The month will kick off with the celebration of First Communion. Our parish Second Graders have been preparing for months for the reception of the Blessed Sacrament for the first time. Their enthusiasm and excitement and preparation are tangible and beautiful to behold. Perhaps there is a lesson for us as well in that, to make sure that our reception of the Eucharist never becomes a matter of routine, but something we look forward to with expectation, as well as approaching it with the proper dispositions – freedom from grave sin and an understanding of what we are doing. Please pray for them as they finish their preparation and celebrate this great milestone in their relationship with Christ next weekend.
Following on the heels of First Communion will be the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for our high school juniors. Like their younger brothers and sisters in Christ who have been preparing for First Communion, they too have spent these months preparing to be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and draw closer to Christ through the gifts of the Spirit. Bishop Hying was originally scheduled to celebrate the sacrament with our confirmation candidates, but after being transferred to the Diocese of Gary, Indiana, I will have the great privilege of stepping into his place to confirm our young people. It is something I am looking forward to with great joy, particularly after having read their Confirmation letters which reveals them to be young people who know the importance of faith in their lives and are taking this step freely and willingly.
The month of May is also a month set aside and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin in particular. So, it’s certainly a wonderful thing to increase or add some Marian devotion to our normal prayer routines - a rosary a day, a visit to the shrines of Our Lady found in our parish church, spending some time meditating on her example as revealed in the Scriptures. You are also invited to attend our annual May Crowning taking place on the evening of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th. The May Crowning tradition began with St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) who began the custom of decorating a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was around this time in the Church’s history that May was dedicated in a particular way to Mary and celebrated with festivities, processions, prayer and the crowning of a statue of Mary. So, please join us that evening and sing the praises of Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth!
As if this weren’t enough celebrating, we will conclude the month of May with the graduation of our 8th Graders from our parish school. We are proud of these young men and women who have been educated and formed right in the heart of our parish, at our school. Along with all of these festivities we also will have baptisms and weddings, the great celebrations of the Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. And while the celebration of Trinity Sunday supersedes our patronal feast day of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 31st this year, we keep in mind that May is a particularly special month for all of us here at this parish dedicated to the patronage of Our Lady of the Visitation.
As you can readily see there are a lot of things going on at St. Mary’s and if you want to keep abreast of them and find out more as well as needed information on the parish and our activities, be sure to check out our new parish website! Take a peek at www.stmaryeg.org if you haven’t already!