This weekend we welcome Fr. Michael McDermott to preside at weekend (and weekday) Masses while I am away. Fr. Mike has retired from parish ministry in Nebraska and moved here to live with his sister. He will be serving as part-time chaplain at Saint John’s Catholic Prep, and also visiting the Catholic patients at Frederick Health Hospital, in addition to assisting with weekend Masses in various parishes in the area. Fr. Mike served at several parishes in Nebraska, in addition to getting a degree in Canon Law and working in the Tribunal Office. He is also a licensed mental health practitioner (in Nebraska), and has served as a Global Fellow for Catholic Relief Services. We welcome him to Frederick!
Monday morning the children will start arriving for Vacation Bible School (VBS), an annual summer ritual here that takes lots of organization and many volunteers. Last year, pandemic restrictions prohibited this kind of activity, so it’s a special joy this summer to offer VBS. Many thanks to all the adults and teens who have volunteered, and special gratitude to Theresa Anderson who does a great job as coordinator. Please pray that our children may grow in their love of God during this special week that we provide for them.
As many of you know, I have been vacationing in Nantucket (near Cape Cod) during July for many years with four priest friends. However, we began observing big birthdays with a special trip when we all turned 60, and at 65 we walked 110 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. As the first of us turns 70, we decided to spend time in the Tuscany region of Italy this July for our special birthday trip. And, yes, this week we will discuss what to do when we turn 75!
In recent weeks, through a grant from the State of Maryland, we have added safety features to our church, including outdoor and indoor cameras, and bullet proof film on doors and windows. Thanks to Pat O’Connor and Stuart Henderson for their work on this.