Pastor’s Columns

September 23, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Happy belated parish feast day. A week ago Friday, September 14th, was the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross – our patronal feast.  The feast celebrates a double anniversary.  In Jerusalem, Constantine erected a round church, the Anastasis, above the empty tomb of Jesus, and a basilica, the Martyrium; in the square between the two churches, a shrine, Calvarium, marking the place of the crucifixion.  Dedicated in 335, they were destroyed by the Persians in 614.  The two churches were rebuilt by Patriarch Modestus of Jerusalem in 626, but they were later destroyed by the Muslims in 1009.  The present church of the Holy Sepulcher, rebuilt by the Crusaders, was dedicated in 1149.  Definitely a need to always pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  September 14th also commemorates the discovery of the Lord’s cross by the empress, St. Helena in 320.  We have a relic, a tiny sliver of Jesus’ Cross, kept in a reliquary in our church ambry, the case in the wall to the right of Mary where the holy oils are displayed.  We also have a certificate from the Vatican dated from 1953 in our safe validating its authenticity as much as possible almost 17 centuries later.  The most reverent remembering and veneration of wood recalling Christ’s crucifixion bringing about our salvation happens annually at the service on Good Friday.  We also pray the Stations of the Cross throughout the year but especially during Lent reminding us of Jesus’ love for us and all humanity.  Let us always glory in the Cross of Christ.

This weekend begins regular Faith Formation classes beginning with Section 1. I am very grateful to all of the catechists who have offered their time, talent and likely treasure in preparing and passing on the faith to the next generations of Holy Cross Parish and the Church wherever they live.  The future of our Church will only be as strong and vibrant as the teaching parents, Godparents, catechists and clergy do during these formative years with our youngest members of the parish.
1st grade: Marian Goode, Tayah Goode, Andrea McFaul, Jiliaine Morales, Robin Moreira, Taylor Kodzis, and Isabella Whebe.
2nd grade: Melissa Shyne, Paula Amoroso, Amanda Nastasia, Kimberly Hedrick, and Carla Ramsey.
3rd grade: Meredith Lamb, Gina Brown, Rebecca Cabellon, Patricia Harris, Kara Lemanski, and Pamela Basse.
4th grade: Jennifer Smith, Jiliaine Morales, Dennis Kenny, Geoffrey Beaulieu, Madeline Peckham, and Peyton Krinsky.
5th grade: Margaret Hogan
6th grade: Ellie Calisi, Maureen Peloquin, and Suzanne Kenny.
7th grade: Daniel Hall, Kerry Vieira, and Mark Dias.
8th grade: Stephen Ferraro, Melina Finnerty, Ginger Lemay, Suzanne Williams, Cynthia Keane, and Liz McGinnis.
9th grade & 10th grade: Marie Chabot and emerging table leaders.
We still need catechists to fill out grades 5, 6, and 7.
Thank you for serving in one of the most important and necessary ministries in our parish.

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

September 16, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Labor Day 2018 is in the rear view mirror as we already head into the middle of September. Students and teachers are back in school and the parish staff has resumed regular hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. I have definitely noticed it getting darker earlier as I head to the parish for evening meetings.

Families are getting back into a routine after summer vacations and the parish is restarting meetings and activities after summer vacation. The Fall Festival will be taking a hiatus as we knew it, but be sure to watch for announcements for a parish Patriot’s vs. Da’ Bears Game watch on Sunday afternoon, October 21st beginning at 1:00pm in the Great Room.

It is the time of year to renew your commitment of being active parishioners of Holy Cross. I am grateful to so many of you who already take part in various aspects of our parish life. Your love for and active participation in the life of our parish community is what makes Holy Cross a vibrant and attractive parish for new families and for new generations of families who have called this parish their spiritual home for years. As we begin a new year of parish programs and ministries, I invite you to remain or become active in the parish. If you are already active, thank you for being the backbone of our parish. Without you the parish could not continue to thrive as a vibrant community of worship and service. If you were more active in your younger days but advanced age or ill health does not allow you to be as active, please know of the gratitude of the community for all you have done to build up our parish. If you are not yet active in the parish, I ask you to prayerfully consider at least one parish program or ministry that interests you and contact the parishioner coordinating that ministry. A listing of parish ministries is on page 5 of this week’s bulletin and expanded descriptions and coordinators’ names and contact information is on the Programs & Ministries tab on our parish website. I hope you will participate in many activities this coming year. Holy Cross Church is known for our sense of warmth, hospitality, family spirit and welcome. We have much to be thankful for as a parish community. It takes time, talent and the sharing of our treasures to be such a vibrant community of faith and service. Be sure to be an active member of Holy Cross Parish this year by actively participating in the life of our parish, helping us “to make God known, loved, and served” within and beyond our church walls.

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

 

June 24, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

School is finally out in Easton and summer has begun! I am happy to report that ten of our graduating seniors who are active in the parish are benefitting from the Fr. Murphy Scholarship fund this year. Each of them are receiving a $500 scholarship to help with their first semester of college this coming fall. We are grateful for your service to the parish throughout your elementary years as altar   servers, choir members, catechists for Faith Formation, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, Vacation Bible School assistants, God Squad, Main Spring Homeless shelter sandwich makers, Appalachia Service Project attendees, volunteers at the Fall Festival, Holly Fair’s Santa’s breakfast, My Brother’s Keeper, Louison Shelter and Parish Council members. You and your fellow Confirmation classmates and graduates are the future of the Church. Please know you always have a spiritual home here at 225 Purchase Street even though we won’t be seeing you in the pews as often as your life’s vocation continues to unfold in the years ahead. Know of our continued prayers for you and we look forward to welcoming you back at Christmas break!

Thank you to all who donated to the “Undie Sunday” underwear and sock drive for St. Vincent de Paul. We all know how beneficial and dignified having clean     underwear and socks feels each day. You are helping people less fortunate     maintain their human dignity. If you did not get a chance to donate this time I’m sure we will have future drives that you can help support

Thank you as well to all who sponsored holes, donated raffle items, will be playing in and having fun at this year’s Br. Jim Madigan, C.S.C. Golf Tournament starting at 1:30pm this afternoon. A special thanks to Rob Tarallo and Alex Alfieri who have been annually coordinating the tournament for the many years. This is a   major parish fundraiser and we are grateful to parishioners, friends of Holy Cross and businesses who make the tournament possible.

The Finance Commission had our last meeting of the year. The budgetary fiscal year ends next Saturday June 30th and the 2018-2019 fiscal year begins July 1st. We will be putting a summary of parish finances for how this year ended and the balanced projected budget for next fiscal year sometime in mid-July once our finance manager, Debbie Kelley, and Finance Commission chair Craig Binney and I close out this fiscal year’s transactions and format the one page summary for the flyer page in the bulletin. This will be the last bulletin column until then. Have a great start to summer and may it last well past Labor Day!

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

 

June 17, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

We all “enjoyed” snow days during the January frigid cold and nor’easters back in February and March, but that means making up days at the end of the school year. Hang in there, only a few days left this week and summer vacation begins! My Dad was an elementary school principal and my Mom an elementary school secretary, and this time of year was not only prized by the students, but the staff as well. I think we are all looking forward to a beautiful and fun summer after the long winter and spring we are finally pulling out of as the days are longer and the mornings brighter as official summer approaches this week on Thursday.

Thank you to the twenty or so parishioners who joined me, my brothers in Holy Cross, and 650 of our friends and faithful to celebrate Pope Francis declaring Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. venerable for the faithful in all the apostolates Holy Cross serves and places he ministered throughout the world. We hope soon he is declared blessed and be known throughout the world and added into the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. It was a very warm but moving celebration of faith and trust in our Blessed Mother’s powerful intercession through praying the rosary, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and culminating in the Mass of Thanksgiving for Fr. Peyton, C.S.C. being proclaimed venerable. I remember as a kid hearing the phrase, “The family that prays together, stays together.” I never knew where it originated until joining the Congregation of Holy Cross and learning about the amazing ministry of Fr. Peyton, C.S.C. I do believe in the phrase he coined. My family, while only praying the rosary together at family funeral wakes and when bad weather was approaching, did pray the standard grace before meals, “Bless us, O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through Christ our Lord, Amen,” and bed time prayers, that made all the difference in my sister and I learning about God’s central place in our lives. I can’t encourage families in the parish enough to add regular prayer to your daily family routine. I have been moved many times by good friends of mine from Portland Oregon who now live in South Bend, Indiana and gather their three children every night at bedtime in the living room to pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and then add intercessions for family, friends and world needs together out loud. It is a given any guests over that evening to socialize with the parents join in. The children then go around and wish everyone a goodnight with a hug; even the teenager! “The family that prays together, stays together!”

I encourage anyone who has an inkling to pick up a club and swat at a little ball for a few hours next weekend to sign up for the Br. Jim Madigan, C.S.C. annual Golf Tournament beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Easton Country Club next Sunday. Even though it is best ball, I’ve learned it is more prudent for me to drive around to thank everyone and to wish them well for longest drive and best putt. Thank you to all who have sponsored holes and have given items for the raffle baskets in supporting this major annual parish fundraiser. It’s not too late to take a tag from the board in the back of church and bring in your item this week to the parish office. Thank you for your support.

Lastly, may all the Fathers of the parish enjoy this Father’s Day. You tirelessly and affectionately deep down give to your spouse and children each and every day of your lives. I admire your vocation to married life as I do all Moms we celebrated last month. I’m a different kind of Father, but also had a Dad of my own I loved and still love deeply as I no doubt praying for me from heaven. He bought me my first fishing pole and taught me to fish, he tucked me into bed each night with a hug and a kiss on the forehead, he loved me even though I decided to not become a doctor and earn big bucks with a degree from Notre Dame, but went from pre-Med to pre-Priest as he said. I love you Dad. Nudge St. Joseph up in heaven for a special blessing on our parish and all of our parish Dad’s this weekend and throughout this coming year. They deserve it!

God Bless,

Fr. Brad