24 April 2016 + Fifth Sunday of Easter
Last Sunday, as I was sitting with Bishop Callahan at my dining room table having a cup of coffee, he was paging through our sacramental records and commented on how impressed he was with the number of infant baptisms since his visit last year. He paid a great complement to the young parents of All Saints Parish indicating this as a sign of our vitality as a parish. Sadly, he reported, that when he goes to some parishes there seems to be so few infant baptisms. I guess I hadn't looked at the list recently, and it truly is impressive. I am getting a sense that among our younger families there is a growing realization of the importance of bothfaith and a need for Christian community.
In recent meetings with our staff we have been talking about ways of getting our young families together just to meet each other and support one another through our school and religious education programs. I look forward to this discussion because I know our parish community can be a source of good for families looking for positive reinforcement in a world that is becoming more and more negative towards marriage and family life. We need to celebrate marriage, family life, and children. It is always a joy for me to give a blessing to each of the children coming up with their parents when they receive Holy Communion. It seems that the children look forward to it as well. It is always my hope that this special blessing each Sunday will be a source of grace for them. I also make it a point to give the children a "high-five" when they come out of church just to let them know that I am not just the priest at the altar, but a priest who cares about them personally. It is a joy when they make it a point to come over to me to get their "high-five." It is these simple things that make our faith community important and personal.
Next Sunday I look forward to the First Holy Communion of our second-graders. Please remember that there will be a change in the Mass schedule again. Because First Holy Communion will take place at St. Rose of Lima Church on May 1, Holy Family Church will have the 8:00am Mass, St. Joseph Church will remain at 9:30am, and St. Rose of Lima Church will have the 11:00am Mass. Thank you for making these changes so that the sacraments can be distributed around each year to our churches.
Wednesday, April 27th, will be the last of our religious education classes for the year. I want to thank Sara Rykal and all of her volunteers for their hard work and dedication. I also want to commend the parents who have made religious education and faith formation for their children a priority and I hope you will continue to be both supportive and committed to our program as we try to make it stronger and better.
Blessings and best wishes,
Fr. William P. Felix