From the Desk of.... Week of 7/30/2017

Dear Parishioners,

This year, I was able to take part in the Youth Retreat here at St. Gabriel. Spending a week with some of our children was a treat! I was happy to see each of them had great respect for their teachers, the church, and one another. They accepted what we offered to them with patience, curiosity, and humor. We have much to learn from them. We were able to take a field trip to Philadelphia’s St. John Neumann Shrine at St. Peter the Apostle Church. The Shrine and Church are under the care of the Redemptorists, which is a religious community, and the community of which St. John Neumann was a member. The body of the saint lies in a glass-enclosed reliquary under the main altar of the lower church. There were many relics associated with St. John Neumann in the church, and the children were able to see and touch these holy relics.

We then went to visit the “Pink Sisters”, who are The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters. They are called the Pink Sisters because their habits are pink. Although they are a cloistered, contemplative-missionary community, we were able to meet and speak with a few of their members. Our group was very curious and had many questions about what the sisters do, such as if they could see their family, if they are allowed to leave, or watch T.V., etc., etc., etc. Throughout this visit and the visit to the St. John Neumann Shrine, they learned about God’s calling to each of us to do many things in His service, whether that is a priestly calling, a calling to any kind of religious life, a calling to be a doctor, or a calling to marriage and family.

During one of our music classes, our children were able to write a hymn, which we sang during our morning Masses. I was surprised at the depth of what they wrote. I assure you; I had nothing to do with this other than to be the secretary who wrote it down. I did put it to a musical setting, but it is their own words!

The greatest sacrifice you gave the world,
You suffered and died for us, LORD.
Thank You Jesus, we love you LORD.
Help me LORD to pass this test of life,
Teach me LORD to be more holy.
Help me live a better tomorrow.
Help me trust in you. R.
Help me live a long life,
Help me be a blessing to others.
Forgive me I am a sinner.
Help me trust in you. R.

Joan Nipe, Director of Liturgical Music

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