Fr. Gerard’s Weekly Column: 6/23/24


The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb, he gave me my name.

When I celebrate a Baptism, I like to take the time to reflect on the various symbols as they reveal the true depth of the meaning of the Sacrament and our Christian faith itself. Before placing the Oil of Sacred Chrism on the child’s head, I explain that the words “chrism,” “anoint,” “Christ” and “Messiah” all have the same root meaning – they refer to being chosen. Sacred Oil was poured upon the heads of Kings and Prophets to express a belief that one had been chosen by God. For this very reason, we “christen” as well as “baptize” within the Sacrament of Baptism because our faith teaches that we are all chosen by God through our baptism to live as disciples. Our baptism is not simply a communal experience, but an act where we and our sponsors acknowledge the sacred calling bestowed upon us by God.

This Monday, we will celebrate the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist. In honoring St. John the Baptist today, we are reminded of John’s unique role as the final prophet who heralded the coming of the One, chosen by God, to open the gates of paradise to all the faithful. We are also reminded of our role as the baptized. Just as John was chosen for his unique and special role in revealing Christ to the world, each of us has a calling, unique to us, to reveal Christ’s presence. We were anointed and chosen to not be simply listeners of the Word but doers of the Word.

Taken from the solemnity’s first reading, the words of the Prophet Isaiah are a foreshadowing of who John would be, but are also a prophetic call to each one of us to be mindful of what is our right and responsibility, to go and make disciples of all nations. A reflection we might contemplate this summer is how we might take more seriously our role of discipleship. Come September, when lives get busy again, how might we make it a priority to have a specific and active part in bringing others to Christ through our prayers and invitation? As we celebrate the great St. John this week, let us join him in preparing the way of the Lord.

FATHER ANTHONY – This weekend, we have the bittersweet opportunity to give thanks for the priesthood of Father Anthony as we send him forth to his new assignment. Coming out of the pandemic, Father Anthony was a necessary catalyst for our parish, re-engaging many in the questions and teachings of faith. His dedication to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and his devotion to our Blessed Mother help us to belong more deeply to the church. His time with us was too short for our liking, but we will continue to reap the benefits of his priesthood, in what he taught and in the witness he gave to the faith.

I also want to thank all who helped us offer him a proper sendoff in their organization of the reception. I know that he is very grateful for the love and support that this parish has shown him throughout these last three years.

CHURCH DOOR RENOVATION – I am happy to announce that we have reached our goal of $90,000 and will thankfully be able to replace our church doors this summer. We are hopeful that the doors will be manufactured and installed by the end of August.

While we have reached our initial goal, we are still accepting donations as we know that real costs may exceed the original estimate. If you wish to contribute to the door fund, you may do so by check or a secure online deposit at

SAVE THE DATE – Friday, August 23 is the Feast Day of St. Rose of Lima. We are in the midst of planning a mini-celebration on that day with food trucks, games and mass. We need volunteers to help us plan and celebrate the day. Please contact Barbara Pope at the rectory to share your interest,