House on your hands

House Blessings

Posted : Oct-21-2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Although Covid-19 has created for us a “new normal”, yet it does not stop the regular paths and
events that our lives encounter – once such event is the buying and selling of homes. New parishioners are moving within our parish boundaries and others are moving away to be part of new parishes.
This is part of life – even Jesus moved from home to home in his early life.
The reality of “moving” is something we priests know all to well. This coming January I will have completed my 12th year as your Pastor. In the Archdiocese pastors normally are asked to move after 12
years at a parish. Covid has caused some slight changes to this and so I am may be given permission to remain a bit longer as your pastor. But when I will be asked to move is ultimately in the hands
of our Archbishop and his representatives who are responsible for priest moves.
But let us get back to the topic of people moving from house to house. There is the wonderful catholic tradition of having houses blessed. When we do so we are calling on God to bless our homes, so
that only joy and peace can reign within the walls of our home and within the hearts of those living in the home. However, Covid has caused us to temporarily pause this tradition, so that safety concerns
for all can be met. But it has not only been Covid that has made it difficult for us priest do house blessings. The lack of priests and the continued demands on our time has also limited the number of
visits we priests can make to bless homes. This is now the reality of priestly life – we are not able to do the things we did in the past, because parishes are much bigger in population and we have less
priests to minister in these parishes. Sadly, we priest must now prioritize our time to be present to those events and activities which are most critical and essential in peoples lives.
With all of this in mind, and after discerning in prayer and consulting with others around me, I have decided to implement a new tradition here at St. Mary’s regarding requests for “House blessings”.
The following procedure will be followed when a parishioner requests a “House Blessing”:

• The parishioner is to reach out to our parish office via phone or email, providing their names and
home address.
• The parishioner will be asked to attend a Sunday Mass, of their choice – they are to come with as
many family members (who live in the same household) as possible.
• The parishioner is to bring with them a small container of water (i.e., a small bottle of water would be
• The parishioner will approach one of the priests or deacons after the mass. The water will be
blessed by the minister and a special House blessing prayer will be offered for those family members present.
• The parishioner will return home after the blessing and sprinkle the home with the Holy Water that
was blessed by the minister. An “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” can be said while walking sprinkling the home with the Holy Water.

My hope is that this tradition can enable families to readily have their homes blessed and feel even
more the graces of God active in their family life.
Fr. Liborio