Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reconciliation Monday

All Parishes in Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties will offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday, March 30 from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m. Please take advantage of this excellent opportunity to go to Confession and experience the Lord's Mercy! 

Who Are We?

Hard to understand – hailed as King – few days later He is mocked, given a crown of thorns and led off to be crucified.
So many had experienced His miracles – where were they now?
Shows – Miracles without Faith means nothing - Faith is what matters!
Truly a cast of characters:
Judas – betrayed with a kiss
Peter – three times denies Him – I don’t even know the man.
The Twelve – All except John abandoned Him.
False witnesses – willing to lie.
Leaders – not open to the Truth
Pilate – knows the truth but washes his hands.
Soldiers – took away His dignity

Others –
Simon of Cyrene – helped to carry the Cross
Veronica – wiped His face
His Mother – stayed close by
Mary Magdalene – remained faithful
Good Thief Dismas – This day you will be with me in paradise!
Centurion – Truly this was the Son of God.
Which one are we – maybe a little bit of all?!!

A good question to ask for Holy Week!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Holy Week begins this Sunday. We begin the Palm Sunday Liturgy remembering the Lord's entrance into Jerusalem. Then, we recall how He suffered in Jerusalem during the Reading of the Passion According to Mark. Please join us as we recall the saving events of Holy Week!

Saturday Evening - 5:30 p.m.
Sunday - 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:00 noon

Thanks For Prayers!

I met with my surgeon this week. There have been no complications and I am free to genuflect and play golf all I want! Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Parish Mission

We offer a warm welcome to Msgr. Joseph Martin. He will lead our Parish Mission this week.

Monday, March 23
Mission Mass at 12:00 noon
Mission Hour at 7:30 p.m. - "God's Love" Concludes with Exposition and Benediction.

Tuesday, March 24
Mission Mass at 12:00 noon
Mission Hour at 7:30 p.m. - "Forgiveness" Confessions will be available - five priests available.

Wednesday, March 25
Mission Mass at 12:00 noon
Mission Hour at 7:30 p.m. - "God's Healing" Anointing of the Sick will be available. Concludes with Exposition and Benediction.

All Welcome! Bring a Friend!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Funeral Mass - Ann Spero

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ann Spero on Saturday, March 21 at 9:30 a.m. Please pray for Ann and for her family.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Funeral Mass - Phyllis Hill

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Phyllis Hill on Monday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Caduceus - The Cross

Three years ago - Great Britain argued before the European Court of Human Rights that Christians do not have the right to wear a crucifix openly at work.
It is not a requirement of faith – therefore employers can ban wearing it and fire those who insist on doing so.

Thankfully, two years ago- the Court ruled against Britain – you can wear a cross – but not health care workers – due to hygiene and safety reasons.

The cross – In the early Church, Christians DID NOT want to wear one.
Go to catacombs -  no crosses – more like Xst the Good Shepherd.
Too close in time to Jesus’ Crucifixion – plus Romans still used crucifixion.
Only in time could they look at it again.  Began to take off when St. Helen discovered the True Cross in Jerusalem.

Today’s Gospel Recalls the Exodus story – snakes biting people – Moses was told: mount the snake on a pole and anyone who looks at it will be healed. Became symbol of medical profession.   Caduceus
Strange – that which was the instrument of death now becomes the instrument of life.      Discovered in my own life – afraid of dark – luminous crucifix.

Particular devotions began to develop. Sign of the Cross – crucifix in church - Stations.  Via Crusis – Via Dolorosa  (sorrow)   Began obviously in Jerusalem – Franciscans had idea of bringing it to churches     “We adore you O Christ and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”  St. Francis

Pilate washing hands, Soldiers mocking, Meeting his mother, Simon steps in to help, Veronica wipes his face, Mary Magdalene & John stay close by, Joseph of Aramethea gives own tomb.

1)     Look what he did for us -  God so loved the world . . .
2)     We all have a share of the cross    Church is a meeting of cross bearers . . . look around you,  no one here without splinters in shoulders.
3)     Difference we can make ..  help others carry cross     a support group for people with weighty crosses. 

So, we live by sign of the cross – prayer, around our necks, meeting rooms, homes, offices, classrooms, hospital rooms.

At Gate of Heaven – no passport, ID, drivers license, no money, no wallet --  just the  sign of the cross.

The Pope announces an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, 13 March 2015, in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis declared the celebration of an extraordinary Holy year. The Jubilee announcement was made during the homily of the penitential celebration with which he opened the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative. This “Jubilee of Mercy” will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican Basilica on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, and will conclude on November 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
The papal Bull will be made public on Divine Mercy Sunday, 12 April, the Feast day instituted by St. John Paul II and celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Cleansing of the Temple

The Cleansing of the Temple
Actually the Third temple
-          1st - Solomon
-          2nd - Destroyed and  rebuilt After Babylonian Exile  539 BC
-          3rd - Temple of Herod.    Destroyed in 70   all left is Wailing Wall.

They were people of the Covenant – 10 commandments
First three – honor and worship God.  One of the ways was to come to Jerusalem
to offer sacrifice, especially on Passover

1) Come a long way, would find it easier to purchase animals there.
But animals had to be without blemish – would not quickly certify animals from outside – so they had a cornered market.
2) Also – money be changed into shekels  -  was unclean - could not have pagan images.
Would charge a high rate of exchange.
3) All the buying and selling out of hand.  -  who could even pray with all the noise????

All this gave Jesus a righteous anger  -  some anger is good anger – for a good purpose – like Selma – to work for the right to vote
Jesus said: “my house shall be a house of prayer.”
Time for a radical cleaning.     Cleaned out the temple

This Scripture has a significant place in Lent
St. Paul wrote -  “Are you not a temple of the Holy Spirit?”
Time for cleaning of our temple!
The Perfect Instrument  -  Sacrament of Reconciliation

Father Christopher Walsh 
Some excuses:
1) Feelings of guilt and shame    -   face truth. Truth is difficult   I may have to change.
      Remember – all about the mercy of God who forgives & welcomes us back!

2) Vatican II changes  -   do I have to go face to face, how about old act of contrition
                                                go the way you always did.

3) May not know what to confess -   Sometimes children – I have no sins .  What if we were to ask Mom??? examine your conscience every day
                                                Look to 10 commendment as a helpful guide.

4) Why tell a priest?    Not a intermediary, but a mediator – a channel of the power of the Holy Spirit   -   You leave knowing, without question, you are forgiven

Godfather III
Don Corleone tells Cardinal legitimate deal with Vatican bank gone sour
Pick up stone  “It has been lying in water a very long time. The water has not penetrated it.. Smashes it  Look – perfectly dry. Same has happened to the men of Europe – surrounded by Christianity for centuries, but Christ does not live in their hearts.””
This is what we call a hardened heart.

Why not invite Jesus into our hearts for Lent? Cleanse the Temple – Get ready for Easter!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cardinal Egan's Funeral Arrangements

After consultation with the family, the following funeral arrangements have been made for Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop-Emeritus , who died yesterday.  
Reception of the Body – St. Patrick’s Cathedral 
Private Family Visitation 
10 am – 12 pm 
Cardinal Egan’s body will be received by his family and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (5th Avenue and 51 st Street) at the Fifth Avenue entrance which will be followed by a private visitation for the family until noon. Media may cover the reception of the body from outside on 5th Avenue.  They may not enter the Cathedral during the private visitation. 
Public Visitation - St. Patrick’s Cathedral 
12 pm – 6 pm 
Vigil Mass - St. Patrick’s Cathedral 
6 pm 
Visitation continues after Mass until 9 pm. 
Public Visitation - St. Patrick’s Cathedral 
7 am – 11 am (public visitation ends) 
Funeral Mass 
Procession: 1:30 pm 
Mass: 2:00 pm 
Entombment: immediately following Mass beneath the Cathedral High Altar 
Cardinal Dolan will offer the Funeral Mass as the main celebrant and will deliver the homily. 
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: 
The Inner-City Scholarship Fund 
The Restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

Edward Cardinal Egan - Rest In Peace

Vatican City, 6 March 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A., for the death of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, archbishop emeritus of the same diocese. He recalls with gratitude “his years of episcopal ministry among Christ's flock in Bridgeport and New York, his distinguished service to the Apostolic See, and his expert contribution to the revision of the Church's law in the years following the Vatican Council II”, and, commending the late Cardinal's soul to God, imparts his apostolic blessing to all those participating in his funeral, held in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Funeral Mass - Frank Hoffman

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank Hoffman on Friday, March 6 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Annual Retreat

Archdiocesan priests are required to make an annual retreat. Most of us are delighted to do so. How can we feed our people unless we ourselves are being fed? I will be on my annual retreat this week Monday to Friday March 2 - 6. Please pray for me and know that I will be praying for the parishioners of St. Columba Parish.

Transfiguration - "Listen To Him"

Anna White was a Parishioner of St. Julian’s Church in Chicago. When she reached 106th birthday she was asked by a reporter - what is her secret?
She said: “There is no secret. I live by my rules. When I go to sleep, I tell God my problems. He tells me what to do. I keep waking up – so I guess God’s happy with how I’m listening to Him.”     How I’m listening to him!

Today’s Readings are a Tale of Two Mountains - Mount Moriah    &   Mount Tabor
In the Bible – Mountains are mysterious places of encounter with God.

1) Mt. Moriah    -  Where is it?  Jerusalem at the site of  the Western Wall & Dome of Rock              Recall --  First covenant was made with Abraham – our Father in Faith
Promise of covenant shown in birth of Issac in their old age 75 years old
Sarah laughed – called him Yitzhak = Issac = laughter
But now Abraham is called to offer  “your son Issac, your only one, whom you love” as an offering to God.    A terrible dilemma.
- If he refuses - he will turn his back on the one who promised to make him a great nation
-         If he goes through with it, this promise will also be cut off!
In this darkness - Abraham decides to “Listen To God” 

2)  - Mt. Tabor   up near the Galilee
A few days before this, Jesus asked:   --  Who do people say that I am      Elijah, John the Baptist, prophet
Who do you say that I am?     Peter – Messiah
Jesus - This Messiah must suffer, die on the cross, and rise 3 days later
Peter – this cannot be    Get behind me, Satan  - you are talking not as God does, but as people do.    (You Are Not Listening”)

6 days later Jesus takes them up Mt Tabor – he is transfigured    -  turned inside out so divinity is revealed. How He looked at Resurrection!
Father – this is my beloved son   LISTEN TO HIM!!!
There will be darkness  – crucifixion!   – but there will be light 

Get on a plane – go through safety routine – do you listen?  Except for this flight – we may have a problem with the landing gear – lets go through what can happen – everyone is listening now.   Why listen – best interests at heart –- want to save us -  doesn’t Jesus?!

Try Listening to the One who can save our lives and our souls!

Anna White was asked – what is your secret?  It’s no secret – I listen to God!