Dear Parishioners,

July 4th weekend is here already! Thatís hard to believe. Some folks claim that July 4th is kind of the midway point for the summer season. Letís hope not. Seems like summer just got under way.

We should remember to give thanks this weekend while at the same time praying for our country. We celebrate our freedom. Yet at the same time, letís remember that this freedom is so often misinterpreted and misused. We do not have the freedom to ignore God. We do not have the freedom to ignore the value of a single human life, the dignity of the human person, and the natural law given to us by our Creator. Too many of our so-called "leaders" are more than a bit confused about what true freedom is.

We have some frozen cakes that were left from our Italian Street Festival. We will sell these this weekend after the Masses. (I forgot all about it last weekend! I also ate one of the cakes.) They are a couple kinds of delicious chocolate and white chocolate cakes plus a few carrot cakes. Cost is a bargain, just $10.00.

The Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. One of the things we will discuss is the elevator for handicapped access to the church. We had an anonymous donor complete our campaign for this with a gift of $30,000. The construction of our new confessional or reconciliation room begins July 12. Weíre also putting some new closets in our "auxiliary sacristy."

I want to repeat here the announcement about some perpetual votive candles we will be placing in church next month. My main reason for doing so is to print the correct offering amount. The last week or two Iíve listed the wrong amount. And to thinkóI am a math major! Sorry.

A votive candle burning before a statue or shrine is a sign of a prayer or an intention left there by someone. Each candle is a person or an intention. Beginning August 15, the feast of the Assumption, we will add four (4) perpetual votive candles to the shrines in front of the church: the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, the Sacred Heart, and Saint Anthony. I say "perpetual" because they will burn regularly and all the time.

Families may request the candles to burn for their intentions on a monthly or an annual basis. We ask an offering of $10.00 per month or $120.00 yearly. If you wish to do this, please contact Father Petko, the parish office, or me.

Our next door neighbor, the Hispanic Education Center, is conducting a six-week summer program for over 75 Hispanic children. Much of the day is spent in improving their oral and written communication skills, math, and computer knowledge. (Given my inability to calculate offerings for votive candles, perhaps I should enroll in the math end of it.) The other part of the day is given over to socializing or recreation.

It is great to see the youngsters on the property these six weeks. They are using our Priori Hall below the church for their lunchroom. I stopped in for lunch with them this past Wednesday. I had forgotten that baloney and cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and celery sticks, and chocolate milk are such delicacies.

The children were a delight and full or questions, questions, questions! It took me forever to explain to them that two religious medals I had (Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Saint Francis of Assisi) were not coins! They hunger to learn more and more.

As I left Priori Hall after lunch, I must admit that I had a bit of a tear in my eye. I thought back to those days when our parish hall or school cafeteria would have been filled with dozens and dozens of little Italian children. Like our Hispanic youngsters, they too would have been children of immigrants. They too would have been unsure of so many things, particularly the language. Ninety years later, more or less the same ministry to Godís little ones from another land is still going on around here. We at Holy Rosary are privileged to play some little part in it. We should do all we can directly or indirectly. The Hispanic Education Center is doing a great thing.

Enjoy the holiday weekend. Donítí forget to thank God for true freedom: to know God, to love God, and to serve God in this world and to be happy with Him in the next. God bless America!

In Godís Providence,

Msgr. Schaedel