The weather has finally turned towards spring! I usually love winter, but even for myself this winter was getting a bit long! The joy of hearing the snow melt, the sun shining and temperatures warming up to where one can tentatively open some windows is one of the joys of spring! Another of the joys of spring is the celebration of Easter and the various celebrations which unfold during this Easter Season. This Easter Season there is much here at St. Mary’s to celebrate and I’d like to remind you of a few of them.
Last weekend we celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation – we were privileged to have Archbishop Listecki here to celebrate this sacrament with our teenagers who prepared over the course of this year for this powerful advent of the Holy Spirit in their lives. It was a joy for them and for their families. Also, last weekend I announced at all the Masses that Fr. John Gibson, currently Associate Pastor at St. Dominic’s Parish in Brookfield, has been assigned as part-time Associate Pastor here at St. Mary’s and part-time Chaplain at Catholic Memorial High School. We will officially welcome him in June and we will be hearing directly from him in the coming weeks as he begins to introduce himself to the parish community. I am sure we will all be grateful for the ministry he will exercise here. We also continue to be grateful for the ministry that Fr. Dave Filut has exercised amongst us for nearly eight years and will continue to exercise here in the future. Please join us on May 6th following the 9:00 AM Mass to celebrate Fr. Dave’s 50th Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood and to thank him for all the help and assistance he has given to our parish.
That same weekend, albeit later in the afternoon, our First Communicants will celebrate their First Communion at a special Mass at 1:30 in the afternoon. Please pray for these children as they prepare to receive Christ present in the Eucharist for the first time. It is a joy as a pastor to be able to celebrate this with the children and to have the privilege of giving them their First Communion! Join us later that week on the evening of May 10th for our annual May Crowning, our annual celebration to honor our patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. This is also an important tradition for our 2nd Graders and 8th Graders and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
We also have the great joy of celebrating the ordination of two of our parish sons, Deacon William Arnold and Deacon John LoCoco, to the priesthood on May 19th. This will be a joyful occasion for them and for their families and for the entire parish. I am not sure how long it has been - but probably decades - since two men from the same parish were ordained to the priesthood the same year. Deacon Arnold will celebrate his First Mass at the 5:00 PM Mass on Saturday, May 19th; Deacon LoCoco will celebrate his First Mass at the 11:00 AM Mass on Sunday, May 20th. Join us after each of those Masses for a celebration in the Atrium and an opportunity to receive their first blessings.
I find myself, more and more, giving thanks to God for all the blessings He bestows on this parish, He has been so good to us and it’s easy when we live in the midst of it to not recognize it for what it is, or to take it for granted. God has been very, very good to St. Mary’s – and I hope and pray that we will respond to His goodness by following Him with love and obedience and doing His will with joyful hearts.