Last Saturday, we had two First Holy Communion Masses. It was a happy occasion for not only the parish, but also for those who received the Holy Eucharist for the first time. I am grateful for all their teachers and catechists for preparing them. This year I had 8th graders do the readings at the Masses so they can be a role model for our 2nd graders. I hope that it also inspired their parents to bring their children every Sunday to Mass. Everything worked out well. The ushers also helped out by making sure that some of our visitors received the Holy Eucharist. I guess that they forgot that it is necessary for them to consume the Host in front of the priest, deacon or minister of Holy Communion.
I thank all of you who sponsored me in the school walk-a-thon. We raised an extra $417 for the school! The school children raised a total of $8,264, but my contribution was beat out by a 4th grader who brought in $939. On Monday, May 19th at 2 PM, the school will present another May Crowning. I hope you will be able to come. It should be as moving as the Living Stations which they presented on Good Friday.
This, being May, is a special month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We have put her tapestry up on the left wall of the church to honor her.
Tomorrow (Monday) Bishop O’Connell will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on our 8th graders from the school and the religious education program. I would love to invite you, but I do not think there will be much room for you since their families will probably fill the church, but please keep them in your prayers because they are walking into a very difficult and amoral world. I am having a Mass for those confirmandi who are able to attend at 9:30 AM tomorrow since the Bishop is conferring the Sacrament outside of the Mass. You are certainly invited to that.
Speaking of the Bishop, Bishop O’Connell has granted me permission to sell the Spiritual Center. I am hoping to use this revenue to help pay for maintenance and repair of our buildings. The roof on the old school building needs replacing (~$110,000) and I will also have the leak on the gym stage fixed. The rectory is due for a new roof too (~$40,000). Flat roofs are always a problem and they are expensive to maintain.
Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Traditionally, this Sunday has been known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.
Shepherd was a biblical title for a king which implied that he must take care of his subjects. The sheepfold was a body of citizens with a locked door for protection. In rural areas, a circle of rocks was made to enclose the sheep and the shepherd would serve bodily as the door. Jesus describes Himself as the sheep gate. In the temple there was such a gate where the sheep would enter to be sacrificed. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is willing to lay down His life for His sheep while the Pharisees merely shear the sheep for their wool. Jesus knows His sheep. He is the gate of the sheepfold which leads to security. In ancient times the door to heaven was the sky which yielded manna in the desert. Now Jesus is the door to heaven Who is the Eucharist, the true bread from heaven.
Our Parish Council had devised a new Trinitarian Mission for the parish. Before we make it official, here it is for you to look at and comment upon:
The mission of St. Veronica’s Parish is to accept the unmerited gift from God our Father, Who sends us His only Son and His Holy Spirit to lead us back to Him. As Roman Catholics, we strive to model our lives on the Son of God by the example of His humanity which enables us to supernaturally unite to God. Choosing to direct our minds and hearts in Christ, we seek to show this mystical union in our world by acknowledging that God works supernaturally through us, inspiring us to reach out with love and mercy to all people. We support our school and religious education programs in the hope of sharing with young people the Holy Spirit’s life within us so that they can continue to spread the joy of the Gospel.