From the Pastor: Two “Big Name” Guests Coming Soon!
In just two short weeks, on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (Monday, May 1), the first of the guests whom the headline mentions will arrive. Due to the hard work of our Fraternal Society of St John the Apostle, Dr. Taylor Marshall will be here to give a presentation on St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus. The Fraternity puts these talks/prayers/dinners together four times a year for men and boys, both from the parish and from outside the parish, to come together to form strong, virtuous, Catholic male bonds, to network, and to become familiar with the traditions of the Church. Dr. Marshall is the founder of the Troops of St. George, so we already have a connection to him through our very active troop. Now the boys get to meet the one who put the Troops together in the first place! Beginning at 6:00 pm we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confessions. Then at 7:00 pm, dinner and the presentation by Dr. Taylor. At about 8:15 we will have a fireside rosary and then dessert. Men, I expect to see you there! (Tickets are available on Eventbrite.com with a link available from our parish calendar on our website.)
Just a few days after that big night we have another guest joining us. Although it is hard to top Dr. Taylor Marshall, we managed to pull it off. On Saturday, May 6, His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider will be with us at 7:00 pm for compline (night prayer), after which he will give a short talk and then join us for coffee and dessert. He will be the celebrant of the Pontifical Solemn High Mass the next day, Sunday, May 7, at 10:30. At that Mass he will have the pleasure of giving First Holy Communion to nearly 30 of our children. I want to remind you that because of the First Holy Communion children and their families, the church and hall, which are normally both packed at 10:30, will be even more difficult to get into. We will not be able to reserve seats for even the extended families of those receiving the Eucharist for the first time, since that could conceivably reserve more than half of the available pews, but even their immediate families will take up a good-sized portion of the church.
I tell you this, not to scare you away, but to remind you that we had a similarly expected crowd not too long ago when a well-known Cardinal celebrated Mass for us and it worked out better than we could have hoped. Everyone cooperated when asked to exit the church and hall after the 7:30 Mass so that we could get everything set properly for the big Mass. (Nobody was/is able to just attend the 7:30 and “camp out” there in the pew so as to “save” seats for the 10:30!) The crowd outside was polite and joyful as people waited for the doors of the church to open once we were ready for them to enter. Everyone sat closer together than they ever had before so that the full capacity of the church was reached and then the overflow crowd piled into the hall. We even had speakers and at least one TV set up outside so that those who were working the food tents (at a tremendous sacrifice of missing Cardinal Burke’s Mass, I might add) could at least sporadically keep tabs on what was happening. Since it all worked out once, I expect that it will work out again.
After Mass, the Bishop will probably grab a quick snack and then greet everyone in the parish room in the old school. He will also bless objects if you bring them back there before Mass begins and you can pick up your items later that day. Those who attend the 7:30 Mass that day, whether it is because they always go to the low Mass or because they are working the later Mass or even because they don’t want to deal with the crowds at the 10:30 Mass may, of course, either stay for the “after-Mass” blessings and greetings or come back for them. You can still meet the Bishop after Mass and a leisurely breakfast!
This week, before any of the above-mentioned things take place, I will be meeting with the children making their First Holy Communion. We have multiple meeting times scheduled throughout the week so parents can take their pick of times and dates. I think everyone is already on the schedule who is supposed to be, but if you are reading this and don’t know anything about it, please call the parish office right away! You can see the dates/times of these interviews on our parish calendar, which is available on the website as mentioned earlier in this article. That really is a helpful web page, for we usually keep all of the public activities up to date there and if you think to check you won’t have to call the office, or your friends, or ask on our falsebook page or anything like that.
To close this out, I got a phone call from Aunt Irma as I was typing this. She evidently hacked into the FBI computers and, since they were hacking me, she was reading this article as I was writing it. She was laughing, sure that it was all fiction. “You might have pushed too far into fantasy to be believed,” she said. “After all, there is no parish in the world that can get both Taylor Marshall and Bishop Schneider in the same year, let alone the same week.” Imagine that. She thinks I sometimes make things up!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka