Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Welcome one and all to our annual Parish Picnic! Every first Sunday of May, we gather as one parish after Holy Mass for food, fun and fellowship. One of the difficulties of a large parish is that, if we are not careful, it can become like five smaller parishes who use one campus. Since we are by nature creatures of habit (and that can be just fine in general), we usually like "our" Mass time and rarely go to other Masses. One unfortunate result is that those at one Mass time may never get to meet anyone else of the over 1,800 families, or roughly over 4,500 registered souls, who are also part of the broader St. Mary's family. So hopefully, for this hour, we have broken out of our comfort zones and are attending the events today. Try to introduce yourself to parishioners you haven't met. You can always start with, "Hello! What Mass do you usually go to?"
Immediately after our 11:00am bilingual Mass, we will have our annual Marian Procession down Park Avenue to honor the patroness of our parish, the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians. If you are a member of one of our many ministries and groups with a banner near the front of the procession, be sure make your way into the procession behind your banner. Children from our First Communion class, who received their First Holy Communion Saturday morning, are especially featured walking in front of the statue of Our Lady. Be sure to congratulate them – You'll be able to tell by their suits and dresses, of course!
After the procession returns to the church, with prayers and songs we will crown the statue of our Blessed Mother left of the altar. Then, enjoy the rest of the day! Look for signs directing you to various things, such as jump castles, food and more. If you haven't toured the new buildings and meeting spaces (e.g., St. Michael Hall or St. Teresa of Calcutta Hall), now is a great time. Above all have fun and relax with your fellow parishioners. We each share one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism here at our one parish of St. Mary's.
Finally, as May begins we realize that our beloved principal, Mrs. Peggy Wertz, will retire at the end of this school year. Since 2006, Mrs. Wertz has skillfully guided St. Mary's School, and we would like to express to her our deep gratitude. Please mark your calendars and join us for the last school Mass on Wednesday, June 6 at 8:30am in the new church. Afterwards, we will head over to St. Angela Hall for a morning -style reception (including coffee!). Mrs. Wertz has requested no gifts, but if you send a card or note prior to the event, we will place it in a special album. Thank you, Peggy
As always, let us pray for each other.