Fr. Tom’s Letters

 

Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the faith life of our Parish.

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

With one week remaining in the Easter Season, we look forward to the Solemnity of Pentecost next Sunday.  At the same time, we can be very grateful for the blessings and joyous occasions of these past six weeks of the Easter Season.

We can remember the great crowds of people and the beautiful weather of Easter morning.  More than 5,000 people came to Easter Mass and people went home to their Easter celebrations with a great sense of the joy of the Easter liturgy.  Our Church was decorated beautifully; our music was outstanding; the liturgies were filled with a rich sense of community, promise, gratitude and joy.  We enjoyed a wonderful beginning to the Easter Season.

Confirmation for our eighth graders soon followed.  More than 200 young teens presented themselves with their sponsors to Bishop Brennan for the sacred anointing with holy chrism.  We spend a lot of time assisting and preparing our students for Confirmation.  The beautiful Mass and the way the girls and boys responded helps us all to know that the work of preparation is all worth it.  The Holy Spirit was truly present at the Confirmation Mass.  Our new faith formation leadership team, along with all the catechists, led by parishioner Vivian Flood, witnessed the fruits of their many labors on Confirmation Day.  These kinds of celebrations excite us for the work to begin anew next year.

Immediately after Confirmation, we began our five Saturday First Holy Communion celebrations.  These are always delightful days in a parish and that was surely the case this year.  Weather for Confirmation was great; the Saturdays of May weather for First Holy Communions were less than ideal.  We had some rainy, damp, cool Saturdays.  In no way though did the weather diminish the joy of our second graders.  At First Holy Communions, the children wear their joy on their faces.  Their smiles are priceless; their responses to question are precious.  As they receive Jesus for the first time, these children are exactly where they need to be.  What a wonderful day it is for their parents who accompany them to receive Jesus.  Again, our parish and school faith formation team can know they are truly doing God’s work.  The happiness and gratitude of the First Holy Communion families make God’s presence abundantly clear.

Our Faith Formation program is already preparing for next year.  Vivian Flood and I have met to speak about how we can enhance our sacramental preparation years.  Our great need for Faith Formation is catechists.  We have about 1000 students in Faith Formation.  We like to keep classes small.  That requires about 70 catechists.  It’s not too early to volunteer.  Call Vivian at 488-1032 to inquire about being a catechist.  It’s not too early.  Volunteering now will help us in our preparation and give you time to prepare.

Our parish school is now anticipating graduations.  These will again be great days for our young people and their parents.  At a recent Parish School May Crowning Mass, the students shined in their knowledge of the events that make up the Joyous and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.  We have many great qualities in our school.  We do well academically.  Evidence of that is the consistent testimony of high school principals about the preparedness of St. Anne students.  We are always presenting our students and families with the faith perspective.  Among our many qualities is that ours is a happy school.  We are grateful to Mr. Fennell, as he concludes his first year as our school principal, for the many personal gifts that he brings to our school.  Among these are his own joy and enthusiasm.

TODAY’S GOSPEL

The opening line of today’s gospel gives us a clear image, “Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father…’”  We get to hear Jesus speaking to the Father.  In a sense, we get to hear Jesus praying.  Jesus prays about his relationship to the Father and he prays for all those to whom he has been sent.  In the midst of these personal words to the Father Jesus says, “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”  Central to these prayerful words of Jesus is relationship.  As we hear often, we are called to a personal relationship with God.  These words remind us we are called to know God, not simply know about God.  We know “about” a lot of people.  We “know” many fewer.  We want to know God by being with him.  We need to listen to God in prayer, not only speak to him or tell him what we want.  We need to welcome Jesus, not only by saying our prayers, but receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.  We not only seek to believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world, we want to feel the Holy Spirit living in us as we make decisions and practice virtues.

PENTECOST CONFIRMATIONS

As we celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost next Sunday, we will confirm four adults at the 10:00 Mass.  Completing their Christian initiation through this sacrament, these four adults have been preparing for the sacrament this past year in our RCIA.  The celebration of Confirmation for adults at a parish Pentecost Mass is a great reminder of the gifts of the Holy Spirit among us.

GOLF OUTING

Time is fast approaching for our parish golf outing.  In a short two weeks, parishioners will gather at the nearby Garden City Country Club for this annual day of parish community and fun.  There will be a “beat the pastor” contest on a par-3 hole.  You will probably win!!!  We still need additional golfers to make this Monday June 12th a very successful event.  You do not have to have a foursome to register.  We can help complete your group with other participants.

Enjoy a Blessed week!

                                                              Fr. Tom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.