Pastor's Corner

2021 09-12   Patriots Day – In Remembrance of the Terrorist Attacks on Sept. 11, 2001

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  We as a nation recalled the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the fields of Somerset, Pennsylvania.  We also remembered the men and women in uniform who gave their lives or who were injured that day in the line of duty.  We remembered not only the tragic events on that day, but with the recent unfortunate events in Afghanistan, we were also reminded of the dangers that continue to confront us in an unstable world.

As reported in the publication, the National Catholic Register, as previously noted, recalling the events of that day, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, stated, “We reverently recall all those who were most directly affected by this tragedy – those who died, were injured or lost loved ones.  In a special way, we recall the selfless first responders – firefighters, police, chaplains, emergency workers, and other brave persons – who risked, and many times lost, their lives in their courageous efforts to save others.”

As Catholics, we are challenged to respond in faith to the pressing concerns of our brothers and sisters in need and to remember in a special way all those who suffered in some way on that fateful day of September 11, 2001.

We continue to pray for our men and women in uniform who defend our freedoms.  We also pray for their families and the military chaplains who assist them.

The following “Prayer for 9/11 Anniversary” provided by the Sisters of Mercy focuses on the need for healing.  As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to continue to ask for the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, as we pray for peace in our world, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.    

                                                                     

2021 09-5   This Labor Day, Treat it as a Day of Prayer For All Those Who Truly Labor in the Spirit of Jesus and St. Joseph
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2021 09-5   This Labor Day, Treat it as a Day of Prayer For All Those Who Truly Labor in the Spirit of Jesus and St. Joseph

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As a nation, this Monday we celebrate Labor Day.  It is traditionally celebrated on the first Monday in September.  On this day we honor all those who labor for a living.   We thank these workers for their service to their families, and for their service to all those who benefit from their efforts.  We’re also called to remember and pray for all those who are now retired after many years of labor, and for the unemployed and underemployed.

Pope Francis has a deep appreciation for the dignity of labor, and for all those who work.  He reminded the faithful that labor is clearly important to the human experience and that work is fundamental to the dignity of the human person.  As previously noted, as reported in the Catholic publication “CRUX”, he indicated that work is not just an occupation, but a mission.

He stated, “We collaborate with the creative work of God when, through our work, we cultivate and preserve creation; we participate, in the spirit of Jesus, in His redemptive mission, when by our activity we give sustenance to our families and respond to the needs of our neighbor.”  He noted that Jesus and Saint Joseph worked as carpenters and that they understood the importance and value of work.

The following “LABOR DAY PRAYER” provided by the publication “The Catholic Telegraph” looks to Saint Joseph to serve as a model for all who labor:

Glorious St. Joseph,
model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my many sins; to work with thankfulness and joy,
considering it an honor to employ and develop, by means of labor, the gifts received from God;
to work with order, peace, prudence, and patience, never surrendering to weariness or difficulties;
to work, above all, with purity of intention, and with detachment from self,
having always death before my eyes and the account which I must render of time lost, of talent wasted,
of good omitted, of vain complacency in success so vital to the work of God,
all for Jesus, all for Mary, all after thy example,
O, Patriarch Joseph.  Such shall be my motto in life and death.  Amen.

As we celebrate Labor Day, we are encouraged to make it more than a day of rest and recreation.  Hopefully, we will also treat it as a day of prayer for all those who truly labor in the spirit of Jesus and St. Joseph.

 

2021 09-12   Patriots Day – In Remembrance of the Terrorist Attacks on Sept. 11, 2001
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2021 08-29   Family Love, A Vocation and Path to Holiness
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2021 08-29   Family Love, A Vocation and Path to Holiness

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

The traditional activities of many Catholic families have been disrupted or altered due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  Mass attendance, prayer routines, work schedules, family meals, and other activities may have changed.   In some instances, this may have an adverse effect on the family unit.  Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has often focused on the need for strong Catholic families.  He spoke of the Catholic family as an institution that prays, keeps the faith, and experiences joy.  He challenged families to pray together in the midst of the many distractions and busyness of daily living.  He said that we need simplicity to pray as a family and that prayer makes the family strong.

In addition to making time for prayer, as previously noted, the publication “Our Sunday Visitor” indicated that the foundation of solid Catholic family life is Sunday Mass.  It stated, “When we approach God’s altar to receive the Eucharist, our share in Christ’s Body and Blood deepens our communion with him and through him, builds up his Body, the Church” … “We listen to the Word of God and learn how to follow Jesus.  We pray together and learn about silence and humility.  On Sunday we are reminded that the center of our family life is Christ.”

Pope Francis, in his continuing concern for the family, has called for the 10th World Meeting of Families which will convene in June, 2022.   The theme of the meeting will be “Family Love: Vocation and Path to Holiness.”  As reported in the Media outlet, “Catholic News Agency”, Pope Francis stated that the meeting “…will be an opportunity provided by Providence to create a worldwide event that can involve all the families that would like to feel part of the ecclesial community.”

The following “Prayer for Families” asks God to continue to guide the family unit:

God, Our Father, loving and merciful,  bring together and keep all families in perfect unity of love and support.
Instill in each member the spirit of understanding and affection for each other.
Keep quarrels and bitterness far from them, and for their occasional failures instill forgiveness and peace.
May the mutual love and affection of parents set a great example.
Instill in children self-respect that they may respect others and grow in mature independence.
May the mutual affection and respect of families be a sign of Christian life here and hereafter, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, in the spirit of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we are encouraged to make a conscious effort to keep our families united, especially in these difficult and uncertain times.

2021 09-5   This Labor Day, Treat it as a Day of Prayer For All Those Who Truly Labor in the Spirit of Jesus and St. Joseph
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2021 08-22   We Truly Appreciate the Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons who Serve Us
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2021 08-22   We Truly Appreciate the Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons who Serve Us

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As we know, there are men who serve in the Catholic Church as Permanent Deacons.  Those men who are called to the Permanent Deaconate can be married, and they are ordained usually after a rigorous period of five years of training and formation.  Many of these deacons have secular jobs to support their families and strive to balance family, Church, work, and other responsibilities.

Pope Francis has a great appreciation for deacons.  He recently met with a group of deacons and their families at the Vatican.  In an address to this group, as reported by the media outlet “Catholic News Agency”, Pope Francis stated, “The humble service of a deacon tells of the greatness of God.”  He noted that deacons are “sentinels” for their parishes as they “help the Christian community to recognize Jesus in the poor and the distant, as He knocks on our doors through them.”  He challenged the deacons to respond to their call to service.  Pope Francis stated, “Whatever the need, see the Lord.  So you, too, recognize the Lord when, in so many of his little brothers and sisters, He asks to be fed, to be welcomed and loved.  I would like this to be the profile of the deacons of Rome and of the whole world.”   He also encouraged the deacons to do “everything with joy, without complaining; this is a testimony that is worth more than many sermons.”

As Catholics, we are fortunate to have deacons, since they serve our Church in many ways.  For example, they assist the priest at Mass, preside at baptisms, teach in our faith formation programs, visit the sick and the homebound, prepare couples for marriage, counsel couples who may be struggling in their marriages, preside at Benediction and Holy Hours, and participate in many of our Church ministries and activities.

The following prayer called “A Prayer for Deacons” asks the Lord to guide and bless the deacons who serve us:

Lord God, in Your kindness you sent Your Son to be our Shepherd and guide,
Continue to send workers into your vineyard to serve Your people.
Bless the Deacons who serve us.
Renew within them Your Spirit’s seven gifts, that they may be strengthened to carry out faithfully their ministry of service.
May they love sincerely, show genuine concern for the poor, and live holy lives.
May they always be faithful in believing what they read, teaching what they believe, and practicing what they teach.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to truly appreciate the faithful, dedicated, and holy deacons who serve us so well at Saint Brigid, especially in these difficult and uncertain times.

 

2021 08-29   Family Love, A Vocation and Path to Holiness
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2021 08-15   Prayer to St. Peregrine for Cancer Sufferers
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2021 08-15   Prayer to St. Peregrine for Cancer Sufferers

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As we know, cancer can be a debilitating disease and can impact people of all ages.  There are many different types of cancer.  Among the more common types are breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer.

Saint Peregrine is the patron of all those afflicted by cancer and other illnesses.  Included among the many statues of saints in our Church is a statue of Saint Peregrine.  As previously reported, the publication, “Franciscan Mission Associates”, provided a brief glimpse into his background.  It stated that he “… led a life of quiet prayer, solitude, and repentance for many years.  His life took an unexpected turn when a painful cancerous tumor developed on his foot, requiring amputation.  The night before surgery, St. Peregrine spent hours in prayer, then fell asleep and dreamt of Jesus touching and healing his foot.  Upon waking, he was cured!  During the rest of his lifetime and beyond, many miracles of healing have been attributed to St. Peregrine’s prayers.”

The publication also stated, “The power of prayer has been demonstrated time and again.  Whether we offer our intentions alone in silence or aloud with others, God always hears us.  This is especially true when our prayers are strengthened through the communion of saints, canonized by the Church for their special grace.”  The publication invited us to join “in praying to St. Peregrine whose intercession has led to miracles of healing for those with cancer and other diseases.”  Many of us know someone who is struggling with some form of cancer.  It has affected many of our parishioners and their loved ones.

The following “Prayer to Saint Peregrine for Cancer Sufferers” can provide comfort in times of trial for those afflicted and for their loved ones:

Saint Peregrine, whom Holy Mother Church has declared patron of those suffering from cancer, I confidently turn to you for aid in my present need.
Lest I lose confidence, I beg your kind intercession.  Plead with Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, whom you loved so tenderly, and in union with whom you have suffered the pains of cancer, that she may help me with her all-powerful prayers and consolation.
Obtain for me the strength to accept my trials from the loving hand of God with patience and resignation.  May suffering lead me to a better life and enable me to atone for my sins and the sins of the world.
Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to learn more about Saint Peregrine and ask for his special intercession, especially in these difficult and uncertain times when cancer, in many different forms, is so prevalent in our society.

 

2021 08-22   We Truly Appreciate the Faithful, Dedicated, and Holy Deacons who Serve Us
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2021 08-08   The Assumption of Mary
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2021 08-08   The Assumption of Mary

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Sunday we celebrate as a faith community the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Addressing the Assumption, our Church teaches that Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory when the course of her earthly life was finished.  Pope Francis stated that this was a special privilege granted to the Mother of God due to her unique corporal and spiritual union with her Son, Jesus.

AS previously noted, Our Holy Father has a strong devotion to Mary.  One of his first acts after being elected Pope was to visit the Basilica of Saint Mary Major and dedicate his papacy to Mary’s care.  He has encouraged the faithful to turn to Mary in prayer and seek her intercession.  As reported in the publication “The Catholic World Report”, Pope Francis indicated that the Virgin Mary’s witness is a reminder to praise God each day.  He stated, “If, like Mary, we remember the great things that the Lord does, if at least once a day we magnify, we glorify Him, then we take a great leap forward…our hearts will expand, joy will increase.”

Pope Francis has also encouraged Catholics to visit a Marian shrine or acknowledge Mary in some special way on the feast of the Assumption.  Therefore, we encourage you to prayerfully consider making time next Sunday, before or after Mass, to pray before our statue of Mary which is adjacent to the entrance to our Saint Brigid Day Chapel, or visit the statue of Mary which is in our Columbarium.  In addition, we invite you to participate in our Virtual Rosary this Tuesday night, and our Living Rosary this Thursday night.  Like Pope Francis, our late Pope Pius XII also had a great devotion to Mary and he solemnly declared the Assumption as formal doctrine.  The following is an excerpt from the PRAYER IN HONOR OF THE ASSUMPTION which he composed:

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of Men.

We believe with all the favor of the faith in your triumphal Assumption,

 both in body and soul, into heaven,

where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of angels  and all the legions of saints;

 and we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other creatures,

 and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and love.  Amen

As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited to look to Mary as a model of faith and respond in generous love to our call to discipleship.

Mary, Mother of God, intercede for us.

Mary, our Mother, pray for us.

 

2021 08-15   Prayer to St. Peregrine for Cancer Sufferers
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2021 08-1   Marriage, the Divine Plan
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2021 08-1   Marriage, the Divine Plan

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

The goals of  Catholic marriage are procreation and education of children, a mutual love of a couple, in a union that is permanent and indissoluble.  However, unfortunately, these goals are not always met.  We may know friends and relatives and neighbors whose marriages have not endured for one reason or another.  We pray that they may seek the healing they need, especially when appropriate through the process of annulment available in the Catholic Church.

Many Catholics may not have a basic understanding of the annulment process.  This lack of understanding may inhibit their participation in Church liturgies and programs.  The Catholic Church wants those involved to better understand and embrace its teachings as it relates to marriage and annulments.

As explained in the publication, Our Sunday Visitor (OSV), “The Catholic Church believes that the joining of a man and a woman in matrimony is a sacred act.  When this act takes place between two baptized Christians, it is a sacrament.  If neither or only one of the persons is baptized, then the marriage is not a sacramental marriage but is recognized as a sacred bond.  The Church considers marriage, sacramental or not, a valid covenant when a man and a woman freely express informed consent, without constraint and unimpeded by natural or ecclesiastical law.”

The publication notes that through the annulment inquiry, the Church also recognizes legitimate reasons why a wedding may not have led to a valid marriage.   It states, “An annulment is a declaration by the Catholic Church that after careful investigation, flaws were discovered in the relationship that prevented it from becoming a marriage.  An annulment is concerned mainly with the personal and spiritual aspects of marriage.  It does not ‘erase’ the civil contract.”

In its publication, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan”, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated: “We encourage divorced persons who wish to marry in the Catholic Church to seek counsel about the options that exist to remedy their situation, including the suitability of a declaration of nullity when there is no longer any hope of reconciliation of the spouses.”

At Saint Brigid, we have trained Annulment Advocates, coordinated by Deacon Tom Huff, who can help those interested grow in their knowledge and understanding of the annulment process.  An Information Night has been scheduled for August 19th at 7:00 PM in Corbett Hall to discuss the process.  All are invited to attend.  Details are listed at www.saintbrigid.org/annulment     

2021 08-08   The Assumption of Mary
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2021 07-25   The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and Children
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2021 07-18   Our Prayers and Financial Support of the 2021 Annual Appeal are Clearly Bearing Fruit

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

 At this time, we are in the midst of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal for 2021.  The theme of the Appeal is “Our Joyful Return to the Lord”.  Representatives of the Archdiocese have recently sent reminder notices urging parishioners to support the Appeal.

Our contributions to the Appeal provide funds that go directly to the training and support of future happy, holy, and healthy priests needed to serve the Church of tomorrow.  The Appeal also supports our diaconate program, Catholic Charities, and many other Archdiocesan pastoral outreach, education, and formation programs that serve our parish as well as our larger Church family.  In addition, the Appeal also provides needed financial support for our priests in retirement who have served the people of this Archdiocese so faithfully over the years.

A substantial portion of the Appeal provides for the funding of our Archdiocese Vocation program.  Through your generosity, Saint Brigid benefits directly from the Appeal.  Just last month, parishioner Fr. Robbie Cotta was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  He celebrated his first Mass here at Saint Brigid.  Fr. Cotta’s training and formation were financed primarily through contributions to the Annual Appeal.

As a faith community, we continue to pray daily for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.  We also strive to assist seminarians as they discern a vocation to the priesthood and as they continue their training and formation.  Seminarian Jonathan Webster was assigned to parish ministry at Saint Brigid this summer, and will soon be completing his assignment.  He is assisting primarily at our liturgies and also with our Adult Education, Youth, and Confirmation programs.

As we can see, our prayers and financial support of the Annual Appeal are clearly bearing fruit.  We ask for your continued support.  If you have already given via the mail or online, we thank you.  If you have not yet given to the Annual Appeal, we ask you to prayerfully consider doing so.  Additional information about the Appeal can be obtained from the parish office or from the parish website.

Archbishop Hartmayer has asked us to generously and sacrificially support the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal by giving “from the heart.”  We clearly realize that there may be limitations to your generosity in these difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  However, conditions are continuing to ease as we joyfully “Return to the Lord”, and so we ask you to assist us to the extent possible.

Thank you for all you do to enhance the spiritual vitality of our faith community.

 

2021 07-25   The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and Children
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2021 07-11   Welcome Fr. Darragh Griffith, our new Parochial Vicar
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2021 07-11   Welcome Fr. Darragh Griffith, our new Parochial Vicar

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

We welcome Fr. Darragh Griffith to our Saint Brigid parish family as our new parochial vicar.  Fr. Darragh was born and raised in Ireland and has been inspired by the examples set by Saint Brigid and Saint Patrick.  He has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta for many years, in various capacities and has witnessed the rapid growth of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese.

Fr. Darragh is thankful for the spiritual vitality that is evident in the Saint Brigid faith community and is anxious to assist our parishioners through his priestly service.  He will strive to focus on the essentials of his priesthood, including celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and visiting the sick, in addition to other assigned duties.  Fr. Darragh also appreciates the communal dimension of our faith.  He stated,

“We journey together as a community as we pray the Stations of the Cross, go to confession and glean grace from the Sacrifice of the Mass.”

Fr. Darragh also enjoys playing golf and listening to Irish music.

Details concerning a reception for Fr. Darragh will be provided in the Church bulletin and on the Parish website in the near future.   Please pray for Fr. Darragh and welcome him to our faith community.

 

2021 07-18   Our Prayers and Financial Support of the 2021 Annual Appeal are Clearly Bearing Fruit
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2021 07-04   God, Source of All Freedom, A Gift to Every Human Being
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2021 07-04   God, Source of All Freedom, A Gift to Every Human Being

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

 This Sunday we celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  On this day, we remember and appreciate the birth of our nation.   As Catholics, we are called to truly cherish in a very special way the many freedoms we enjoy in this country.  Our bishops remind us that, in the midst of a society that is becoming more secular in its orientation, there is a need to reaffirm our commitment to guard and protect our freedoms, especially our right to religious liberty.  There is also a need to strengthen the moral foundation of our country, a moral foundation based on faith and trust in the Lord.

As we celebrate Independence Day, we are invited to pray “A PRAYER FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY” provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

God, source of all freedom, this day is bright with the memory of those who declared that life and liberty are Your gift to every human being.

Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.

Make our vision clear and our will strong: that only in human solidarity will we find liberty, and justice only in the honor that belongs to every life on earth.

Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:  to understand the ways of others, to offer friendship, and to find safety only in the common good of all.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen. 

As we reflect on this prayer, and as we celebrate the birth of our nation, we also acknowledge how dramatically the fabric of our nation has changed due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  As previously noted, our robust economy has been significantly curtailed, and certain businesses have been forced to close, causing many people to lose their jobs.  Even various government directives and guidelines concerning the temporary closing of churches, businesses, parks and beaches may have caused us to reflect on the freedoms we may at times take for granted.

Gradually, the impact of the COVID-19 virus is starting to ease and we hope to witness a return to a more normal sense of life.   Churches, businesses, parks, beaches and other places available to the public are becoming more accessible.  We look forward to the time when our great nation will once again flourish.

As we take time this weekend for picnics and sporting events and other forms of recreation and relaxation, we are encouraged to also take time to thank God for the many freedoms we enjoy, and to reaffirm our commitment to protect and preserve those freedoms, especially in these difficult and uncertain times.

 

2021 07-11   Welcome Fr. Darragh Griffith, our new Parochial Vicar
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2021 06-27   Welcome Jonathan Webster, our Summer Seminarian
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2021 06-27   Welcome Jonathan Webster, our Summer Seminarian

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As a faith community, we strive to assist seminarians in the Archdiocese of Atlanta as they discern a vocation to the priesthood and as they continue their training and formation.  This summer, we welcomed Jonathan Webster to our parish as he paused in his seminary studies to gain additional experience in parish ministry.  He is from Saint Anna parish in Monroe, Georgia, and is currently studying at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana.

Jonathan is in the midst of his assignment here at Saint Brigid.  In addition to serving at our liturgies, Jonathan has also assisted in our youth ministry activities and in our Confirmation Camp.  He will be participating in various aspects of our adult faith formation in future weeks.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has asked us to pray for seminarians.  The following prayer, “Parents Prayer for Vocations”,  provided by the USCCB,  asks God to guide and inspire those who are discerning a priestly vocation.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are encouraged to pray for Jonathan and all seminarians as they continue on their journey of faith.

Thank you for your active participation in our faith community as we strive to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.                                       

Almighty and eternal God,
in your unfailing love you provide ministers for your Church.
We pray for those whom you call to serve the Church as priests.
Inspire in them a generous response.
Grant them courage and vision to serve your people.
May their lives and service call your people
to respond to the presence of your Spirit among us that,
faithful to the Gospel and hope of Jesus Christ, we may:
announce glad tidings to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives,
set prisoners free and renew the face of the earth.
Amen

Discern Your Vocation  –

How Is Jesus Calling You to Lay Down Your Life for the Church?   Visit: www.calledbychrist.com

2021 07-04   God, Source of All Freedom, A Gift to Every Human Being
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2021 06-20   Thank our Heavenly Father for the Gift of Our Fathers
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2021 06-20   Thank our Heavenly Father for the Gift of Our Fathers

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day and we remember in a special way all that dads mean to their children.  Being a father is a great privilege and also a great responsibility.  Fathers are challenged to set a good example for their children and to help prepare them for their lives as adults.  This is especially important for fathers in these difficult and uncertain times as they strive to cope with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, and its effects on family life.

As we know, we are called to honor our fathers.  There should be a desire to maintain a strong bond of communication with them and assist in their care in their later years, after the many years that they have cared for us in so many different ways.  It is also suggested that we pray for them after their death.  Our love for our fathers and our other family members should reflect the love that God has for us.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has placed great emphasis and focus on fatherhood.  As previously noted, the publication “The National Catholic Register” reported that Pope Francis reminded us that every family needs a father. He stated,    “to be a good father, in the first place, is to be present in the family, sharing the joys and sorrows with his wife, accompanying one’s children as they grow.”  He also stated that a good father teaches his children by giving a daily example of love and understanding.

We are celebrating the year of St. Joseph, and Pope Francis expressed his hope that all fathers would be like Saint Joseph and that they would strive “to protect their children and to teach them wisdom, faith, and integrity. “  He also prayed that fathers would “always experience our gratitude, appreciation, and support. “

The following “Father’s Day Prayer” from an unknown author asks God to bless and guide our fathers. As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited to thank our Heavenly Father for the gift of our fathers and for the many blessings He has bestowed on us.


God our Father, you govern and protect your people and shepherd them with a Father’s love.
You place a father in a family as a sign of Your love, care, and constant protection.
May fathers everywhere be faithful to the example shown in the scriptures:
Steadfast in love, forgiving transgressions, sustaining the family, caring for those in need.
Give Your wisdom to fathers that they may encourage and guide their children, keep them healthy so they may support a family.
Guide every father with the spirit of Your love that they may grow in holiness and draw their family closer to You.
Amen.

2021 06-27   Welcome Jonathan Webster, our Summer Seminarian
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2021 06-13   We Celebrate the Ordination Fr. Robert Cotta,
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2021 06-13   We Celebrate the Ordination Fr. Robert Cotta,

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Saturday, June 12, Robbie Cotta was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Archbishop Hartmayer at the Cathedral of Christ the King.  Fr. Cotta is a long-time parishioner of Saint Brigid.  We thank him for answering the call to serve as a shepherd and we pray that Our Lord will bless him and guide him in his priestly ministry.  He is challenged to embrace this call to priestly service with love and joy.  Fr. Cotta’s first assignment will be as parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Atlanta.  He will begin there on or about July 1.

As previously noted, during his time as Pope, Saint John Paul II published a powerful and insightful Apostolic Exhortation called, “Pastores Dabo Vobis” which means “I Will Give You Shepherds.”  In this writing, he reminded us that God promises His people that He will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together to guide them.  He also reminded us that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, entrusted to the Apostles and their successors the ministry of shepherding God’s flock.  He also stated that priests play a vital role in shepherding the flock and are essential to the mission of the Church.

The following “Prayer for a Newly Ordained Priest” provided by the media outlet “Prayerist” asks Jesus to guide and bless those He has chosen to embrace the priestly vocation:

O Jesus,  eternal Priest, keep Your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your sacred body.
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Your precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.
Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world’s contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown.    Amen.

As we celebrate the ordination of Fr. Cotta, please continue to pray for priests and ask Our Lord for an abundance of holy, happy, and healthy priests to guide and shepherd the Church of tomorrow.

 

2021 06-20   Thank our Heavenly Father for the Gift of Our Fathers
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2021 06-06   We Are Blessed in High Regard for the Eucharist
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2021 06-06   We Are Blessed in High Regard for the Eucharist

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, The Holy Body, and the Blood of Christ.  On this great day, we focus on our devotion to the Eucharist.  The feast celebrates the Holy Eucharist and is marked by special displays of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, including Eucharistic processions.  About this time, the Archdiocese of Atlanta usually sponsors a Eucharistic Congress.  But due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, the Eucharistic Congress will not take place this year.

We as Catholics, on this feast of Corpus Christi, are reminded that we are blessed to have such high regard for the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith.  We are invited to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life in the Eucharist, and then by going forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need.

As we celebrate this great feast, we also note that transition and change are part of the life of a priest.  As you may know, we have recently been informed that Fr. Michael Bremer will be leaving us on or about June 30 to become the Chaplain for St. Pius High School.  Fr. Michael has served us faithfully and well, especially in the area of youth ministry, and will be a good spiritual mentor and counselor for the students at St. Pius.  We hope to have Fr. Michael continue to assist us, at times, with Masses,     Confessions, and our youth retreats if his schedule at St. Pius permits.

Fr. Michael intends to speak at all Masses during the weekend of June 27 to say his “goodbyes” and we will have a farewell gathering for him after the 11:00 am Sunday Mass.

As we may remember, the word Eucharist means “giving thanks”.  May we truly give thanks for our faith, for Fr. Michael, and for the spiritual home, we call Saint Brigid.

 

2021 06-13   We Celebrate the Ordination Fr. Robert Cotta,
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2021 6-30   We Should Never Take for Granted our Precious Faith and Freedom
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2021 6-30   We Should Never Take for Granted our Precious Faith and Freedom

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

 

This Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, and we remember in a special way those men and women in the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation.  Some of them were military chaplains who faithfully served the spiritual needs of our men and women in the armed forces and also served the spiritual needs of their families.  Many of our servicemen and women died in wars and terrorist attacks.  They sacrificed their lives and their freedom and helped make it possible for us to enjoy our lives and our freedom.  They were prematurely separated from family members and friends, and a grateful nation pays them homage and respect.

The Memorial Day prayer below,  “The Prepared Christian” was provided by the media outlet “Beliefnet” and may help us appreciate more fully the sacrifices made by so many.

As we reflect on this prayer, and as we enjoy this day, we are reminded to truly appreciate our precious faith and freedom which we should never take for granted.  As previously noted, this is especially important in these difficult and uncertain times when we have witnessed a dramatic change in the fabric of our society due to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  This change has caused us to view our faith and our freedom in a different light and made us more acutely aware of the reality that some events and circumstances are beyond our control.

In addition, on this day of picnics and various forms of recreation, we are urged to make time for prayer.  We can join our brothers and sisters who pray for the repose of the souls of these men and women who have gone before us, and we can continue to pray for peace in our world, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts.

“On this Memorial Day, I am thankful for the sacrifice so many throughout our history have made, for the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, and for their families who had to carry on without them.

It is a sacrifice that is easy to forget.  For those who have it, freedom is like oxygen.  It is something we just have.  Many will not understand just how precious either is until they are at risk of being taken away.

Encroachments are being made on our freedoms right now by those who think they know better.  This is a conversation for another time.  Today I remember a sacrifice made and a debt I cannot repay.

Today I pray for the God of heaven to bless the families of those who have lost loved ones while serving our great nation.  I pray for Him to bless and comfort the walking wounded who are still with us, and bless their families as well.

It is also my prayer that we remember their service and the precious gift of freedom every day, not just once a year or when they are in danger of being taken away.”

AMEN

2021 06-06   We Are Blessed in High Regard for the Eucharist
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2021 05-23   A Graduate’s Prayer
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2021 05-23   A Graduate’s Prayer

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost.  It marks the end of the Easter season.  On this day, we see the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles.  As we know, the Holy Spirit will transform the lives of these Apostles.  These frightened men who abandoned Jesus at His Passion will be transformed into bold witnesses who clearly show that they not only understand the teaching of Jesus but also are willing to put His teaching into practice.  They will endure persecution, suffering, ridicule, and other forms of trial as they preach his Good News.  They will heed the call of Jesus to go forth and make disciples of all nations.

As we celebrate this great feast, we also remember at this time of the year our loved ones and friends who are graduating from various levels of education.  Although the health environment has been gradually improving, some graduation exercises cannot take place in person.  For some graduates, there is still some form of online graduation exercises due primarily to the sustained impact of the Covid 19 virus.   However, we still strive to honor our graduates in a personal way for their accomplishments.

The following prayer below, “A Graduate’s Prayer” by Mary Fairchild, provided by “Jesuitresource.org”, asks Our Heavenly Father to guide and bless one who is graduating.  As we reflect on this prayer, and as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, we are challenged to allow the Holy Spirit to come into our minds, and into our lives, and into our hearts as we continue to strive to cope spiritually in these difficult and uncertain times.

On behalf of our priests, deacons, and staff, we congratulate all our graduates at this special time of the year and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Dear Lord,
As I look to the future
Bright hope conducts this prayer,
For I know the plans You have for me
Were wrought with divine care.

Holy Spirit lead me.
Let me run at Your command.
You be still and know that You are God
When trouble is close at hand.

Your Word will be a lamp for me,
A guide to light my way,
A solid place to set my feet,
A compass when I stray.

May I live my life to please You,
Not for fortune, nor for fame.
May everything I say and do
Bring glory to Your name.

May my eyes stay fixed upon You,
As I seek the way that’s pure,
Tasting Your love and goodness
Sleeping and rising secure.

Planted by Your loving streams
I’ll delight in all Your ways,
Hidden by your sheltering wings
With new mercies by each day.

Even in a dangerous land
When storms threaten to destroy,
At the cross, I’ll stand upon the Rock
My Strength, my Hope, my Joy.

Dear Lord, show me Your favor.
At all times keep me blessed.
May Your face ever shine upon me,
With peace and perfect rest.

2021 6-30   We Should Never Take for Granted our Precious Faith and Freedom
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2021 05-16   Mary, Mother of our Church, Intercede for Us
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2021 05-16   Mary, Mother of our Church, Intercede for Us

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

During the month of May, we honor Mary in a special way.  Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has invited us to look to Mary for inspiration.  His great devotion to Mary is well known.  He stated, “We ask her, the first disciple, to teach us to persevere, to accompany us in patience, to strengthen us in hope.  We ask her to lead us to an encounter with her Risen Son.”

As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we are reminded that the Church presents Mary as a model of love in its fullness.  The love she had for Jesus and Joseph was lived out through the joys and sorrows of everyday life.  It is the same precious love that she has for us, the same precious love she shares with us.  If we remain close to Mary, hopefully, we will remain close to her Son.

Mary is not only the Mother of Jesus but also the Mother of our Church.  As previously noted, as reported by the Catholic publication “CRUX”, Pope Francis declared, in the year 2018, a new feast for the Catholic Church which is dedicated to Mary as the “Mother of the Church.”  The feast is to be celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost.  The publication reported, “With this decree, devotion to Mary as Mother of the Church now becomes an approved feast for the Universal Church.”  The publication also noted, “The decree observes that the veneration of Mary as Mother of the Church has ancient roots in the Catholic tradition, reaching back to St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great.  The title, the document says, is rooted in New Testament account about Mary.”

The following brief “Prayer to Mary, Mother of God”, provided by “Catholic Online”, reflects our appreciation for what Mary has done for us, for what Mary means to us:

Father, Source of Light in every age, the Virgin conceived and bore
Your Son, Who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace.
May her prayer, the gift of a mother’s love, be Your people’s joy through all ages.
May her response, born of a humble heart, draw Your Spirit to rest on Your people.
Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

This month we are encouraged to make a special effort to honor Mary through our prayers, reflections, appropriate liturgies and spiritual encounters, and by striving to embrace her example of compassion, generosity, and gentleness.
Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us.
Mary, our Mother, pray for us.

2021 05-23   A Graduate’s Prayer
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2021 05-09   Mothers Assist Their Children in Making Decisions That Help Them Lead Fruitful Lives
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2021 05-09   Mothers Assist Their Children in Making Decisions That Help Them Lead Fruitful Lives

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we are invited to remember and honor our mothers in a special way.  We can reflect on how much they do for their families and the many sacrifices they make on behalf of their spouse and children.  As often noted, mothers do many ordinary things and they do them extraordinarily well.  Primarily through their teaching and their example, they also play an essential role in passing down our faith to their children.

Pope Francis has great respect for the vocation of motherhood.  During an address in Rome, as reported in the publication “For Your Marriage”, Pope Francis specifically reflected on a mother’s demanding role in raising a child.  He stated that a mother “does not always take the child along the safe road, because in that way the child cannot develop, but neither does she leave the child only on the risky path because that is dangerous.”  He noted that a mother “knows how to balance things” as she cares for her child with love and affection. Our Holy Father also indicated that mothers assist their children in making decisions that may help lead them to a fruitful life.

The following prayer from the “Book of Blessings” asks God to bless mothers who will be attending Mass on Mother’s Day:

Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,
so you watch over your Church.
Bless these women,
that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.
Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we,
their sons and daughters may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited to give thanks to our mothers for the many sacrifices they make on behalf of their families, especially in these difficult and uncertain times as we strive to cope with the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  We can thank them for all that they do, and for the example they set for us.  We may continue to honor them primarily by obeying them in our younger years, and by graciously taking care of them in their advancing years. It is also appropriate to thank them for all the spiritual guidance they have provided to us.  In addition, we can also remember those mothers who have died, but still have a special place in our hearts.

On behalf of the clergy, staff, and parishioners of Saint Brigid, we wish all mothers a happy, healthy, and holy Mother’s Day.  We hope they enjoy their special day.

2021 05-16   Mary, Mother of our Church, Intercede for Us
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2021 05-02   We Celebrate First Communion … Jesus Is Alive and Here With Us
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2021 05-02   We Celebrate First Communion … Jesus Is Alive and Here With Us

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This coming Saturday, many of the children in our faith community will make their First Holy Communion at Saint Brigid.  Their parents and other loved ones will present them to share with us in the fullness of the Lord’s Supper for the first time and watch proudly as these children, with great devotion, take this important step on their journey of faith.

Pope Francis recently celebrated a First Holy Communion Mass for a group of children in Europe.  As reported in the publication “America”, at the Mass, Our Holy Father stated, “First Communion is above all a celebration.  We celebrate Jesus, who wants to remain always by our side.  He will always be with us.”  He noted, “Jesus is alive and here with us.  That is why we can encounter him today in the Eucharist. We do not see him with our physical eyes, but we do see him with eyes of faith.”

Pope Francis reminded the children that this celebration was made possible thanks to their parents and grandparents, their families and communities, their catechists and clergy who “have accompanied you on the road that today leads you to meet Jesus and to receive him in your hearts.”

As Catholics, as we celebrate First Holy Communion, we recall the Lord’s Supper and our love for the Eucharist.  Our Church teaching reminds us that we are blessed to have high regard for the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith.  We are invited to bond with each other by nourishing together on the Bread of Life in the Eucharist, and then by going forth in loving service of our brothers and sisters, especially our brothers and sisters in need.

The following “Prayer for First Holy Communion” prayer provided by Catholic Online reflects the reception of First Holy Communion from the viewpoint of a child:

Dear Jesus, thank You for my Holy Communion.
Through the Mass, You come to us
as You came on the first Christmas.
In the Mass, You repeat the wonderful Sacrifice of Calvary.
During the Mass, You give Yourself to me in Holy Communion.
Make me thoughtful and prayerful at Mass.
Come to me and remain with me all the days of my life.
Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are reminded that the word “Eucharist” means “giving thanks.”  And today we can once again thank the Lord for the great gift of the Eucharist, for our wonderful children, and for our vibrant faith community of Saint Brigid.

2021 05-09   Mothers Assist Their Children in Making Decisions That Help Them Lead Fruitful Lives
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2021 04-25   Frequently Asked Questions of Catholics
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2021 04-25   Frequently Asked Questions of Catholics

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As Catholics, we are encouraged to grow in our knowledge and understanding of our faith.  The publication, Our Sunday Visitor, has prepared a list of the following ten questions which are frequently asked of Catholics:

Are you saved?
If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?
Why do you worship wafers?
Why do you worship Mary?
Why do you confess your sins to a priest?
Why do you pray to idols (statues)?
Why do you pray for the dead?
Why do you call your priest “Father”?
Why do you obey the Pope?
Are your beliefs found in the Bible?

As Catholics, we may have been asked these or similar questions in the past.  People would not usually ask us these questions unless they noticed a spiritual orientation in our lives.  If we set a good example for others, if we show love of God and love of neighbor by our actions, people may then become more interested in the faith we profess.  We should try our best to explain and defend our faith.

Deacon Henry Hein and Deacon Leo Gahafer will coordinate two sessions on “Catholic Apologetics” where they will discuss these and similar questions which may arise.  They will also discuss access to appropriate resource materials which can assist us in researching these and similar questions.  We expect one session to take place in Corbett Hall, with limited attendance and appropriate social distancing. We also anticipate having a second online session, virtually through “Zoom”.  Details concerning these sessions will be forthcoming.

2021 05-02   We Celebrate First Communion … Jesus Is Alive and Here With Us
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2021 04-18   Our Holy Week Celebrations – Thank you.
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2021 04-18   Our Holy Week Celebrations – Thank you.

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

As we know, we are living in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  During these times we have been striving to meet the spiritual needs of our parishioners and friends in conformity with the guidelines and directives provided by the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  We have celebrated our liturgies in creative and reverent ways with the assistance of our clergy, staff, and many volunteers.  We have provided Masses in the Main Church, Masses in Corbett Hall, outdoor Masses, and Masses online.

As we continue in this great season of Easter, on behalf of our clergy, staff, and volunteers,      I want to thank you for your active participation in our liturgies, especially during Holy Week.  We truly appreciate your courtesy, respect, and patience as we celebrated liturgies at various locations (in addition to online).  We also appreciate your courtesy, respect, and patience in entering and exiting our parking areas.  By your active participation, you have truly made the celebration of the resurrection of Christ a sacred and holy one as it should be.

The pictures on pages 4 & 5 of this bulletin provide a glimpse of the beauty and reverence of Holy Week.

As your pastor, I greatly appreciate all you do to enhance the spirituality of Saint Brigid Parish.  It is a privilege to serve you.  Thank you and God bless you.

 

2021 04-25   Frequently Asked Questions of Catholics
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2021 04-11   Jesus I Trust in You, Divine Mercy Sunday
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2021 04-11   Jesus I Trust in You, Divine Mercy Sunday

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This year we celebrate this day in the midst of these difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus which has caused us to adapt our approach to certain liturgical services. This great day is associated with Sr. Faustina. She was a Catholic nun and mystic from Poland who experienced apparitions of Jesus which inspired the devotion of Divine Mercy and earned her the title of “Apostle of Divine Mercy.”
The Church, in the year 2000, declared that the Second Sunday of Easter is known as “Divine Mercy Sunday”. Sr. Faustina was canonized in that year and the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted soon thereafter.
It may seem unusual that Divine Mercy Sunday comes so soon after the season of Lent. After all, is not Lent the season to focus on repentance and mercy? Well, our Church believes that the timing is most appropriate because Jesus’ message to Sr. Faustina reminds us that there is no limit to His mercy for those who truly believe, for those who humbly ask for forgiveness. His mercy is not limited by boundaries, nor is it impacted by seasonal limitations. This was His message to Sr. Faustina, and this is His message to us.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis has emphasized the need for mercy. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, he stated, “The wounds of Jesus are a treasure from which mercy comes. With His wounds, Jesus intercedes before the Father.”

Our Holy Father has urged us to embrace this day and truly reflect a spirit of mercy, repentance, and reconciliation in our lives. On this day, one week after Easter, we are reminded why Jesus rose from the dead, and one of the reasons was to shower the world with divine mercy.
The following “Divine Mercy 3 O’clock Prayer” reflects the spirit of this day:

You expired, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life, 
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, we gratefully note that the focus on Divine Mercy Sunday has increased in this nation in recent years as more Catholics acknowledge the need for mercy. This Sunday will have a Holy Hour at Saint Brigid at 3:00 pm, the recognized hour of Divine Mercy. All are invited to attend as we come together in prayer and humbly thank the Lord for showering His mercy on us.

2021 04-18   Our Holy Week Celebrations – Thank you.
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2021 04-04   May Each Day of This Easter Season Provide Glimpses of Your Glory
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2021 04-04   May Each Day of This Easter Season Provide Glimpses of Your Glory

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday is Easter Sunday, and, on this day, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Through His Resurrection, Jesus has conquered sin and death. This is the message of His Good News. This is the message of Easter, and Pope Francis invites us to embrace this message.

Our Holy Father supplemented this message as reported in the media outlet “Vatican News” stating, “May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day. A day that knows no end.”

As we know, we are living in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus. Our Holy Father, commenting on the virus, stated, “This disease has not only deprived us of human closeness but also of the possibility of receiving in-person the consolation that flows from the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation. But the Lord has not left us alone. United in our prayer, we are convinced that He has laid His hand upon us.”

As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, we know that many of our parishioners and friends cannot come together at this time to worship with us due to health and other concerns. However, we still welcome all to our vibrant Parish community. We especially welcome those who completed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) programs. It is a thorough period of inquiry, education, and catechesis. They will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation or the Eucharist for the first time at the Easter vigil.

We also welcome all those who do not attend our Church on a regular basis. We hope that you will choose to become more fully involved in our community of faith and get spiritually closer to the Lord and trust in Him.
The following prayer called “A PRAYER FOR EASTER EYES” invites us to focus on our Risen Lord during this holy season:

My Lord, Jesus,
You have risen to new life!
Give me new eyes with which to recognize your presence in the world around me.
Sharpen my vision so that I see beyond the ordinary events of each day and into the extraordinary reality of your grace.
Brighten my view of the world with renewed hope in the coming of your Kingdom.
Soften my gaze so that I view others with the kind of tenderness and compassion you showed to so many.
May each day of this Easter season provide glimpses of your glory.
In your sacred name, I pray.  Amen.

As we celebrate this special day, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all who serve and support our faith community. On behalf of our priests, deacons and staff, I wish you and your families a holy, happy and healthy Easter season.

Our Lord is Risen!   Let us rejoice and be glad!

2021 04-11   Jesus I Trust in You, Divine Mercy Sunday
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2021 03-28   “Beloved, let us set out with faith this Holy Week, in which Jesus suffers, dies, and rises again.”
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2021 03-28   “Beloved, let us set out with faith this Holy Week, in which Jesus suffers, dies, and rises again.”

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday, and we focus on the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  In our faith tradition, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week during which we commemorate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.  Palms are blessed at Mass and distributed to the faithful to be used for personal devotion throughout the year.  As we know, this week is the holiest week in the Church year.

In a past Palm Sunday homily, as reported by EWTN News, Pope Francis, commenting on this holiest of weeks, stated, Beloved, let us set out with faith this Holy Week, in which Jesus suffers, dies, and rises again.”  He noted, “In these holy days, in our homes, let us stand before the Crucified One – look, look at the crucifix, the fullest measure of God’s love for us, and before the God who serves us to the point of giving his life, and let us ask for the grace to live in order to serve.”

Pope Francis also acknowledged that we live in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, which has limited, in certain ways, our participation in liturgies and other services.  He stated, “People and families who cannot participate in liturgical celebrations are invited to gather in prayer at home, also helped by technological means.”

The following prayer titled “A Prayer for Palm Sunday”, provided by “Psalm91.com” can help us focus spiritually at this time:

On this day of great rejoicing, when we welcome You as our King and Savior, we also wake in the shadow of Your cross.
Hosanna we cry!
Blessed are You who come in God’s name to save us.
Hosanna!
Strengthen our faith on this Palm Sunday so that when the time comes to carry the cross we might still call out to You with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and courage to follow You this Holy Week from death to resurrection, from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Hosanna!

As we reflect on this prayer, Our Holy Father invites us to share in some small way in the suffering of Christ during this Holy Week, so that we may one day share in his glory.

As we begin Holy Week, please carefully review the schedule of our Masses and our other liturgical services for the week and plan to participate to the extent possible.  Details can be found in the Parish bulletin and on the Parish website.  Today, as we celebrate and experience the joy of Palm Sunday, as we shout “Hosanna”, we are challenged to heed the words of Our Holy Father and strive to embrace a spirit of reverence and service as we continue on our journey of faith.

 

2021 04-04   May Each Day of This Easter Season Provide Glimpses of Your Glory
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2021 03/21  Congratulations to Carol Kler and Emma Oswald as Woman and Teen of the Year for Saint Brigid Parish
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2021 03/21  Congratulations to Carol Kler and Emma Oswald as Woman and Teen of the Year for Saint Brigid Parish

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Each year the Archdiocese of Atlanta honors the Woman and Teen of the Year for each of those parishes which are members of the Archdiocese of Atlanta Council of Catholic Women.  In past years, the Archbishop celebrated a Mass of Recognition honoring these women and teens.  However, this year, due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, the Mass of Recognition will not take place.  Instead, these women and teens will be acknowledged at their home parishes.

Carol Kler has been chosen as Woman of the Year, and Emma Oswald has been chosen as Teen of the Year for Saint Brigid Parish.  We truly appreciate their many important contributions to our parish as we strive to sustain and enhance the spiritual vitality of our faith community.

Carol coordinates our ministry for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and also our ministry for the homebound.  She also coordinates the liturgical team of ushers, sacristans and lectors who serve at our outdoor Masses.  Carol is an active member of our Pro-life ministry and the Women of Saint Brigid.  She is also a diligent worker for Habitat for Humanity.  Carol has served as a volunteer in the past for Vacation Bible School and in our “Coffee and Doughnuts” ministry.  In all that she does, Carol finds great joy in serving the Lord and serving the faith community of Saint Brigid.

Emma Oswald has served as a mentor for our Parish School of Religion program for four years.  She has also served as a teen leader for our Youth Ministry for two years.   Embracing spiritual maturity and wisdom, Emma interacts well with her peers and sets a great example for them.  She welcomes other teens into our youth events and assists them in their needs.  Emma is always willing to serve and often works behind the scenes.  She is greatly appreciated by the Youth Ministry coordinators and core team.  In her words and in her actions, she gives witness to the Saint Brigid faith community as a true disciple of Christ.

Our parish will acknowledge Carol and Emma at a Mass at a time and date to be determined.  On behalf of the priests, deacons, staff, and parishioners of Saint Brigid, I congratulate them for this well-deserved honor, and for inspiring us by their example of generous and unselfish service.

 

2021 03-28   “Beloved, let us set out with faith this Holy Week, in which Jesus suffers, dies, and rises again.”
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2021 03-14   May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us!
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2021 03-07   Parish Lenten Mission “How to RECLAIM, REIMAGINE, & RECONNECT in Our World Today

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

We will soon offer a Parish Mission to our faith community.  A Parish Mission can be viewed as an opportunity for spiritual reflection and renewal.  With an emphasis on love and mercy, it also can provide an opportunity to change hearts and transform lives as we renew and strengthen our relationship with Our Lord.

We may also realize that Lent is a good time for a Parish Mission and provides us with another opportunity to take a closer look at how we are progressing on our journey of faith.  It is a time to strive to determine which way we are heading, and how we may be able to alter our spiritual course.  It is an appropriate time to confront the temptations that are all around us.  These temptations are very real and very powerful.

As we know, we are living in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  It has altered our approach to our liturgies, prayers, and parish gatherings.  Yet we are still privileged to be able to host a Lenten Parish Mission on Monday, March 15th to Wednesday, March 17th,  presented by Joe Farris., twice a day, from 10 AM to 11 AM  and 7 PM to 8 PM.  Joe has been at Saint Brigid before and has been enthusiastically received by our parishioners and friends.  He is an internationally recognized mission presenter and lay Catholic missionary who weaves stories into an engaging, passionate message of hope.  His theme for the Mission will be  “How to RECLAIM, REIMAGINE, & RECONNECT in Our World Today” as he inspires us to more fully live and boldly proclaim our Catholic faith.

Father Thomas Pastorius from St. Louis, Missouri, after a Parish Mission presented by Joe, stated,

“Joe Farris is one of the most authentic and vibrant Catholic speakers that I know.  He has an amazing ability to engage people of all ages in such a way that people walk away from his presentations on fire for the Lord and with a deep desire for personal growth.  Joe’s humility and speaking style invites all to realize that a joyful life on earth and sainthood in Heaven is within their grasp thanks to the grace of God.” 

 Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this Mission.  Attendance and seating capacity requirements will be in conformity with the guidelines of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.   Joe will offer morning and evening sessions which will be similar in content.  Additional details concerning the Mission can be obtained from the Parish bulletin, as well as from the Parish office and website.  I hope that you will prayerfully consider availing yourself of this great opportunity to enhance your spiritual life during this special season of Lent.                            

 

2021 03-14   May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us!
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2021 02-28   Confession is Meant to Be a Sincere Time of Conversion
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2021 02-21   Why Do We Pray the “Stations of the Cross”?

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Each Friday during Lent we are invited to come together as a faith community to pray the “Stations of the Cross.”  We begin at 7:00 pm with a brief reflection by one of our deacons or deacons in formation.  The reflection focuses on our Lenten challenges and concerns.   “Stations” then follow at 7:15 pm.

As we deal with the fluid nature of the Covid-19 virus, we can also pray the “Stations” in the privacy of our own residence.  This is an especially important consideration for those who have pre-existing medical conditions or ongoing illnesses or for those with underlying health concerns.   A pre-recorded version of the “Stations” is available on the parish website.

As previously noted, the publication “Catholic Online” stated that “The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man.  The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation.  The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station.  At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day.”  It further states that “The Stations of the Cross are commonly found in churches as a series of 14 small icons or images.”  They are prayed “…especially on Good Friday, the day of the year upon which the events actually occurred”.

Pope Francis has encouraged us to pray the “Stations”, and stressed their importance.  He reminded the faithful that the Cross of Christ bears the suffering and sins of mankind and that Christ bears our crosses on His shoulders.  As reported in the publication “Focus”, Pope Francis has noted the following eight reasons why we should pray the “Stations of the Cross”:

   They allow us to place our trust in God.

   They put us into history.

   They remind us that Jesus suffers with us.

   They compel us to action.

   They help us make a decision for or against Christ.

   They reveal God’s response to evil in the world.

   They give us the certainty of God’s love for us.

   They guide us from the cross to the Resurrection.

As we reflect on these reasons, we may more clearly understand why praying the “Stations” can provide us with an opportunity to avail ourselves of abundant spiritual graces.  Commemorating the Passion of Jesus through the “Stations’ can help us to clearly witness our faith and assist us in our spiritual journey.  The “Stations” help us to more fully appreciate what Jesus has done for us.  They also assist us in our efforts to enter more fully into the Lenten spirit of sacrifice, renewal, and repentance.

I hope that we will prayerfully consider making the “Stations” an integral part of our Lenten experience.

 

2021 02-28   Confession is Meant to Be a Sincere Time of Conversion
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2021 02-14   Turn to God and Seek Spiritual Renewal in Heart, Mind and Body This Lenten Season
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2021 02-14   Turn to God and Seek Spiritual Renewal in Heart, Mind and Body This Lenten Season

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

Next Wednesday in the Church year is Ash Wednesday.  It is a day of fasting and abstinence.  Guidelines concerning fasting and abstinence are included on our Parish website.  Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of people as a reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of repentance and contrition.  It marks the beginning of the Lenten season.  Lent is the time, approximating forty days, of reflection and penance leading up to Easter.

Pope Francis stated that Lent is a time to spiritually renew our lives.  As reported in the publication “The Catholic World Report”, he stated in a recent Lenten Message, “Lent is the right time to make room for the Word of God.  It is time to turn off the television and open the Bible.  It is the time to disconnect from your cell phone and connect to the Gospel.”  He challenged us to tune out our worldliness as “…we struggle to distinguish the voice of the Lord who speaks to us, the voice of conscience, of good.”  Referring to Jesus’ time in the desert, he also stated that Jesus is “calling us into the desert” and, “Prayer, fasting, works of mercy, here is the road into the Lenten desert.”

As we reflect on these sentiments of Our Holy Father, we are encouraged to turn to God and seek spiritual renewal in heart, mind, and body during this important season.  We can respond to the challenge to truly strive to turn away from sin and toward the living God, and we can avail ourselves of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  The sacrament is not here to punish us, but rather to get us closer to the God who loves us.  It is here to heal, not to condemn, and to get us back on track spiritually.  We will provide additional opportunities for the sacrament of Reconciliation during the Lenten season.

As an aid to our Lenten journey, a schedule of important dates, events, and liturgies during Lent and during Holy Week can be found on the Parish website.  Due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID -19 virus, in these difficult and uncertain times, many of our liturgies, including Stations of the Cross, will have limited in-person restrictions but will also be provided on our website.

As we begin our Lenten journey, please take every opportunity to avail yourself of this special time of grace as we prepare to celebrate the Easter Resurrection of Our Lord.

Gracious God,
today begins a period of inner reflection and examination.
The days stretch before me
and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds Your spirit.
This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of Your incarnate love.
Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting
And, when I open my soul to Your presence, let Your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart.
I ask this for the sake of Your love.  Amen

2021 02-21   Why Do We Pray the “Stations of the Cross”?
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2021 02-07   “Our Joyful Return to the Lord”, the 2021 Archbishops Annual Appeal
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2021 02-07   “Our Joyful Return to the Lord”, the 2021 Archbishops Annual Appeal

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This weekend we will discuss the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal for 2021 at our Masses. The theme of the Appeal is “Our Joyful Return to the Lord” (Isaiah 51:11).  At this time, Catholics are invited to make a significant pledge so that we can meet the spiritual, educational, and temporal needs of our parishes and our people.

A substantial portion of our contributions to the Appeal continue to provide funds that go directly to the training and support of future happy, holy, and healthy priests needed to serve the Church of tomorrow.  As you may know, Fr. Tri Nguyen, who served the people of Saint Brigid so well for many years, is now the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Our contributions assist Fr. Tri as he guides our seminarians in their training and formation.  Currently our parishioner, Deacon Robbie Cotta, is in the Vocations program for the Archdiocese. He anticipates being ordained a priest this June.

Our contributions are also used for the training and formation of permanent deacons.  Parishioners Geza Gereben and Joseph Young continue in the diaconate formation program.  As you can see, our support of the Annual Appeal is clearly bearing fruit.  Through your generosity and your prayers, Saint Brigid benefits directly from the Appeal.

In addition, the Appeal supports Catholic Charities which strives to assist those in need.  A special emphasis is placed this year on those in need due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus.  Catholic Charities also continues to make an exerted effort to help homeless military veterans in the Atlanta area and in other local communities to stabilize their lives through housing and employment assistance.  The Appeal also supports priest retirement programs as well as other Archdiocesan pastoral outreach, education, and formation programs that serve our Parish as well as our larger Church community.

May Our Lord continue to bless you for all you do to enhance the spiritual vitality of our faith community.

2021 02-14   Turn to God and Seek Spiritual Renewal in Heart, Mind and Body This Lenten Season
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2021 01-31  We Celebrate the Feast of our Patron Saint Brigid
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2021 01-31  We Celebrate the Feast of our Patron Saint Brigid

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Sunday we begin “Catholic Schools Week” as we focus on the value and importance of Catholic education.  The theme this year is “Catholic Schools: Faith, Excellence, Service.”  Our Holy Father, Pope Francis places a high value on the need for faith-based Catholic education.   As noted by the Archdiocese of Hartford, Pope Francis expressed his belief that parents should have the right to choose a “moral and religious education” for their children.  He has been personally involved in Catholic education since his time as a young priest when he taught literature and psychology for years at a Catholic high school, and then later taught theology at a Catholic college.

For many years, Catholic schools had been staffed primarily by dedicated nuns, religious brothers, and priests.  They are now staffed primarily by dedicated lay teachers who truly view teaching as their vocation.  They strive to educate and form students who will embrace and spread the faith.

As we celebrate “Catholic Schools Week”, it is appropriate to note that this coming Monday we will also celebrate the feast day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, the patron saint of our Parish.  She is also the patron saint of students.  Catholic education was very important to her.  Saint Brigid worked to see that the Catholic faith was taught clearly and thoroughly, and she founded several schools.

As reported by the publication “Catholic News Agency” (CNA), Saint Brigid was an Irish Christian nun who was known for her extraordinary spirituality.  Her life was rooted in prayer.  She worked tirelessly to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, and traveled widely throughout Ireland, founding many convents and fostering vocation awareness.  Many were led to the Catholic faith through her words and actions.

CNA indicated that Saint Brigid also did “manual labor: clothmaking, dairy farming, and raising sheep.”  It stated that “This communal combination of work and prayer attracted vast numbers of people” to her ministry.  Under her leadership, CNA acknowledged that “Kildare played a major role in the successful Christianization of Ireland.”   Along with Saint Patrick and others, Saint Brigid had a major influence in making Ireland a Christian nation.

As previously noted, Saint Brigid is also associated with Christian charity and is celebrated for her generosity to those in need.   It was said that she could not bear to see anyone cold or hungry since she truly believed that Christ dwelt in every person.  She labored among the less fortunate with love and compassion.  Her love of God and love of neighbor were obvious to all who knew her.

As we reflect on her many contributions to our Catholic faith, we can proudly say, Saint Brigid, intercede for us; Saint Brigid, patron of our parish, pray for us.

 

 

 February 1st is the Feast Day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, Ireland.  (452 – 525)   We celebrate this special day within our Sunday Mass liturgies this year.  The prayers, scriptures, and hymns will be those of the Feast rather than the  4th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  

 

2021 02-07   “Our Joyful Return to the Lord”, the 2021 Archbishops Annual Appeal
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2021 01-24  Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021
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