Monday, September 9, 2019


Difficult to see the scenes from the Bahamas. As of last night, 43 lives were lost and an estimated 70,000 are homeless.
It was good to see cruise lines helping. Usually they are making money from their cruises. Now they are bringing food and aid. One cruise line is offering free evacuation from Grand Bahama Island.
I’m sure there were some unhappy cruisers when the routes changed – hey, this is not the cruise I signed up for! That’s why you must read the terms and conditions.
Jesus is giving us his terms and conditions – if we wish to be his disciples – and they are not easy ones!
1)     If anyone comes without hating father, mother, family, cannot be my disciple – what?  What about love one another as I have loved you?
Gale Sayers was a great running back for the Chicago Bears. He used to wear a medal around his neck – I Am Third. His track coach at Kansas used to keep a plaque on his desk with those words. He asked coach what did that mean?
“The Lord is first, my friends are second and I am third. “ From that point on, it became Gale Sayer’s motto.  Jesus is telling us – put God first – always!!!
2)     Renounce all your possessions – how can I live? Of course we need things – but we can be possessed by possessions! How much do we really need.
When St. Francis began to turn his life to God, he noticed that the poor struggled to have clothing and his dad had lots of cloth. He began to give it away to the poor. His dad became very angry and complained to the Bishop of Assisi. In a famous moment, Francis took off all his clothes and gave them to his father – now I have only one father – Our Father In Heaven.  Do not be possessed by possessions!
3)     Take up your cross – the burdens of life big and small and come follow me. Sometimes I complain about my crosses – will my foot ever get better – Doc told me this week it may be at least another year!
But then I went to see Corey at NYU Hospital. He was 2 months without a seizure but last Monday, he was clobbered. Now they have to change the meds again. And there was Corey and his mom trying to stay positive, trying to keep their faith strong – and I think I have a heavy cross??? 
The theologian Deitrich Bonhoeffer used to speak about “cheap grace.” Costs nothing. There has to be a cost to be worth anything. When Jesus spoke of these things, he was on his way to Jerusalme to accept his own cross. 
Now he is looking for real disciples – who will put God first – who will carry crosses with him. He has laid out the terms and conditions – do you wish to join him?

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Good News!

The marble from Italy has arrived at Port Elizabeth and will be delivered to St. Columba on Wednesday. Thus we will begin the final phase of the church work. The marble is all pre-cut. Now it needs to be assembled: sanctuary floor, altar, pulpit, tabernacle stand, baptismal font and floor medallions.  
Other remaining work: oak wood floor for the choir  area (already cut and ready for installation) , return and installation of the upgraded organ console, reconnect sound system with new locations, installation of kneelers (they are built and are in storage, but likely won't be installed until after church re-opens in early October.). 
Our contractor, Baker Liturgical Art, tells us we are still on track for October 1. Pray there will be no complications! Thanks for your patience!

Labor Day

Mass on Labor Day will be at 8:00 a.m. Please remember that Daily Mass (Monday to Friday) will be in the Bishop Dom Meeting Room in the Convent. The Parish Office and the Adoration Chapel will be closed on Labor Day.


A year ago, Msgr Thompson was just returning from a golf vacation. Everything seemed just fine. Soon after, he left for Chicago and then California. When he returned home the end of September, everything was no longer fine. By January, we had to place him in the priest retirement home. Now, one year later, he needs 24-hour care. He needs to be fed, bathed and clothed. It has been very difficult to watch this wonderful priest suffer in this way.
He is now the third priest I’ve cared for – first Father Jerry Bliss, then Msgr Bernard Corrigan. In some ways it is the most difficult – because most of his memory is gone. Every two weeks I sit with him, spend time with him, pay his bills and make sure his needs are addressed. But he has no idea what I am doing. I’m not even sure he knows at times who I am.
But he is a brother priest – and his condition makes him no less beautiful. I am reminded of today’s gospel – when you hold a lunch or dinner – do not invite friends or relatives or neighbors – they might invite you back and give you repayment. Rather, invite the poor, the crippled- blessed will you be because of their inability to repay you!  You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
So many of you are involved with the care of another person with little or no thanks – keep these words of Jesus in mind – and may God give us the grace to keep going!
This experience has been a great lesson in humility – seemingly at one moment in good health – then the next moment?
Last week my sisters and I were up at Schroon Lake. It is our one time to be together each year. In the evening we would sit at the lake – build a fire so they could have their smores – and then we watch the sky. Magnificent to see the Milky Way again. I started to pick off constellations – but there were so many I did not know. Universe is so vast – how little I know. It teaches humility:
Bernard of Clairvaux said the greatest virtue is humility – humility – humility.
Catherine of Siena – remember – I am God and you are not. How insignificant I am. Moses before the burning bush – Peter: depart from me I am a sinful man – Centurion – Lord I am not worthy.
But humility does not mean putting oneself down – but rather remembering who we are.
We are – his children - he calls us and invites us here – to his banquet – to His place of honor - to share in the Eucharist – his very presence. We hold in our hand or on the tongue the very presence of the one who created the moon, the sun and the stars – who created us. It is an awesome thing to be invited to the banquet of the Lord. Humility is the first step!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Assumption of Our Lady - Holy Day of Obligation

Thursday, August 15 is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday, August 14 at 5:30 p.m. and on Thursday, August 15 at 7:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Irene D'Olivio

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Irene D'Olivio on Friday, August 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Funeral Mass - Cheryl Zmudzinski

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Cheryl Zmudzinski on Friday, August 9 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.