Pastor’s Columns

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

 

June 3, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Welcome to June! The weather has finally started to cooperate to plant, enjoy barbeques and relax with family and friends. I have enjoyed getting the garden in this week. I have a few sore muscles and need to remember to use sunscreen but minor problems getting adjusted to more summer-like weather.

Today is also high school graduation day for many of our high school seniors in the parish. It is always a testament to families, especially parents that children are becoming adults as they receive their high school diploma and venture out into the world of full time employment or seek further education in college. Join with me in offering a prayer of gratitude for these young people’s accomplishments, especially as we celebrate and pray with them and their families at our 10 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass this weekend. High School Graduation brings back many memories for those of us who have been out of school for a while. My high school graduation was back in 1992 from LaSalle High School in South Bend, Indiana. Hard to believe it has been 26 years already. Most of my high school friends have children in high school themselves and even some in the early years of college! Really keeps life in perspective.

One aspect of education is learning life is not all about me. Even though many cards graduates will receive rightly congratulate them on their successes, their accomplishments will simply be memories in a keep sake box or year book if they do not put their gifts and talents to responsible use for themselves and others. I am so very grateful to be serving in a parish where many parishioners offer their time and talents for the betterment of other people’s lives. Be it the poor or for fellow parishioners, many parishioners offer their time, talents and often treasure to support the good works we do because we live out our faith in action. One prayer of mine these days is that someone or a couple people will discern their gifts and talents can be put to the good use of coordinating this coming 2018 Holly Fair. It is such a joy to see parishioners gather for holiday cheer and albeit a chance to win great gift baskets, something in the snowflake pull, maybe a really nice bottle of wine, gifts for loved ones from vendors and some great cookies to give to Santa or to take home. The children of the parish love breakfast with Santa as do some of the kids at heart as well. I hope this long time tradition of Holy Cross Parish will continue. Please consider stepping forward and begin the preliminary planning for one of the best Holly Fairs yet!

Remember to get your registration in for the upcoming Br. Jim Madigan, C.S.C. Golf Tournament on Sunday, June 24th beginning with a shotgun start at 1:30 pm. All the details you need are in the bulletin. I am hoping God has mercy on me and other golfers by letting me ride around on a golf cart either selling mulligans or pop, I mean soda and beer (you can take the priest out of the Midwest but you can’t take the Midwest out of the priest).

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

God Bless,

Fr. Brad

 

May 27, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Hopefully summer has begun and we can enjoy the more relaxed and easy pace of longer days and shorter nights. However, may all of us pause at some point this weekend, especially Monday, and join in prayer and thought, families who have lost loved ones defending our freedom and values we hold dear as Americans. I will pray for and remember my great uncle who died in WW II and my parent’s friends who died in Vietnam. Regardless of our political views and stances, we all enjoy the ability to freely move about our neighborhoods, travel our highways and byways, vote and express our opinions because of the brave women and men who for centuries have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. May they rest in peace, may their families be comforted by our prayers, and may we never forget the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.

Thank you to Claire Smith, Linda Sullivan and all the volunteers who so generously gave of their time, talents and likely treasure to make Deacon George’s party so welcoming and full of good eats. It was wonderful to celebrate with Deacon George and Nancy, their family and many parishioners who came to express their gratefulness and prayers to a couple who has so generously given of their time, talent and treasure to Holy Cross Parish for these past 25 years and before. God’s continued blessings and our heartfelt gratitude for Deacon George and Nancy’s presence in our parish community.

I’m not sure if you knew or not, but Pope Francis declared a new feast day in the Church’s universal calendar throughout the world for this past Monday, the Monday after the Solemnity of Pentecost, Mary, Mother of the Church. It is to celebrate Mary’s ongoing care and concern for all of us who continue to serve the Gospel in all that we say and do through living our baptism into her Son’ s Life, Death and Resurrection that we particularly celebrate during the Season of Easter and concluded last weekend with Pentecost. There are prayer cards available at the doors of the church for you to take home and to join in your daily or weekly prayers. As we conclude this month of May traditionally dedicated to our Blessed Mother, Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

So break out your white pants and shorts, seer sucker suits and summer dresses, summer is unofficially (June 21st) here, finally! I’ll be putting the tomato plants and other veggies in this week for hopefully a bumper crop to once again share with all of you later in the summer. Stay safe firing up the BBQ and toasting to good times and heartfelt memories this weekend. You and your families remain in my prayers as we look forward to high school graduation next weekend and the end of the school year for younger kids as June gets underway.

God Bless,

Fr. Brad