16th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Dear Friends,

Hearty Welcome to Fr. Lancelot McGrath! Many of you have asked me if I was getting another priest in the place of Msgr. Brennan who retired and moved out. I am happy to share the good news that Bishop Checchio has appointed Fr. Lancelot McGrath as the Parochial Vicar at St. Matthias Church.

Fr. McGrath has been serving as Parochial Vicar at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Monroe Township, for the past four years. I am happy to welcome him to our parish, though his appointment will be effective from September 1, 2023.

In the meanwhile, I am happy that we can avail the services of different priests. I am happy that Fr. Nick Gengaro, who is so familiar to us all, Fr. Tom Lanza, the Vocations Director of the Diocese and Fr. Jose Lim, the newly ordained priest of our Diocese, have been the presiders at different Masses these past weekends. The Consolata Missionaries, who have helped us in the past, will also be helping us whenever possible. These opportunities give us an exposure to different priests who give us a different taste of priestly ministry, especially in preaching.

Today is World Day for Grandparents and Elderly.  This day was established by Pope Francis to be celebrated on the fourth Sunday, closer to July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. The goal is “to draw attention to a category all too often placed on the margins, remembering instead their value and encouraging actions in their favor.” The Pope is celebrating the Mass for and with the grandparents and the elderly today (Sunday, July 23) in St. Peter’s Square.

“His mercy is from age to age” (Lk 1:50) is the theme chosen for this year. This choice was intended to connect the Rome event to the great celebration of the World Youth Day in Lisbon (Aug. 1-6), to ideally put young and old ‘in dialogue’, as the Pope has always desired. The theme was chosen to be in tune with that of World Youth Day in Lisbon:  “Mary arose and went with haste,” taken from Luke’s Gospel. Even the short passage “His mercy from age to age” is taken from Luke’s Gospel and is the end of the first part of the Magnificat, when Mary immediately goes to meet her elderly cousin Elizabeth after the Angel’s annunciation. Thus, it is a theme that highlights the importance of dialogue between generations. Indeed, dialogue between the elderly and the young helps to obtain a more complete vision of the way in which a more humane and fraternal society can be built.

As we celebrate the grandparents and the elderly of our parish, let us remember that they have a thing or two to teach us about enduring change and handling life’s adversity. Respecting them can be the most gratuitous return for their selfless efforts that benefited us in different ways. Bible is very clear on this: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. (Ephesians 6:1-3). “Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. …. Treat older women as you would your mother….” (Timothy 5:1-3).

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal