Sunday, December 27, 2015

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Holy Mass will be celebrated:

Morning Mass on New Year's Eve at 8:00 a.m,
New Year's Eve at 5:30 p.m.
New Year's Day at 10:00 a.m. and 12 :00 noon

Parish Office Hours
New Year's Eve - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
New Year's Day - Closed

Adoration Chapel
Closed on New Year's Eve & New Year's Day 

Happy New Year!

Holy Family - "The Finding of Jesus in the Temple"

We have been working our way through the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

-          Annunciation     (Immaculate Conception & OL Guadalupe)
-          Visitation     (4th Sunday of Advent)
-          Birth of Jesus  (Christmas)
-          Presentation of Jesus  -  Jan 1
-          Today - Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

The Temple is long gone – Destroyed by Romans in Year 70
All that is left   so called Western Wall or Wailing Wall  built by King Herod.
Jews believe “Shekinah” – the Glory of God - still dwells there.
So it continues to be a holy place:
Place of Prayer:  150 psalms each day.
Of Ceremonies:  bar & bat mitzpha
And Great discussions and teachings    can you picture Jesus being there?

How could he have been left behind?
Funny age – 12   turning boy to man
Up to 12 – raised by mother and women.
Around 12 – passed over to the men – which was a hard transition for many.

Men & women always traveled separately
So Mary thought – he’s with Joseph     Joseph thought – he’s with Mary
Go searching – found Him in the Temple.
“Did you not know I had to be in my father’s house?”
In other words – why didn’t you check here first?

1)      Raised him centered on God
Brought him to temple  -   you are our son, and you are also a child of God.
Raised him with religious traditions  -   they lived it out.

2)      A reminder that there is no guarantee it will work out the way we plan.
Do our best – and then hand it over to God.
Can we trust that God is at work?

3)      Child was obedient to them. His parents tried to fulfill their responsibilities – They listened to Him, nurtured him, educated him, cared for him, tried to keep him safe. This is the true Mission of the family, and when this is done, the world is a better place! In turn, boys and girls should trust that their parents know what they are doing – have your best interests in mind -  would not hurt to say YES more often!

So today we celebrate the Holy Family. And we pray for all of our families:

O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church. 

Shower your blessings on these families gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say or do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Traditions

The composer Gustav Mahler once said Tradition is not the worship of Ashes but the preservation of Fire. It sounds like the Olympic torch relay – pass the fire on from one person to the next. Same is the passing on of traditions.  Most people I know have Christmas Traditions. One for me is a trip to NYC.
1)      To see the Tree. We New Yorkers at least call it the Tree – Rockefeller Center. It is gorgeous! Of course, it is a wonderful symbol –
Evergreen = eternal life
Lights = the light of the world
Star = Bethlehem  or  Angel = announcing Good News.
Another favorite tree is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Leads to second Tradition:

2)      Nativities –At the Met it is set upon the ruins of the Roman Empire.  Nativities were inspired by St. Francis, who was concerned that people did not understand the meaning of Christmas. In 1223 in Greccio, Italy he created the first live Nativity – he called it a crèche (French for cradle) Villagers played the parts and brought their animals. After Francis read the Gospel, he went over and picked up the baby, and held the baby in his arms
And so they understood: God became a baby – God became a human being – God became one of us!!!     An awesome thing!

3)      A Third Tradition – the Windows! So creative.  I was happy to see Macy’s is paying tribute to the 50th Anniversary of a Charlie Brown Christmas. Always a special place in my heart – 38 years ago a group of seminarians put the play on for about 300 inner city children – and who was Charlie Brown?
You know the story – Charlie Brown is directing the annual Christmas Play. He decides he needs a Christmas Tree for the set. He see lots of flashing, beautiful artificial trees. Then, he sees a tiny, skimpy looking real tree with a few branches and the needles falling off. CB said – “it seems to need a home.” All the children laughed at the tree, and finally, Charlie Brown says – “Doesn’t anyone know what Christmas is all about?”  That’s when Linus recites tonight’s Gospel.

“It seems to need a home” – sounds like an act of mercy  – isn’t this the Year of Mercy?
2 days ago, a Catholic Priest in Lexington Kentucky stood on the street dressed as a beggar. He held a sign: Will you help? Give/receive.   Anyone who gave him something received $100.00 in return.  One man said: now I can get my kids Christmas presents. A homeless man gave him $.50.   Blessed are the merciful-mercy shall be theirs!
One last great Christmas Tradition – what we are doing now -  Christmas  -  Christ Mass  -  Mass of Christ – Word becomes Flesh and Dwells Within Us!    How awesome is that?!     Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

4:00 p.m. in Church
4:00 p.m. in School
6:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.
10:30 a.m.
12:00 noon

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Ark of the Covenant

They called it the Exodus  --  their journey from slavery to freedom
In the course of the journey, a man named Moses was invited to climb a mountain.
Mount Sinai       There he would meet God.
On that mountain he received what is now called “the Decalogue” – the 10 Commandments – Laws that would keep the community on the path to God

The people of Israel treasured this gift from God and eventually built a container for them   Called it the “Ark of the Covenant”
Placed inside:  two tablets -  jar of manna – staff of Moses

They carried the Ark everywhere they went  - when they stopped they put it under a tent called the Tabernacle.  At times a cloud called the Glory of God would descend upon it   They called it the “Shekinah”

When David became King he took the Ark up to Jerusalem
Bible describes David   “dancing before the Lord”   “skirtao”
Later, his son, Solomon  - built a temple & the Ark was placed in the “Holy of Holies”

586 BC   Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem
2 Maccabees suggests that Jeremiah hid the ark in the mountains.
Everyone has been looking for the ark since them – including Indiana Jones.

Many years later, an angel appeared to a young woman of Nazareth
“Hail full of grace   -   the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you!”          “shekinah   same word!
Mary said - I am the handmaid of the Lord – let it be done to me according to thy word.
Moment of the Incarnation.
She becomes the dwelling place of God.       The ark in human form!!!

Mary – arose -  “anistemi”   same word for resurrection.   went across the hill country – to a place just outside Jerusalem.  Ein Kerin – where her cousin Elizabeth lived
Elizabeth said: “Blessed are you among woman” -   like David  John the Baptist leaped before the ark  “skirtao”

Theotokos  -  God bearer   bring God’s light, God’s joy!!!

Jewish Tradition – There is an Ark in every Synagogue – contains Torah scrolls
Every Catholic Church has a Tabernacle  -  holds the Eucharist  - true presence of Jesus

But both are limited by place
When WE Receive Holy Communion  -   we become Arks as it were
Like Mary, WE have the opportunity to bring Jesus wherever we go.

We can bring Jesus – Home, to school, the store, to the game, to work
We have purpose – God’s needs us to bring Jesus there!!!

God bearer!!!

An Article About Confession by Father Mike Schmitz

This is excellent and worth reading!

I was once riding on a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed I was a priest and started asking questions.
“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”
“Even the confession thing?”
“Yeah. All the time.”
One older lady gasped. “Well, I think that would be the worst. It would be so depressing hearing all about people’s sins.”
I told them it was the opposite. There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when he or she is coming back to God.
I said, “It would depressing if I had to watch people leave God; I get to be with them when they come back to him.”
The confessional is a place where people let God’s love win. The confessional is the most joyful, humbling and inspiring place in the world.
What do I see during confession?
I think there are three things.
First, I see the costly mercy of God in action. 
I get to regularly come face to face with the overwhelming, life-transforming power of God’s love. I get to see God’s love up-close, and it reminds me of how good God is.
Not many folks get to see the way in which God’s sacrifice on the cross is constantly breaking into people’s lives and melting the hardest hearts.
Jesus consoles those who are grieving their sins … and strengthens those who find themselves wanting to give up on God or on life.
As a priest, I get to see this thing happen every day.
I see a saint in the making.
The second thing I see is a person who is still trying — a saint in the making.
I don’t care if this is the person’s third confession this week; if he or she is seeking the sacrament of reconciliation, it means the person is trying.
That’s all I care about.
This thought is worth considering: going to confession is a sign that you haven’t given up on Jesus.
This is one of the reasons why pride is so deadly.
I have talked with people who tell me they don’t want to go to confession because their priest really likes them and “thinks I’m a good kid.”
I have two things to say to this.
  1. He will not be disappointed! What your priest will see is a person who is trying! I dare you to find a saint who didn’t need God’s mercy! (Even Mary needed God’s mercy; she received the mercy of God in a dramatic and powerful way at her conception. Boom. Lawyered.)
  2. So what if the priest is disappointed? We try to be so impressive with so much of our lives. Confession is a place where we don’t get to be impressive. Confession is a place where the desire to impress goes to die.
Think about it: all other sins have the potential to cause us to race to the confessional, but pride is the one that causes us to hide from the God who could heal us.
Do I remember your sins? No!
So often, people will ask if I remember people’s sin from confession. As a priest, I rarely, if ever, remember sins from the confessional. That might seem impossible, but the truth is, sins aren’t all that impressive. They aren’t like memorable sunsets or meteor showers or super-intriguing movie — they are more like the garbage.
And if sins are like garbage, then the priest is like God’s garbage man. If you ask a garbage man about the grossest thing he’s ever had to haul to the dump, maaaaaaybe he could remember it. But the fact is, once you get used to taking out the trash, it ceases to be noteworthy; it ceases to stand out.
Honestly, once you realize the sacrament of reconciliation is less about the sin and more about Christ’s death and resurrection having victory in a person’s life, the sins lose all their luster, and Jesus’ victory takes center stage.
In confession, we meet the life-transforming, costly love of God … freely given to us every time we ask for it.
We meet Jesus, who reminds us, “You are worth dying for … even in your sins, you are worth dying for.”
Whenever someone comes to confession, I see a person who is deeply loved by God and who is saying he or she loves him back.
That’s it, and that’s all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Funeral Mass - Donald F. Emmons, Sr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Donald Emmons on Saturday, December 19 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Virginia Claire Menchen

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Virginia Menchen on Friday, December 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Reconciliation Monday

All Parishes in the Archdiocese of New York will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday, December 14 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. Please take advantage of this opportunity to prepare our hearts and souls for Christmas!

Prepare The Way of the Lord!

Doing Christmas shopping – saw Santa, Frosty & Baby Jesus – no JB
On the way to Bethlehem – we must cross the Jordan River.
This is where we meet that unusual figure – John the Baptist
Some consider him the last and greatest 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      JB – June 24

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

1)      Teaches about 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 – things happen that I cannot control  -  Talk with nephew Kevin – you are praying for my Mom, right? Treatments will help & I will be with her next Friday – but you are praying, right?     I Need a Savior.   I need Eucharist  -  I need prayer  -   I need God!

2)      Teaches about Repentance
Elf on the shelf – a scout sent by Santa from the North Pole – helps Santa manage his naughty and nice list -  family adopts – goes to NP each night to make his report about what you were doing.
A tough one – I would not stand a chance  -  see: Baptist knows I will sin, but I also need a place to go so I can be forgiven!
Nothing like a good confession!!!  Reconciliation Monday. Monday 4-8

3) Teaches about Integrity
He was a person of principle & conviction – told the truth with love
Soldiers – nonbelievers – do not practice extortion, do not accuse anyone falsely.
Tax collectors - believers but not practicing – stop collecting more than prescribed
Faithful ones – whoever has 2 cloaks should share with the person who has none. Whoever has food should do likewise.
Walk the walk -   be the same person at church, in school, at home & work.

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.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception

Tuesday, December 8 is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be offered on Monday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Zita V. Losey

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Zita Losey on Saturday, December 5 at 12:30 p.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wedding - Robert Paone and Victoria Mapes

The Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Robert Paone and Victoria Mapes on Friday, December 4 at 4:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Back From Sabbatical

I have returned from my Sabbatical! It is good to be home. I am grateful to all of you for your patience and your prayers, and especially to Father Chris, Gary Bartilucci and our entire staff for carrying on in my absence. I am thankful for Father Emmanuel, who is now serving at the Church of St. Patrick in Highland Mills.
I had a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience. I lived in Rome and studied at the Institute for Continuing Education at the Pontifical North American College. I had the opportunity to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain and earn my “Compostella.” I lived in Lourdes, France for one week and served as Confessor. I concluded my time in Scotland with a visit to Iona Island. Thanksgiving Day found me praying at the Tomb of St. Columba.

I now look forward to celebrating with you the Birth of Our Savior and serving you in the New Year of 2016. Please know that throughout my Sabbatical you were never far from my thoughts and prayers. May God bless all of our parish families throughout this Holy Season!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wedding - Kulesza & Chainski

The Sacred Vows of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Martin Kulesza and Monica Chainski on Saturday, August 29 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Funeral Mass - Susan Califano

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Susan Califano on Friday, August 28 at 12:00 noon. Please pray for her and for her family.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Funeral Mass - Michael Troccoli

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michael Troccoli on Saturday, August 22 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Funeral Mass - Elizabeth "Betty" Sehrt

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth Sehrt on Saturday, August 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Paul Weimann

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Paul Weimann on Friday, August 21 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Marian Emerson

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Marian Emerson on Friday, August 21 at 9:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pilgrimage To Italy - July 30 - August 8

On Thursday, July 30, I will lead a group of 22 parishioners and friends from other parishes on a Pilgrimage to Italy. Our time in Italy will include Mass at San Giovanni Rotundo (St. Padre Pio), at the Tomb of St. Peter, at the Tomb of St. Paul, and in the Catacombs of St. Callixtus. A highlight will be an Audience with Pope Francis. Please pray for us and know that we will carry your intentions in our hearts and offer them to God at the Altar each day.

Wedding = James Chappas and Nicole Oliva

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony will be received by James Chappas and Nicole Oliva on Friday, August 7 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Wedding - Greg Brown and Annette McCormick

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony will be received by Greg Brown and Annette McCormick on Sunday, August 2 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Funeral Mass - John J. Cleary

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of John J. Cleary on Thursday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Signs of Civilization

Back in 2006, a number of teams were climbing Mount Everest. It cost months of preparation and thousands of dollars. A man named David Sharp could go no further. Incapacitated, he was left on the side of the path. Over 40 climbers did not stop to help. It resulted in his death. A few days later, a 50 year old climber, Lincoln Hall, was left for dead by his team and passed by many other climbers. But Dan Mazur’s team stopped. They brought him down – which cost them their chance to climb Mt Everest. They saw someone in need, and did not pass by

This is something we tried to teach our teens and young adults on our Midnight Run. Last Wednesday, we visited with our homeless friends. Usually people walk right past them. Last Wednesday, we did not. Your gifts of food, clothing and toiletries were gratefully received.  You would have been very proud of our teens and young adults. They treated our homeless brother and sisters with compassion.

Margaret Meade – Anthropologist – was asked – what is the first sign of civilization? Is it a clay pot, a fishing hook or a grinding stone – “a healed femur (thigh bone)”    It means that someone cared. It means that someone who was injured was taken care of, was allowed to heal.

I wonder what she would say about the actions of Planned Parenthood?  Is this a mark of civilization? – is this how we should care for our most vulnerable ones - our innocent babies? By the distribution of their body parts for money?

The multiplication of loaves and fish is remarkable on many levels:
-         It is the only miracle found in all four gospels.
-         It is a sign of the Lord’s love (Mt 25 when I was hungry, you gave me food)
-         It shows what can be done if someone shares – boy with 5 loaves & 2 fish is generous. The Lord can take it and multiply it.
-         It teaches us about the power of Jesus – the Son of God who can create and bring new life.
-         It points to what we are doing today – all around the world the Bread is being multiplied and Jesus continues to feed his people in the Eucharist – so that we might live forever. 

Jesus fed his people spiritually and physically. Might the same be said of us!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wedding - Christopher Hernandez and Natalie Derario

The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony will be received by Christopher Hernandez and Natalie Derario on Saturday, July 25 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married!

Come Away, Be Renewed, Sharpen Your Ax!

A missionary had a long trip to his mission station in Africa.. He needed help carrying supplies. So he hired a number of men to assist him. After three days the men stopped and refused to go further.
We are waiting for our spirits to catch up!

Jesus said Come with me to an out of the way place to rest a little. Let your spirit catch up.

-          this does not always work. Interruptions.
Monk at prayer – had prayed all his life for a vision. And this day, Jesus appeared to him. But at that moment, the bell rang. It was his job to care for the poor who cvame to the monastery for help. What should he do? He had been waiting his whole life for this.
Got up and attended to his duties – came back, the vision was still there – the Lord told him, I would have left if you did not attend to those in need.
Interruption are opportunities.

But still need to try to get away a bit.
A balance needed   St. Benedict   ora et labora      prayer & work
3rd commandment – keep holy the Lord’s day
the Sabbath rest – not just going on vacation, but a time to reconnect to inner self and to God.
So busy – find ways to make it work.

- early morning    Office  Psalms    Scripture
-          daily Mass for some
-          car    -  ipod invaluable
-          doctor’s office with dad
-          brief visits to church
-          walk & pray rosary   review life & who needs prayers
-          end of day examination

 Wood chopping contest

One fellow worked all day except for lunch break.
Other fellow took breaks   -   at end of day, he had more cut wood – how?
During the breaks, I sharpened my ax.

So, come away bit by bit, sharpen ax, be renewed!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Funeral Mass - Siranosh Brikha

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Siranosh Brikha on Monday, July 20 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wedding - Scott Kimball & Angela Calvano

The Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Scott Kimball and Angela Calvano on Saturday, July 18 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Your #1 Priority?

In a 1968 poll of college students – 83% listed their # 1 priority – Developing a meaningful life philosophy
In a recent poll of college students – 75% listed their #1 priority – Make money.

Now – what happens if they don’t make a lot of money – are they failures?
Or – they make a lot of money and realize – it is no guarantee of happiness?

Jairus – is a leader of the synagogue – well to do – his daughter is ill – and despite everything he has – all he wants is that his daughter be healed.,
Woman – been to many doctors – all she wishes for is good health. Makes you realize what is most important!

1)     Realized they could go to Jesus.
Great power of intercessory prayer
Man named Bruno - Lived way out in rural area – used mail order.
Noticed check box – if we don’t have item in stock, may we substitute a similar item?   One time he checked it – and received item worth twice the amount.
Bruno always made sure to check the box.
As he thought about it – good way to pray – God, feel free to substitute!

2)     Jesus would not reject them
The woman who approaches him was considered unclean
Jesus does the unexpected. He has time for her, wants to learn who it is, calls her “Daughter”   In world where you are judged by who you know, what you have, where you work – Jesus is there for us!

3)     Difference the Church can  make – Jesus accompanied by his disciples. They would together make a difference.
Jessica drove herself 25 miles to the hospital. She had to stop several time to get sick at the side of the road. Spent full day in emergency room. Was asked later why she didn’t call friends. All working, and nothing they could do anyway.
Friend said – Listen – every child always runs to others when they fall down.
Jessie said – I’ve never understood that. It’s silly. Kissing a boo boo doesn’t help the pain at all.
Friend – Jessie, it doesn’t help the pain – it helps the loneliness.
Our parish says you are not alone – Intention Book – St. Vincent De Paul – Ministry of Care – Midnight Run – opportunity to make food for homeless

One final thought about our Church as we try to understand the Supreme Court decision about marriage - The Court has now changed the definition of Marriage given to us by God. The Court has been mistaken before e.g. Roe v Wade - We ask our great country now for the    Freedom to practice what we believe!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Welcome Bishop Peter Byrne!

Bishop Peter Byrne, Episcopal Vicar for Dutchess County, will offer the 10:30 a.m. Mass this Sunday. We welcome Bishop Peter to St. Columba Church!

Funeral Mass - Maria Lombardozzi

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Maria Lombardozzi on Friday, June 26 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Staff Reflection Day

Our Parish Offices will be closed on Wednesday so that we can all participate in our Staff Reflection Day. This will give us an opportunity to share our experiences of the past year and to plan for next year. It will also be an opportunity for prayer. Please pray for us and know that we will be praying for you!

Father's Day

Three major stories this week;
Pope’s Encyclical on the Environment, terrible shooting in Charleston, Father’s Day
A brief reflection on each:
1) First Encyclical – 180 pages long, we are going to need time to read it.
Dan Burke CNN – Ten Commandments On Climate Change
1)    Be humble – We are not the center of the universe – not in control
2)    Think of future generations.
3)    Embrace alternate energy sources
4)    Consider pollution’s effect on the poor/
5)    Take the bus or train
6)    Don’t be a slave to your phone
7)    Do not trade on line relationships for real ones.
8)    Turn off lights – recycle – don’t waste food.
9)    Educate ourselves.
10)                      Believe you can make a difference.

2)    Charleston – A terrible crime – there is no place for hate!!!!
Today the nation witnessed one of the most extraordinary scenes ever in an American courtroom.
Families of the nine people gunned down during a Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina faced the alleged killer and told him about the precious lives that were wrenched away from them.
And many in these deeply religious families forgave him, because that is what their religion teaches.
Ethel Lance, 70, left five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren behind. A daughter spoke for the family.
"I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul," she said. "It hurts me, it hurts a lot of people, but God forgive you and I forgive you."
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, was a mother of four. A sister spoke for the family.
"We have no room for hate. We have to forgive. I pray God on your soul. And I also thank God that I won't be around when your judgment day comes with him," she said.
3)    Father’s Day – a day to remember how important you are to us!!!
We need you to love your wives!  We need you to turn your hearts toward your children – not just money & material things but your time!
We pray you open your hearts to Christ – my best memory of my dad when I was young was having him kneel down next to our beds to say our bedtime prayers with us.

For all of us dads, grandfather’s, god fathers, foster fathers – who have been called to be role models.
Story about my nephew Kevin – now entering senior year in college. When he was a little guy – we were at the beach.  I decided to take a walk – a heard my sister’s voice – Michael, look – there was Kevin following me – but not just following me – he was walking in my footprints-

What a powerful moment – may we lead our children in the right path!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Funeral Mass - Andrea (Jake) D'Avanzo

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of the soul of Andrea D'Avanzo on Wednesday, June 17 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Family

Oscar Romero was beatified just 3 weeks ago – on the road to sainthood  – declared by Pope Francis a martyr for the faith.
Today’s Gospel reminds me of the words of Archbishop Romero:
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
The mustard seed.
I am often reminded - this is the role of parent – to plant the seeds of faith.
How is this done?
-       Family centered on love, service and prayer
-       Encouraging parents to be committed to each other in Holy Matrimony.
-       To build up our own domestic churches
-       For all – married or not – to be fruitful : godparents, uncles, aunts, coaches, teachers.
-       To be homes for wounded hearts – love unconditionally
Some practical ways:
1)   Our parish needs to welcome all families, including single parents, the divorced and those with disabilities
2)   Volunteer on behalf of young people
3)   Defend the Sacrament of Marriage
4)   Donate to St. Vincent de Paul or other programs that help families
5)   Consider Ministry of Care, especially making emergency meals
6)   Prayer with children
7)   Read about saints and choose a family patron saint
8)   Support a crisis pregnancy center like Birthright or CareNet
9)   Commit to regular family meals, and pray for families around the world.
10)                     Include grandparents, aunts &uncles in family gatherings.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Funeral Mass - Rose Marie Belluzzi

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Rose Marie Belluzzi on Monday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Corpus Christi

Metropolitan Diary

Shopping at corner fruit stand.
Noticed a homeless woman looking over the fruits and vegetables.
Went up to her – would you like to choose something?
Oh – I would like a bunch of those green grapes
Great    vendor picked them out and put in a bag and gave to homeless woman
She looked in the bag then at the woman who paid for them.
“You know – this is a lot of grapes. Won’t you share them with me?”
So they stood on the sidewalk eating grapes with a woman whose generosity surpassed her own.

Such generosity
Generosity of the one who fed 5,000     – gives himself to us forever in the Eucharist..

Taught as young boy – stop and visit our parish church to pray before Blessed Sacrament Tolkien  – fall in love, by grace of God have not fallen out.

Learned many other ways the Church shows this love
-          Mass every day
-          Adoration
-          Bring to the sick
-          Viaticum for the final journey.

We do our part when -
- Go to confession if in mortal sin
- Keeping the fast
- Being on time
- Proper clothing
- Reverence – genuflect when coming and going
- Receiving with both hands and with clean hands.

Another aspect equally important
Father John Donahue  Jesuit
Breakfast one day with a Muslim student in Lebanon
Asks about Catholic teaching on the Eucharist
Tried to talk about Real Presence – did not seem to be the answer.
“What is your most basic problem with the Eucharist?”
“If Catholics really believed they received the Body and Blood of Christ together – would they treat each other the way they do?”

So we go back to the lesson of the grapes

A challenge for all who receive the Eucharist!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Funeral Mass - Robert D. Finney

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Robert Finney on Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Tuition Tax Credit

Dear colleagues,

As you may know, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan has made passage of the Education Tax Credit (ETC) the Archdiocese’s top legislative priority. The ETC is a bill being considered by lawmakers in Albany that would increase scholarships for nonpublic school children; provide tax credits to tuition-paying families; help teachers with out-of-pocket classroom expenses; and increase funding for programming in public schools.

The ETC is of critical importance to our Catholic school system and can help more children receive the faith-based education that we provide. I am asking for your support in getting this legislation passed into law. Please visit to connect directly with your elected officials and urge them to pass the Education Tax Credit before the end of the legislative session.  Please do not delay, there are only a few days left!

Thank you for your support.

Timothy J. McNiff, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Funeral Mass - Conrad Guidice

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Conrad Guidice on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Holy Trinity "Day By Day"

St. Augustine was walking along a beach – reflecting upon God & the Trinity.
Saw a boy who was making a lake in the sand – ever try that? – running back and forth to the sea.   He asks the boy – “what are you doing?”  “I’m moving the sea!”
“Well, it can’t be done.” 
“How can you think that you can empty the depths of God?”

How can we say we understand God completely?
And yet, like any relationship, new things are always being revealed.

Some might remember the musical “Godspell” from 1970?
A well known song was “Day By Day”
Day by day, O dear Lord three things I pray.
-          to see thee more clearly
-          to love thee more dearly
-          follow thee more nearly
Day by day.

This song was not written for Broadway.     Chee-Chester
It is a prayer written by St. Richard of Chichester, a 13th century English saint.
Perhaps it can reveal to us bit more about the Trinity.

1)      To see thee more clearly
After my ordination, my sisters and I took our first trip to Ireland – the country where our parents were born.
This is your uncle, this is your aunt, this is your cousin.
Became part of a community – all who had a relationship to my Father.
Trinity – a community of persons – we are united to one another by our Father our Creator

2)      To love thee more dearly
Damien de Veuster – now St. Damien of Moloki
Had an amazing ministry to the leper colony on Island of Moloki in Hawaii.
One day, after a long trek around the island, put his aching feet into a tub of warm water. One foot did not feel the heat. He had contracted leprosy.
Began his homily – “we lepers.”  He became one with them.
God takes flesh and becomes one of us – Jesus, our Redeemer

3)      To follow thee more nearly
A group of spiritual seekers were looking for God – “help us find God” they asked the holy woman.     She said – “No one can help you find the place where God is.”
Why not?
“For the same reason that no one can help a fish find the ocean.”
We are enveloped in the presence of God – the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier

And so we offer: the Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester
Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus, for all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pain and insults Thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Savior, Friend and brother, may I
See thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,

Day by Day.    Amen.