This Sunday at the Noon Holy Mass, our second graders will receive the Body and Blood of Jesus for the first time! Jesus has chosen to be and remain present in Holy Communion on account of friendship. He wants to share His life with us and He wants us to share our lives with Him. Let us fervently pray for them and their families that they might experience how wonderful our life is when we live it in friendship with Jesus! Let us also pray for Kathy Saporito our second grade catechist and  her  assistant  Cheryl  Stanley  that  our  Lord strengthen them and confirm them in their mission to share the faith with our little ones!
AN ODE TO FRIENDSHIP! Last Saturday, I had the great joy of witnessing and blessing the marriage of a dear friend of mine, Cristiano Zuccarini in Minneapolis. Cristian and I first met by divine providence on an airplane in the summer of 1998. I had just spent two months in a monastic discernment experience in Rome and was on my way back to say good bye to my family as I prepared to return to Rome and enter the monastery. Cristian was in the seat in front of me on my flight from London to Detroit. We exchanged a few words and that was it. twenty three days later, I headed back to Rome, once again flying through London. When I exited the plane in London, my shoe came untied. I stepped to the side, sat down, and tied my shoe. When I looked up, there was  Cristian!  We  were  both  amazed!  We  both recognized each other from just twenty three days earlier when we were on the same flight. I wanted to attend Holy Mass at the Airport in London, as it was a Sunday, so Cristian and I spent the morning looking for the chapel and attending Holy Mass together. Our Lord, from the very beginning, was always the source and center of our friendship. Once back in Rome, we would get together on Sunday afternoons and take these beautiful walks through the ruins of Ancient Rome. Cristian soon invited me to be a part of his family, and I got to know his parents,  Carlo  and  Biancamaria,  and  his  brother, Massimo  very  well.  Carlo  and  Biancamaria  were proudly my Italian mom and dad! The same year I was ordained a priest, I was able to be at Biancamaria’s side as she spent her last days in a hospital bed. I was able to pray with the family, anoint Biancamaria just before she passed and then offer the funeral Mass for the repose of her soul. Through  one  of  the monks  in my  monastery, Cristian  was  introduced  to  a  young  lady  from Minnesota. Once again, the Lord was the source and center of Cristian’s relationship with his beautiful bride to be, Terese. I was so excited when they asked me to bless their marriage! In the days leading up to the marriage and the day itself, I was surrounded with many friends from my college years! The gift and blessing of friendships in the Lord added joy and gratitude to my already joyful and grateful heart for the victory of Jesus over sin and death! Please say a prayer for this new family of Cristian and Terese Zuccarini!
THE PASSING OF A DEAR FRIEND AND MENTOR Lord  willing,  this  Saturday  I  will  be  in  New Hampshire  to  attend  the  funeral  Mass  of  a  very important man in my life, Mr. John Meehan. He was a cofounder and president of Magdalen College where I received  my  degree  and  graduated  in  1998.  Mr. Meehan played a very influential and intentional role in my maturing from being a young man to becoming a man. His example of prayer, faith, and dedication introduced me to the beauty and breadth of Catholic culture. Please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of dear Mr. John Meehan!
CSA: OUR CONTRIBUTION TO HELPING OUR ARCHBISHOP LEAD SOUTH EAST MICHIGAN BACK INTO OUR FATHER’S LOVING EMBRACE! I hope to see many of you at our CSA launch dinner and breakfast next weekend! Once again, I will be preparing some delicious Italian pasta dishes for our CSA dinner. As part of the evening program, I will also share some of the highlights of my time in Italy, especially the holy places where I visited and prayed. Have a blessed week and remember to pray for one another.