First of all, at the request of Bishop Sullivan and on behalf of the Diocese of Camden our parish will be hosting a young man desiring to be a seminarian (and ultimately a priest) for our diocese. Mr. Anthony Infanti will live at the rectory and will be working in our parish in various capacities: visiting the sick in the hospital as well as the homebound, helping in the school, assisting with our religious education program, reading and serving at Mass, and various other tasks. Please welcome and prayerfully support Anthony so that he will one day serve as a priest in our diocese.
Next, I remind everyone to keep in mind our three basic goals as we strive for the renewal of our parish: love God, love your neighbor and make disciples. We will be working to create a welcoming atmosphere, attempt to provide good liturgical music while our priests and deacon will strive to deliver insightful, thought-provoking homilies primarily based on each Sunday’s readings.
I certainly hope that all Catholics would realize the importance of weekly Mass attendance. The desire to hear the Word of God proclaimed and preached, and a longing for Jesus, the Bread of Life should be at the heart of a Catholic’s spirituality. Quite frankly, there is nothing more important for parish life and for the life of the universal Church than attendance at and participation during Mass. I was reminded by today’s reading for daily Mass (Luke 4: 16-30) how Jesus “went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day.” If it was important for Jesus to have this custom, then shouldn't this be our practice with our Mass attendance?
We continually request volunteers to help around the parish. There are needs at various Masses for readers, servers, ushers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and choir members / leaders of song. Perhaps you can help clean the church, join a service or fundraising committee, oversee parking during weekend Masses, teach religious education, or volunteer your gifts and talents in some other capacity?
A pastor with the clergy and religious can help set the tone for a parish. Yet, the heart of any parish is its people. The more prayerful and dedicated we all are to Jesus Christ, the stronger and more vibrant this (or any) parish will be. The fruit of prayer will be the various good works that will be both inspired and accomplished with God’s grace.
I realize all too well that I can’t do anything without the grace of God and your support. I hope that you recognize that I hate asking for money, but I comprehend all too well that we can’t pay our bills, maintain our buildings and grounds or continue our many programs without it. Please be as generous as your means allow.
As our regional school reopens and the presence of our youth once again becomes a daily occurrence, please pray for our students and their teachers, and the administration and staff.
May we work together to build the Kingdom of God!
Fr. Ed Namiotka