FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY….. it is hard to believe that this Thursday will mark the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my arrival as your pastor. As I look back over the year, I can honestly say it has been a very interesting year. So much has happened – from new pews and carpet to Mass in the gym; from trying to learn new names and operational systems around the church to knowing all the codes needed for security; from meetings to meetings to meetings. It truly has been a very unique year for me, and I am sure for all parishioners as well. I am very grateful for all the support, concern and warmth I have received from so many parishioners. It is truly heartwarming for a pastor to be supported by his parishioners. Thank you. Over the year, I believe in my heart that we have made progress towards the goal I have in mind for our parish – one family united in the Lord Jesus. It is amazing that as I am writing these words, I read a passage from St. Ignatius of Antioch echoing my vision for our parish – “….when you meet together, there must be one petition, one prayer, one mind, one hope in love and in holy joy, for Jesus Christ is one and perfect before all else. You must all be quick to come together, as to one temple of God, one altar, to the one Jesus Christ, who came forth from the one Father, while still remaining one with him, and returned to him.” I will continue to minister with you and for you to achieve that goal in its fullness here at OLV. Continue to keep me and all the priests in your prayers and I will continue to pray for all of you as we journey as one family, united in the Lord Jesus.
FR. RALPH, our visiting priest from Ghana, will speak at all Masses this weekend. If you remember, he was our missionary co-op priest last summer. He came asking us for financial help with his school, Holy Name of Mary. He is leaving this Wednesday, but I want him to speak to the parish, informing parishioners what has occurred since last year with the contributions. As Fr. Ralph leaves, I appreciated his help over the past few weeks, esp. with Fr. Mike coming, Fr. Matt leaving and Fr. Val recovering.
AND SPEAKING OF FR. VAL, there have been many inquires as to his health. I asked him to write something for the bulletin. A short note from Fr. Val: I greatly appreciate all the prayers that all of you have been praying for me. From being prayed for in Mass enrollments, to Novena enrollments, to asking Priests who are close friends of yours, to all your individual intentions mentioned in the numerous cards I have received I sometime wonder if our Lord says that He needs to do something for this guy or a lot of His people will be extremely upset (Just Kidding). All of us firmly believe that our Lord hears and answers our prayer!!!! Now a little blurb on the medical side of things!! Everything I have heard from the surgeons, nurses, aides and other support personnel at the V.A. Hospital in Pittsburgh has been positive and they are looking forward to a good outcome on the final pathology report. Following the surgery the surgeons were very confident that they got all the cancer but could not tell for certain until they get the report as to whether I am going to need any additional treatments like chemo, radiation, etc. Once again, thank you and know that I hold all of you close to my heart!!!!
Just a reminder that the bus for the NEW YORK CITY TRIP will be leaving this Wednesday at 5:30 AM. Please be on time for boarding. There will be a breakfast stop along the way.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – A middle-aged woman has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she has a near death experience. During that experience she sees God and asks if this is it. God says no and explains that she has another 30 years to live. Upon her recovery she decides to just stay in the hospital and have a face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, etc. She even has someone come in and change her hair color. She figures since she's got another 30 years she might as well make the most of it. She walks out of the hospital after the last operation and is killed by an ambulance speeding by. She arrives in front of God and complains, "I thought you said I had another 30 years." God replies, "I didn't recognize you."