The Spirit of God fills the whole earth, Come let us adore Him! Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother!
It is hard to believe that it has been 90 days since all of us, from the oldest to the youngest, came forward and were sealed with the Blessed Ashes and heard those words which we must hear again and again throughout our lives: Remember, you are dust and unto dust you shall return!
And thus did we begin that most Holy Season of Lent. Then seven weeks ago today, our hearts leapt with joy as we heard the wondrous news on Easter Sunday, Christ is Risen; He is Truly Risen! And today, Pentecost Sunday, the glorious mystery of Easter is brought to its wondrous conclusion. For today God the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the world. Today, our old, tired and cold world is made new, refreshed and warm with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Today’s Liturgy is most ancient and most beautiful. After the epistle the sequence is sung, a very ancient hymn to the Holy Spirit. It is called, Veni Sancte Spiritus! (Come Holy Spirit). Today, and only on this day, it is given to priests the privilege to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. As we know, normally it is only the Bishop who administers the sacrament of Confirmation.
Seven adults will be confirmed at the 11.00am Mass today. Of these seven one will also be baptized and one will be received into the Catholic Church. We welcome, Elena, Gladys, Jean, Melissa, Sophia, Robert, and Madeline into our community of faith, our little ark which sails through the turbulence of the world’s seas. We welcome them to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
Many of you undoubtedly have seen the beautiful shrine of St. Paul the Apostle on the grounds on the north side of the Church. The lovely statue, made in Italy, stands on a stone pedestal before which there is a kneeling bench. The area around the statue is beautifully landscaped. The shrine is a gift to our parish on the part of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Gunther and family. It was built and landscaped by Mr. Michael Lynch. It was solemnly blessed by His Excellency Bishop Andrzej, who is such a good friend to St. Paul’s, on May 10, 2014. A light shines on the statue so that it is easily seen from busy Rte. 107. In these lovely evenings I often walk past the shrine while saying the Rosary. I look at St. Paul and I always imagine him shouting out to all who pass by on foot or by car the comforting words he wrote in the Second Epistle to St. Timothy (1:12): I know Him in Whom I have believed!
My prayer for all of us at this Holy Time of the end of Easter is that like our patron and father St. Paul, we, too, may ever know Him in whom we have believed.
Monsignor James F. Pereda