Sunday, April 11, 2010

Deo gratias vobisque

Some of you may wonder how I manage to spend as much time in church as I do. Like Fr DeRosa and Fr. Nick, it seems we are there all the time, saying Mass every day, often more than once a day. Who can need that much Eucharist – that much thanksgiving?

We have no shortage of reasons to give thanks, I assure you. After last weekend, I am particularly aware of all the many reasons. First and foremost, thanks be to God for having giving us His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead. He gets full credit, too, for a day as beautiful as any Easter I can remember, splendid and radiant from beginning to end, and fine material representation of the spiritual reality we were celebrating.

Plus, I am grateful for all the people who put so much work into the other material aspects of our spiritual celebration, many of whom started working months ago to have everything ready. Thank you to all of you who donated to the flowers for the altar, and to Elaine Vining and her army of helpers who made the interior of our church resplendent with the natural beauty we were enjoying outside.

Thanks to our dedicated music leaders who led us through the liturgies of Holy Week with the best music you’ll find outside of a cathedral – and even inside many of them. Richard Fitzgerald and Camille Frezzo planned beautiful music and led our two choirs and instrumentalists in a true musical expression of our faith.

Our Boy Scouts and Cubs also spent Holy Saturday morning cleaning up the trash and debris that had accumulated on our grounds over the course of a long, hard winter. Plus, they provided our new fire at the Easter Vigil! Speaking of grounds, thanks to Jim Finelli for the new flowers at the doors, and the Augustines for sprucing up the memorial area.

Thanks to our Home School Association and the Rosensteel Knights of Columbus for their sponsorship of our “hospitality” on the front lawn Easter morning. Jen Herlihy, Karyn Zanger, Mary Ellen Barringer, and Margaret McDermott and their many helpers did a great deal of work to make it not only inviting but perfectly homey and natural – indicating to our many visitors what a friendly (and well-fed) community we have here. Thanks too to Steve for the sound, and all the guys who put up and took down the tents on the holiday weekend.

Norma, Mary, and Anthony Dao worked constantly on the logistics, visible and otherwise, that made it possible for all that liturgical action to occur. Moving furniture and electricity, candles and clackers, veils for everything and hosts for the throng; no end of preparation was accomplished beautifully – with many, many hours of work.

My personal favorite thanks go to our altar servers, who worked hard and cheerfully to make the most complex liturgies unfold beautifully. Many folks remarked on their precision and professionalism. I am thinking about flying them over to my old seminary to teach the guys there how it should be done!

I’d like to note all the help we got with the crowds and logistics from our ushers and those who volunteered to help out with that. We could sure use a few more regulars in that particular troop; their work makes several very important things happen, not least welcoming our guests.

And thanks to all the rectory staff and the other clergy who not only assist with much around here, but do the real heavy lifting of putting up with me in the busy build-up days.

A special welcome to our parish to our neophytes, received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Charles Cho and Allison Arevalo, baptized and confirmed, and Terry and Natalie Del Bosco, received and confirmed; along with the small Del Boscos, Jackson (3) and Abigail (1), have joined our large and festive family here at Saint Bernadette; greet them warmly!

So, in the end it is a wonder I don’t spend ALL my time in the church thanking God. I have so much to be grateful for. So do we all. As we say when the Mass is ended, Thanks be to God!

Monsignor Smith

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