Saturday, July 4, 2020

Updates From Father Michael - July 4, 2020

Updates from Father Michael – July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth of July! – God bless you and have a safe weekend!

Mass Program – The 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Mass Program is attached. Download it and save it to your device or print and bring to Mass.

New Wireless Sound System – All is working well except the priest’s mic. It keeps dropping. Bobby from Monte Bros Sound is working on it but no solution yet. We may need to replace the priest’s receiver. So, this weekend we will set up 2 wireless speakers for music ministry and use the existing church speakers for the priest/deacon/lector. Thanks for your patience.

Rice Bowls – Please return them when you come to Mass this weekend.

Baptisms – They resume this weekend. Please contact Deacon Bill to make arrangements. Baptisms take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm & 3:00 pm – one family at a time. Our Baptism Prep takes place by mail and online – no “in person” during the pandemic.

The Holy Oils – Cardinal Dolan consecrated the Chrism Oil and blessed the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of the Catechumens on Friday, June 26 before the Ordination Mass. Our parish has received the Blessed Oils and they have been placed in the Ambry. We offer the Anointing of the Sick after any Mass. Just see a priest. We use a cotton ball so that we do not make physical contact. The Anointing and Last Rites can also be offered at home with proper precautions (call the Church Office). We strongly encourage you, if possible, not to wait until the last minute. Sometimes we get called out in the middle of the night when the Anointing could have easily taken place during the day. Of course, a priest will visit day or night in an Emergency.

Adult Sacraments – Because of the pandemic, we could not celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. Cardinal Dolan has given the priests of the Archdiocese permission to Confirm all RCIA candidates for Confirmation anytime in 2020. Father Connolly will celebrate these Sacraments at our regular Weekday Mass on Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 pm. Mass will be in church. Please pray for:
Patrick Rooney - Confirmation
Paul Rooney - Confirmation
James Traill - Communion and Confirmation

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Updates From Father Michael - July 1, 2020


Today is the Feast Day of St. Junipero Serra – founder of Nine Missions in California and the Spiritual Founder of Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to pray at his Tomb in Carmel, CA just a few months ago. Now, people are trying to tear down statues of this great Saint. What is going on? For a good perspective, I encourage you to read the Pastoral Note sent by Archbishop Gomez, the leader of the LA Archdiocese:

Our Parish Offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 for the civic observance of Independence Day. There will be no Adoration. The Church will close at 3:00 pm. Have a Happy 4th!

A reminder that it is best to make an appointment at the parish office and not drop in – for your safety and ours. Call ahead if you want a Mass Card. There is much we can do over the phone. Church Donation envelopes can be dropped off in the SVDP metal box in the narthex of the church or mailed.  

We always err on the side of caution when it comes to weather and outdoor Mass. If the cones are not out, Mass is in church.

We are still at 25% capacity in church. The information we sent out in the last note was in error. We are waiting permission from the ADNY to increase to 50%.

Gary Bartilucci has marked off 8 temporary handicapped parking spaces near the outdoor Mass seating area. Look for the blue lines and please allow the handicapped to use them. Thanks!

Please follow all parking regulations and do not park in the fire lanes – emergency vehicles must always have access. Just park in a parking space. Thanks!

We are almost done attaching ultraviolet lights to our church air conditioning units. Many studies show that UV light kills viruses. Thank you Butch Keane! (Butch is also Head Usher for 12:00 noon Mass).

The electrostatic sprayers have arrived! These will be used to disinfect the pews. It dries on contact and can be done very rapidly and safely.

Most of the TV equipment is here except for the cameras. The wiring is in 
place and ready to go. Mike Minor (who does TV for the Town of East Fishkill) will get everything set up for us. Thanks Mike! And thanks to Joe & Tom Mandile (Sound Telephone, Inc) for the wiring. Joe and Tom do tremendous work and keep our telephones and security cameras in good working order. They are also very active parishioners!

In order to use the confessionals in future months, we must put up temporary walls to protect the priest and penitent. We have also ordered safer confessional screens. There are other concerns as well. This is a work in progress.

All these changes were not in our parish budget. A number of parishioners have recognized this and sent special one-time gifts or have temporarily increased their donations. Thank you so much for helping us to keep our parish much safer during this time of pandemic and helping us to proclaim the Gospel using different means. God bless your generosity!

A reminder that Father Michael will be away July 6-10.

All current information about our parish can be found at Be sure to check there first!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Virtual Vacation Bible School - Summer of 2020

From Father Michael and the Parish of St. Columba – Virtual Vacation Bible School – July 2020

One of many disappointments during this pandemic is the cancellation of our popular Summer Joy Vacation Bible School. Although nothing can replace our “in person” program, we would like to offer all our families and children an alternative. The CatholicBrain and Brother Francis web sites have teamed up to offer a Virtual Vacation Bible School – “The Incredible Savior.” This five-day program includes a lesson, videos, music, bible verse of the day, saint of the day and virtue of the day. Best of all, St. Columba Parish has arranged for you to receive all this material and more FREE for the next 30 days. While we encourage everyone to do the Vacation Bible School during the week of July 13-17, you can do it anytime in July.

Here is how you sign up:
Church/School Name: St. Columba
Church/School Code: STC80814

parents please go to this address: or you may select "REGISTER" from the top left corner of the main page and fill out the registration form, using the Church/School Code to associate your family to our account. We suggest each student have an account, so that they can work at their own pace. If you are having trouble connecting with this program, call 469-416-4942 or email  Make sure to have our Church Name & Code available.
During this 30-day period you are welcome to use any of the materials available on the CatholicBrain web site. 

Enjoy – and pray that Summer Joy VBS can return in the summer of 2021!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Updates from Father Michael – June 27, 2020

Good News – Seating in our church is now at 50%. That will give us some flexibility. For the summer, we still intend to have outdoor Masses when practical, but we will move inside when necessary. When in church, you will notice that every other pew is closed. Still try to keep a 6-foot distance. And, please wear a mask whenever you are in church.

Eagle Project – Ryan Lugo has begun his Eagle Scout Project. Many scouts are here today to help him prepare a Prayer Area near the convent which will feature a Statue of St. Joseph. All the funding necessary has been contributed by generous donors. Ryan’s Project is in Memory of Rich Scampoli.

Rice Bowls – It is time to return your Rice Bowls from Lent. Place them in the Collection Baskets. Thank you for your generosity to Catholic Relief Services.

Virtual VBS – Due to the pandemic, we are unable to have an “in person” Vacation Bible School. We are working on a Virtual VBS for July 13-17 so stay tuned!

Baptism Preparation – Our staff has worked together to recreate the process of preparing for Baptism due to the pandemic. Here are the steps:

          Call Deacon Bill to arrange a date and time. Each baptism is done one family at a time on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm & 3:00 pm. Weekdays are also available.

2)     A package is mailed to each family. It includes a welcome letter, materials for parents and godparents, and sample godparent forms. Families are asked to take time to read the materials.

3)     Families receive an email from the parish asking them to view a new video by Bishop Robert Barron – “Introduction to the Sacraments and Baptism.” They are also invited to view other videos by Bishop Barron and to joined FORMED.

4)     One or two weeks before the baptism, a priest/deacon will call the family (conference call or zoom meeting) to discuss the materials and the video. Any questions can be answered.

5)     Baptism Day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Updates From Father Michael - June 23. 2020

Updates from Father Michael – June 23, 2020

WEDNESDAY 8:00 am MORNING MASS on June 24 is in Church due to the forecast of thunderstorms. Ushers will seat people due to 25% capacity.

COMMUNION TO THE HOMEBOUND – Some generous parishioners have volunteered to bring Communion to the homebound. How we do it will be quite different. First, the EM will make sure the homebound person’s family agrees to these weekly visits. Second, the EM will wear a mask and carry sanitizer for use both before and after distributing Holy Communion. Third, the EM will ask to meet the homebound person on the front porch or back deck (outside the house). The EM will not enter the house. If necessary, Communion will be given at the door. Fourth, the EM will briefly say a prayer at a distance, give Communion, say the Our Father at a distance and depart. Any conversations should take place before or after by phone. This is for the safety of the homebound person and the EM. If you know someone who is homebound and would like to receive Holy Communion, email

OUTDOOR WIRELESS SOUND SYSTEM – Our wireless outdoor sound system has arrived. It will be used on weekends because it gives us the ability to add a keyboard and cantor mic. With four speakers it also extends our range of sound coverage. We are most grateful to those who made donations for it. It was fully paid for by special donations. God bless you.

MISSED SECOND COLLECTIONS – During the time we could not have public Mass, we missed three Second Collections:
-         Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe
-         Aid to the Church in Latin America and Catholic Home Missions
Some may have already donated using We Share or by dropping off your collection envelope. It has been recorded. If you still wish to make these donations, please do so by Sunday July 12 and we will send a check to the ADNY.

The third missing Collection is the Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land. Pope Francis has asked us to have this Collection in September. Again, if you already donated it is recorded. If not, hold onto your envelope and use it when the new date is announced.

The Collection for Catholic Missions Among the Black and Indian People will take place July 11-12. A Letter from the Cardinal is attached to this email.

Goal - $139,000.00
Pledged - $85,439.00
Number of Gifts 355
Average Gift $240.67
Thank you for your amazing generosity. We are inching closer to our goal!

Goal - $1,709,000.00
Pledges $1,760,871.92
Paid $1,051,685.57
Number of Gifts 509
Thanks for keeping up with your pledge. The replacement of the school windows will begin when all the money is in hand.

Due to the pandemic, our summer clergy are not available this year. Your priests can only be away on weekdays. Father Connolly will be away June 29 – July 3. Father Michael will be away July 6-10.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Updates From father Michael - June 20, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Summer begins later today. School is out. Vacations can begin! The weather looks cooperative for outdoor Mass this weekend. If we have any weather concerns, we will send a Flock Note and move Mass indoors. If you do not see the orange cones, you know we are in church.

This is our Summer Mass Schedule:

Weekend Masses

Good Weather - all outdoors
Saturday - 5:30 pm
Sunday - 8:00 am - 10:00 am - 12:00 noon

Bad Weather - all indoors at 25% capacity
Saturday - 5:30 pm with Overflow Mass, if needed, in gym
Sunday - 8:00 am. 10:00 a.m. with Overflow Mass, if needed, in gym,
12:00 noon

Daily Mass Schedule - all outdoors this summer - bring chairs (bad weather-indoors at 25% capacity)

Monday - Wednesday - Friday
Mass at 8:00 am

Tuesday & Thursday
Mass at 7:00 pm

Morning Mass at 8:00 am

Some helpful reminders:
·         Still no requirement to attend Mass, especially if you feel unsafe. This particularly pertains to those 65 and older and with medical conditions.
·         Bring chairs
·         Wear a facemask
·         Bring antibacterial
·         Wear a hat if you wish or use a sun umbrella but be careful not to block someone’s view.
·         Do not block traffic – do not park in fire lanes – park only in parking spaces – you can also park in the lot at the side of the church, behind the school and at ACME and walk over.
·         School bathrooms will be open
·         Reception of Communion is at the end of Mass – keep 6 ft distance on the Communion lines. Take off you face mask before you receive.
·         Collection baskets will be placed on the sidewalk near the altar at every Mass. You can walk up either before or after any Mass and drop your donation in the basket. At other times you are welcome to use the SVDP box in church or mail your gift. We are most grateful to so many who continue to support your parish.
Other Notes:

Our Church Office will now be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. We encourage you to make an appointment first if you are visiting. Please wear a face mask.

Our wireless outdoor speaker system is due to arrive on Monday. It will include the capacity to plug in a keyboard so that we can resume music at weekend Masses – musician and cantor only. If you wish to sing, you definitely need to keep your face mask on! Still working on the car transmitter.

We are still awaiting the cameras for the indoor livestream system.

We are meeting with EM’s who may wish to resume home visits with Holy Communion this Tuesday after the 7:00 pm Mass. There are protocols that must be followed. Still no nursing home visits except for Last Rites.

Finally, may God bless all our fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, and foster fathers. We love you and thank you for all that you do for us! We will offer a Father’s Day Blessing at all Masses this weekend. Father’s Day cards and Intention envelopes are available in the church. A Novena of Masses will be offered for all fathers, living and deceased.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Updates from Father Michael - June 16, 2020

Cardinal Dolan has asked priests to make available the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Friday, June 19, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. At St. Columba, we will offer Confessions from 8:30 am (after morning Mass) to 9:30 am (cutoff is 10:00 am due to the last day of school and a funeral) and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. As always, during this pandemic, we will be in the side parking lot. If the weather does not cooperate, we will be in the corners of the church. Please wear a mask.

It was wonderful to see so many parishioners last weekend! I am grateful to all who helped us get ready for outdoor Mass and to all who made donations toward the necessary equipment. Special thanks to Pat Moore and his team of ushers and greeters as well as Mary Ann Servidio and her medical team – outstanding job!

We will stay outdoors as much as possible for Mass this summer. We will send Flock Notes when we need to move indoors. While outdoors, feel free to wear a hat (perhaps men can remove theirs during the Consecration). Also, bring a sun umbrella if you wish – just keep it low and try not to block views.

The music tent is up. We still await the outdoor wireless sound system with 4 speakers. We can connect a keyboard to it. We played with a radio transmitter today. Soon we hope to transmit to your car radio.  Most of the TV equipment is here. Camera wires will be run this Friday. Today we received another fantastic donation of $5,000 toward all this equipment. Wow! Thanks so much!

If you would like Holy Water, bring a bottle filled with water to any Mass. We will be happy to bless it after Communion.

We hope to resume Communion Calls soon. Some training is required. Visits will be very brief, even taking place at the door for safety. We invite all Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who wish to assist with home visits to a Training Session on Tuesday, June 23 after the 7:00 pm Mass. We will meet in church. A few parishioners have received permission from myself or Father Connolly to bring Holy Communion to a family member. During this time of pandemic, when you come up to receive Holy Communion, open your pyx first, then receive Holy Communion yourself.

We had our first Funeral Mass in three months here on Monday. Due to seating restrictions, we see that it is necessary to have two greeters/ushers at each Funeral Mass to assist with seating. If you would like to be placed on the volunteer call list for funerals, email or call Laura at the parish office.

The Parish Office is now open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. We request that you make an appointment before visiting. We often have appointments with visitors outside. Each desk is now equipped with glass for safety. Call now to make arrangements for Mass Intentions. Mass Intentions from now until Labor Day – One Intention per Mass. Father’s Day Cards and Intention envelopes are available in the church.

The St. Joseph Statue for Ryan Lugo’s Eagle Project has been ordered. Thanks to all who made donations! Ryan wants to start his project soon. It will honor Richie Scampoli and will be a place of prayer for all who visit our Adoration Chapel and the Bishop Dom Room.

Young Adult Ministry of the ADNY is sponsoring a “Love and Responsibility Series” beginning Tuesday, June 23 at 7:30 pm on CatholicNYC Facebook Live. Live talks and music followed by zoom social. June 23 features Matt Lozano and Tori Harris. More info: