Blessed Easter

04-12-2020Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is such a wonderfully blessed day! After the 40 Days of Lent, today we celebrate the great Solemnity of Easter during which we ponder the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and His victory over sin and death!

Traditionally, the Easter Season is a time when we focus on the initiation of Christians into our faith. Usually, the Easter Vigil is the time we welcome new Catholics into communion with us after a long and fruitful journey in the Rite of Christian Initiation. Those to be welcomed into the Church will now enter into full communion with the Church at a future date to be determined by our bishop. There is an exception for baptizing babies. These will continue as usual as long as there are 10 people or less present. For all those preparing to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion will occur when our bishop gives us permission to do so.

I have a grateful heart for all God is doing during this challenging time. So many people have been working tirelessly to make things happen here at St. Bernadette. I thank our priests, deacons and their wives who assisted us throughout Holy Week, Easter and all year long. I also want to thank Shirley Smalley and our RCIA team who are preparing the adults to be brought into full communion with us, along with Brittany Rodriguez and Mindy Longwell, who dutifully prepared the children to be initiated into the Church. I am grateful to Sammie Carel and Julia McDonald for their amazing work with our youth and junior high students. You serve our young people so lovingly and generously. Our liturgical team directed by Brina Zeimann, the Director of Music bless us all with their gift of song and music. She also coordinates the service of our cantors and musicians for all the liturgies. The office staff with Mitzi Palma at the front desk and Diane Flitcroft makes sure our beautiful bulletins are out each week. Our wonderful finance team, Helen Romano and Paula LoPresti, under the leadership of Margaret Colwell have helped us to be good stewards of our parish's finances. Our campus looks amazing because of the humble service of our entire maintenance crew.

I am also blessed to be with all are wonderful teachers and staff of St. John XXIII Catholic School. Our Principal, Preston Colao and Carl Hess, the Assistant Principal, have worked tirelessly with their amazing team, to provide our parish and our diocese with a wonderful school. The families who attend are such a blessing to us all and it is a privilege to serve them. I am grateful to all our sacristans, ministers of welcome, decorators, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and our lectors for your service to our community. To our many Knights of Columbus and our wonderful volunteers who make our parish so great throughout the year, thank you for your sacrifices.

So now we celebrate the Octave of Easter. This year the Octave begins on Easter Sunday (April 12th) and ends on the second Sunday of Easter, (April 19th) which is also Divine Mercy Sunday. The Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday will be live-streamed at 3:00pm. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be chanted beginning at 2:30pm. During this period, every day is considered a solemnity or another "little Easter." In total, the Easter Season lasts 50 days. St. Athanasius said the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one "great Sunday."

Throughout the Easter Season, we ponder what implications the Resurrection has for us. We believe that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ has transforming power that can radically change us and also change the broken world in which we live! A special responsibility falls upon our parish and her people. We must live in a new way! This is at the heart of evangelization.

This difficult time in our Church is not a time to practice "spiritual distancing". We are followers of Our Lord Jesus. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. That is Our Lord's promise to Peter and to us His people. To that end, Catholics are in a special place in history. We are called to rise up and lead the world in faith, hope, and charity. We are called to share the Good News that God loves us and He is with us. Evangelization happens in the field. In other words, it happens in the context of daily living--at the grocery store, the coffee shop, our works places, at school and so on. It begins by our daily Christ-like behavior. It also means that we prepare ourselves for opportunities to give an account about our faith in Jesus when the opportunities arise!

We have been redeemed as so we celebrate, For Jesus is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

Lastly, if you haven't yet signed up for online giving for our parish. Please do so here. Your gifts are needed now more than ever so we can

God Bless,
Fr. Don Kline, V.F.