Pastor’s Message March 13th, 2016

This weekend (Sunday 2:00 am), we begin Daylight Savings Time. The old adage, “Spring forward, Fall back,” tells us how to adjust our clocks by one hour. Many will lose an hour of sleep, and many may arrive for Mass at the wrong time. But you can tell, despite Easter’s early arrival this year, that Spring is just around the corner.

THANK YOU to all of our parishioners and friends who helped make our 50th Annual Parish Festival a grand success. The weather was near perfect, and the many volunteers, from children in their earliest years to seniors in their eighties, helped to bring about a successful conclusion to the weekend’s events. Special thanks to Julie Ott, our parish Director of Stewardship and Development for again chairing the festival, and to her Festival Core Committee of Volunteers who labored day and night setting up, manning and cleaning up after the main events. The original festival started as a one-day Christmas bazaar to assist our children in purchasing gifts for their families. Now it has exploded into a three-day super event during “snow-bird” season, raising money in order to help more children attend St. Vincent Ferrer School. I’m so grateful to those like Jane Kucera, the Algonas Family, the Kissners, and several other parish pioneers for creating this legacy; I appreciate the many underwriters and sponsors of this event; and Al and Mignon Attard who ran the flea market, and those people, such as former SVF parents Webers, Swilleys, Floods and their families, who still support the festival even though their children have graduated from here. Thanks to the leadership of Maria Sesto and her crew of weekend volunteers who succeeded in reaching the goal of selling all the (1,000 of them) $100 raffle tickets this year; the volunteers with Dr. Marylou Paulo-Francisco, the Knights of Columbus, the Columbiettes, Deacon Rusty and many more whose names would fill up this bulletin. Above all, I thank all the parents and students who volunteered to man the booths and tables, cook the food, set up the festival, clean up the trash, and work late hours (especially in the ”count room”), and meet so often to prepare for this successful parish family celebration. It brings us together to have fun and to enjoy watching others have fun! May God bless you for using His gifts!

The annual collection for our Guatemala mission will be taken up this weekend. Most of you had the chance to hear lay-missioner Steve Dudenhoefer speak about the terrific help you offer when you respond so generously to his appeal to feed those nearly 500 kids. They bless you in their prayers of gratitude each day. Thank you for your continued support; you make it possible for children to live at the school and get a superior education that they otherwise would be unable to afford.

  This coming Thursday evening, March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, we will conduct our annual Lenten Penance Service at 7:00 pm in church. There will be several priests available to hear your confession and help prepare us for the upcoming celebrations leading up to and including Easter. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be reconciled with the Lord through this Sacrament of mercy and reconciliation.

If you’ve never attended the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral that is celebrated by our bishop, I invite you to do so next week, March 22nd (Tuesday of Holy Week), at 11:00 am in our Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens. You will witness on of the most beautiful liturgies of the Church, as well as the occasion when almost all the priests residing in our diocese will renew their commitment to the Priesthood and their oath of celibacy. Likewise, during this Mass, Bishop Barbarito will bless the sacramental oils used throughout the diocese for the coming year. Bring your youngsters with you, as they’ll probably be off from school because of Spring Break. Let them experience this uplifting and deeply spiritual moment in the life of our Church. This will be an opportunity for you to pass through the Jubilee Year door of the Cathedral in order to obtain the plenary indulgence attached to it.

On Friday, March 18th, Bishop Barbarito will come to our parish to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on younger members of the parish. The Mass begins at 7:00 pm, and you are invited to celebrate our teens’ reception of the Holy Spirit.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Since Sunday morning Masses will be crowded that day, I invite you to try to come a little bit earlier than usual in order to find an available seat for the Mass. We’ll have many guests coming from far and near to receive (free) palms. Then enjoy the rest of Holy Week!