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Fr. Ron's Blog

Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,

I hope you had the opportunity last Sunday to stop by the Block Party. Even with the difficulty in finding parking, it was every bit worth the effort. Unfortunately, because of the crowds, we did run out of some foods, but, overall, it was a great success and everyone seemed to have a great time. From the perspective of those who “manned” the Dunk Tank, myself, Fr. Anthony, Deacon Bob Liwanag, the kids certainly enjoyed themselves. I think they set a record for the number of times we got dunked. Some have even suggested that the Block Party leadership rigged the tank to ensure that happened. In any case, because the weather was so beautiful, the cool water was a welcome refresher.

Dear Friends

First, thank you to all who attended the 9/11 Memorial Mass last Sunday. Because 9/11 was a Sunday we did not add a special Mass but used the regularly scheduled 6:30PM Mass as the Memorial Mass. It somewhat changed the character of the remembrance but, nonetheless, the families of the victims were appreciative of the presence of those who still remember.

Dear Friends

We all know that statistically all four seasons are of almost equal length. But somehow, summer always seems to be the shortest or go the quickest. For some reason, this summer seems to have raced through in double time. Even though I generally consider myself a winter person, I did really enjoy this summer, with its high temperatures and abundant sunshine. And even though it may have left us in a little bit of a drought, the fall looks like we’ll make up for that shortage.

In any case, here we are at the eve of fall, the start of the new school year and the new program season, the first real start as we have known it since 2019, the last fall before the pandemic hit in late winter, 2020. And as in the past, there are a host of things clogging the calendar.

Dear Friends,

A short word to say—hello. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. If you like the heat, you certainly are. Even though we may be headed for a drought, I must say I have enjoyed the beautiful days, even with the heat and humidity.

I said I would only write to keep you informed about developments in and around the parish, and this is one of those moments, especially since I will leave on the 22nd for ten days up to my place in Pa. to do a different kind of work.

Dear Friends,

At the beginning of summer I wrote that I would not write through the summer unless I thought there was something important to write about. This is that moment. Not earth shattering, but important as a special glimpse into the minds, hearts and dedication of our youth. You know that the Youth Group has sponsored a monthly food collection almost since the beginning of Covid. The collected food is then sent to the Father English Center, Ridgewood Social Services and Ridgecrest. What you may not know is that in these difficult times, the amount of food collected has decreased as the need has increased. Not to just sit back and accept that, the Youth Group decided to do a fund raiser to help the cause. Last Saturday, on a perfect weather day for a car wash, they held—CAR WASH. Take a look at the pictures on the parish Facebook page or the homepage of the parish website. They had a great time, they did a good job on the cars they washed (I can personally testify to that), and they raised $1,700. to help those who are food challenged. What a great witness. Thank you, Youth Group members and congratulations. I thought letting the parish know about this was something important to write about.

Dear Friends,

On the nitty gritty of parish life:

1. Last call-an out of date phrase that usually meant the bar was about to close at some social or sporting event. Get your drink while you can because time is running out. It is the last call to make a pledge to the Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese that will be counted toward the rebate the parish will receive in January, 2023. All such pledges must be made by June 30, 2022 which is this Thursday. Once again, and for the last time, I make a plea for every parish household to join in this parish commitment to both help the Archdiocese maintain its ministries and the parish and the rebate we receive, especially in these days of pandemic shortfall. Thank you to all the 436 households that have joined in this commitment and I hope many more will do so in the closing days. Envelopes are still available on the tables at all the doors but the easiest way is to go to the homepage of the parish website and scroll down on the left hand side until you come to the Annual Appeal link. Be sure to identify our parish so your gift gets credited to Mount Carmel. Thank you.

Dear Friends,

First things first-HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all our Dads. I hope this is a great day for you in every possible way and that your family shows you the love they have for you. May the words expressed in these lines from Robert Louis Stevenson apply to all our parish fathers, and to every man.

Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrated the last of our three confirmation ceremonies for 164 teenagers in our Confirmation program. The names of all appear on the front cover of this bulletin. I want to congratulate them and, as I do at all of the ceremonies, thank them for their willingness to receive this sacrament of Christian witness and ministry, which is what it is. The Sacrament empowers us with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to give witness to Christ and to bring Christ to others by the way we live. I am always heartened by so many of our teens who choose to seek this Sacrament. I am also heartened by their parents who believe Faith is still so important a part of lives as to encourage, or maybe even "push" their children in the reception of the Spirit in Confirmation. Thank you, parents, as well.

Dear Friends,

Over the last two weekends in May, 5/22 and 5/28, Cardinal Tobin celebrated the Rite of Ordination for nine candidates for Sacred Orders, four as deacons and five as presbyters (priests). Prayerfully, and by the grace of God, the four new deacons will be ordained priests next May. One of the new deacons is Frenel Arry Phanord, from the Turks and Caicos Islands. I confirmed Deacon Frenel on the Islands many years ago when he was in high school and so it was a special moment to be at his ordination to the diaconate.

Dear Friends,

As I was preparing to write this week's column, the news brought yet another horror into our lives, minds and hearts, the incomprehensible shooting of (at the most recent count) 19 students and 2 teachers at a school in Texas. 10 year olds! 10 year olds! What on earth runs through the mind of anyone, even those with serious mental issues, to lead them to such a violent attack on such innocent and helpless children? And the description of the event, as I heard it this morning (Wednesday) conjures up such a painful picture as to want to cry out loud. These children are the "Holy Innocents," victims of the cruelty of a broken world. While we know they share the light of the Kingdom, we hold their grieving families close to our hearts and certainly in our prayers.

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