Deacon Roch’s Communication for May 29 2022

From the Deacon’s Desk | May 29, 2022 | The Ascension of the Lord

“This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

~ Acts 1:11

We have all had situations where we have needed to say “Goodbye” to someone or a group of people we have formed a strong relationship. These likely were family, but they could also be classmates, co-workers, athletic teammates, or close friends. Most of the time, we know we will see them again sometime in the near or distant future. But other times, we know, and they know, that our paths may never cross again. And that can be very sad.

The apostles went through these types of emotions. During the immediate days after the crucifixion, they were troubled and fearful after seeing Jesus put to death so violently that they could make no sense of the situation. However, after He appeared to them three days later and continued to appear many other times before His Ascension, they became joyful and confident. Their parting was not the end but a beginning! And, as the last two verses of this Sunday’s Gospel describe, “then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.”

It might be hard to imagine how they were able to carry on without Jesus, their fearless leader, and best friend! But the thing is, Jesus didn’t abandon them. Our first reading from Acts clarifies, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The Apostles took Jesus’ words to heart, and we should do the same. In a 2013 homily, Pope Francis said: “The Ascension does not point to Jesus’ absence, but tells us that He is alive in our midst in a new way. He is no longer in a specific place in the world as He was before the Ascension. He is now in the lordship of God, present in every space and time, close to each one of us.” As the two men clothed in white reminded the apostles, Jesus will return. How good is it to know that Christ is not distant but fully present to us in a new way?

We are blessed with some incredible opportunities to experience Christ’s unfaltering presence through the workings of the Holy Spirit and the sacraments over the next several weeks. Our parish Eucharistic Festival, celebrating 25 years of Eucharistic Adoration at OLPH, began with a Pentecost Novena this past Friday, May 27, and culminates at our parish picnic next Sunday, June 5. As the Novena continues, we will gather each evening at 7 pm in the Church during this coming week and pray for about 45 minutes in Adoration. Each night, we will implore a particular title for the Holy Spirit, reflecting upon a Scripture reading around that theme while ending with praise through music and silent prayer. We are offering a Family Pentecost Celebration next Saturday morning, June 4, at 10 am for our families with kids ages 3 through 11 (get ready to fly a kite!) Then, later that day, our extended Pentecost Vigil will begin at 7 pm. The Vigil will provide a rich celebration of the Mass, with extended readings that help us meditate upon the works of the Holy Spirit and with time for Adoration and praise after Communion. The evening will conclude with time for fellowship, drinks, and desserts. The celebration continues next Sunday, June 5; after our 5 pm evening Mass, our parish picnic will be held outdoors behind the parish office. We hope you can join us for all of these blessed events.

Check out these celebrations at and visit to learn more about our upcoming Life in the Spirit Seminar and all the many ways we continue; in prayer together, guided by the Holy Spirit!

Some considerations:

  • An Important Notice Regarding OLPH Outdoor Sunday 11 am Mass – Please note that our last regular offering of Outdoor Sunday Mass before Harrison Hall will be Sunday, June 5th. The parish will broadcast our 9 am Mass on Facebook, our website and projected upon a screen outside the church. Parishioners who desire to remain outdoor are invited to bring a chair to this outdoor location. An Extraordinary Minister will bring Communion to you outside.
  • Mary’s Home Maryland 2nd Annual Open House | Saturday, June 4th, 1-4 pm
    In the last five years, Mary’s Home has embraced and accompanied 33 women and their children with your help, and it is with great joy and hope that we move toward the future to continue sustaining lives together. In the past year alone, 3 moms have graduated from our program and moved on to self-sustainable living. With 4 moms and 5 babies with us currently, our homes are bustling with blessings! Come meet the families in our program, tour the homes, enjoy some hors d’oeuvres, and help support the sustainability of our ministry. Sustaining Mary’s Home means helping to remove obstacles that mothers in crisis are facing and empowering these families as they work hard to build bright futures with confidence. RSVP IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND.

  •  Columbia Pregnancy Center Healing Group | June 4- Aug 6
    Columbia Pregnancy will be conducting a 10-week abortion healing group using Her Choice to Heal in a book club setting. We will meet every Saturday starting June 4th to Aug 6th from 10-12p. at the Columbia Pregnancy Center located at 8945 Guilford, Rd Suite 130, Columbia, MD.
  • Individual Unbound Ministry Prayer | June 11
    Many of us are fighting invisible battles with anxieties, negative thoughts, sins, unhealthy relationships, destructive habits, resentments, and bitter wounds that never seem to heal. You can reach out and experience God’s merciful love, healing, and freedom! Unbound Ministry Prayer releases the power of Jesus into wounded lives. On Saturday, June 11th, there will be trained teams available to provide individual prayer using the Unbound Model of prayer in Ellicott City, MD. If you would like to schedule an appointment or want more information, please contact Dan or Peggy Gahagan at
  • VBS at OLPH | July 18-22 | 10 am – 12:30 pm Join us for our Summer, 2022 Vacation Bible School, “Monumental: Celebrating God’s Greatness” where we will celebrate God’s greatness throughout the whole week! Learn more, become a volunteer or a camper. Visit or email Judy Gruel, at


Deacon Roch