Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Funeral Mass - Vito Rutigliano

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Vito Rutigliano on Friday, October 31 at 9:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

All Saints Day

All Saints Day will be on Saturday, November 1. Because it falls on a Saturday this year, IT IS NOT a Holy Day of Obligation in 2014. Mass will be offered at 8:00 a.m.

Ordination Anniversary

The Class of 1981 of St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie was ordained by Terence Cardinal Cooke at St. Patrick's Cathedral on October 31. Father Michael's Class will celebrate their 33rd Anniversary of Ordination on Friday, October 31 at a 5:00 p.m. Mass at Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck. Please pray for them.

Funeral Mass - Steve Kopchik, Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Steve Kopchik, Jr. on Friday, October 31 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - William Ciachin

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of William Ciachin on Wednesday, October 29 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, October 27, 2014

30th Sunday Ordinary Time - "What Is Love?"

What is Love?     Virgil – Love conquers all     Beatles – All you need is love   Aquinas – to love is to will the good of the other.
Danny – Love is when my mom makes coffee for my dad, and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure it is OK
Elaine – Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.
Mary Ann – Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you have left him alone all day
Bobby – Love is what is in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
Jenny – There are 2 kinds of love. God’s love. Our love. But God makes both kinds

Today Jesus is asked – what is the greatest commandment?  Scholars had gone through the Torah and found 613.    You shall = 248   You shall not = 365     some were light – like dietary & cleansing laws    Others heavy  -  like 10 commandments      So what is the greatest commandment
No surprising – Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy - Shema – Hear O Israel    But then quotes from Leviticus – the Code of Holiness   -   Love neighbor as self.      Like a door with 2 hinges – one hinge breaks, door does not work very well.

But what does it mean to Love?
Greeks did not have one word for love
1)      Xenia -  hospitality & gratitude
2)      Storge – kinship or family, like parent/child
3)      Philia – friendship
4)      Eros – romantic desire
5)      Agape – self emptying – divine love   
Agape – God’s love – the hardest kind of love – has nothing to do with liking – but to look deeper and see the presence of Christ in the other.

Dorothy Day used to say “love is a harsh and dreadful thing in practice compared to love in dreams.

A mother speaks of rocking her 4 year old in a rocking chair.  Suddenly, he lifted his head and stared at his mother.   Mommy, I am in your eyes!   He had seem his own reflection, and clearly he was moved. After several long moments, she said – and I am in yours!    In the days that followed, every now and then the boy would look at his mom and ask, Mommy, am I still in your eyes?

The boy was learning to love, as we have all learned to love. We saw ourselves in someone else’s eyes.    Isn’t it comforting to know we are still in our heavenly Father’s eyes?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Funeral Mass - Darlene Andrew

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Darlene Andrew on Wednesday, October 29 at 10am. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Josef Kish

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Josef Kish on Monday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - James Kirwan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of James Kirwan on Saturday, October 25 at 10 am. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"In God We Trust"

What is the Boy Scout Motto – “Be Prepared!”
What is our National Motto    “In God We Trust”   I wonder how long that will last?    Yes – In God We Trust
1864 - Midst of Civil War - began to appear on coins
1957 – on paper money 

In Jesus time – motto could have been “In Caesar we trust”
Israel is occupied by the Roman Empire

That occupation led to divisions
-         Pharisees – lay scholars who studied Torah and were very pious – anti Rome
-         Sadducees – priestly class – had to work at getting along with Romans
-         Herodians – political party that backed the Roman governor Herod.
-         Zealots -  revolutionaries - get them out by whatever means

To find Pharisee and Herodians together was amazing – but had one thing in common – they could not stand Jesus.
Came up with a question to get him -  should you pay taxes or not?
Jesus had 2 choices
-         pay the tax – in with Romans – what kind of prophet are you?
-         Withhold tax – in trouble with government -  cannot win

Jesus asked for a coin – NOTE – he does not have a coin - had image of Tiberius Caesar on it. “Pontifex Maximus”

Whose image? – Caesar – give to Caesar what is Caesar’s – to God what is God’s

1) Give to Caesar what is Caesars - Caesar has his rights -  to do that must collect taxes  -   and use money for common good – hope they can protect from Ebola  -  but we should question how money is used e.g. subpoenaed sermons in Houston

2) Give to God what is God’s -   what is God’s – everything! Prisoner of war, after undergoing torture – looks up at sky, sees stars, they can’t touch that.  Andy Dufrain “Mozart”                  

What our country needs are faithful citizens - who love their country and who live their faith without excuses and without apologies. Separation of church and state does not mean we cannot be involved – we must be involved. We have something to add to the discussions!

After all - what is the motto of our country? -   “In God We Trust”

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Annual Pastor's Convention

I will attend my 19th Convention of Pastors this week (October 20-24). It is an opportunity to attend workshops, hear an address by Cardinal Dolan, pray together and grow in priestly fraternity. I have always enjoyed these gatherings. Please pray for us and know that you will be in my prayers!

Pastoral Challenges To The Family

Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
Vatican City, 18 October 2014 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the Message of the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation” (5-19 October). The speakers were Cardinals Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, delegate president; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Commission for the Message and Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India. The full text of the message is published below:
“We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.
Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences. As priests and bishops we have lived alongside families who have spoken to us and shown us the saga of their joys and their difficulties.
The preparation for this synod assembly, beginning with the questionnaire sent to the Churches around the world, has given us the opportunity to listen to the experience of many families. Our dialogue during the Synod has been mutually enriching, helping us to look at the complex situations which face families today.
We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”. On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.
We recognise the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.
We think also of the burden imposed by life in the suffering that can arise with a child with special needs, with grave illness, in deterioration of old age, or in the death of a loved one. We admire the fidelity of so many families who endure these trials with courage, faith, and love. They see them not as a burden inflicted on them, but as something in which they themselves give, seeing the suffering Christ in the weakness of the flesh.
We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We remember the women who suffer violence and exploitation, victims of human trafficking, children abused by those who ought to have protected them and fostered their development, and the members of so many families who have been degraded and burdened with difficulties. “The culture of prosperity deadens us…. all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us”. We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone. We warmly thank our pastors, lay faithful, and communities who accompany couples and families and care for their wounds.
There is also the evening light behind the windowpanes in the houses of the cities, in modest residences of suburbs and villages, and even in mere shacks, which shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls. This light—the light of a wedding story—shines from the encounter between spouses: it is a gift, a grace expressed, as the Book of Genesis says, when the two are “face to face” as equal and mutual helpers. The love of man and woman teaches us that each needs the other in order to be truly self. Each remains different from the other that opens self and is revealed in the reciprocal gift. It is this that the bride of the Song of Songs sings in her canticle: “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.
This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigour and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved. In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.
This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and values—an experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of God—a small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.
Another expression of fraternal communion is charity, giving, nearness to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis, aware of the Lord’s word, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. It is a gift of goods, of fellowship, of love and mercy, and also a witness to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.
The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when “Christ is all and in all”. In the first stage of our Synod itinerary, therefore, we have reflected on how to accompany those who have been divorced and remarried and on their participation in the sacraments.
We Synod Fathers ask you walk with us towards the next Synod. The presence of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their modest home hovers over you. United to the Family of Nazareth, we raise to the Father of all our petition for the families of the world:
Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.
Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.
Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.
Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.
Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy”.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Understanding the Synod by Father Robert Barron

Saw this today - very helpful!

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake, the big one that hit after months of smaller tremors.” Certain  commentators on the right have been wringing their hands and bewailing a deep betrayal of the Church’s teaching. One even opined that this report is the “silliest document ever issued by the Catholic Church,” and some have said that the interim document flaunts the teaching of St. John Paul II. Meanwhile the New York Times confidently announced that the Church has moved from “condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness, and mercy.” I think everyone should take a deep breath. 

What has just appeared is not even close to a definitive, formal teaching of the Catholic Church. It is a report on what has been discussed so far in a synod of some two hundred bishops from around the world. It conveys, to be sure, a certain consensus around major themes, trends that have been evident in the conversations, dominant emphases in the debates, etc., but it decidedly does not represent “the teaching” of the Pope or the bishops. 

One of the great mysteries enshrined in the ecclesiology of the Catholic Church is that Christ speaks through the rather messy and unpredictable process of ecclesiastical argument. The Holy Spirit guides the process of course, but he doesn’t undermine or circumvent it. It is precisely in the long, laborious sifting of ideas across time and through disciplined conversation that the truth that God wants to communicate gradually emerges. If you want evidence of this, simply look at the accounts of the deliberations of the major councils of the Church, beginning with the so-called Council of Jerusalem in the first century right through to the Second Vatican Council of the twentieth century. In every such gathering, argument was front and center, and consensus evolved only after lengthy and often acrimonious debate among the interested parties. Read John Henry Newman’s colorful history of the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century, and you’ll find stories of riots in the streets and the mutually pulling of beards among the disputants. Or pick up Yves Congar’s very entertaining diary of his years at Vatican II, and you’ll learn of his own withering critiques of the interventions of prominent Cardinals and rival theologians. Or peruse John O’Malley’s history of the Council of Trent, and you’ll see that early draft statements on the key doctrines of original sin and justification were presented, debated, and dismissed—long before final versions were approved. 

Until Vatican II, these preliminary arguments and conversations were known only to the participants themselves and to certain specialist historians who eventually sifted through the records. The great teachings of the Councils became widely known and celebrated, but the process that produced them was, happily enough, consigned to the shadows. If I might quote the great Newman, who had a rather unsatisfying experience of official ecclesial life in Rome:  “those who love the barque of Peter ought to stay out of the engine room!” This is a somewhat more refined version of “those who enjoy sausage ought never to watch how it is made.” The interim report on the Synod represents a very early stage of the sausage-making process and, unsurprisingly, it isn’t pretty. Two more weeks of discussion will follow; then a full year during which the findings of the Synod will be further refined, argued about, and clarified; then the Ordinary Synod on the Family will take place (the one going on now is the Extraordinary Synod), and many more arguments and counter-arguments will be made; finally, some months, perhaps even a year or so, after that, the Pope will write a post-Synodal exhortation summing up the entire process and offering a definitive take on the matter. At that point, I would suggest, something resembling edible sausage will be available for our consumption; until then, we should all be patient and refrain from bloviating.

The historian and theologian Martin Marty commented that our debates today about sex and authority are analogous to the arguments in the early centuries of the Church’s life concerning Christology and to the disputes about anthropology and salvation around the time of the Reformation. Those two previous dust-ups took several centuries to resolve, and Marty suggests that we might be in the midst of another centuries long controversy. I’m glad that Pope Francis, at the outset of this Synod, urged the participating bishops to speak their minds clearly and fearlessly. He didn’t want a self-censorship that would unduly hamper the conversation and thereby prevent the truth from emerging. This does not imply for a moment that Pope Francis will agree with every point of view expressed, and indeed he can’t possibly, since many are mutually exclusive. But it does indeed mean that he has the confidence and the patience required to allow the Holy Spirit to work in his preferred fashion.
- See more at: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/having-patience-for-the-sausage-making-synod/4517/#sthash.RqlXNO1q.dpuf

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Funeral Mass - Matthew R. Byer

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Matthew Byer (26) on Thursday, October 16 at 12:00 noon. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

About Divorce and Receiving Holy Communion

Deacon Greg Kandra recently posted this:

With all the talk lately about divorce and communion, I’ve been reminded of how much we Catholics don’t know what we don’t know.
A few months ago, I met with a woman from my parish to help her begin the annulment process. We chatted a bit before we started going over what was involved.
“So,” I began, “you’re already divorced?”
“And you and your ex-husband were married by a Catholic priest?”
“Have you remarried?”
“No.” She looked away, shifted in her seat. “I’m really not interested in getting married again.”
This surprised me. “Well, if you haven’t remarried and you aren’t going to get married…why do you want an annulment?”
She looked at me intently.  “For communion, of course. I want to be able to receive communion again. I go to Mass and just stay in the pew. I feel so left out. I really miss it.”
I didn’t quite know what to say. I was stunned.
“But,” I began, “you should know something.” I cleared my throat. “If you’re just divorced, and if you haven’t remarried, you can receive communion. You don’t need an annulment for that.”
She was shocked.
“Yeah. Honestly, if you’re simply concerned about receiving the sacraments, in your situation, you really don’t need to go through this process.”
She looked like an impossible weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She beamed.
“I had no idea. I thought because I was divorced, I couldn’t receive.”
We chatted for a few more minutes and then she left.
I’ve had conversations like that a couple of times since then, in person or by email, and it’s heartbreaking. I think of all the years too many people spend feeling deprived, isolated, cut off—hungry to be fed with the bread of life. It doesn’t have to be this way. Many people simply don’t know.
Let me state this plainly: if you are divorced but have not remarried, and have no mortal sins to confess, you can receive communion.  Simply being divorced does not bar you from the Eucharist. 
If you have any further doubts, talk to a priest. Explain your situation. Go to confession. Don’t put it off.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/10/what-many-catholics-dont-know-about-divorce-and-receiving-communion/#ixzz3FwKYFgb5

28th Sunday Year A - So What's Our Excuse?

Suppose you are having a wedding. You draw up a guest list. Then you send invitations with RSVP on them. Then you wait.
Three kinds of responses
1)      Acceptance – Some enthusiastically come. They are honored and grateful. Others are coming because they feel obligated
2)      Some Refuse. They do have a prior engagement. But some just can’t be bothered.
3)      Do not respond at all. Problem – how do you plan? Are they coming or not?
I think you understand, this is just not any wedding – God is inviting us!  God does not force us – He respects our freedom.  But He wants us to share in his joy!
So, what is our excuse?
There is a letter I should write, but       I know I need to pray, but       I know I should be more charitable toward X, but        I know that dishonesty is wrong, but      I know I am not working at my job as I should, but       I know I am drinking too much, but      I know I should spend more time with my kids, but
There are no shortage of excuses. Some of them are good ones.   But
Does God know what is best for us?  What is he calling us to?  Does he invite us to a deeper and more authentic life? A closer relationship with him? Into community with others?  Into eternal life?
Once was a letter to the editor:  “I quit going to church this year. I decided that listening to sermons week after week was a stupid thing to do. After all, I went to church for 40 years and during that time I probably heard 5,000 sermons. I can only remember about 5. What a waste of time!”
The next week “I quit eating this year. I decided that eating week after week was a stupid thing to do. After all I have been eating about 40 years and have probably had over 5,000 meals. I can only remember about 5 of them. What a waste of time.

So, what is our excuse?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Columbus Day

A reminder that Columbus Day, October 13 is a National Holiday. Morning Mass is at 8:00 a.m. All parish offices will be closed. The church will be closed at 10:00 a.m. Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wedding - Jake Scherger and Carolyn Moore

The sacred bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Jake Scherger and Carolyn Moore on Saturday, October 11 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for the couple about to be married!

Wedding - Kerry McTigue and Shane Velie

The sacred bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Kerry McTigue and Shane Velie on Friday, October 10 at 4:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married!

Funeral Mass - William J. Kozlowski

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of William J. Kozlowski on Saturday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Funeral Mass - Alfredo Tabliago

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Alfredo Tabliago on Friday, October 10 at 12 Noon. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Jane C. Parenti

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Jane C. Parenti on Friday, October 10 at 10am. Please pray for her and for her family.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Father Benedict Groeschel Has Died

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, beloved priest and preacher, died on October 3, 2014, the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis, after complications with an ongoing illness. He was 81.
Fr. Benedict was a founder of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), a reform community started in 1987 by eight Capuchin Friars based in New York City. A priest and psychologist, he was director of Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, New York, and alsotaught Pastoral Psychology for many years at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Fr. Benedict was a popular writer, preacher, retreat master, and evangelist on Catholic television. His greatest joy was serving the poor and underprivileged. Founder of St. Francis House and Good Counsel Homes, he also served as chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry for 14 years.
Always deeply concerned with the welfare of others, he tirelessly provided food, clothing, and assistance to people in need—people he always considered his friends.
Wrote Fr. John Paul Ouellette, Community Servant, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Fr. Benedict. He was an example to us all. His fidelity and service to the Church and commitment to our Franciscan way of life will have a tremendous impact for generations to come.”Details for the wake and funeral will be forth coming.

Wednesday, October 8th
- A wake will be held on from 12-9 PM at St. Adalbert’s Church
 located at 420 E 156th Street, Bronx, NY 10455
Thursday, October 9th
- A wake will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart
 located at 89 Ridge Street in Newark, NJ 07104 from 4-7 PM.
 A prayer vigil will be held from 7-9 PM.
Friday, October 10th
- The funeral Mass will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart
 located at 89 Ridge Street in Newark, NJ 07104, at 11 AM.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wedding - Samuel Williams and Jenna Bause

The sacred bonds of the holy Sacrament of Matrimony will be exchanged by Samuel Williams and Jenna Bause on Friday, October 3 at 5:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married!