From the Pastor – August 23, 2020

The Saint James Parish Family experienced a profound loss last week with the death of Deacon Dan O’Neill. Danwas ordained a permanent deacon on June 1, 2002, by Archbishop John Myers. Dan served the Parish of SaintJames and the Archdiocese of Newark faithfully for 18 years. He assisted at Mass and preached once a month. Hecelebrated baptisms and weddings and conducted wake and burial services. For many years he taught ReligiousEducation on Tuesday afternoons and helped to prepare the children to receive First Eucharist. He also trainedthe altar servers in our parish. In addition, he also worked in the Marriage Tribunal in the Archdiocese. He was aKnight of Columbus and also a Grand Knight. He always made sure that everything was done right and usuallyadded to our staff meeting discussions with a question. He was an all-around nice guy, and he will be missed here.I have heard only nice things about Dan. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with him as fellow ministers. It was a pleasure to do so. May he rest in peace with Peggy & Jesus.  Anyone wanting to send sympathy cards, mass cards or messages of condolences can mail them to Dan’ssister: Margaret Shorpp, 609 Grace La., Flourtown, PA. 19031.  A number of years ago, American Express ran ads which asked “Do you know me?” The idea was that even ifyou didn’t know the person, you got to know them because they carried the American Express card. Jesus askedhis apostles a similar question based on what other people were saying about him. When he asked Peter, Peterblurted out that you are “the Christ, Son of the living God.” While it may have taken a while for Peter and theapostles to come to that realization, once they did, they understood not just who Jesus was but why he appearedon earth. Jesus came to bring the Father’s love up close and personal to his people, and the apostles were the onesentrusted with that insight. It wasn’t until Pentecost, though, that all of this made sense to them.  It is easy for us to proclaim that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God. It does not take a lot of effort, justfaith in him. But living what that means is another story. Our proclamation of Jesus as the Christ means that wehave entered into that unique relationship of Father and Son that eventually becomes expressed in who we are,what we believe and what we say and do. But it also means that we have taken our responsibility seriously andrecognize that we are a visible sign of Jesus on earth. This may seem simplistic to us because it’s what we havebelieved for so long. Unfortunately, it is easy to take this for granted, thinking that it’s really the responsibility ofpriests, deacons and religious. It is the responsibility of all of us to radiate the presence of Jesus for others, allowing the Word to permeate our being and be reflected in what we say and do.  This is even more critical during this pandemic because it is too easy to give in to despair, wondering when thiswill all end. Unfortunately, this may not end for a while, especially since the health experts are saying that COVID-19 will come back in the fall. Therefore, we have to offer each other the hope that comes from being God’schildren. It is a hope that sustains us so that the presence of Jesus can permeate our world and keep it from fallinginto a deep hole.  HAPPY AUGUST!!  ~ Fr. Joe