18 May 2021

This Week Letter – May 16, 2021

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Brothers and Sisters

My sister found out that she has cancer.

The day before her operation, I had an opportunity to speak with my sister.  I was surprised when, clutching her rosary, she said very resolutely that she was grateful to God for everything. I told her to continue her “celebration of gratitude” up until the anesthesia was administered.

It would be well for us to realize very quickly that there is much for which we ought to thank God. As a community, we rejoice with the children who received the Bread of Heaven for the first time.  We are happy also because of the priests who minister at our parish: Father Andrew, who has served as a priest for 47 years; Father Frank, who has served the Church for 40 years; and Father James, who has been a priest for 32 years; while I, thanks be to God, have been able to serve His Church for the last 5 years.

On this celebration of the Ascension of our Lord, let us pray to recognize the presence of the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us.  Let us learn from the example of the first Apostles for whom it was difficult to be separated from Jesus as He returned to His Father, as it was also difficult for my sister to become reconciled with her illness.  As soon as our Lord ascended into heaven, however, the Apostles returned to the Upper Room and, just as my sister did, gathered close to Mary.  Nine days later, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit.  They who previously were cowards and abandoned the Lord that night He was betrayed, now fearlessly gave witness, and that help was provided by the Holy Spirit.

Let us ask Mary to teach us how to pray so that we, too, can speak out boldly.  If we do this, if we live with our hearts turned to the Lord, and oriented toward eternal life, we will be fearless.


Your Priest,

Fr. Paul