Fr. Mike’s Communication for June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

“The Kingdom of God] is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

Mark 4:31-32

Brothers and Sisters,

The joyous sounds of celebration rang out from our Parish school last Thursday. Students, families, and at times the most boisterous teachers and staff enthusiastically said goodbye to what was an exhausting year and welcomed their long-needed vacations! I’m grateful for the entire school community’s commitment to learning during this unprecedented past school year.

I think we can all relate. After all, often, the waiting in life, especially for something good, is hard. But, ask yourself, do we receive Jesus’ proclamation that the Kingdom of God is at hand with more joy than a long-anticipated holiday? It’s important to remember in this instance, for once in life; we don’t have to wait to celebrate. Our Lord is victorious — right now! When we take a minute for this wonderful reality to sink in — that Christ’s Kingdom is here on earth, right now — we have the opportunity to joyfully proclaim Christ’s victory and be part of the mission to spread this good news and His kingdom.

So, how can we become part of this mission and cooperate with God’s graces at work in our lives? 

First, we must come to know God and listen to Him in prayer, learning to recognize what God is asking us to do in and with our lives daily. For this, there is no better way to start than God’s own Word. If reading the Bible isn’t among your daily routines, the pace of Summertime can be an excellent chance to begin. Though no elaborate plan is needed, I recommend avoiding the temptation to select passages by randomly opening the Bible. Instead, focus on the assigned daily scripture readings each week (you can find those here), then begin with five to ten minutes of Scripture a day. This Summer, the Sunday Masses will read through the Gospel of Mark chapters 4 to 6 and the Bread of Life discourse in the Gospel of John, chapter 6. Another way to incorporate daily Scripture is the Bible in a Year. These podcast episodes from Fr. Mike Schmitz leads the listener through the Scriptures in chronological order. While episodes began in January, don’t be deterred because the content is produced in a way, so you can start listening at any time and work through the Scriptures at your own pace. For families, with everyone home and off from school, Ascension Press has just released The Great Adventure Reading Plan for Kids. This fantastic guide works through 14 narrative books in Scripture over a planned 23 weeks, covering the complete story of Salvation History. While one family might read through the plan in three months, others might take a year. Either approach, families will benefit from the time of prayer and listen to God’s Word together.

As the mustard seed may seem insignificant, cultivating our faith in small and simple ways has an immense impact by the grace of God in ourselves, our families, our community, and our world. May the Summer truly bring our Parish a renewed connection with our Lord in prayer and with each other!

Some of the key considerations for this week.

  • Starting June 16th, Eucharistic Adoration resumes weekly in the Good Shepherd Chapel from Wednesday after the 8:15 am daily Mass until Saturday at 8 am. Learn how to gain access after hours on our parish website. As we resume expanded Eucharistic Adoration, the parish needs committed adorers to ensure that we answer the Lord’s call to keep watch and remain in prayer with Him. Becoming an adorer is a faithful ministry to the parish. With increased support, we hope to increase the hours of Exposition further, with the potential of perpetual adoration.
  • On June 19, we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the dedication of the Chapel, providing 24/7 access for personal prayer time. 
  • Fathers’ Day is fast approaching. Include your father, grandfather, godfather, uncle, or father figures in our Novena prayers, by completing this form.  Additionally, you may pick up a Father’s day card from the information desk in the Narthex and request your novena intention.
  • Likewise, if you would like to offer Mass Intentions we are able to accommodate your request here. Having a Mass offered for deceased loved ones or friends is a traditional way to keep praying for the deceased, a true work of mercy. Masses though may also be offered for those who are living and their intentions.
  • St. Veronica in Baltimore is celebrating their 75th Anniversary! As a sister parish, OLPH has been invited to join them as Bishop Madden celebrates Mass on Sunday, July 18 at 9 am at St. Veronica (806 Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore 21225). Some of our parishioners aim to carpool. Reach out to Bette if you’d like to join us or for more information,
  • Thousands of Nigerian children with albinism have no access to life-saving sunscreen. This results in skin cancer, blindness, and even death, as well as social isolation and diminished opportunities. St. Veronica’s, our sister parish in Baltimore, with the help of St. Vincent de Paul Society invites us to join them to collect SPF-50 sunscreen for shipment by The Knights of Columbus in Baltimore to the White Angels Foundation, a Nigerian NGO, which advocates for children with albinism. Collection bins will be in the narthex and at outdoor mass on June 19/20 and 26/27. Please join in this work of mercy for children a world away.
  • OLPH is excited to host a clergy/lay softball game on Sunday, August 8th at 3 pm.  While the details are still coming together, OLPH parishioners will be invited to attend the game and if so desired, sign up to play. Staff tuned for more information!

Our parish is a vibrant community of ministries and servant leaders.  As we continue to grow, I invite you to consider how the Lord’s gifts in your life may be a way to serve the parish and your neighbor.  In particular, we are in need of Catechists, couples to lead Baptism Preparation, adults to help with Youth Ministry, volunteers to help us prepare for our next family dinner night, and Eucharistic Adorers.  If you would like to serve in any of these capacities or in other ways, please let us know, HERE, I am confident God is calling many parishioners to offer their wonderful presence, gifts, and time. With each of us responding to God, we are much stronger – and far more capable of being the Light that God calls us to be as the Body of Christ.

St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Rev. Michael S. Triplett