July 23, 2017
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
On Wednesday of this week, July 26th, the Church will keep the liturgical commemoration of Sts. Joachim and Ann, the Holy and Righteous Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are the grandparents of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and in the Eastern Church they are called, the Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God.
As is well known, often a grandmother is called nana or a variation of that word. It, in turn, is derived from the Latin for Ann which is Anna. St. Ann’s very name indicates that she is a grandmother.
St. Ann is one of the most powerful intercessors in Heaven. She has been invoked by the Christian faithful since time immemorial. She is the patroness of expectant mothers, of women experiencing difficult pregnancies, of all children and of young women seeking a suitable Catholic husband. She is invoked as a protectress against lightning. St. Teresa of Avila founded over 16 Carmelite monasteries in Spain during the sixteenth century, and she placed all of them under the patronage of good St. Ann. St. Teresa wrote, Surely, Our Lord Jesus Christ, will never allow to founder any home dedicated to his most Holy and Glorious Grandmother.
After her death in the Holy Land, St. Ann’s Holy Body was brought to Brittany in France and buried deep in the mountains for protection. During the sixteenth century, miners discovered the holy remains of St. Ann in a mine. In that place today stands the magnificent basilica of St. Ann d‘Auray. In that basilica many pilgrims come to pray before the tomb of St. Ann. The Breton people (the inhabitants of Brittany in France) brought their love of St. Ann to the New World, to New France. And there in Quebec they built the magnificent shrine of St. Ann de Beaupré. Perhaps some of our parishioners have even visited that lovely shrine where so many miracles have occurred.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the discovery of her body, St. Ann is the patron of miners. For that reason each year at the Basilica of St. Ann in Scranton, Pennsylvania, there is a novena in her honor attended by scores of thousands. (Scranton was formerly a major coal mining region in our country).
I know a lady who had a very difficult pregnancy and who was told by many doctors she would lose her child. She had to remain on total bed rest for six months of her pregnancy and she prayed to St. Ann incessantly to spare the child. She dedicated her unborn child to St. Ann and promised that, if the baby were a girl, she would name her Ann. A baby boy was born safely, and in the providence of God became a priest. The miracles, graces and favors wrought through the intercession of St. Ann are innumerable. The Little Sisters of the Poor are very devoted to St. Ann, and after St. Joseph, she is the secondary patroness of the congregation.
How blessed we are that a family who wished to remain anonymous gave to St. Paul’s a magnificent woodcut statue of St. Ann, hand carved in Italy. The statue is given simply In Loving Memory of Josie, and it is in our Daily Mass Chapel. Visit this statue and pray to good St. Ann. It is my hope that after we are all gone and forgotten the future generations of St. Paul’s will love and invoke St. Ann. The presence of this statue gives me great personal joy because when I was ordained a priest 36 years ago I made a promise that if ever I were to be made a pastor of a Church I would place a statue of St. Ann in the Church. For you see, the lady to whom I made reference earlier is my own mother who went home to God last year, and the baby boy is now your Pastor. Had it not been for St. Ann, I would not be here with you today.
St. Ann, Mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray for us!
St. Paul’s Centerstage production of Willy Wonka: Please see the bulletin announcement for all the information about the St. Paul’s Centerstage Production of Willy Wonka. Many parishioners have been working very hard to provide this musical play for us. Please see the bulletin for the dates of performance and join us for a wonderful evening or afternoon of entertainment. It will be well worth while. I am very grateful to the cast and staff of Centerstage for their efforts and very diligent work which I have personally seen.
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 in the bulletin, please remember our Parish Picnic which will be on Saturday Evening September 9th. Please remember that the Saturday Evening Mass for that Saturday only will be at 4.00PM, not at 5.00PM. I am grateful that Mrs. Louise Shannon and Mrs. Adriana Milana will be the co-chairs of the picnic this year. Since my arrival 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.
On Sunday October 15, 2017, at 4.00PM, we will once again welcome the world renowned Glenn Mohr Chorale who will present a beautiful musical pageant based on the life of Our Blessed Mother. It is entitled Memorare: Mary Remembers. Please join us for an inspiring and uplifting afternoon of music as we celebrate the month of October, the month of the Most Holy Rosary. October 13th will mark the 100th anniversary of the last of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima at which occurred the Miracle of the Sun (October 13, 1917).
Our Gala Casino Night will be at the Milleridge Inn on Thursday, October 26th. This is always a fun filled event and a major fund raiser for our parish. The theme for this year’s Gala Casino night will be the official welcome of Deacon Raymond P. D’Alessio to St. Paul’s. I am grateful to Marco Posillico of M&M Entertainment, and a longtime friend, who will provide the casino games once again.
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.
Capital Campaign: Last weekend I spoke at all the Masses to announce the beginning of our Capital Campaign. I went into great detail (too much perhaps) in explaining our need to upgrade our building and grounds. The projects for which the capital campaign is being conducted will be completed in three phases. First, we will address the needed repairs to the rectory and the replacement of all the windows in Monsignor Costa hall. (This has already begun). The second phase will be the restoration of the interior of the Church. The third phase will be the repaving, restriping of the parking lot and the upgrading of our landscaping. This is an exciting time as we remember-restore and renew our buildings and grounds for the future generations.
The so called quiet phase of the campaign began shortly after Easter and I am happy to report that we are off to a great start in raising the 2.8 million dollars that will be needed for these capital projects. During the quiet phase I met with individuals and small groups to discuss our great project. I was so pleased with the enthusiastic response of so many. After our parish Picnic in September every parishioner will be invited to meetings at which I will explain in further detail what our plans are, with particular emphasis on the Church. Many may recall that I wrote over 15 articles in 2016 about the Church building and its importance and meaning as the gate of Heaven and the Vestibule of Eternity.
Marian Guild: Last week I wrote about our Knights of Columbus and this week I would like to write of the Marian Guild which works with the Knights in such a harmonious way. In fact the Marian Guild and the Knights sponsor the Communion Breakfast each year which is always so uplifting.
The Marian Guild is an association of the faithful whose primary purpose is the sanctification of the members through the living out of the total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many of the events of the Guild are spiritual in nature: There is the memorial Mass for deceased members, the Lenten Evening of Recollection, the Communion Breakfast, and many occasions when presentations are given about Our Lady.
In addition to this, the Marian Guild is of infinite value in working with the pastor not only for the sanctification of the parish, but also for its physical well-being. Through their many fund raising efforts the Marian Guild is able to assist us all. In fact, the Marian Guild purchased the furniture for the pastor’s rooms which I have enjoyed and my successors will enjoy for many years. The Marian Guild also purchased the new dining room set for the rectory and new office furniture for the pastor’s office. These items will be enjoyed and used for decades to come.
I have had the pleasure to work with four different presidents of the Guild (who usually serve for one year) since my arrival at St. Paul’s in 2013: Mrs. Roxann Romano, Mrs. Louise Shannon, Mrs. Gina Cinelli, and Mrs. Diane Turner. Diane has agreed to serve for yet another term. The Marian Guild Board consists of: President: Diane Turner; Vice-President: Eileen Daly-Sapraicone; Recording Secretary: Mary Comisso; Treasurer: Rosemarie Marciano (whose daughter Tina recently married Paolo in a beautiful wedding) Corresponding Secretary: Toni Romas; Advisors: Gina Cinelli, Roxann Romano, and Lucy Tamborino. May God bless and reward each of these wonderful ladies and all the members of the Guild. I would encourage every woman in our parish to join the Marian Guild.
St. Philip Neri: We must not be behind time in doing good; for death will not be behind his time.
St. Josémaria Escrivá: Do not lament the past; learn from it and begin again.
Pope Francis: Happy are the young because they have time before them to do good.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda