Thank you all who worked so hard to make our Confirmations so beautiful. A special thank you to Brenda Heffernan, assistants and catechists for their hard work and dedication. The joint effort of the religious education program and the school made things so smooth and the Bishop loved it! The music was just right and the ushers kept things in good order. I’d also like to thank the
environmental committee for all that they did. May God enrich our students with the gifts of the Holy Spirit!
You may have noticed a white clothes, shoes and small appliance collection box as you came in from Route 9. The proceeds for these items will go to Catholic Charities. Please do not put any clothes in the narthex any more. Drop them in this container instead.
Our new church roof passed a few tests this week with the many heavy downfalls last week! Last Thursday the new microphone system was installed. This should even out the sound so that the music will not be extremely loud in certain parts of the church. We will still need to collect another $15,000 to pay for it, but the company has graciously offered to let us pay it off a thousand dollars a month. You are welcome to make an earmarked donation for this by writing “microphones” in the memo on the check.
We are now working on the lighting in the church. Right now volunteers have put in new bulbs, but they are not energy efficient and they make the sanctuary area very warm when they are all on. Thank you again, volunteers, for your efforts. Parents from the school will be replacing the burned out bulbs in the gym soon.
We now have permission to sell the Spiritual Center. The proceeds will be used to fix the roof of the old school building. I would like to put a new roof on the rectory before it starts to leak.
I am not sure where the other money will go since we do owe the diocese and we are also paying off our debt for the narthex.
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles recalls the first ordination and reveals some important aspects about Holy Orders. The Apostles know they are empowered to impart to others the priestly office received from Christ. For the Eucharist, designation of a
presiding officer is not enough. Ordination is required with a special prayer and imposition of hands. The community’s role is to find persons who are right for ministry. That is, persons filled with the Spirit and wisdom. While vocations to Holy Orders come from God, we are all called to detect them and present them to the Church.
St. John Chrysostom and some current scholars do not view this ordination as a deaconate ordination, but rather a priesthood ordination. The daily distribution of food was a Jewish tradition. It provided a weekly allowance of 14 meals. Three men were able to do this service for all of Jerusalem so the call for seven men to care for the Hellenist, a minority, was really an overkill. There are no other references to these seven ordained doing charitable activity. Stephen devoted himself intensively to preaching and Philip journeyed to preach the gospel.
The widow’s complaints could not warrant the gathering of the community of disciples. Widows may actually have been those who lived the consecrated life. The Greek speaking community may have felt slighted by Aramean speaking Jews.
Prayer generally took place at the Temple, then the faithful would go to their homes to take meals. If these were just meals, why would they be worth mentioning? The number of believers was growing and Apostles were no longer able to be present everywhere. It seems that this may have actually been for the celebration of the
Eucharist. The Apostles had to remedy the shortage of ministers. This did not seem to be just an administrative appointment. The community gathered. The Apostles composed a special prayer to implore the action of the Holy Spirit. The imposition of hands implies the imparting of sacred powers in the Jewish tradition. It seems that these men were being empowered to preside at the Eucharist and to proclaim the Good News. These actions are more of a priestly role.