Welcome, Fr. Alex!
We cordially welcome Fr. Alex Agyepong to St. Marguerite Parish for the month of October. Fr. Alex was born in 1969 in the Republic of Ghana, and he was ordained a diocesan priest in 2000. He came to the United States and studied at Fordham University (but did not have his faith ruined by the Jesuits!) in 2005 until 2009. He has been serving in two parishes in the Archdiocese of New York, and in fact, Mary Ellen Tiernan knew him from their days working together at St. Ann’s Parish in Nyack. Fr. Alex will be helping out in our parish while I am away for two occasions. First, all active priests of the diocese are required to attend a priestly convocation with Bishop Caggiano in Rhode Island from 15-18 October. I will then be away from 19-31 October with our trip to the British Isles and Paris. Fr. Alex will be ably “holding down the fort,” as it were, with Deacon Tony while I am away until I return for All Saints’ Day.
In addition, this Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in which the Blessed Mother appeared to the children at Fatima for the last time together and promised that God would send a sign to show the world that the children were indeed receiving apparitions from heaven. The sun appeared to spin around in the sky, and the hundreds of bystanders who witnessed this phenomenon were afraid that the sun was then going to collide with the earth before it eventually turned back to resume its place in the sky. The 13th of October, therefore, is a momentous date in the history of the Church. As a result, our parish will be sponsoring once again the Outdoor Rosary Rally at 12 noon on Saturday, 14 October (held on the Saturday each year closest to 13 October). We encourage everyone to come and pray the Rosary along with other prayers in veneration of the Mother of God and in response to God the Father’s request that we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. Whenever we honor her, we honor God because the Blessed Mother always points to her Son with the request that we do whatever He tells us to do (see John 2:5). The Rosary is so vitally important in the life of every Catholic. Those who pray the Rosary daily with devotion will not be lost; in fact, devotion to the Rosary is one of the signs of our predestination with God eternally. The saints, in fact, tell us repeatedly that one cannot live in habitual mortal sin and simultaneously pray the Rosary daily. Either one or the other wins out, as it were. Our prayer, of course, is that the graces attached to the life of Christ while meditating on Him will overcome our sinful attachments, our imperfections, and our own lack of will in responding readily to the daily promptings of the Holy Spirit. We highly encourage everyone, therefore, to arrive at the traffic circle at the statue of Our Lady by 11:45 am so that we can begin the celebration in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and fulfill her requests to pray and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners—always keeping in mind that we must humbly place ourselves at the head of that list!
Finally, it is my privilege to announce that the St. Augustine Medal for our parish this year will be awarded to Donald and Claudette Perley! Bishop Caggiano will present the medals to all the recipients at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday, 28 October. St. Marguerite Parish owes a tremendous “thank you” to Don and Claudette for all of the work that they did from the very beginning of the announcement by Bishop Walter Curtis that there was going to be a second parish in Brookfield. They put in countless hours to get our parish “up and running,” as it were, despite many obstacles along the way. However, Don and Claudette consistently worked through all the difficulties to establish St. Marguerite on sure footing in those early days. Don, for example, cleared the land where we are now standing in the church building. Don and Claudette set up and took down the movable altar when Masses were held in the movie theater. They were integral members of the planning committee from the start, and their institutional memory has been invaluable to me on several occasions. Claudette was also our parish secretary and administrator for many years. Today, whenever we need carpentry projects completed in the church, Don and Rejean Blais are always there as our personal “St. Josephs”! Even though Don and Claudette do not want attention drawn to themselves, we as a parish are very much indebted to them for their quiet service to and love for St. Marguerite Parish. Congratulations, Don and Claudette, and may God bless you for many years to come!
May you have a most blessed and holy week!
Fr. Shawn William Cutler
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