Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mary, The Mother of God - Holy Day of Obligation

Thursday, January 1, 2015 is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. and on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

The Parish Office will be open on Wednesday, December 31 from 9:00 - 12:00 noon. The Office will be closed on New Year's Day.

The Adoration Chapel will be Closed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Happy New Year!

Mass of Christian Burial

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Rose Pucci on Wednesday, December 31 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Rose and for her family.

Holy Family

It was called the Extraordinary Synod on the Family – not to be confused with the Synod on the Family to be held next October. Reactions included:
-         Earthquake
-         Betrayal of church teachings
-         Silliest document ever issued
-         A sign of new openness

Reminds me of Council of Nicea – riots in streets and pulling of beards!

Do you like sausage or hot dogs? – suggest that you never watch it being made!    Process still at an early stage!!!
Year of discussions – we will have some here – another Synod – more discussion till the Pope issues a document.
All shows the importance of the Family!!!
-         The institution between individuals and society – hugely important
-         Foundation of society – a treasure – a unique good for children
-         Place where we learn to give and receive love
-         A school where we grow and flourish
-         A church where faith is first taught and encouraged.

Steve Covey RIP – 7 habits of Highly Effective People – more recently 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families:

Easy to get off track – like airplane – but pilot has 3 tools – parents must have same!
1)    Vision of destination
2)    Flight plan
3)    Compass

The Seven Habits:

 1)    Be Proactive!     Have a pause button – think before acting! 
Someone’s bad day is an opportunity to be kind
An offense is an opportunity to apologize or forgive
Gossip is an opportunity to be loyal to those who are not present.

 2)    Begin with the End in Mind
What does your family stand for? What do you hope to achieve? What principles will you live by?  A Shared Vision -  A Mission Statement

 3)    Put First Things First : Prioritize Family!!!  Weekly family nights & one on one bonding.

 4)    Win Win -    how will our family win    -  more from negative emotions, competition, blaming, criticism, anger toward  mutual respect, understanding, cooperation

5)    Seek First to Understand – then be Understood    Hard to see into another’s heart – be a good listener.

6)    Synergize – we are all different – make it a strength to come up with solutions.

7)    Sharpen the Saw – Renewal of life – care of self - Family Traditions: dinners, vacations, prayer & worship, serving together, working together

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Grandparent asked their 6 year old grandson - did you write a letter to Santa yet? No, Santa already sent me an e-mail - told me he knew all about me and that I better be good. Times have changed!

Some newspapers still publish some letters from Santa –
here are a few: 

- Meg from Sydney, Australia – “Dear Santa - Thanks for last year and please don’t forget my cousin. She can’t help but be bad.”
- Marion from Limerick, Ireland – “Santa, come to Ireland. The leprechauns want to meet your elves!”
- Sarah from Littleton, Colorado – “I’ve been really good all year but don’t ask daddy or mommy if it is true.”
- Alex from Richfield, Utah – “Thank you for the remote control car last year even though it broke the day after. I know you tried and that’s what counts.”
- Javier from Santiago, Chile – “My English is terrible but my hope is great.”

Recently a group of 10 children were asked to write letters to Santa. What do you want for Christmas?  Game – guitar – play station – piano – ipad

Then they were asked to write a letter to their parents – to tell them what they wanted for Christmas. Their requests were different:

-      Please spend more time with me
-      Could you have dinner with us more often?
-      Read me a story
-      I want to play with you.
-      Can we be together the whole day?

Then, the children were told – if you could send only 1 of the 2 letters, which would you send?
Every one of the 10 kids chose the letter to their parents!
Ah – children want much more than presents for Christmas!

Tonight marks the 100th Anniversary of the WW 1 Christmas Truce.
After 4 months of battle, British, Irish, Belgian & German troops found themselves facing each other in trenches, a football field apart.

But this very night, 100 years ago, something began to happen. One by one they came out of their trenches. Silent Night was sung. Food and handshakes were exchanged. They prayed together and buried their dead. They even played soccer. A miracle of Christmas.  WHY???

What is it about Christmas? What is it that caused them to do such a thing?

The doorway to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is low – you must bow down – you walk to the front of the church – go down the stairs and there you see it  - A silver star in the floor marks the spot. The inscription reads, "HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS EST    “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born.”
God takes flesh – God becomes one of us! An Amazing thought!!!

If it is true – if you believe it – it changes everything!
Why we get up in the morning
What we do with our lives
How we treat our families and even strangers
The words we speak - the friends we have
What we do on Sunday mornings
Even what we do with our money
The birth of Jesus changes everything!!!

I found one more letter to Santa - 
“Dear Santa – Do you know that Jesus is the real reason for Christmas? Not to be mean, but he is!”

Indeed he is!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Join us for Christmas Masses:

Christmas Eve
4:00 p.m. Church
4:00 p.m. School
6:00 p.m. 

Christmas Day
9:00 a.m., 
10:30 a.m.
12:00 noon.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mary Said Yes

The big day is almost here – decorating – cards – gifts
Everyone has their own Christmas Traditions

Each year I like to take a trip to NYC to - see the Tree - look at Windows - visit Nativities

Practice of Nativities began 1223 - St. Francis - Grecio
He was afraid people did not understand what God has done – he had an idea, so unusual  - that he asked permission of Pope Innocent
Cave - ox & donkey - manger - invited townspeople
As Deacon of the Mass – he read the Christmas Gospel. He became so emotional could not say name of Jesus – he spoke of the “Babe of Bethlehem”
His idea began to spread - many different Nativities.
Even come now with GPS - in case people try to steal them!

Three particular nativities in NYC:
1) scene at Radio City - admirable – kept it with much criticism. Cannot have Christmas without Christ.  Cards – stamps – own Nativity

2) St. Pat’s Cathedral - Moved from usual spot - but dog is still there - name is Lexington - RIP - Msgr Ritchie’s dog – animals remind us of conditions of birth – Great witness to crowds shopping in NYC

3) Met Museum of Art - Neopolitan - scene of people from everyday life    Many do not realize - not cave or stable, but set up among ruined Roman Columns - death of the old world. Everything changed – HOW?

Nazareth - VERBUM CARO HIC FACTUM EST “Here Word became flesh”       Mary’s Yes   God takes flesh - an amazing thought.
The Word becomes flesh when we say Yes!

Favorite Nativity not in NYC – on my desk – made by hand by my dad
Faith – Hope - Love – Family – with Christ at the center

O Come let us adore him - Christ the Lord

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Funeral Mass - Robert Garcey

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Robert Garcey on Saturday, December 20 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reconciliation Monday - December 15

The 368 parishes of the Archdiocese of New York will open their doors for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday, December 15 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. As Pope Francis blessed the world's largest Christmas tree in Gubbio, he said: “If you have something dark on your soul, ask the Lord's forgiveness. This is a beautiful chance Christmas gives us – to clean up our souls, eh! Don't be afraid – the priest is merciful, he forgives everything in the name of God, because God forgives everything.”   Three priests will be available at St. Columba. Confession guides will be provided. Do not be afraid!


3rd Sunday of Advent – once again meet the unusual figure of John the Baptist
Sure can’t find him in Walmart! But on the way to Bethlehem, we must cross the Jordan River.
There he says -  “Prepare the way of the Lord!”

Very involved in preparing – buy presents – send cards – decorating house
Putting up the Christmas Tree.

Think about it – strange thing – cutting down a tree – bring it inside – hang stuff on it.
Jesus – was very connected with trees:  carpenter – manger – boat - cross

The tradition of Christmas Trees comes from our German friends
There is something about evergreens – they stay green in winter – sign of eternal life.
One day, Martin Luther walking through woods – sees star light through trees – idea of candles – I’m sure it did not go over big with fire departments!
Tradition to put an angel or a star on top
Angel – Glory to God                       Star – star of Bethlehem

For a long while this was a Protestant thing  -  Took a while for Catholics to embrace it -  It was St. John Paul II who brought the 1st Christmas tree to the Vatican.

Last week – Pope Francis lit the Largest Christmas tree in the world – Gubbio
Pope Francis  had a wish:  “If you have something dark on your soul, ask the Lord's forgiveness. This is a beautiful chance Christmas gives us – to clean up our souls, eh! Don't be afraid – the priest is merciful, he forgives everything in the name of God, because God forgives everything.”    Sounds like the Baptist! 
Reconciliation Monday – Guide in bulletin

A few years back, Pope Benedict blessed the tree – he also had some wishes:

When you look at the tree – do not just look at the bottom - not look just to material things  -  but look up – toward heaven – toward God.  “God never forgets us but He asks us not to forget Him!” Remember the Baptist  -   he must increase – I must decreased  - I am not worthy to untie his sandals.

2) Tree is made up of many lights -  Looks strange to see just one light   His wish is that we step out of selfishness that  makes us think only of ourselves  to  become lights for others  - bring light to family, work, neighborhood –“ every act of kindness is like light of the tree.”  John – a light shining in the darkness.

Let us pray - God of all creation,
we praise you for our Christmas trees
which brings beauty and memories and the
promise of life to our homes.
May your blessing be upon all who gather around our trees,
all who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.
We wait for the coming of the Christ,
the days of everlasting justice and peace.

You are our God, living and reigning, for ever and ever. Amen

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Funeral Mass - Gerolomo Vitucci

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the respose of the soul of Gerolomo Vitucci on Saturday, December 13 at 11:00 a.m. Please prey for our beloved departed and for the family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Prepare the Way of the Lord!

We are on our way to Bethlehem – so much to do before we get there – cards – presents – food – but at some point we must cross the Jordan River.
This is where we meet that unusual figure – John the Baptist
Dressed like the prophets of old – some consider him the last of the OT prophets.
Jesus took him very seriously – among those born of women none greater than JB
Church celebrates 3 birthdays
-          Jesus – Dec 25
-          Mary – Sept 8      9 months after Immaculate Conception
-          JB – June 24

John spent a great deal of time in desert – no distractions – listening to God.
Here is fruit of his desert time;

1)      Humility
I am not worthy to untie his sandals   & he must increase and I must decrease.
Humility – this is not putting oneself down.
Realize – in certain areas of life – I am helpless – - things happen that I cannot control  -  I need divine assistance – I need prayer – I need Eucharist - I Need a Savior!

2)      Repent
His great message – turn back to God!
Did your family adopt an Elf on the shelf? – a scout sent by Santa from the North Pole – helps Santa manage his naughty and nice list – goes to North Pole each night to make his report about what you were doing.
The Baptist takes it a step farther – he knows we sin, but sin can also be forgiven!
Nothing like a good confession!!!  Reconciliation Monday.

3) Integrity    he pointed the way
a person of principle & conviction
not afraid to challenge leaders, soldiers, tax collectors     
Looking forward to movie – Unbroken – story of Louis Zamperini -  passed away this July at age 97
Served in the Pacific WW II   plane shot down – survived 47 days only to be rescued by Japanese navy – two ½ years in prison – terrible experience
Movie leaves out – conversion –  Louie was able, because of his conversion and newfound Christian faith, to go back to Japan to the very guards who mistreated him and forgive them, as well as tell them about Jesus Christ.”

On our way to Bethlehem – need to stop at the Jordan River.
John will be waiting for us
To teach us about humility - repentance -  integrity.

To help us prepare the way for the Lord.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rest In Peace Angelo Colacicco

We sadly announce the death of Angelo Colacicco, the father of Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco, former Pastor of St. Columba Church. Mr. Colacicco will be waked at McHoul's Funeral Home on Monday, December 8 from 2-4 & 7-9. The Funeral Mass will be offered at St. Martin de Porres Church in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday, December 9 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for Angelo and for his family.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - Holy Day of Obligation

Monday, December 8 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is always a Holy Day of Obligation. She is the Patroness of the Americas. Masses will be offered at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m. Please make every effort to join us in prayer.

Funeral Mass - Robert Fesko

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Robert Fesko on Thursday, December 4 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.