Bulletin (August 5, 2001)

While things generally slow down during the summer, still it seems like a lot is happening in the parish. I want to begin my mentioning some guest priests who will be with us this month. First, Fr. Juan Diego, a young priest from Apatzingan Diocese in Mexico. He has visited us in past years and although he does not speak a lot of English, his friendly smile and pleasant personality has endeared to many in the English as well as Spanish speaking community. He will be staying in the rectory for about ten days.

Also with us from Mexico are members of a Biblical Institute who will be offering help this month to those who wish to understand more deeply the relationship between the Bible and the Catholic faith. You are no doubt aware that various groups proselytize Hispanic Catholics often in a very aggressive manner. The course will show the scriptural foundation for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the role of the Holy Father and Bishops, the sacraments, sacred images, etc. I ask your prayers for Fr. Juan Diego and for those who will be conducting the Scripture course.

We have the very good fortune next weekend to have with us Fr. Denis Wilde, O.S.A. He is a member of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, and has served on the faculty of Villanova University from 1977 to 1998. A Long Island native, Fr. Wilde is an accomplished pianist and enjoys presenting concerts for pro-life organizations. He received his Ph.D. in music from The Catholic University of America and has been professionally engaged as choral director both at Villanova and as guest director of other college chorales both here and abroad. Father feels a unique interest in integrating music and pro-life ministry much as the heart is moved through beauty in life.

Fr. Denis has been actively involved in pro-life interests since before Roe v. Wade. He has spoken at a number of pro-life civic and religious functions in the Boston and Philadelphia area, personally witnessed to the "rescue" movement and developed ecumenical ties from the expression of common faith in God as the Author of Life. His pro-life activities beyond preaching and teaching on campus and in the pulpit have taken him from rescue arrests in the mid eighties to prayer witnessing as a priest leader in the fast-growing Helpers of God's Precious Infants movement. More recently he is involved with Rachel's Vineyard retreats for those enduring post-abortion syndrome. In 1998 his superiors gave him permission to serve full-time in the ministry of Priests for Life.

At our English Masses next weekend, Fr. Denis will give the homily. Also he will celebrate Mass here on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Please see the bulletin flier for more information.

His visit - and of course Fr. Ramon Velasco's presence in our parish - enables me attend the Courage Conference in Chicago from August 9 – 12. You are probably aware that in March of 1999, a local chapter was founded here at Holy Family. Courage reaches out to men and women who are struggling with same sex attractions. For me it has been a privilege to be chaplain for this group and I have gained much inspiration and support from its members.

Earlier this year Archbishop Brunett agreed to send me to the Chicago conference. I am grateful for his support and look forward to meeting other chaplains, as well as Courage members from others areas. In next week’s bulletin I will write a bit more about Courage and its five goals.

As I get ready to go to leave town for a few days, it is a great satisfaction to see the permanent canopy in place over our school porch. I really like the bluish tint of the panes, as well as the lighting. It will not only be more beautiful, but better illuminated and thus safer for all who use the school building.

One immediate use is on Tuesday, August 14. There will be a potluck at 6 p.m. that evening for all those participating in Eucharistic Adoration. Both the numbers and the faithfulness of those who devote an hour or more each week to prayer before Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, have been an inspiration. In spite of the various problems we face as individuals and as a parish, ultimately it is prayer which will bring us through it all. The potluck will help strengthen and better organize this apostolate, which is at the central of our existence as a parish.

We are currently in the process of forming a new parish council. Nominations will be accepted during the next three weekends. If you know a good potential candidate - or if you are interested yourself - please fill out the nomination forms available in the church. You may place your nomination in the collection basket or drop it off at the rectory. Candidates for the parish council must be available to attend a bilingual retreat on October 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the parish wide listening session on Oct. 11, 7 to 9 p.m. and a monthly meeting. Council membership will be a three year commitment. (Meetings will not take place during the summer months.) Members must be Catholics in good standing who can assist the pastor in identifying needs and goals of the overall parish.