May is the month of Mary. We crowned Mother Mary at 9am Mass last weekend, and the beautiful children in their first Holy Communion regalia joined in the procession. It was wonderful! Now for the month, Mary holds pride of place. I would encourage you, any of you who are able, to bring flower arrangements for Mary during the month. What a splendid outpouring of affection for Mary that would be! For, truly she is our Mother. I asked Jerry, our Director of Maintenance, to crown the wooden carved statue of Our Lady of Perpetual Help atop our Baldacchino… he declined! (Well, he told me I was nuts. ;) I am, I guess… nuts for Mary!
Mary is our Mother, our model and our lady. She is the highest honor of our race, which is why it is so powerful to seek out her intercession. Mary’s intercession is both potent and sweet. I love the words of the Memorare :
Remember, O most compassionate Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to you protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I/we fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my/our mother; to you do I/we come, before you I/we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my/our petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me/us. Amen!
A friend once told me it is like a “Hail Mary on steroids!” That depiction may not be the most apt, but it does convey the powerful nature of Mary’s intercession.
Here at OLPH, we are dedicated to Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. May we recognize our patroness, not because she always grants the help of her Son, but because we are always in need of his Divine assistance! The help WE NEED is perpetual, and so we must ever beseech her intercession.
Last week, I wrote to you about being home in the Shade, about making Maple Shade my home, and about the potential for upcoming changes, especially to our Mass schedule. This week I can share the news that Fr. Cesar’s service to our parish will soon come to an end. Some of you may have heard this already through the gossip grapevine. Officially, Fr. Cesar Tolentino’s term of service to our parish and our Diocese will come to an end on June 30, 2019. Fr. Cesar is a priest of the Diocese of Antipolo, Philippines and he remains incardinated there. Incardination is a technical term for the diocese (or religious institute) to which a priest belongs. Fr. Cesar has been on leave from his diocese while serving with us and that term of service is now over. As Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks and prayerful best wishes to Fr. Cesar as he begins a new chapter in his ministry. We entrust Fr. Cesar into the care of our loving Mother Mary!
Going forward, our new reality at OLPH will include one full-time priest with the help of some beautiful retired priests, Fr. Ed Lipinski and Fr. Bob Smith. As we journey together we ask for your continued prayers, love and support, and we promise ours.
I also request your assistance, not only your stewardship (sacrificial giving), but your time and talents are even more important. There is much work ahead of us! I encourage you to please come forward and roll up your sleeves and lend a hand in the work of service. I am still getting to know many of you. If you have a particular talent or area of expertise, I would be grateful to learn how we all are best suited to work as disciples in the Kingdom of God.
Many blessings upon you, through Mary our Mother!