Pastor’s Column

Pastor’s Column May 25 – 26, 2024

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

The Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer when our thoughts turn to enjoying some rest and relaxation, perhaps enjoying a walk along the shore at Manhattan Beach or Coney Island. This weekend we also celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and I am reminded of Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa and one of the greatest theologians the Church has ever known. There is a famous story that one day Saint Augustine was walking along the southern beach of the Mediterranean Sea contemplating the mystery of the Trinity when he saw a small child. The child was taking a shell full of seawater and emptying it into a small hole. When asked what he was doing, the child answered that he was putting all the water from the sea into that hole. Augustine informed the child that it was impossible to do such a thing. The boy paused in his work, stood up, looked into the eyes of the Saint and replied, “It is no  more impossible than what you are trying to do – comprehend the immensity of the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your small mind.” Absorbed by such a keen response from that child, Augustine turned his eyes from him for a short while, and when he glanced back down to ask him something else, the boy had vanished.

Augustine ultimately relied on Sacred Scripture and an argument from grammar to understand and explain the tripartite nature of God. He started with St. John’s observation that God is Love. Next, Augustine says to have love, there must be a Lover, a Beloved, and the action of love. Since God Himself is the very embodiment of love, God must at the same time be the subject, the object, and the verb; that is, God is the Lover (God the Father), the Beloved (God the Son), and the love between them (God the Holy Spirit).

Thanks be to God, the mystery of the Trinity is not meant so much for us to solve or fully understand as it is for us to believe and enter into. And it should not be that difficult for us to believe, since it is Jesus himself who reveals the truth of the Trinity, three Divine Persons in One God, to us. It was Jesus who first taught us to call God our Father in that beautiful prayer he handed on to his disciples. In our New Testament reading, St. Paul tells us that we have “received a Spirit of adoption through whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” And as we hear in our Gospel, Jesus commanded his followers to, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Our God is not some impersonal force which permeates the universe. Rather, our God is a relational God, a personal God who knows us and loves us uniquely and individually and call us by name. As a former theology professor of mine in Rome, Luis Ladaria, who was made a Cardinal and Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis, used to say to us in Italian, “Non c’é Padre senza Figlio, e non c’é Figlio senza Padre,” which translated means, “There is no Father without the Son, and there is no Son without the Father.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret; God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.” It is by virtue of our baptism that we become children of God and are invited to participate and share in the divine love of the Trinity. So don’t wrack your brain too hard trying to solve the mystery of the Trinity. Instead, allow yourself to enter into that love and be absorbed by it.

Happy Trinity Sunday and have a great Memorial Day Weekend! — Fr. Bob

 

 

Pastor’s Column May 18 – 19, 2024

“Receive the Holy Spirit!”

Are you familiar with the two-word phrase “game changer”? Originating in the world of sports, a game changer is a person or an event which is so significant that it completely alters the outcome of a contest or completely turns around a hopeless situation. It is like, for example, when a player such as Mark Messier came to the Rangers and he helped them to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994. From sports, the phrase made its way into the technology field, where a game changer might be a new application or the latest generation of a device which revolutionizes the way information is accessed, stored or shared. A few years ago President Biden was in Michigan at a Ford plant touting the brand new F-150 Lightning all electric truck as a game changer. “The future of the auto industry is electric,” Biden said during a speech inside the plant. “There’s no turning back.”

This weekend we celebrate the great Solemnity of Pentecost and pray for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for the gift of the Holy Spirit is truly a game changer in terms of our relationship with God, with one another, and with the world. Both our first reading from St. Luke’s Acts of the Apostles and our Gospel reading from St. John describe the Pentecost event. And while the details differ as to when (50 days after Easter in the case of the Acts and Easter Sunday evening in St. John’s version), or how (the Holy Spirit coming in a strong wind and tongues of fire according to Luke or Jesus breathing on his disciples according to John), the transformative effect of receiving the Holy Spirit is the same. Jesus’ followers go from being a demoralized, dejected, frightened group of people who feared for their own lives to a fearless community who at great risk to themselves boldly and courageously give witness to the risen Lord.

Pentecost is one of the greatest feasts of the Church year and is, in fact, the birthday of the Church. As our Gospel indicates, when Jesus poured out his Spirit upon his disciples, he also commissioned them to carry out that sacred mission he had received from the Father. Jesus said to them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, says: “When the Son completed the work with which the Father had entrusted him on earth, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the Church unceasingly, and thus enable believers to have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become Christ’s presence in the world today, his Spirit dwelling within us, leading us and guiding us and working through us as He wills. As one of my professors in Rome so eloquently stated, “It is not that the Church has a mission; rather, it is the one mission of Jesus Christ that has a Church so that it may be carried out through all of human history.”

The role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our world cannot be overstated. The gift of the Holy Spirit is truly a game changer. It is nothing less than God’s own divine life which dwells within us. We first receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized and we become God’s sons and daughters. And we are sealed in that gift of the Holy Spirit when we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, as some of our young people will be in a couple of weeks by Bishop Chappetto. The Spirit brings us his gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel (or Right Judgment), Fortitude (or Courage), Piety and Fear of the Lord (also known as Wonder and Awe). The Holy Spirit can be a powerful transforming agent in our lives and in our world if we open our hearts and minds to him and give him free reign over our lives. Our parish needs you, the Church needs you, and our world needs you to make Christ present by his Spirit dwelling within you. Let the Holy Spirit set your heart on fire. Be a game changer! — Fr. Bob

 

Pastor’s Column May 11-12, 2024
“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.”

The Great Seal of the United States of America consists of an American bald eagle which carries the power of peace,
represented by olive branches, and of war, represented by arrows, in its talons, and in its beak holds a scroll inscribed with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. You will find that same motto on most of our coins as well. For those of you who may not be Latin scholars, E PLURIBUS UNUM is a Latin phrase which means “out of many, one”. Originally suggesting that out of many colonies or states emerge a single nation, in recent years it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions, and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation, illustrating the concept of the melting pot, or a beautiful mosaic, a concept that we could use more of these days.

That very same sentiment of “one from many” is expressed by Jesus himself in his priestly prayer at the Last Supper, a
portion of which we hear in our Gospel this weekend which begins: “Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: ‘Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.’” This unity which Jesus asks for his disciples, including us, is a reflection of the unity of the Blessed Trinity itself: three divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit so intimately united to each other that they form one God. Like our God, our oneness is not some rigidly conforming identity, but unity in diversity.

Just as the Father dwells in Jesus and accomplishes his works through Him, so do the Father and the Son dwell in each
one of us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. In our New Testament reading from the first letter of St. John we hear: “This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit…Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God…God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.”

God’s love becomes personified by the Holy Spirit. We first receive the gift of the Spirit at our Baptism, and we are sealed in that gift of the Spirit at our Confirmation, as many of our Eighth Graders and young men and women in our Religious Education program will be in just a couple of weeks. The gift of the Spirit grows in us every time we receive God’s sanctifying grace, most particularly when we receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord in Holy Communion as some of our young people will do for the first time this weekend, and that also helps to make us one. If you listen closely to the Eucharistic Prayer, after the consecration you will hear the priest pray that “we who are nourished by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with the Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.

The world likes to emphasize our differences and the distinctions which divide us. It preys on our fears. St. Gregory of
Nyssa said, “When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our Savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good.” In our Gospel Jesus prays that we be consecrated in the truth. And He himself is that truth, the Word of God who teaches us that we are all created in God’s image and likeness, so that we have more in common that unites us than we have differences that divide us.

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day. Mothers are typically a strong unifying force in our lives, the glue that holds families together. We pray through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary for all our mothers living and deceased, and that inspired by their words and example, we may be one.

– Fr. Bob


Pastor’s Column May 4-5, 2024
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

As we make our way through the Easter season we continue to hear from the Apostle and Evangelist, St. John. He was
known as the beloved disciple. He calls himself by that nickname on two different occasions in his Gospel. John was present when John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God,” and from that moment on he began to follow Jesus. Along with Peter and his brother James, John was part of Jesus’ inner circle, present at his most dramatic miracles, being brought up the mountain by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration, and asked to watch and pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. St. John was the one who got to recline at Jesus’ side at the Last Supper and to place his head against Jesus’ chest to ask him the identity of his betrayer. He is also the one to whom Jesus entrusted the care of his own mother as Jesus hung upon the Cross, and, in turn, was himself entrusted to our Blessed Mother Mary.

In addition to being the beloved disciple, St. John might just as well be called the disciple of love. Our second reading this
weekend begins with this exhortation and extraordinary insight from St. John: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” And then in our Gospel reading, St. John records these immortal words of Jesus: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. […] This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

It is said that, at every celebration of the Eucharist, this last of the Apostles would deliver the same homily again and
again. St. John would stand up and look at his congregation and simply say: “My dear little children, let us love one another.” And when asked why he would say this same thing over and over again, St. John supposedly replied, “Because that is what Jesus our Master taught, and it is enough!”

Love of neighbor was something that was already prescribed in the Old Testament. But Jesus gives this precept of
brotherly love new meaning and takes it to a much higher level when he adds the second part of the phrase: “as I love you.” Jesus goes on to teach us what this love is all about. He is not talking about some mushy, romantic love. Jesus says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Christian love is not measured by man’s heart, but by the heart of Christ, who gave up his life on the Cross in order to save us from our sins. Jesus’ love is that self-giving love that knows no bounds and holds nothing back. It is that love that moved Jesus to wash his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper when he said: “If I, therefore, the Master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

The Master’s message and example are clear and precise. He confirmed his teaching with his deeds. In assuming our
human nature Jesus united to himself all humanity in a supernatural solidarity which makes us one single family. As St. Peter says in our first reading, “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation, whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” Jesus makes himself the object of our love for one another when he tells us that whatever we do for the least among us, we do for him.

Jesus sends us out into the world to love as He loved. All too often we live as if we were sent out into the world to compete with one another, or to dispute with one another, or even to quarrel and fight with one another. But we Catholic Christians are called to live in such a way that God’s love is made present through us. it’s up to us to be conduits of God’s love.

– Fr. Bob

Pastor’s Column April 27 – 28, 2024
“I am the vine, you are the branches.”

If you ever get to Rome, one of the must-see churches is the twelfth-century Basilica of San Clemente, dedicated to Pope St. Clement, the third successor to St. Peter as Bishop of Rome. It is built over the ruins of much older churches and even a pagan temple which dates back to the first century which you can explore through the excavations. The basilica’s crowning jewel is the apse mosaic, which sits above the high altar. The focal point of this stunning mosaic is Christ on the Cross, depicted as the Tree of Life, from which flow the four rivers of paradise restored. Its most prominent feature is a vast vine sprouting from the base of the Tree of Life which nourishes a breathtaking variety of images.

In our Gospel this weekend Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit…I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.”

What powerful words and what a beautiful but sobering image. Having lived in Rome for six years, I can tell you that there is something special about a vineyard, the low growing grapevines stretched out as far as the eye can see over the gentle hills with their lush green leaves and bunches of red or purple or green fruit hanging down ready to be picked. It is a scene full of life and promise. You want to reach out and pluck a grape to taste its sweetness, and you might begin to dream about the magnificent wine its juice will produce after the harvest season.

The vineyard is not some happenstance of chance. The vine grower works hard cultivating the soil, selecting the plants, and pruning the branches. Jesus tells us that his Father is the vine grower who prunes the branches so that they bear more fruit and who takes away the branches that do not bear fruit. Pruning can often be a painful experience. But we all need pruning from time to time when we lose our focus on God and wander from the right path. God has a way of getting our attention and putting our priorities back in order, hopefully before we have done too much damage to ourselves, pruning us back so we can begin to grow in a healthy direction again after we have gone astray. By struggling through the challenges that life sends our way and by overcoming our vices and temptations we become stronger in doing good and are united more closely to Jesus, just like those pruned branches which become more firmly attached to the vine and are made stronger and healthier so that they bear more fruit.

The key, as Jesus explains in our Gospel, is that we remain in him. He says: “Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” Like the nutrients that flow through the vine into the branches to make them healthy and strong which enables them to bear fruit, grace flows from Jesus into us which makes us spiritually strong and enables us to do His will. And the greatest source of this grace is the Holy Mass where we are nourished by receiving Christ’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion. If only all those people who stopped coming to Mass because “they didn’t get anything out of it” realized how much God was doing for them and transforming them by His grace whether they realized it or not, our pews would be filled each Sunday. So why not pass along this bulletin and invite a family member, friend or neighbor to join you for Mass next weekend?

Jesus makes an amazing promise: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” Let’s remain firmly attached to Jesus our vine, so that we, his branches, may bear much fruit in this beautiful vineyard of St. Mark – St. Margaret Mary Parish. – Fr. Bob

 

Pastor’s Column April 20 – 21, 2024
“I am the Good Shepherd.”

This weekend we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Church has always used the image of the shepherd with respect to its bishops, priests and other Church leaders. In fact, our word “pastor” is the same as the Latin word for shepherd. Our gospel reading offers us the figure of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who knows us, his sheep. Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep…. I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” Jesus calls us, he feeds us, he guides us, he protects us, and he lays down his life for us. Jesus is the great shepherd of the sheep, and he entrusted to his apostles and their successors, the current day bishops and their collaborators, today’s priests and deacons, the ministry of shepherding God’s flock. Those of us in the ordained ministry act in the person of Jesus, and we pray for the grace to love the flock that has been entrusted to us with the heart of the Good Shepherd.

In 1992, Pope St. John Paul II issued his Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, or, I Will Give you Shepherds. That document begins: “‘I will give you shepherds after my own heart.’ In these words from the prophet Jeremiah, God promises his people that he will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together and guide them. The Church, the People of God, constantly experiences the reality of this prophetic message and continues joyfully to thank God for it….” Our Holy Father of happy memory continued, “Without priests the Church would not be able to live that fundamental obedience which is at the very heart of her existence and her mission in history, an obedience in response to the command of Christ: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations’ and ‘Do this in remembrance of me’, that is, an obedience to the command to announce the Gospel and to renew daily the sacrifice of the giving of his body and the shedding of his blood for the life of the world.”

God is calling forth, and the Church needs, heroes in every vocation today. In particular, priests are being called to be new shepherds of heroic faith, heroic virtue and heroic zeal and we are being invited to be so much more than we realize we can be. I can tell you from my personal experience, it is awesome being a priest! As some of you may know, I had a very successful twenty-five-year career in the business world before entering the seminary. I was an Executive Vice President, Chief Actuary and member of the Board of Directors for a very large international insurance company. I was making lots of money, traveling all over the world, and loved what I did. But there is nothing like that feeling of peace, joy and contentment you get when your will is aligned with God’s will and you are living the life for which God has created you. I can never be thankful enough for the grace He gave me to respond to His call, to allow me to love you in His name and to receive so much love back in return.

While the Lord asked me to lay down my life in a radical way, as His disciples we are all called to continue His mission through our participation in and support of His Church. One tangible way to do that is by giving to the 2024 Annual Catholic Appeal whose theme is Called to Communion, Participation & Mission. The lion’s share of the Appeal goes towards ensuring that we continue to have shepherds to care for the Church: 27% of the Appeal goes to Vocations, 23% to support retired priests, and 23 % towards Youth Ministry and Faith Formation programs. All donations in excess of our goal come back to the parish which last year brought us $51,436. This weekend we will conduct our in-pew appeal. Please be as generous as your means allow. – Fr. Bob

 

Pastor’s Column April 13 – 14, 2024
“You are witnesses of these things.”

 

What comes to mind when you hear the word, “witness”? The first thing I usually think of is a legal proceeding. I have always been a fan of TV courtroom dramas, from the old-time classics like Perry Mason and Matlock to the more recent shows like Law and Order and all its variations. I believe what really got me hooked were those times that I have been involved in the legal process by serving on jury duty. I have served as a juror on a number of cases, from routine robberies to high profile murder cases. And a common element in all of them was the importance of witnesses. In his instructions to the jury, the judge always made very clear that although the lawyers for the parties involved were free to make various arguments in their opening and closing statements, the case was to be decided solely upon the evidence presented by the witnesses who testified under oath from the witness stand.

Webster’s dictionary defines witness as one that gives evidence and testifies in a cause or before a judicial tribunal; but then it broadens that definition to include one who has personal knowledge of something which serves as evidence or proof and also one who gives public affirmation by word or example of religious faith or conviction. And it is in this latter context that Jesus in this weekend’s gospel reading commissions his disciples to be his witnesses. Jesus says to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

We know that Christ’s followers took these words to heart, because after Jesus ascended to his Father and sent them the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they went out and did just as the Lord had commanded them. In fact, we hear Peter carrying out Jesus’ instructions almost word for word in our first reading when he says to the people: “The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did, but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Here we are almost 2000 years later, and the situation is not all that different. How many people in our society deny Jesus? How many people act out of ignorance or indifference and continue to hand Jesus over to death at least figuratively by their sinfulness. By virtue of our baptism, we are incorporated into the Church and given a share in Christ’s mission. We are called to be Jesus’ witnesses in the world today. We are called to preach that message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins to a world which so very much needs conversion, repentance, forgiveness and healing. We are all called to give testimony to the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, whose love transforms us and who offers us a share in his divine and eternal life. Our testimony does not always have to be verbal. The great St. Francis of Assisi was fond of saying we should preach the gospel constantly, using words when necessary. By that he meant that often the most effective witness we can give is by the way we live our life.

Being a witness is not always easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to be a witness, and often we do so at the risk of great peril to ourselves. People can try to intimidate us, ridicule us, ostracize us or marginalize us when our testimony is at odds with their view of the world. The Greek word for witness is “martyras” from which we derive our English word martyr. That is the ultimate testimony and witness, when someone is willing to pay the price with their very life. May we always be ready to give witness by our lives to that person who is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus Christ. – Fr. Bob

 

Pastor’s Column April 6 – 7, 2024
“My Lord and my God!”

 

I am sure you have heard, if not used, the phrase “Seeing is believing” dozens of times. According to that authoritative online source Wikipedia, the idiomatic expression “Seeing is believing” was first recorded in that form in the year 1639 and means that only physical or concrete evidence is convincing. The article even references this weekend’s Gospel story and says that the phrase “is the essence of St. Thomas’ claim to Jesus Christ.” But I guess that’s proof enough that you cannot believe everything
you read. Thomas never made such a statement to Jesus. Rather, as we hear in this weekend’s Gospel, he utters his famous remark, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” He said this to the other Apostles, who had told Thomas that Jesus had appeared to them in the Upper Room the evening of that first Easter Sunday when Thomas was not with them. But Jesus appeared to them again in the same place a week later, this time with Thomas present, and when invited by Jesus to touch his wounds Thomas could only respond with his timeless act of faith: “My Lord and my God!”

Since that encounter, poor Thomas has forever been known as “doubting Thomas”. But, in my humble opinion, Thomas was just being honest, and his moment of doubt gave Jesus the opportunity to reassure him, and through him, all of us, that he had indeed risen from the dead and was truly the Messiah, the Son of God. There is nothing wrong, nothing to be ashamed of, in admitting our uncertainty and questioning our belief from time to time. God does not mind when we doubt. He is even okay when things do not go our way and we get angry with Him. What God cannot stand is our indifference. What upsets God most is when we ignore Him, when we say we have no time for Him, when we place a higher priority on our worldly pursuits rather than be with Him.

And that is where our faith comes in to play. Jesus tells Thomas, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Sometimes we have to believe first in order to see. When we look through eyes of faith, we see the world differently and with the help of God’s grace are better able to cope with life’s many challenges. Faith is not just an intellectual exercise; it must be lived and experienced.

We live in a secular society which exalts the field of science and human reason and often ridicules our belief. But there is no incompatibility between faith and reason. They are two separate subjects both rooted in God who is the absolute truth. There are many things we believe although we cannot see them or touch them or experience them with our senses. Faith is not irrational belief, for as St. Peter says in his first letter, we must “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope ….”

In our Gospel, St. John says that many of the signs that Jesus did in the presence of his disciples are written in his book “that you might come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you might have life in his name.” This Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. In establishing the Feast of Divine Mercy during his revelations to Sister Faustina, Jesus told her to proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God, and he said that oceans of
mercy would flow from that same wounded side into which the Apostle Thomas was instructed to put his hand. Jesus made a promise which St. Faustina recorded in her diary where he stated: “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of my Mercy.” In Church terms that is called a plenary indulgence which was granted by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2002. As the inscription under the image of Divine Mercy that was revealed to Sister Faustina says, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! — Fr. Bob