It’s good to be back, at least for a few days. We had a very nice retreat this week with a number of our priests at the Antiochian Orthodox Retreat Center in Bolivar, PA. Our speaker was a priest from the Diocese of Brooklyn who spoke on 12-step Spirituality. It was some really good, down-to-earth, practical stuff. As I looked around, the majority of the priests at this retreat were all using some form of cane to walk. Please continue to pray, both for new vocations as well as for our older priests.
Although I did have to head back in to celebrate the funeral of Mike Kordish, I’m very thankful to Fr. Ron Osinski who joined us last Monday to celebrate the funeral for David Campbell.
As for myself, you might have noticed the trailer in the upper lot. I’ve started to really launch into the process of packing. It really brings home the reality of our lack of priests when I look at the rectories of the two new parishes I’m taking over and realize that both of the rectories were built with suites ready for 6 priests each. Even within my time, I remember a time when 4 priests lived at just the co-Cathedral. Soon, it’s going to be just me at both places. So please continue to pray for me through this process.
Please pray also for our neighbors to the south at St. Benedict’s in Carrolltown. Their pastor, Fr. Jude has also announced his retirement, and his replacement has yet to be named. I know that Fr. Jude has been the pastor there for many, many years. This will be just as much of a transition for them as it will be here.
I know we’ve talked about the priest shortage for years, but we’re coming to a point where there simply aren’t enough priests to go around to staff parishes. We really need to do what we can to encourage young men to answer the call.
Of course, not everything is bleak, now is the time to encourage all of you to really step up and take ownership of your parish. Now is the time for each of you to help the faith grow in Northern Cambria and to work to share the good news with your neighbors. Now is the time for you to come together and work to help to build up the Church. I can honestly look back and say that in the last two years, we’ve come a long way in that direction, but there’s still a long way to go. We’re starting to get councils and committees up and running. Things are happening. Let me encourage you to work together to keep those things running. I’m thankful to everyone who has already stepped up in my time here and I hope that in the next few years, you can work with Fr. Mark Groeger to continue to build on the foundation we’ve started.
While there will be plenty, two immediate things we’re working on right now is getting ready for my going away, and for our Summer Dinner and Basket Auction.
For the going away, please bring something to share for noon (after the 11am mass) next Sunday, June 27th. As for the Halupki Dinner, we’re going to be asking for donations of cakes the week before the dinner. Many of you have been generous in the past, but at the Spring Turkey Dinner, we didn’t have quite enough and had to order some sheet cakes to fill in the gaps. I do hope you’ll be willing to help us make that happen.
If you haven’t already, please get those baskets in. As of my writing this, we have around 33 baskets (so far). Also, as we have done in the past, a list of basket donations with donor names & descriptions, as well as a picture slideshow of all of the baskets we have received, have been uploaded to our website. There is a link on the home page. We will continue to update the website until the deadline arrives.
Finally, this is a special weekend in our secular world. This weekend is Father’s Day. Please make sure to wish all the fathers in your life a Happy Father’s Day. We live in world where too often we don’t always appreciate the contributions fathers make, where so many children grow up with strained relationships with their father. So this weekend, please remember and celebrate your father, or whoever has filled the role of father in your life.
God Bless You,
Father Matthew Baum was the Parish Administrator at Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA from July 2019 thru June 30, 2021..
Prince of Peace