Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, single fathers and other father figures in our life. We will have a special blessing for all these good men at every Mass.
There are also some other celebrations worthy of our attention. The Bishops of our nation are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In our Diocese, the launch of the Eucharistic Revival begins today, June 19 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, with a noon Mass celebrated by Bishop Checchio and a Eucharistic Procession to follow. In our parish, I am not aware of any Eucharistic procession in recent memory. This Sunday’s feast of Corpus Christi is a beautiful opportunity for us to have a Eucharistic procession. Hence, weather permitting, we will have a short Eucharistic procession on Saturday within our campus – just around the church and school – at the end of the 5 pm Mass and conclude with Benediction. I invite us all to join and receive the Lord’s blessings.
This Sunday is “Juneteenth.” What is it? Even though the Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom to all enslaved persons took effect on January 1, 1863, the last quarter of a million enslaved people were finally set free by Union troops in Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19, 1865. This triumphant day is known as “Juneteenth.” Although it has long been celebrated in the African-American community, this event remains largely unknown to most Americans. The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times. Just as we praise and thank God for the emancipation of the enslaved Israelites during the Exodus, we raise our hands in prayers of gratitude for the freedom of our formerly enslaved Black Brothers and Sisters! Remember what we sang on the Easter Vigil: “Sing a song of freedom! God has won the victory!” This is applicable to Juneteenth and any other instance of injustice that calls for liberation.
Next Sunday we celebrate our 60th Anniversary Mass presided by our Bishop. We have invited all the priests, deacons, religious and lay men and women who have served our parish and school. The Parish Pastoral & Finance Councils, and other parishioners have suggested that we use this Anniversary to do some renovation of our church that is long overdue. Some of the suggested ideas are: Refurbishing the pews, renewing the floor, Add more bathrooms, Narthex (a big enclosed gathering area from the breezeway up to the statue of Mary) Renew/clean the Church walls, Replace church windows with stained glass. But how do we raise funds? It was suggested that we ask each family to contribute, keeping in mind the 60th Anniversary, a minimum of $60 or multiples of 60 (120, 180, 240, etc) as each family is able to sacrifice.
What among these church renovation ideas should we prioritize? Or, are there other needs that you, our parish family, have in your mind? Our Councils agreed that we ask the whole parish for your input. Hence, we will have a short and easy google survey. I invite all of us to respond to that so that your voices will be heard, and appropriate decisions can be made.
God bless us all to have a happy and meaningful 60th Anniversary Mass and continue other celebrations throughout the remaining part of this year.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal