Dear Friends in Christ,
A very happy and blessed Mothers Day to the wonderful mothers, grandmothers, (and their children) in our parish and everywhere. During a month that we dedicate to our Blessed Mother Mary, this particular Sunday seems extra special. And so we celebrate motherhood in its diverse and sacred expressions. On a personal note, I am very grateful for your prayers and good wishes as I recently helped my own mom make her transition from independent to assisted living. She’s in, and making friends already!
I would like to take this opportunity to provide some updates on a number of different things going on at Xavier, presently or in the very near future. Next Sunday, at the 11:30am mass, we will offer a special blessing and message of thanks to the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our church continues to be blessed by the presence of women religious from a number of communities. The ICM Sisters have done so much for Xavier over the years and they are in the process of moving to a new residence in the Bronx. While I expect (and hope) that some of them will continue to make their way downtown, it is most appropriate that we recognize, thank, and pray for these wonderful women. Please join us at the 11:30 mass next weekend and stay to enjoy some coffee afterwards.
I am working my way through a big stack of thank you letters for this year’s Easter gifts. We exceeded our goal once again, thanks to your great generosity! We will celebrate the 22nd anniversary of our LGBT ministry on Friday, May 15, with a mass and reception beginning at 7pm. AIDS Walk NY will take place on Sunday, May 17th. Confirmation (May 17@5pm) and First Communion (June 7@9am) are coming up and the “busy season” for weddings is just beginning. On Sunday, June 14th, Fr. Dennis Baker SJ will celebrate his first mass as a priest at our 11:30am liturgy. Dennis served as a teacher of history at Xavier High from 2009-12 and is a familiar face to many of us.
Several much-needed renovations are on the horizon as well. As the end of June approaches, we will begin replacing the floor between the parish offices and the Mary Chapel. As the next step in our “Take Back the Tap” water justice initiative, spearheaded by the Peace and Justice Committee, water fountains will be installed in the parlor area and outside the music room. We will add fall-prevention guards to the windows of the west room, music room, parlor, and Mary Chapel. And when July arrives, we will offer a fond farewell to Fr. Marc Roselli, SJ and a warm welcome to Fr. Sean Toole, SJ. We are blessed to have the help and support of such fine Jesuits (including Fr. Peter!) and the rest of our great parish staff.
Finally, I am currently receiving more email messages than I can respond to in a timely fashion, often more than a hundred per day. If you do not receive a timely response to your email, please do not hesitate to call me or resend your message. I am very sorry to those of you whom I have not responded to in recent days.
There’s a lot more going on around this very special place but that’s enough for now. Be sure to enjoy the glorious arrival of a long-awaited Spring! May Mary, mother of us all, guide and protect us and bring us the graces of her Son.