Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
In about a month, we will have our parish picnic. I encourage everyone to attend. This year we will have the picnic at the Kolping Center at 10235 W Mill Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45231. Please note the change of venue so that you go to the right place!
Beginning next week, we will have a sheet out for side dishes. The parish provides the meat (brats, mets, and hot dogs) and drinks. We ask everyone else who comes to bring a dish to share to help fill out our menu. Kolping Center offers a nice shaded place for the picnic, and then also soccer fields, baseball fields, a play ground, and other good things. This will be a good time for all, so please join us!
I would like to address a few points in regards to the reception of the Sacraments. The Sacraments, in particular, the Blessed Sacrament, are the most prized offerings of the Church. We consider them to be the most important thing that we do because it is our earthly experience of the divine. This is why the Church has rules regarding the Sacraments, for their protection and to protect what they offer to us.
When it comes to baptism, it is best to contact the parish office as soon as possible, even before the birth of the child. This gives us the opportunity to collect as much information as we can in preparation for the baptism. However, more importantly, if you have chosen Godparents who are not known to me, I need to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements set forth by the Church. So letters from their pastors need to be exchanged before they can assume this role. If you were hoping for a quick baptism, without these letters on file, the baptism would be delayed until they arrive. Knowing in advance, and the approximate time of birth also enables us to better accommodate baptisms quickly after birth.
Regarding First Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, it is important for the children to be properly prepared and well disposed. According to the Church, the parents are the first and primary educators of their children. However, as pastor, it is also my duty and responsibility to see to it that they have been prepared for the Sacrament. For First Communion and Confirmation, attendance at the parish catechism classes is mandatory for all. This enables me to ensure that we have done our best to prepare them and for the expectations set out by the Church to be met, but also gives the children the opportunity to experience the parish and kids their own age in the parish.
The Sacraments are our most treasured possessions. I studied in the seminary for nine years for the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Married couples prepare for at least six months. We do this because they are important! When something is treasured and appreciated, we do all we can to protect it. I know the Sacraments are very important to each of us, so thank you for keeping these basic principles in mind as we prepare to receive them worthily. Next week, I will discuss how to worthily receive Confession and Holy Communion, so that we can continue to grow in grace and virtue. Have a blessed week!