Fr. Mike’s Communication for June 20, 2021

Father’s Day | June 20, 2021

Graphic advertising Father Mike Triplett's pastoral Letter for June 20, 2021

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
“Quiet!  Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.

~ Mark 4:38-39

Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Fathers’ Day! In this year of St. Joseph, what a strong example he offers to us as an example of one who discerns God’s will in prayer. Trusting in the guidance he received (even in dreams), Joseph, despite monumental challenges, was decisive in protecting and caring for Mary and Jesus. So today, as we celebrate our fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, and father figures, who offer us their support and love, let’s seek Joseph’s intercession!  And to the many Fathers who protected their families amid the pandemic, thank you for your faith-filled examples.

In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus provides an excellent illustration of the power of unwavering faith. The apostles, including some expert fishermen who practically grew up on the water, become petrified with fear as a mighty storm tosses their boat. Still, despite being in the same chaos, the disciples are shocked to see Jesus peacefully asleep.  

With mastery over the winds and the waves, Jesus offers words directed as much at the apostles and us as they were to the surging waves, “Quiet! Be still!” 

Stillness is key. 

Perhaps Christ’s slumber exposes that the true menace isn’t life’s inevitable difficulties, but how we choose to respond. Only when we turn down the volume of our crazy and challenging world can we hear God’s voice. And realize that no matter the storms of our life, a scary diagnosis, a loss of work, a stressful family relationship,  none can overwhelm our Lord, nothing.

Admittedly, I relate well to these apostles—the challenges and storms brought by this past year are prime examples. Whether it was the tough decisions made by the Archdiocese that ultimately put the well-being of our parishioners and community first or witnessing those who lost loved ones or those who continue to worry and care for others still experiencing severe illnesses, 2020 served up storms of epic proportions. Of course, both high winds and crashing waves can be destructive, but at times, maybe the storms we allow to churn within us present the most danger.  And in those overwhelming circumstances, we need to reach out to the Lord, who calls us to silence and stillness in prayer and trust in Him.

Now, as the high and rocky seas of 2020 recede, let’s take a moment to thank God for his steadfast presence and recognize the signs of new life and beginnings among us. I have been reluctant and weary at times, fearful of placing parishioners at risk. Moving forward, though, all of us – priests, staff, and parishioners – need to work to build a culture of welcome and belonging, with a renewed commitment to restoring community and friendships which ultimately strengthen each other in faith. In this next phase, let’s rely upon each other, trusting that each of us has one another’s best interests at heart, making safe and prudent decisions for ourselves and our families. We all need to be comfortable in our Church home, whether masked or unmasked, resuming closer seating in pews or maintaining a physical distance. Let us commit to respecting approaches and decisions that we make – and emphasize the JOY and opportunity to worship together, being fed by our Lord.

Some of the key considerations for this week.

  • Adoration has resumed, from after the Wednesday 8:15 am daily Mass until Saturday at 8 am. The Chapel is open to the public until 8 pm, but parishioners and visitors who register may be permitted access to the Chapel for prayer and adoration 24/7 through VizPin. Request access through our parish website or help our parish through the power of prayer by committing to an hour of adoration.

Through the Summer, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will remain available on Wednesdays from 11 am to 12 Noon, and from 6 pm to 7 pm, outdoors in the back parking lot, as well as Fridays from 4 pm to 6 pm in the Good Shepherd Room, off the Narthex or entrance of the Church.

Our Mass schedule is currently Saturdays 4:30 pm, Sundays at 7:30 am, 9 am (in Church and livestream), 11 am outdoors, and 5 pm. As of July 3-4, the Mass schedule will shift to Saturdays at 4:30 pm, Sundays at 7:30 am, 9 am (in Church and livestream), 9 am outdoors, 11 am in the Church, and 5 pm. I pray that the additional Mass, for the time being, will help all parishioners feel welcome back to Church and comfortable worshiping together.

  • Farewells are difficult. Following the Lord though at times makes these farewells necessary, although never easy. The parish has been blessed to witness the growth and beginnings of Fr. Rob’s ministry, from his arrival as “Deacon” Rob to his ordination. Next weekend, Fr. Rob will celebrate the 11 am and 5 pm Masses. Join us for time to share stories and say a proper goodbye “for now” (as we all remain united in the Lord – and the friendships and bonds of discipleship do not disappear).  We will host a Celebration for Fr. Rob with treats from Kona Ice after the 11 am Mass on Sunday, June 27. Join us around Noon, even if you are attending another Mass. From my own experience, what is most appreciated is the simple card or note, recalling a favorite homily, a story told, a shared experience, or a way that he has impacted you or your family.
  • Please continue to hold in your prayers Christa Weyant who is leaving this week as Director of Pastoral Care to resume ministry in Hospice Care, and our Principal Matt Malone who steps down from the position at the end of June. May the Lord guide the footsteps of all our parishioners, staff, and families who are transitioning this summer.
  • Continue to pray for those who will begin ministry at OLPH, including Fr. Anthony Abiamiri, whose first weekend with us will be July 10-11, and our incoming principal, Mrs. Tracy Underwood. Our parish is certainly searching for a Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry to collaborate with Kelly Sliker who has been serving the Youth Ministry this year.
  • On Wednesday, June 30, newly-married parishioners Zack and Tessa Robinson will host a one-hour Facebook live event: Given: Unveiling the Mystery of Marriage with Stephane Calis, founder of Spoken Bride, and her husband Andrew. For those dating or engaged, married a few years or many, give this time to learn what is unique about preparing for a Catholic wedding and marriage, as well as how to live out the Sacrament to reveal the beauty of God. The discussion will include what it’s like to prepare for marriage, thriving in those first critical years in marriage, and supporting family or friends as they start their journey. 
  • Vacation Bible School Treasured: Discovering You’re Priceless to God sets sail July 12-16 from 10am to 12:30 pm. This summer, VBS is a family event, with parents and children learning and celebrating together. Register here. We are also in need of adult and high school volunteers, in the areas of hospitality, skits, music and singing, discussions, games, and scenery setup or takedown. Find the specific needs and volunteer through this SignUpGenius. Reach out to Judy Gruel with any questions or for more information.
  • St. Veronica parish in Baltimore is celebrating its 75th Anniversary! As a sister parish, OLPH is 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,
  • Please remember to bring sunblock (50 SPF or higher) by next weekend (June 26-27) to support St. Veronica’s outreach to the White Angels Foundation, which advocates for children with albinism in Nigeria. The simple donation of sunblock not only allows them needed protection from the sun but can help turn the tides of social isolation and diminished opportunities many of these children wrongly experience.

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

Rev. Michael S. Triplett