefer it that way. Thank you for considering it.

Faithfully yours, in Jesus, the Risen Lord, the true vine,

Fr Joe Weber