Voices of Faith

The Third Sunday of Easter

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Dear Friends:

As we continue the Easter season, the scriptures highlight the zeal and perseverance of the Apostles. I find great encouragement in their shift from disciple (learner) to apostle (one who is sent). Their time as followers of Jesus was often marked by getting things wrong, making mistakes, and giving up on Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles, on the other hand, is filled with tales of their strength and power. Even prison bars and threats of persecution could not keep them from proclaiming the name of Jesus. We can give thanks that their persistence paid off… the name of Jesus continues to be proclaimed even in the face of persecution today. Sadly we see too many examples of suffering for the sake of the name of Jesus, but we are also strengthened by the courage of those who face such suffering with faith in our Savior.

This weekend we say farewell to our seminarians who have been with us as part of the learning team from St. Mary’s Seminary this past year. Kevin Holland, Marton Lonart, and Bryan Morris have been with us most weekends assisting with faith formation and participating in Children’s Liturgy of the Word as well as assisting with Confirmation preparation and RCIA as their schedules permitted. Last weekend Kevin was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Erie, and is assisting and preaching at the 9 am Mass this weekend. I want to express my thanks and best wishes as they head home for the summer. We offer our prayers as they continue on the path of formation for the priesthood in their various dioceses.

I am happy to announce that Mr. Kenneth Lukong, a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, has been assigned to St. Joseph for his Pastoral Year beginning this June 1. Kenneth will participate in a variety of activities and serve in a wide range of ministries during the coming year as part of his formation. As I have mentioned many times before, St. Joseph has a distinguished history of providing a place for formation as candidates for the priesthood learn from us about parish life and ministry (as I myself did here nearly 30 years ago!).

Numerous important sacramental celebrations are coming up for us in the coming weeks. The group First Eucharist celebration will take place next Saturday, May 11. Our parish Confirmation Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Brennan on Sunday, May 16. On Saturday, May 25, Mr. Michael McKinney, along with Mr. John Micciche and 12 other men, will be ordained permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Michael will serve as deacon and preach for the first time at the 10:30 am Mass on Sunday, May 26.

May will certainly be a busy and exciting time for many of us, especially as many of our young people will be celebrating college and high school graduations in the coming weeks. There is a lot to celebrate and many people to pray for!

God’s peace,

Fr. Rick