Last Sunday, November 30th, at the 6:00 pm mass at Saint Barbara Church in Harrison City, Bishop Brandt accepted the petition of four men of our Diocese to continue their formation as they proceed on the road to Permanent Diaconate in the Greensburg Diocese. They are Stephen Black, Jeff Cieslewicz (our parisioner), Bill Newhouse (a good friend) and Mike Orange.
Photo by Mary Seamans of the Diocese of Greensburg
These men will continue their formation and pastoral assignments and will be ordained, God willing, on June 13, 2015. Pray for them, for their wives (pictured below at the Mass) and for this Diocese as we await a new bishop.
Photos by Mary Seamans
On Monday evening in our Church, the twenty-two candidates of our Sacramental Prep year received their First Reconciliation (their first confession). It was a wonderful gathering of family, along with two other brother priests who helped with the honor of hearing those confessions. Our theme was that of trusting in the Good Shepherd - and the kids, although a little nervous, were great. As usual, I was blessed abundantly. One funny story told to be by a grandmother who came to me for the sacrament. Her little granddaughter (younger that those receiving) tugged on grandma's sleeve and whispered: "Don't worry, grandma. There is nothing to be afraid of. You'll do okay." Grandma smiled, and so did I.
On Thursday of this week I was honored to be asked to give the presentaion for the Advent Day of Reflection for the priests of the Diocese. There were about thirty men present, including the bishop who joined us for the day. I spoke of Advent Hope that guides our way, despite the challenges that confront us. The really good news was that no one drifted off. I concluded with the Holy Father's tweet for that very day:
"Advent increases hope,
a hope which does not disappoint.
The Lord never lets us down."
And yesterday saw our parish Christian Mothers Confraternity Christmas party at a local restaurant. I joined over thirty women for a great meal, loads of fun and entertainment, and a good prelude to the season. Our new President and her officers are doing a great job of rejuvenating this important group ijn our parish.