Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen! For eight days we have been celebrating Easter Day, and today we come to the Octave (eighth) Day. In the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope St. John Paul II named this Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday.
As we continue to celebrate this joy-filled Easter Season, join us this afternoon, Sunday, April 8, at 2:30pm in the church for a special violin concert. Maestro Matteo Fedeli returns to St. Mary's to fill our church with the sweet sounds of a 1709 Pietro G. Guarneri violin, graciously on loan from a private collection. Maestro Fedeli will be accompanied on piano by Ms. Carol Cook of Aiken. This concert is free and open to the public, so bring your friends! This year, we have arranged to have the piano up front so that you will have the best possible view.
"So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when handkerchiefs or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" Acts 19:11-12. In this passage showing that even handkerchiefs and aprons of St. Paul brought healing and freedom from evil spirits, we see the power of the relics of God's holy ones, the Saints. We at St. Mary's joyfully welcome two important relics of St. Anthony of Padua for veneration, accompanied by Fr. Bortolino Maistrello from Padua, where the Saint is buried. A statue of St. Anthony graces the narthex of our church, and our largest bell is named in his honor. Saint Anthony intercedes with those trying to find a job, housing, faith, love, hope, harmony within the family, good health, peace of mind, and mercy.
Prayer petitions with holy cards will be distributed by Friar Bortolino and volunteers to allow parishioners to write their petitions to the Saint. The writing of a prayer petition is a worldwide tradition. Father Bortolino will bring the petitions back to the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua and place them at the tomb of the Saint.
Veneration of the relics will be at the church on Thursday, April 12, from 4:00-8:00pm, with Holy Mass at 7:00pm. (Please note the 5:30pm Mass will be moved to 7:00pm in the church.) Welcome, St. Anthony!
Finally, the Easter season culminates with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Our world is in desperate need of a New Evangelization – the revitalization of Christ's disciples with a renewed sense of mission brought about through the Holy Spirit. You are invited to a 5-week Life in the Spirit Seminar, which will open us up to God's love, enliven our friendship with Jesus, and help us better experience how enriching life in the Holy Spirit can be for those who are open to receive Him. Join us in Mother Teresa Hall, Friday evenings April 13 – May 11, 7:00-8:30pm. For more information or to register, contact Mary Ellen Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-642-2676.
Come, Holy Spirit!