Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! Once again I extend sincere gratitude to all of you for your many kindnesses to me and to St. Paul’s parish. I am very grateful to God, that despite my unworthiness, He has called me to be the sixth pastor of St. Paul’s.
May I once again, invite everyone to the Installation Mass which will be on Saturday, September 7th at 4.00pm. (Please note the change in time from the usual 5.00pm Mass time). The Mass will be followed by the annual parish picnic and so it will be a very happy time for us all to be together. It is during the Mass that the new Pastor will be installed, but the Mass is offered to the glory of God and in thanksgiving for the graces that He has showered upon us. Let us all ask the good St. Joseph for the grace of favorable weather on that day.
We are happy to welcome to the Installation Mass the Marianist Fathers and Brothers and the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Little Sisters will sing a beautiful French folk hymn to Our Blessed Mother called Chez Nous Soyez Reine. (Be Queen Over Us). It is a beautiful hymn that is sung for the grace of religious vocations and it is my hope that many vocations to the priesthood and religious life will come forth from St. Paul. I am grateful to our parish musicians, the Little Sisters Choir, the members of St. Paul Centerstage and all who will be lifting their voices in the praise of God.
As everyone knows this weekend we celebrate Labor Day. We must always remember that Work itself is God’s creation and gift to the human race. Some may have the mistaken belief that Work is a punishment for the Original Sin. One modern author referred to work as Adam’s curse. But such is not the case. In the book of Genesis we read that God asked Adam and Eve to till the Garden even before their Fall. So we know all work is good and holy in and of itself. In fact it is through work that we glorify God and reach our full potential. We must remember that Our Lord Jesus Christ dignified work by Himself spending the greater part of His life as a worker. He was a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, the good St. Joseph. But at the time of Our Lord a carpenter did much more than work with wood. He also worked with metal and did construction. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Our Lord was a craftsman and contractor as we would put it in modern speech.
Sometimes we may believe that only the priests or the religious are doing holy work. But all work may become the Work of God when it is done with love and with the desire to please God. And so then, whatever our work may be, whether we be students or teachers, medical professionals or secretaries, mechanics or crane operators, whatever our work may be it is the Work of God and when offered to Him becomes the means of our self-expression and our love for God.
May I wish you all a Blessed and Happy and safe Labor Day. Sincere best wishes and prayers to all our students who will be returning to school. May Our Lady, the Seat of Wisdom, guide them always.
Please mark your calendar that on September 15th which is Catechetical Sunday. On that day there will be a reception after the 9.30 Mass so that we may all bid a fond farewell to Father James who will be returning to Rome to continue his doctoral studies. We may come to the Church hall after Mass to visit with Father and to assure him that we will anxiously await his return to us next summer and that he will be ever in our prayers and hearts
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda