From the Pastor: Congraduations! Congratulations Graduates!
“The Epiphany Council of Catholic Women would like to acknowledge and celebrate your college or high school graduate on June 9th after each Mass. Please let us know your student’s name if you would like them included.” That preceding note went out to all of our parishioners who have signed up for our parish “Flocknote” communications system a couple of weeks ago. (Don’t know what “Flocknote” is? More will follow at the end of this article.) Though there may be more graduates out there of whom we are currently unaware, the Women were able to ascertain that at least 9 of our youth graduated high school this year and one graduated college. Though a simple acknowledgment in the bulletin seems hardly a big thing, it is backed up by a “real” celebration in the social hall after Sunday Masses this weekend! The ECCW is supplying caviar and champagne, hosting hot air balloon rides, passing out full academic scholarships, and is even giving away free unicorn ponies to all who stay. Oh, wait, they had to cancel those things due to the weather. Or something like that. Just stop by after Mass and congratulate any grads who are there while you get a bit of cake and punch to eat and drink. Obviously, not everyone attends each Mass and the college grad might not even be home yet, but give your best advice, your heartiest felicitations or even your business card to those whom you meet. Graduating from high school we have, in some ingeniously cryptic order, Catherine Beard, Irene Brewster, Matthew Cantu, Maximillian D'Water, Maria Hernandez, Maddie Hyatt, Michaela Salcido, Anthony Stanley, and Eric Zayricki. Graduating Cum Laude from Franciscan University of Steubenville with her bachelor’s degree is Claire Rose Tomeny. If there are any more out there, let us know that day!
Since most of those listed above are graduating from high school, I figured that I would reminisce a bit about the years, back in the Stone Age, when I was in high school. There are things which I remember fondly, such as sports and lunch, and there are people whom I truly loved being around or, though I would never dare say it back then, even loved being taught by. The science classes were the most challenging. Memorizing the periodic table in chemistry class seemed nearly impossible for this freshman, which now seems silly since there were only three elements in the periodic table at that time: water, air and wood. I understand that it has expanded a little since then. In my human physiology class we had to memorize all of the parts of the body. Thankfully, we thought there was only one long, strangely formed bone called the skeleton but the body’s “outer covering” had to be studied based on both size and sex. We learned that the girls were covered with maximus bodacious beauteous (my first introduction to Latin) and, after figuring that part out, none of us boys cared about the rest. Oh, and we also had to study the inner organs but they were simply named by general labels of “yuck” or “icky”. But overall, even though I never would have thought it, let alone admitted, it, high school was a good 6 years of my life.
But enough about me. This is about our kids. They had to learn all that I did plus so much more. So let’s give them a big hand, and let’s encourage them to excel far beyond what any of us have accomplished in worldly and, most importantly, in Godly things.
[The following is an important announcement aimed at those of you who don’t know what Flocknote is. It is a system of communicating among parishioners via email or cell phone text messages. We have been using it for quite some time now and I have gotten some good feedback about it. While signing up for our parish Flocknote you get to choose which parish groups you wish to receive notes from. For instance, if you belong to the He-Man Woman Haters Club you can sign up for that group’s reminders of upcoming meetings without having to also receive all messages meant only for the Knights of Columbus. You can choose to receive messages from both of those groups, yet still remain blissfully unaware of the messages being sent to the Schola if those would be of no interest to you. Each person can customize his/her own preferred method of receiving messages, so that if you don’t text, you can get them via email. Sorry, there is no option for carrier pigeon or snail mail. I still don’t know exactly how it works but every once in a while I remember to use it to send out reminders of upcoming meetings. I might send out messages to the Holy League, for instance, via email a day early and via text on the day of our meeting. Recently I sent out a general message asking for a ride for a visitor who wanted to attend Sunday Mass but was in Pinellas County without transportation. We got him a ride because of this message service. Sign up by going to Flocknote.com and hitting the “Get Started Free” button. Then click on “My church is already using Flocknote.” Enter our zip code (33610) in the search box and Epiphany of Our Lord will appear as one of the options. Click it and follow the sign up instructions by adding your name, email, and cell phone number and you should be able to then sign up for individual groups’ messages. Pretty nifty!]
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka