April 22, 2018
I am grateful to Bishop da Cunha for delegating me to confirm 77 candidates for Confirmation the second Sunday of Easter two weeks ago during two additional afternoon Masses. These new Confirmandi have a life ahead to make good decisions guided by the gifts of the Holy Spirit forever indelibly placed within their minds and hearts if they choose to nurture and cooperate with God’s grace. It was very moving and humbling to bring this grace about in them through the laying on of hands and sealing them with the holy Chrism.
The font of new life is reopened this Easter Season and we have many baptisms scheduled and being scheduled which is a very good sign for a vibrant parish. It is wonderful to meet with and register new families at Holy Cross Parish. We need to work on different opportunities of further welcoming them into the life of the parish. The two groups most difficult to reach and stay connected with are young parents and young adults before marriage and family life. Young parents have their hands full with working and learning about parenting, while young adults are in the midst establishing a career path and creating a future with hope. Nevertheless, faith and God’s grace move within all their lives and whatever we can do as a parish community to encourage and keep connected with them during these formative years is a great investment in the future vitality of Holy Cross Parish.
Two weeks ago I also had the opportunity of joining 15 other CSC pastors and parish administrators of parishes that are formal commitments of the US Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross or where CSCs are assigned to assist the local diocese in staffing parishes. Holy Cross Parish Easton is in the former category, a formal commitment of the US Province of Priests and Brothers. It was great to reconnect with two classmates serving in Indiana and Arizona along with other CSCs serving in Indiana and Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and Vermont. We got to know each other’s parishes by sharing brief overviews, talked about future planning, our upcoming Provicial Chapter in June and simply had the chance to spend time enjoying one another’s company. Unfortunately, the plane ride there did me no favors since I caught a pretty good head cold two days in, but my Mom made me homemade chicken soup after the meeting and I was on the mend at home. I was able to visit with my grandparents before heading back to Easton a week ago Friday.
This weekend I am away from Holy Cross visiting our parish in Colorado Springs to baptize my cousin’s son. It is a neat time to see my aunt’s family and spend time taking in some skiing in the Rockies. I’ll be back at Holy Cross on Tuesday evening, hoping my seedlings have sprouted and warmer weather has arrived. We have a way to go before planting time but it is a good sign that things are beginning to sprout. If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets for the Spring Gala for Families coming up this Saturday evening, Just do it!
April 1, 2018
Happy Easter! Lent is over and the glorious 50 days of celebrating Jesus’ resurrection have begun. Alleluia! Next week 75 of our tenth grade parishioners will be Confirmed here. A few weeks later on May 6th 64 second graders will receive Jesus for the first time as they receive their First Holy Communion. Baptisms are scheduled along with weddings. Three of my brothers in the Congregation of Holy Cross will be ordained priests next Saturday. The Church throughout the world is most alive during the Easter Season.
We at Holy Cross Parish are most alive when we gather as a community each weekend to celebrate God’s presence here. I encourage you, if you don’t regularly attend Mass, to renew your commitment to God and fellow parishioners this Easter Season and return to the regular practice of the faith you renewed at this feast. Many people comment at holidays and well-attended Masses how different and inspiring it is when the church sings out and responds whole-heartedly in prayer. I definitely agree. Holy Cross Parish is blessed with many families who call this their spiritual home through generations and new families moving to Easton who register because of the great things they hear about the parish. The Parish needs the financial support and your presence throughout the year of the 1,300 families registered in the parish. So see you again next week!
Hopefully one of these days winter will finally give way to spring. I look forward to starting seedlings for the garden soon. All of the beautiful flowers in church are a great sign of hope that spring is on its way. I pray that as the weather warms and new life buds forth, that you and your families enjoy getting back outside as I will. I look forward to seeing the kids back out on the baseball field behind church, cheering golfers on during the Parish Golf Tournament and firing up the grills once again. The snow is beautiful but I think most of us are ready to be done with it. Know you remain in my prayers for a blessed Easter Season.
March 25, 2018
I would like to thank everyone who had any part to play in making this year’s two Lenten Fish Bakes successful evenings of great food, fun with trivia, coloring, raffles and culminating in praying the Stations of the Cross together in church. Particularly I commend members of our Parish Council, members of the Easton Knights of Columbus, teen parishioner volunteers, the Fleming family and everyone who came to the parish center to partake of this wonderful community experience of a traditional Lenten meal together. I hope these and other community building events keep us connected and enjoying one another’s presence for years to come.
This Palm/Passion Sunday begins the holiest week of the entire liturgical year for us as Christians. This is the week we walk with Jesus through his final entry into Jerusalem, listening to his ongoing prayers to his Father, witness his betrayer at work behind the scenes, are invited into the Last Supper scene and accompany Jesus through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. These are powerful and moving days of prayer if we free ourselves to enter into them less distracted and intent on reaping the spiritual graces they hold for us. If you cannot attend daily Mass, the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral on Tuesday evening, Holy Thursday, Good Friday or the Easter Vigil, I highly recommend using the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website to access the readings for each day/Mass for your own prayerful reflection at home or wherever you can set aside a few minutes for prayer leading up to Easter. Simply click on the calendar date you need on the upper right side of the screen and that days readings will populate your screen. Our entire Lenten journey of fasting, prayer and almsgiving have led us to these holiest of days. Know of my prayers for all parishioners as we journey through them as a community of faith present in church or spiritually connected through our Christian faith.
I highlight a revived prayer opportunity from past Holy Cross experiences of praying the Stations of the Cross taking place this year on Good Friday at 7:00pm in church. The current 10th grade Confirmation class consisting of 77 students will be enacting a “Living Stations of the Cross.” They will guide us through praying the fourteen stations by silently acting out the scenes through the guidance of a narrator and focused costuming. I look forward to welcoming and praying with many families who cannot make our 3pm Lord’s Passion service that afternoon along with other parishioners who choose to attend both services. After the Stations, the Cross used for veneration earlier in the day will be available for people to silently pray with and reverence for an hour after.
See you in church hopefully many times this Holy Week.