This weekend throughout the Universal Church we celebrate DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY.

The foundation in our relationship with God is faith, which is in turn grown through a rich prayer life.

Certainly the perfect prayer of the Church is the Holy Mass along with the liturgical prayers said throughout that celebration. Those present at the Mass lift up their voices to God in prayers, but we certainly don’t want to limit our dialogue with God to that one hour on the weekend. The Church has given us the great gift of other prayer and devotions. One devotion, many of us have incorporated into our lives is the Holy Rosary, and nightly we pray either the Sorrowful, Joyful or Glorious Mysteries. There is another devotion, which is quite similar to the rosary and that is the DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET. While the rosary is based on a series of Our Fathers and Hail Marys the Divine Mercy Chaplet is based on two much shorter prayers. If you would like to learn how to pray either the rosary or chaplet please visit the website, or go to our YouTube channel, “Catholic Traveling Prayers.” This Sunday would be a perfect day to learn this beautiful devotion.

As I write this week’s bulletin column I am in Long Branch, New Jersey at a Retreat House along with a group of teenage and adult missionaries. The group is working in Keanesburg, New Jersey, just down the street from Sandy Hook where Hurricane Sandy submerged hundreds of homes in a very poor section of the state. The Missionaries are working with members of the St. Bernard Project and Americorps to rebuild one of the houses in the area; last year we worked on a house that is just a few doors away. The Missionaries took time to drop in on the homeowner we helped last year and inspect the new house she now enjoys. We will have pictures of the trip in next week’s bulletin. After a hard days work they return to the retreat house (which is right by the Atlantic Ocean) and they enjoy the beach, a good hot meal and card games. It is nice to join them each night in prayer and reflection. I wish we could live- stream portions of this trip because it would give you a glimpse into the joy the kids and adults experience in this week of work. Coupled with your support of their work, we truly are making great strives in making our parish a ‘Church for the poor.’

It was so nice to see the pews so full during Easter and in six weeks we will once again see more family members as the snowbirds return. Shortly after their return come our summer residents and 12 weeks of sun and fun. I was so pleased that we were able to complete the spring landscaping work and reopen the koi pond as well as the fountain in the peace garden. Also I want to thank everyone who helped us decorate the Church for Easter. I know many people were so pleased with this year’s Easter decorations. Thanks also to those who donated funds for our flowers, please know that your deceased loves ones are being remembered in a novena of Masses