Fifth Sunday of Easter

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

We are crowning the Blessed Mother this weekend to commemorate her title as the Queen of Flowers of May. Pope Paul VI wrote an Encyclical Mense Maio (1965) emphasizing the importance of incorporating special prayers and other devotions to the Mother of God during the month of May. Several countries all over the world continue Marian devotions up until today, such as the May Crowning that we see in many English-speaking countries, the Flores de Mayo in the Philippines which highlights the flower offering at the Blessed Mother’s statue, and other Marian devotions depicting the recitation of the Holy Rosary in Latin America and some parts of Africa. These special May devotions intend to intensify one’s love for and deepen one’s relationship with Mary the Mother of Jesus as our intercessor before the throne of God. Our May crowning here at Saint Jerome Parish is a call to a conscious desire to imitate Mary as the model of discipleship. The flowers that we offer at her image suggest our silent prayers of supplication along with the candles that we light which represent the unspoken prayers that we hold in our hearts. I invite you to consider participating in our May Flower Offerings to the Blessed Mother that will be held right after Mass on Wednesdays and all weekend Masses.

Mother’s Day will be next weekend. We would like to honor our mothers, grandmothers, and all mothers in our parish family. Surely, our May crowning is the precedence of our planned non-liturgical event. A connection can still be made as we highlight the mother’s love that is unfathomable and beyond measure; like that of Mary who shows us the greatest example of Motherhood. The May Crowning ushers us to direct our attention to the love of women who tirelessly dedicate their lives to offer us the best of their love and care. Accordingly, our parish activities coordinators would like to bring a different character of event next weekend. Let us wait to be surprised!

Beginning in June, there will be a slight change of schedule for our Sunday evening liturgies. Please note the following:  Our prayer of the Holy Rosary will begin at 5:00pm, followed by the celebration of Mass at 5:30 p.m. The Adoration for Holy Vocations with Solemn Vespers will follow right after Mass at around 6:30pm. This will give our parishioners a much better opportunity to participate in praying for holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  These fervent communal prayers for vocations are so much needed.

Our liturgical gatherings are meant to provide for us the possibility to stay connected with the source of our spiritual sanctification and satisfaction, Jesus. The Gospel this weekend reiterates the desire of Jesus for all of us to remain in Him. The imagery of the vine and the branches in the Gospel of Saint John is a challenging metaphor because the authenticity of our discipleship is verifiable and dependent upon our intimate connection with Jesus. Are we connected intimately with Him? The Eucharist that we share each weekend is our most real and visible encounter of God’s initiative to remain with us. The rest depends on us and whether we choose to remain with Him.

I shall see you next weekend. Have a blessed week.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,