I want my first words of this column today to be one of welcome...welcome to those who have joined the Church through Baptism and the other sacraments at our Easter Vigil. Welcome to those faithful parishioners who worship here throughout the year. And welcome to those who may come to church only on feasts such as this...we are glad you are with us today and we invite you to join us more often as we listen to God's comforting (and sometimes challenging) Word, as we receive the strength that comes from the Eucharistic presence of Christ and from the support of the community of faith that we call the Church. We are all sinners. Yet we are all saved through the mercy and love of God. That is what we celebrate today. That is what we celebrate every Sunday. God wants a friendship with us all. He reaches out his hand & all we have to do is reach back.
Last Sunday as I was enjoying our annual Palm Sunday Pancake Breakfast, I met a couple who have been members of the parish for some time. I got a kick out of the fact that the Mrs. said she enjoys reading my "gossip column" every week! I know that she meant that as a compliment, so here's the latest gossip...
This past week I visited a couple who have recently taken up residence at Mt. Alverna which is on State Road (Fr. Vesely celebrates Mass there every Tuesday morning). The names of this couple are John & Marie Sidor. Marie has been on our prayer list here in the bulletin. They are both 95 years old and this July will be married 70 years! They started here at St. Leo's in 1950 and so remember Father Lux, our founding pastor, very well. That's some pretty juicy gossip so spread it around that they are doing well and like everyone who is homebound or in a nursing facility, can always use our prayers.
In the name of the whole parish I want to extend our thanks to all those who worked hard for six weeks with our Fish Fry. Again, I heard many comments like "I've gone to many & this is the best in town!" I would have to agree (even though I haven't gone to any other ones!). A lot of time and work goes into making these events so enjoyable for us & we're very blessed to have such good food and this chance to socialize every year.
I'm also grateful to those who decorated our church so beautifully for Easter and for all that was done to make our Holy Week liturgies prayerful. I'm thinking especially of our Music Ministry who I know practiced many hours to provide music that helps us raise our minds & hearts to God. May Easter joy remain with you all.