Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Apr 3, 2024

“FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SORROWFUL PASSION, HAVE MERCY ON US AND ON THE WHOLE WORLD.” So, we pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy because we and the whole world need to be more aware of the mercy and love of God that is poured out on all of us.  Today is the Feast of Divine Mercy as proclaimed by Pope John Paul II when he canonized St. Faustina twenty-one years ago. How fitting that the Church has given us so great a feast to celebrate a week after Easter Sunday. This, of course, was not just the idea of the Pope or any human being, but it is what Jesus asked St. Faustina to pray for and to urge others to pray for; a Feast of Divine Mercy to be celebrated by the whole world. It is very important that we celebrate this feast because the mercy of God is at the heart of the Gospel. This is why God became man, suffered, died on the cross, and rose from the dead, so that we might know the great love and mercy of God.

How sad that so many in the world do not know of the mercy of God. If we believe in what we celebrated last Sunday, then we must believe in God’s love and mercy. If we believe in His Divine Mercy, then we must seek that mercy and proclaim it to all we meet. Mercy is not always easy for us to believe in nor is it always easy to give to one who has hurt us.  Mercy may indeed come easily to God because He loves us so much. So, if we love more, we too, can forgive more easily the hurts that we endure in our lives. None of us deserves God’s mercy. He bestows it on us because He loves us so much; so much that He willingly died a horrible death so that we might have life; eternal life.

We might do well to reflect on these words from the diary of St. Faustina as she records the words Jesus spoke to her, “[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice.”

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS.  The Feast of the Sacred Heart this year is on Friday, June 7.  Since the Feast of the Scared Heart occurs on a Friday we are permitted to move the celebration to the weekend because it is our patronal feast.  So, we will celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the weekend of June 8 and 9 at all the Masses.  Following the 5 PM Mass on Sunday, June 9, we will hold our parish picnic.   The Family Life Commission and the Parish Council will be working to plan the event, but more help and ideas would be most welcome.  So, if you would like to help plan this parish gathering, please call the parish office as soon as you can.  In the meantime, we can all pray for good weather or we will have to have our “picnic” downstairs in McMahon Hall.

This year our celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will coincide with Fr. Pat’s final weekend here since his four-year assignment will be complete.  So, we will celebrate a day of thanksgiving for all that Fr. Pat has done for our parish over the past four years.  He has done so many wonderful things here, his work with our youth, our school, and PSR, along with his teaching in the Becoming Catholic series preparing those who desired to enter the Catholic Church, in addition to all the regular day to day ministry of a parish priest.  He has been a great asset to our faith community helping all to grow in Grace and Service.  May God bless him in his new assignment.

As I said last week our celebration of Holy Week and Easter was made especially prayerful and beautiful through the work and efforts of many people.  The music was especially beautiful thanks to Eric Pandrea, Melissa Busson, and our choir.  Peggy Andrews, Danielle Merced, and Nathan Ott gave us a very beautiful rendition of the Passion on Good Friday.  We were also graced with many other talented people and instrumentalists throughout the Easter weekend.  The church looks very beautiful thanks to the efforts of Tammy Seifert, Amy Uhase, and so many generous people.  I am also grateful to Dave Heskamp and Marsh Fernbaugh who take care of our live streaming the liturgies year-round and especially during Holy Week.   I am also very grateful to all of our readers, EMHC, ushers, and altar servers.  The altar servers did an outstanding job under the direction of Fr. Pat and Deacon Rich.  Thanks to the Knights of Columbus for being with us on Holy Thursday for Mass, procession, and acting as honor guards for adoration until 11 PM.  I am especially grateful to Fr. Pat and Deacon Rich overseeing the liturgies of Holy Week.  Everything was beautifully and prayerfully done. So many generous and talented people giving of themselves for the glory of God.  Thank you all very much.

Fr. Joe Labak