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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
First, I want to thank all those who made the celebration of Fr. Jakov’s Mass of Thanksgiving such a memorable moment. The music at the Mass was wonderful, the food was great and the spirit was electric. I was a little worried because it was Memorial Day weekend and I was sure that many would be away. And that was true. But many did come, changing the time they usually attended Mass and the church was full. As I said at the Mass, Fr. Jakov was always available to take on additional responsibilities and to assist in any way he could. He has been assigned to Fr. Ivan’s parish, St. Peter’s in Belleville, and with that spirit of service, I know he will do well. Thanks to the servers, the readers, the music ministry and the women and men from the Cornerstone ministry who organized and served the reception downstairs. All the help was greatly appreciated.

As we said good-bye to Fr. Jakov last week, we say hello to Fr. Gino de la Rama, the former parochial vicar here and present Archdiocesan Director of Vocations who joins us this weekend. He will be preaching on vocations at all the Masses and we are certainly glad to see him again. It’s a little strange that when he was first assigned here he arrived on the Feast of Corpus Christi; he left on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and he returns as guest homilist on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Because this is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord, and its anniversary, I want to write again about Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. The Catholic Church, universally, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, locally, is a EUCHARIST-CENTERED community. In its most basic form, this means we are a community which gathers around the table of the Lord, to be fed with the Body of Christ, to be washed clean of our sins in the Blood of Christ, and to be strengthened by the Holy Meal to walk the journey of life as Jesus’ living witnesses. In the early centuries, in times of persecution, Christians knew how much they needed the Eucharist to be strengthened in their faith in an environment hostile to that faith. In our day, the environment, our society, seems more and more hostile to everything we believe in. Today’s believers, as much as those of two millennia ago need that strength, need that Food which sustains and gives life. The Catholic Church has always centered its focus on the Eucharist as the Living Gift God gives to His people. The Eucharist is at the heart of who and what the Church is.

Adoration reminds us of this. It reminds us we still need God in our lives, and that God wants to be in our lives. It also gives us a break from the frenetic lives we lead, the rushing, the texting, tweeting, merry-go-round of activities that clog our minds and our calendars. It offers us quiet and peace. And each of us needs that quiet time with the Lord (and don’t fool yourself that you don’t), with Jesus Who understands the struggles we face in our lives, the sorrows as well as the joys. This is one of the reasons God has become one of us, to convince us that He knows what it’s like, in the flesh. One of the truly great places to do that, to meet God, in Christ, in peace and quiet, without the devices, is in the Adoration Chapel. And while a one-shot deal is good, stopping by, for a special prayer, a deep challenge, a heavy burden, making a commitment to do so regularly is even better. It takes a while to quiet oneself, to calm down, to let all activities, all plans and calendars, slip away and find that inner peace with the Lord that can become the energy boost that supports us in all those other activities, struggles, sorrows, joys and even moments of boredom when we wonder what life is all about. And time in Adoration deepens our celebration of the Mass and of the Eucharist as a Heavenly Bread that feeds and sustains us.

As Jesus said to His disciples, “Come, and see.” I guarantee you won’t regret it. To renew and deepen our appreciation of this great gift of the Eucharist, and the gift of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, fellow parishioners who are regular Adorers will say a few words after each of the Masses this weekend to tell us what it means to them to give time to the Lord in adoration and to encourage all to consider signing up for a specific hour. May I also remind and invite you to be part of the Eucharistic Procession and Benediction which will follow the 12:30 Mass, as a public sign of our belief in Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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