This weekend, we are taking up one special second collection, whose purpose is to consolidate some of the many special requests requiring a second collection that we are required to take up throughout the year. In order to support a variety of appeals that are made through the Diocese of Palm Beach, these collections are a necessary means to support the great charitable work of the Catholic Church, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Though today’s collection will not cover all the appeals, it will cover a sufficient number of the appeals, and will be apportioned to several of them according to a fixed formula based on the last 3 years’ offerings.
I’m delighted to tell you that a good number of our children made their First Holy Communion this past Saturday morning. They looked so happy (and holy!), well-groomed and dressed in their special outfits that befitted the importance of this holy occasion. I hope that they and their families come each and every weekend so that they may participate in the Mass and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus frequently. What a wonderful example of practicing one of the most important aspects of our Faith this would be. So many people throughout the world are denied the Mass and Holy Eucharist because of persecution in their land, and we still have the freedom to practice our religion. Let’s not take lightly the serious obligation we have of receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist worthily, and thanking God for the freedom of religion that we enjoy that is denied to so many Catholics throughout the world.
Lately, you may have noticed the bulletin articles and fliers that have been printed to promote the upcoming celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of first appearance of Our Lady to the three children of Fatima. On Saturday, May 13th, the actual anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady at Fatima, we will have a candlelight Marian Rosary procession following the 5:30 p.m. Mass. My hope and wish is that each family of our parish will be represented by at least one member that evening, and that abundant spiritual benefits that flow from this event will abound for you. During this time, we will consecrate our entire parish to Our Lady, renewing our faithfulness to the Mother Of God and her Son.
I thank the members of our parish staff, Knights of Columbus, Columbiettes, our wonderful Parish Choir and musicians, and a litany of other unsung heroes for making the celebration marking the golden jubilee of three of our revered religious, Father Danis Ridore, Father Jay Haskin and Sister Maria Liber, such a splendid event. It is a rare occasion that any parish has that many religious marking their golden jubilees at one time. We have truly been blessed by these terrific examples of faith and faithfulness. May God grant them the health to serve for many more years to come.
Please remember to pray for the two young men who will be ordained priests at our Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens next Saturday morning, May 6th: Father Martin Dunne III, and Father Wisman Simeon. They are being ordained for service to the Diocese of Palm Beach. We are truly grateful to Almighty God for the gift of calling these men to serve Him and His people, and for their positive response to God’s call. Please pray, too, that Our Lord will find good men from among our parishioners and call them to serve as His priests. Maybe they are members of your family, or a neighbor, or a friend.
We are still basking in the joy of Easter as St. Luke reminds us of David’s promise, and the Lord’s promise, that someone (Jesus) would be raised and “exalted at the right hand of God.” Glory. We are equally reminded in the psalm that “you will show me the path to life.” We need to remember that Easter hope lasts all year long. When we imagine the Apostle’s confusion in the upper room at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, we can compare it to the confusing times we are living in. As the Apostles couldn’t believe what was getting ready to happen, we can’t believe the daily changes going on in our society, government, financial institutions and more. The Lord had just said (what he had been saying for some time) that he was to be crucified, and there it was actually happening right in front of them. We, too, are in disbelief with the way people behave in public — questionable ethics and morality permeate our society and government, and we’re speechless when we can actually watch it happen. But hope abounds. The joy of Easter Sunday still is with us. The disciples, while frantic for answers came to know that Christ had indeed risen from the dead (He is Risen, Indeed!!). Our hope lives with the Easter story all year round