My Dear Parishioners,
I am happy to report that we have received more than enough in donations to refurbish our St. Joseph statue. I will be looking into how we can improve the entire display with the extra money collected. I have asked the artisan to complete the work. It will still take some time because of his backlog.
May is the month of Mary and a time when we reflect on Our Blessed Mother’s willingness to make a home for Jesus within her. We too are called to make a home for Jesus in our hearts and Mary will help us do that. We honor Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth in a special way with our May Procession on Monday, May 8th. The procession begins at 7:20 p.m. in the grassy area between the two back parking lots (weather permitting). We invite all members of the 2023 Confirmation class and First Communion class to take a place of honor in the procession. Please wear your First Communion attire or your Confirmation robes. We also ask parishioners to bring flowers from your gardens. The flowers are carried in procession along with a statue of Mary and then placed in front of the statue as a tribute to the Blessed Virgin. After the procession we will pray the Rosary. The night closes with Benediction. It is a beautiful devotion and I hope to see you there.
In honor of the Blessed Mother our parish is also sponsoring a six week Bible Study entitled The Bible and the Virgin Mary. Meetings will be Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in Classroom 18 starting this Wednesday, April 26th and going until Wednesday, May 31st. Please call the rectory to register. We will be using the program from the Formed website.
On April 30th the universal Catholic Church observes the 60th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations. By setting aside this day, the church publicly reminds each of us of our need to pray so that Our Lord may send laborers into his harvest. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has provided the following message:
“The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes” (to the people).”
What follows is a portion of last year’s address from Pope Francis:
God Bless You!
God’s loving and creative gaze met us in an entirely unique way in Jesus. The evangelist Mark tells us that, in speaking with the rich young man, “Jesus looking upon him, loved him” (10:21). This gaze of Jesus, full of love, rests upon each of us. Brothers and sisters, let us allow ourselves to be moved by this gaze to allow him to lead us outside of ourselves! Let us also learn to look at one another in such a way that all those with whom we live and encounter – whoever they may be – will feel welcomed and discover that there is Someone who looks at them with love and invites them to develop their full potential.
Our lives change when we welcome this gaze. Everything becomes a vocational dialogue between ourselves and the Lord, but also between ourselves and others. A dialogue that, experienced in depth, makes us become ever more who we are. In the vocation to the ordained priesthood, to be instruments of Christ’s grace and mercy. In the vocation to the consecrated life, to be the praise of God and the prophecy of a new humanity. In the vocation to marriage, to be mutual gift and givers and teachers of life. In every ecclesial vocation and ministry that calls us to see others and the world through God’s eyes, to serve goodness and to spread love with our works and words.