Easter Blessings!! May the joy of our Lord’s Resurrection continue to fill your hearts.
It is with great fondness that I can speak of some happenings of the recent past.
Most recently, I attended the Chrism Mass. For several years I have attended this event, and over that time my appreciation has not diminished one bit. Not only is this night beautiful because it is a great reunion of the people of our diocese, but also because it is a night when priestly fraternity is celebrated. All of the priests present renew their commitment, which is an uplifting experience for me, and a reminder of what I am ordained for.
I am also able to mention some great accomplishments that have been made possible with the help and support of enthusiastic people, particularly the Serra Club of Buffalo.
I express my gratitude once again to the Cygan family for donating the traveling vocations chalice to the St. Joseph Club. This chalice has made its way to some homes already, and I am certain that it has inspired prayers for vocations. I can be sure that these prayers are being answered because my “pipeline” of applicants for next year continues to look promising.
I am also grateful to the Serra Club members and Mr. and Mrs. Noonan (parents of Fr. Mark Noonan) for making the last meeting of the St. Joseph Club a memorable success. This was the second meeting that was designed for both high school boys and parents. The parents of the high school discerners benefitted greatly from the sharing of Mr. and Mrs. Noonan.
As always, I was thrilled to be present at this year’s Youth Convention. Every time I visit I am moved and encouraged by the faith that our young church members have. It gives me great hope for the future of our Church, and I believe that the invitation to look intently to Christ, which the convention affords our youth, will help each of them to discover their vocations, for all vocations are rooted in Christ.
No less of a joy was the 2016 Altar Server of the Year awards event. This event also gives me great hope for the future because it allows me to see how many enthusiastic young people we have with a strong desire to serve our Church. It is always our hope that the ministry of serving at the altar will also serve as an invitation to consider ministerial vocations in the Church.
Looking ahead, I can see that in the near future there are some other things that I am delighted to anticipate. May 7th is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. On that day the St. Joseph Club will have its final meeting for the year, which will begin at 12:30pm. It is planned to be fun and very informal, giving members and their parents a chance to enjoy time together in a relaxed setting and have some of their questions answered about priesthood and discernment. Anyone with interest is welcome to attend. After the meeting Fr. Bill Quinlivan will be leading a Holy Hour for Vocations in the chapel at Christ the King Seminary at 2pm. All who are interested are encouraged to attend.
On May 18th the Serra Club will hold its annual Vocation Awareness Poster and Essay Contest. At this event winners will be judged from several schools and religious education programs for their creative expressions of how priests bring Jesus to their families. As I did last year, I will enjoy seeing the talents of the participants as well as their appreciation for their priests.
Most importantly, I look forward to the highlight of the year: the Ordination to the Priesthood of Robert Agbo, Martin Gallagher, Cole Webster and Luke Uebler. This will take place on Saturday, June 3 at 9:30am at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Attendance is highly encouraged, and especially for those discerning a call to the priesthood.
May our prayers and support for each other continue to edify us all as we continue our mission of fostering vocations.
Fr. Andrew Lauricella