Dear Parishioners: “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.” This is the Psalm we sang at our First Communion Masses on Saturday. We rejoice and give thanks for such a joyful and faith-filled celebration. Sixty-five of our parish children came forth for the first time in their young lives to receive Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist! It is a great day for these children, their families and for our entire parish family. We offer them our prayers and our heartfelt congratulations. As the name implies, it is their First not their only nor is it their last Communion. Each Sunday we have the great privilege to come together as a parish family to worship God at Mass and to worthily receive Christ in Holy Communion.
This past week I read about an Iraqi priest named Father Ragheed Ganni. He celebrated Sunday Mass for his parish community every week despite the constant threat of terrorism. He prepared the children of his parish for First Communion in a basement for fear that Islamic jihadists might kill them if they did it openly. Sadly Father Ganni would be killed by terrorists for being a Catholic Priest. A year before he was killed by terrorists, he wrote these profound words: “Without the Sunday Eucharist we cannot live. The terrorists might think they can kill our bodies or our spirit by frightening us, but, on Sundays, churches are always full. They may try to take our life, but the Eucharist gives it back. When I hold the host in my hands, it is really He who is holding me and all of us, challenging the terrorists and keeping us united in his boundless love.”
As we rejoice in the celebration of First Holy Communion that took place yesterday, let us truly give thanks for the gift of our Catholic Faith and also for the gift of being able to go to Sunday Mass each week free from any fear or terror. With great joy and hope we pray that the First Communion received by our parish children on Saturday might be just the beginning of a lifetime of weekly Communions. St. Maximilian Kolbe once said: "If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion."
The First Communion Class gathers on Sunday morning at the 10:30am Mass for the May Crowning Ceremony. This beautiful ceremony takes place appropriately enough on Mother’s Day. We sing beautiful Marian Hymns as the children process with fresh gladiolas and a crown to place upon the Blessed Mother May. They crown her Queen of Heaven and Queen of the May! Of course, we wish all our OLM Mothers and Grandmothers a happy and holy Mother’s Day. May God bestow his abundant blessings upon you and your families! O sweet and lovely, Virgin May, Holy Mother of God, Queen of all Mothers, pray for our Mothers!
In his 1995 Letter to Women, Saint Pope John Paul II said: “Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life. “ We echo his words in thanking all Mothers, living and deceased, on this Mother’s Day!
The Month of May is quickly underway! We had a decent crowd for May Devotions on Monday. Do you have thirty minutes to spend in prayer and reflection on Monday nights? Join us on Mondays at 7:00pm as we adore Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, pray the Rosary, listen to meditative music, and receive Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a great way to start the week and God knows we need more prayer in our lives and for our broken world. In the name of the poor who benefit so greatly, I offer my thanks to the parishioners who helped us surpass our parish goal for the Catholic Charity Appeal. Hope to see you at May Devotions! Be well. Do Good. God Bless. Go Sox!