Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, I know that is a popular Christmas song made famous by Andy Williams in the 1960s but there is a lot to celebrate in May! During the month of May, as we honor Mary, the Mother of God, we also honor our own mothers as a sign of our love and respect for all they mean to us.
We also honor our graduates and congratulate them for reaching this milestone in their life. We wish you well and God’s blessings as you begin this next chapter in your life. May you know that you always have a home in our family of St. John XXIII and St. Bernadette.
Here at the parish, not only do we celebrate the graduates but also those who are growing in faith through the sacraments: our First Communicants, our Confirmandi, our Neophytes (new Catholics who joined at Easter Vigil through RCIA). We also welcome home our seminarian Ryan Everson who will serving at our parish this summer…what a blessing!
We also are celebrating many Catholic weddings at our parish during the month of May. What a great blessing to see so many young people taking the faith seriously and inviting God to bless their marriage. We pray that they will all continue to grow in the faith and in fellowship, seeking strength and grace by turning to the sacraments often and serving God by serving others with the gifts Our Lord has given them.
During May, we, as a Church, honor our Blessed Mother. We celebrated our May Crowning the first weekend of May. This traditional way of honoring Mother Mary has a long and beautiful history in our Church. Another powerful way our parishioners show their love for Our Lady is to gather to pray the rosary as a community every day before the 8:30 am Mass. There is also the Monday evening Spiritual Warfare Rosary offered in the church beginning at 6 pm and the Healing Rosary offered every Friday at 6:30 pm in the church. There is also the First Saturday Rosary offered in the church after the 8:30 am Mass. There are so many beautiful ways to come to Our Lord through Our Blessed Mother!
The beauty of prayers like the rosary is that we can pray the prayers together. This can be a powerful and comforting blessing because of the solidarity we are able to share as God’s children! This is also a great opportunity for those who aren’t comfortable praying the rosary to gain confidence. Many great Saints like our very own St. Bernadette, as well as St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Francis and St. Clare to name a few of the thousands of Saints that were so faithful to the rosary. Praying the rosary changes hearts, heals hurts, and leads lost souls to Our Lord.
Lastly, as we near the completion of our own grotto, we have planned a dedication and blessing with Bishop Nevares in October when the weather is a bit cooler. We are blessed to have the new addition of our shrine to the Blessed Mother who will be here for those who would like to seek Her powerful intercession and give special honor to Our Lady… maybe even light a candle to ask for Her to strengthen our faith and help our hearts to grow in humility and a deeper love for Her Son.
Let’s make May a month full of celebration and devotion!
Fr. Don Kline, V.F.