August 13, 2017
Dear Parishioners of our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! Once again, may I express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your extraordinary kindness both to St. Paul the Apostle parish and to me. May God reward each and every one of you for your goodness in giving of your time, treasure and talent. I am very humbled to serve as the pastor of such a wonderful parish.
This week we turn our thoughts to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the All-Holy and Immaculate Mother of God, whose Assumption we will celebrate on Tuesday, August 15th. The Assumption is a Holyday of Obligation. The Masses will be celebrated on Monday evening at 7.30PM and on Tuesday at 8.00AM and 12.15PM.
The Assumption of Our Lady is both the most ancient and the principle Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It celebrates the wondrous mystery that at the end of her earthly life Our Lady was taken Body and Soul into Heaven.
Many of our parishioners have visited the tombs of the saints. Here in our beloved country we may visit the tomb of Mother Cabrini in upper Manhattan; we may visit the tomb of St John Neumann at the Church of St. Peter at the corner 5th Street and Gerard Street in Philadelphia; we may visit the tomb of St. Elizabeth Anne Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. But no matter how many times we may circle the globe we will never find the tomb of the Virgin Mary. We, who are believers, know why that is the case. It is because there is no tomb nor has there ever been a place that has claimed to have her body! She was taken body and soul to heaven. There is no tomb.
Make every effort to attend Holy Mass and to offer a special gift of love to Our Lady. In many places there is the custom to fast from August 1st until August 15th. This is called Our Lady’s Lent. May God bless you.
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 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.
St. Paul Centerstage: Our parish Centerstage Production of Willy Wonka will be performed on August 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th. Many parishioners have been working very hard to provide this musical play for us. Please see the bulletin for the dates of performance and be sure to attend.
Gala Casino Night: We are now in the midst of planning for our annual parish Gala Dinner Dance. As always, I am most grateful to Mrs. Paula Maturo and her dedicated committee who plan this wonderful event. This event is the major fundraiser for our parish. Please see the bulletin for details. The parish gala will be on Thursday October 26th. It will be a Dinner and Casino Night at the Milleridge Inn Cottage and it will be the official welcome of Deacon Raymond P. D’Alessio to St. Paul the Apostle. Our friends the M&M Twins (Marco and Michael Posillico, whom I have known for 25 years) will present a wonderful evening of entertainment. St. Paul’s depends on this fundraiser. It is my fond hope that many parishioners will come together for this fundraiser so that we may continue to exist as a viable and vibrant parish.
Capital Campaign: I have spoken at all 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.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda