We welcome and congratulate the 8th grade students of our Parish School who will be graduating after the 4pm Mass this weekend. They frequently attended the 8:30am Mass on Fridays and I would spend a few minutes with them after those Masses to answer questions they had or to discuss something I thought was important. I enjoyed this time with them and will miss seeing them walking our halls. We’re happy that 19 out of the 21 students will be going on to a Catholic High School, and proud of that commitment to a religious atmosphere following their time at St. Leo’s. May God bless each one of these graduates as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
We’re also very pleased that our enrollment is increasing again for next year. I’ll let you know the final numbers as they are more firm in the summer months but I’m very grateful to our teachers and staff in the school who have had a wonderful year under the leadership of our new Principal, Mrs. Denise Burns. This Wednesday is the last day of school and so the halls will be empty again for a few months but not for long. We are very blessed to have a Parish School (and Preschool) which are doing so well. These are an important part of our history but also of our present and future as well.
Today we welcome the Knights of Columbus who will be present at the 11am Mass. And joining us will be their chaplain, Deacon Pat Berigan. I’m very happy to let you know that Deacon Pat and his wife Joan have joined our parish (along with Joan’s mother) and have offered to minister here. Deacon Pat has just retired from his place of employ- ment and from his diaconal ministry but like retired priests, can still choose to exercise their ministry with a parish and pastor of their choosing. We are thrilled that they have chosen us and I look forward to them working with me as we form a Pastoral Staff here at St. Leo’s. They both have many years of formation and experience in ministry and so their gifts will be very welcomed here. I’ll let Deacon Pat intro- duce himself to you at the 11am Mass this weekend (and at the 4pm & 8am Masses the weekend of June 9th & 10th). It is perfect timing for him to be with us today as he is celebrating his 30th Anniversary of Ordination this Sunday. So please be sure to congratulate him and welcome him and his wife as warmly as you welcomed me. On this Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit which was given when the Church first began. May that Spirit help each of us to use the gifts we are given for the building up of our faith, our parish and our world.