Thy Will Be Done
News from Slovakia, from Fr. Ben
My Dear Parish Family of Ss. Cyril & Methodius!
For about a month you have not heard from me about what I have been doing. I am sure that many of you are wondering what is happening with me. Before I begin, I want to once again assure of you of my prayers, my love, and my daily blessings to you and your loved ones. I still miss you and I am happy whenever I hear from you.
Month of May: In the month of May, I had several meetings with my Archbishop. He is an Archbishop in the Archdiocese of Bratislava, Slovakia. His name is Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky. He has not visited the USA but his Auxiliary Bishop Jozef Halko has, including a visit to our parish. Bishop Halko is also responsible for the pastoral work of the Slovak communities abroad. In my meetings with the Archbishop, he shared his direction for my ministry. During these meetings I gave him my feedback and also asked him to consider my father's health condition.
Perhaps some of you know that my Father is 87 years old and my Mother is 80. They still live in the apartment building where I grew up. Upon my arrival to Slovakia, I found my Dad fighting for his life. I thought he might die within a few days of my arrival. Throughout May, we made several trips to the doctors, including a trip to the Emergency Room. During that hospital visit, I had to make the decision to either admit my Dad to the hospital (he hates hospitals) or to release him to home care. Knowing my Dad, and being given permission from my Archbishop to stay with my parents during this time, I chose home care.
Since this experience, I pray more now for all caregivers as well as for hospital and nursing home staff. They have their hands full as I have learned from taking care of only one person. I thank God and my compassionate Archbishop that I was able to take care of my Dad. The last week of May, my Dad started to improve.
Besides being a caregiver to my Dad, and celebrating Holy Masses at home, I helped out in my parents’ Parish and also helped with the English Holy Masses. If you ever come to Bratislava, and I hope that you will, there is an English Holy Mass every Sunday in downtown Bratislava in the church of St. Ladislav's.
Here and there I was able to talk or visit with some of my classmates and priest friends like Fr. Felix Tkac, Fr. Marek Sitár, Fr. Eugene Rybansky and Fr. Luigi Gabris.
My Assignment: I have received my assignment from Archbishop Zvolensky. It will be at the church that is known in Bratislava as the Blumental Church. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is perhaps the busiest parish in the entire city of Bratislava. There are four daily Masses, nine Sunday Masses (eight of them on Sunday), and lots of confessions, baptisms, and weddings. The parish is near a couple large hospitals and most sick call/anointing requests come to this parish. When the Archbishop told me that I was assigned to this parish, I shared with him that I have a connection to this parish, not only because of my Marian devotion but also because it is at this parish where I helped out when I was ordained a Deacon ... a loooong time ago, in the previous Millennium.
In addition to the assignment to the Blumental church/parish, the Archbishop has also asked me to help with the English Holy Masses that take place in Bratislava at St. Ladislav’s Church (www.catholic.sk). The two priests who have been taking care of the English speaking community were very happy to hear that I am here and they asked me to take the lead.
My assignment will officially begin on July 1. Meanwhile, I will make my annual priest's retreat and a few small trips. I will be blessed to attend and concelebrate Masses of Thanksgiving of two newly-ordained priests, Tomas Jendruch and Matej Balazsi. These two seminarians, and many others, have been generously supported by our parishioners through our Advent/Christmas Giving Tree Slovak Seminarian Sponsorship. On their behalf I want to thank you for your generosity, both in prayers and financial support.
During June, our family will also have a special celebration for, and with my Mom and Dad as they will celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary on June 23, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! We will have a special Mass for them on Sunday, June 11. And, on June 17, my nephew Kristian will be confirmed.
As you are journeying into the Heart of Jesus, in a special way during the month of June, I pray that you/we all discover and immerse ourselves into His Sacred Heart. The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus provides a glimpse of all that we can find in it … as long as we decide to journey in.
Once again, I encourage you to
pray and support your new Pastor who will be
blessed by having you as parishioners.
God bless you, Father Ben
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