As a child in Ireland, May 1st was a great day. “The first of May is a jolly fine day, and a penny for the bonfire.” Children would come to our door singing this ditty and rattling a few coins in a can. When the sun set, huge bonfires would be lit around the city of wood and old tires. The neighborhood would gather for free sodas and buns. My parents hated it but we kids loved the excitement especially if the fire department came by. Apparently, bonfire night as we called it, has its roots in pagan times, and similar celebrations were held in Italy, England, Germany and other countries. In the late 19th century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the Socialists and Communists.
In our Catholic tradition, May 1 was often celebrated as a feast of Mary the mother of Jesus but since 1955 under Pope Pius XII, it has been the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. This year however it is not celebrated, because liturgically, a Sunday of the Easter Season is considered a more important celebration.
On this day, this year, our own parish has a big celebration – Confirmation. Mostly 10th grade students, after a two-year program, will confirm today the Baptismal Promises their parents and god parents made for them when they were babies. It is a very important moment in their spiritual journey as they become “adults” in their Church.
The Confirmation Mass is at 2:00 PM and all are welcome. We are privileged to have Bishop Robert Barron, one of the auxiliary bishops of our diocese. He is in the Santa Barbara region. A bishop since July 2015, it is his first time at St. Bernardine's and we warmly welcome him.
And next Sunday is Mother's Day. The best gift for your mom, whether she is still with us or gone before us to eternal life, is to enroll her in a Novena of Masses. The nine-day Novena begins Mother's Day so have your mom's name on the altar by getting an envelope and gift card in the back of church.
God bless you all.
Find a mass when you are away: www.masstimes.org
@ St. B's
Adult Faith Enrichment
Please bring your non-perishable items to benefit the Guadalupe Center food pantry.