From the Pastor
May 28, 2017
Seventh Sunday of Easter
COME HOLY SPIRIT
MEMORIAL DAY: This weekend we observe Memorial Day when we pray for and thank God for the service of those in the armed forces of our nation. The day began as a day when the graves of our fallen soldiers would be adorned with spring flowers. Thus the original name of the holiday, Decoration Day. (My good father always called the holiday “Decoration Day” until the day of his death 22 years ago. But he also called any sound system the “Victrola.”) May God bless my fellow veterans and all who have served in the armed forces of our nation.
PENTECOST NOVENA: The days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday (June 4th) which is next week. are among the most holy of the Church’s Year of Grace. They are the days which, in fact, constituted the first novena ever prayed in the Church.
The Apostles gathered with our Blessed Mother, who is also Mother of the Church, from Ascension Day until Pentecost. Our Lady consoled them on the physical absence of our Risen Savior. At the end of the nine days, the Holy Spirit was poured forth upon the earth bringing it to life with warmth and grace. The Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier and renews the face of the earth.
Francisca Javiera del Vale was a Mexican laywoman who died in Mexico City during the 1950’s. After her death her profound and mystical writings were discovered. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, she wrote, You must make a firm resolution to beg the Holy Spirit to come into your soul and to live an interior life. Do not ask how much this will cost you, but rather ask how much it is worth. This has always been the case. What is worth a lot costs a lot. And what is the effort we put into knowing ourselves. When we compare it with the great benefit that we derive from it?
Beg the Holy Spirit to come into your souls and there remain forever. Grace is the very life of God in which we share. We speak of being in the state of grace. That means we are living as friends of God and have not snuffed out his life of grace through mortal sin. Grace obviously disposes us to receive even more graces. But it also has physical effects.
The great French missionary Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did incomparable work in bringing the native peoples of Africa to the faith. He often remarked that when a village’s people had accepted baptism there was a completely different atmosphere. The village was cleaner, more serene, less noisy, and filled with peace and order. So it is also for individuals. The life of grace brings calm, serenity, and health. It softens the features and makes one look radiant. That is why those hardened in sin appear so unhappy and coarse. In an area where large numbers of the unbaptized live, there is a coarseness and meanness in the atmosphere.
COMMUNION BREAKFAST: Sincere thanks to all who made the Communion Breakfast last week so successful and so grace filled. We are most grateful to the Marian Guild and the Knights of Columbus for all their dedication and effort. Msgr. McDonald gave us a most uplifting talk that will inspire us for months to come. The food was delicious and the company even more enjoyable.
CENTERSTAGE: It is that time of the year when once again we turn our thoughts to St. Paul’s Centerstage. This year the production will be Willy Wonka. The dates of presentation will be August 10, 11, 12, and 13. Please plan to attend this fun filled and enjoyable presentation for the whole family. Auditions will begin on Sunday June 4th and Thursday June 8th. Please see the bulletin for further information. We are most grateful to Mrs. Annalisa Sparacino for coordinating this wonderful production this year. I encourage all our young people to make every effort to be part of this parish ministry.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION AND CONFIRMATION: We congratulate all of our young people who made their First Holy Communion (April 29th) and their Confirmation (May 25th) this year. We express sincere gratitude to Brother Joseph Bellizzi, S.M., Mrs. Louise Shannon, and all our catechists and aides who do so much for our young people. May God reward them in time and in eternity. We are most grateful to His Excellency Bishop Robert J. Brennan, the Vicar General of our diocese and auxiliary bishop, who conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation.
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PRESCHOOL: As everyone knows, we are blessed to have a wonderful preschool here at St. Paul’s. Mrs. Gayle Crimarco (the Director) and Mrs. Debbie Oliva (Administrative Assistant) along with a very dedicated staff of faculty and aides do a superb and outstanding job working with and forming our very youngest parishioners in mind, body and soul. It is the place that adds so much vitality to our parish during the week as the children arrive and depart each day, always smiling. Wednesday May 31st will be the annual carnival at the preschool. It is a fun filled day of laughter, games and good food. Graduation Day is June 7th and we will miss our Pre-K students as they leave our Preschool. The other two levels are called Little Angels and Nursery. At the end of every baptism I administer here at the Church, I always encourage the parents to send their children to our school so that even at a young age the interior life may be rooted in their pure and innocent souls.
SAVE THE DATES: It is never too early to begin to save the dates especially in parish life. In addition to the Centerstage dates mentioned above please remember our Parish Picnic which will be on Saturday September 9th. I am grateful that Mrs. Louise Shannon and Mrs. Adriana Milana will be the co-chairs of the picnic this year. Since my arrival here in June 2013, I am grateful to Mr. James Black who served as chair in 2013 and Mr. Jesse Cromer who served as chair in 2014 and 2015. Our Gala Casino Night will be at the Milleridge Inn Cottage on Thursday October 26th. This is always a fun filled event and a major fund raiser for our parish. Our annual Golf and Tennis Outing and Awards Dinner will be on Monday, May 7, 2018. I am grateful to all our parishioners who make these wondrous events possible.
Come Holy Spirit, Creator, Come
From thy bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all thine own!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda