Congratulations to Vincent Notaro & Alexandria Na- tal (St. Leo's) who will be getting married this weekend, and to Bella Nowak who will be making her First Holy Communion on Saturday. We pray that these sacraments of the Eucharist and Matrimony may be instruments of grace to our fellow parishioners.
Thanks to Patrick Criscuolo, a student at St. Ignatius High School who took on the project of tearing down an unused deck behind the school building so that our school children could potentially use the space as a garden. Pat- rick is an Eagle Scout and did this project to show his leadership abilities as well as his desire to serve. We're grateful to have him and his parents as active members of the parish.
I want to wish all the women of the parish a Happy Mother's Day. I've been thinking a lot about my mom lately as my sister and I were emptying the attic of my dad's house in Lakewood so that we could prepare to sell it now that my dad is in assisted living (and doing very well!). My sister and I came across many things that re- minded us of our mom, who died in 2001 from colon can- cer. She was the secretary of our parish, St. Mark, where we all grew up & went to school. Interestingly, she died on April 25th, which is the feast of St. Mark, and that year, was also Secretary's Day. One of the things we found in the attic were pictures from my brother's wed- ding back in the early 1980s. He happened to be married here at St. Leo's and so there was a picture showing my mom walking up the center aisle of our church wearing a beautiful long dress as well as a broad smile on her face. So when I process up that same center aisle as we begin Mass every weekend, I think of how I am l quite literally and symbolically walking in my mother's footsteps, whom I know would have been so happy that I am pastor here, where my cousin also served as a newly ordained priest. It's also a blessing for me to remember that my mom was here so long ago not only for my brother's wedding but also for the baptism of my triplet nieces whom I baptized here at St. Leo's (and as I type this on Wednesday, May 10th, it happens to be their 26th birthday!). The reason why I share all this with you is that for those who have a mother that is living, you can share with them one of your memories of them that makes you happy. For those of us who have a mother who has gone to the other side of life, we too can honor them by sharing a favorite story about them. We do this with the saints all the time, so why not with those whom we pray are also being prepared for sainthood in God's kingdom? May all living mom's enjoy this day with their loved ones.