Though it may have been a very rough week elsewhere, this past week has been a joyous one for us at SVF, with the re-opening of our parish school for a new academic year. We had well over 200 youngsters physically present on opening day last Monday, as we greeted them and their parents. As the school year progresses, we will start to see more children in school rather than in virtual schooling at home. In this way, we believe the children can interact cautiously and develop their necessary social skills. God bless our teachers for their willingness to be here to supervise, instruct and guide our children. They are our local heroes.

Because of the disruptive pandemic, we’ve missed several opportunities to celebrate the Sacraments for a number of our young people. In order to re-establish some semblance of continuity in our parish programs, we’re going to celebrate the First Holy Communions of all of our young children who were supposed to receive Jesus for the first time last April, but were unable to do so. Though the Corona virus upset our plans and messed up our complete schedule for many additional parish events, we will conduct the First Holy Communions at Masses in the latter part of September. The students will be assigned, according to the beginning letters of their last names, on two successive Saturdays: September 19 and 26. The families will be notified which day by e-mail and snail (regular) mail. The Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered in October.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of southwest Louisiana and southeastern Texas, who were pounded by two successive hurricanes in the past week. I am particularly concerned with the Catholic diocese of Beaumont, Texas, because on August 21st, Monsignor David Toups, the recent Rector of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, became Bishop David Toups there in the beautiful Cathedral-Basilica of St. Anthony. What a way to start off your tenure as a new bishop! Let’s keep him and his flock in frequent prayer as we assist, in whatever way we can, all the people of that area – after all, to Christians, all lives matter! May God protect us from such a disaster or similar calamities.

The Memorial Courtyard of our parish school is rapidly filling up, with names of the living and the deceased being honored with a memorial brick. If you have not had the chance to secure a brick for your loved one(s), you may do so by contacting  Dan SillerParish Director of Stewardship and Development, during regular church office hours. He will assist you by describing for you what can be approved and rendered on these permanently engraved Memorials. Donors who have given at least $1,000 to the Capital Campaign of our parish can be included in this program.

Thank you for all your kindnesses in expressing your best wishes to me on my recent birthday with cards, prayers, Masses and various gifts. They really express your affection, which I, in turn, express back to you through my Masses and prayers offered on your behalf.

Please remember to pray for all the victims of the virus pandemic, and all those who are working to save them. Please stay safe, observing the 2 key words: Caution and Precaution.