Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

May 11, 2022

On May 7, 51 children received our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion. As we all know, this is a
very special event in the life of any child. Everyone can remember their First Holy Communion Day. I
received my First Holy Communion on May 17, 1959, at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Parish in Barberton, Ohio, at the 8:30 AM Mass. If I remember correctly there were around eighty of us that day. I still do not know how all those people fit into the church that only seated about 450 people. I remember that we went all the way up to the top step in front of the altar. It was an exceedingly rare thing for us to even go beyond the communion rail let alone all the way up to the altar. We went up four at a time and knelt. Instead of the paten that was normally used for the distribution of Holy Communion two altar boys held a narrow white cloth in front of the four of us and Fr. Yavorsky gave us Holy Communion. It really stuck in my mind. There was the utmost care and reverence for Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I hope that these children will always remember their First Communion Day, but more importantly that they will remember how absolutely essential the Eucharist is in all our lives and how important it is to go to Mass every Sunday. We all need Jesus in our lives and when we do go to Mass, He comes to us to strengthen and comfort us so that we can be instruments of His love for others. Jesus loves us so much that He suffered and died on the cross to give us the gift of Himself. What else could be so important that we would choose that activity over coming to Mass and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. Please pray for these children and for everyone that we may grow constantly in our love and devotion to Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.
I am sure that everyone has heard about the news surrounding the Supreme Court and the possibility that Roe vs. Wade may very well be overturned. This would mean that each state would have to decide on the legality of abortion. I pray that Roe vs. Wade will indeed be overturned. We can only lament the 60+ million children who never had the chance to live the life God gave them. Life is a sacred gift from God, and no one has the right to take that life. Contrary to the opinion of many people and politicians, life begins at the moment of conception and that life is separate from the life of the mother. The child in the womb is not the mother’s body; these are two individual human beings who have a right to life. This has been the teaching of the Church since the beginning and more recently has been proven by science.

Unfortunately, when things of this nature are taking place, many people can get carried away and begin to say many things that only inflame the situation. Statements are made that are far from true and are spoken only to stir up people’s emotions and spread fear and apprehension across the land. We should remember the words of St. Paul in Eph. 4:29, “Say only the good things people need to hear, things that will help them.” We must pray for one another especially for the Supreme Court Justices and all government leaders that they will be open to the love and mercy of God so that their actions and decisions will always convey His love to all of us. The sad thing is that there are people who will use this time to further divide our country and confuse many in the process. It is the work of the devil as he continues to try to lead us away from God and His Church. This is even more reason that we need to pray to St. Michael as we do at the end of every Mass. Pray that we turn to our Good Shepherd and listen to His voice and not the voice of the world. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us!
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS. The Feast of the Sacred Heart this year is on Friday, June 24. Since the Feast of the Scared 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 25 and 26 at all the Masses. Following the 5 PM Mass on Sunday, June 26, 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 pleasant weather, or we will have to have our “picnic” downstairs in McMahon Hall.

Fr. Joe Labak