"O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages."

St. John Chrysostom

Giving Thanks for Holy Week and Easter Blessings

Dear Parishioners:

We had a tremendous celebration of Holy Week and Easter! The Holy Week ceremonies were truly prayerful and reverent.  The Easter Liturgies were joyous! As St. Augustine said so long ago, “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”

None of the solemnity, beauty and glory of Holy Week and Easter is possible without the hard work of so many good people.  We thank all who worked to ensure that the most sacred time of our Church Year was possible and wonderful. We thank Celia Franzone and her dedicated crew of decorators who made the Church so beautiful with flowers and decorations. We thank Nancy Wray and her band of Sacristans who cleaned, polished, and prepared all the vessels and vestments for Holy Week.  We thank Henri St. Louis, Deirdre Donovan, the OLM Adult  and Children Choirs for providing such beautiful music for the Sacred Triduum.

We must thank Paul Anderson and his hard working maintenance crew for ensuring the Church was so clean and the grounds so beautiful.  We thank our loyal Altar Servers who served each of the ceremonies with great reverence.  We thank our ushers for their service and hospitality to our many visitors.  We thank our Lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for their faithful service during Holy Week.

Yes, all these good folks, and many others, deserve our gratitude for the hard work in seeing to all the details of Holy Week and Easter and for making the celebration of Holy Week truly beautiful and joyful. In your name I also thank our zealous young Associate Pastor, Fr. Barrow and our dedicated Parish Deacon, John Dowd, for their support and hard work in planning and executing all that goes into Holy Week and Easter.  They are a great blessing to our parish!

We  must, however, give all the  gratitude to the one who truly deserves  our thanks and praise, Almighty God!  God is the great giver of all that is beautiful and joyful and so we thank Him for the many blessings received during Holy Week and the Easter Season! St. Ignatius of Loyal reminds us:  Ad maiorem Dei gloriam, All for the greater glory of God!

We give thanks to God also for those who were baptized and received into the Catholic Church at Easter. Across the globe thousands joined our Church and now share in confessing our Catholic faith each Sunday.  We welcome them all including those who were received into the Church here at the Easter Vigil.  Let us continue to pray that their faith flourishes in their lives.  We also had the great joy of baptizing infants on Easter Sunday.  Easter is all about new life and so it is always joyous when we witness that new life in Christ first hand.

Our celebration of Easter, the greatest feast of the Church, does not end in only eight days. As the Catechism reminds us:  “Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the ‘Feast of feasts,’ the ‘Solemnity of solemnities.” As such, the celebration of Easter extends for fifty days. The fifty days from the Sunday of the Resurrection to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one ‘great Sunday.”

We rejoice in the Risen Christ and celebrate the Easter Season with a joyful and lively faith.  In an ancient Easter homily, St. John Chrysostom reminds us  as he reminded the early Church why we celebrate with such great joy:
O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.”

We thank Fr. Nathan Ricci for assisting at Masses  during  Easter. Father was  home from his studies in Rome visiting his family for Easter. He reports that Fr. Connors is studying very diligently as we might expect!   Fr. Barrow is on a well deserved vacation this week!  We thank our good neighbor, Bishop Evans, for helping to cover Masses.  Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!  So celebrate Easter with joy and faith.  Be well. Do good. God Bless!