Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wedding - Laura Rella and David Macagrone

The Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Laura Rella and David Macagrone on Friday, May 1 at 3:30 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married. 

Funeral Mass - Kathleen Vaccarino-Abruso

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kathleen Vaccarino-Abruso on Friday, May 1 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

First Communion and Confirmation

This week the Sacrament of Confirmation will be offered by Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, the founding Pastor of St. Columba, on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. The Sacrament of First Holy Communion will be offered on Saturday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m. Please pray for our Confirmandi and our First Communicants!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Good Shepherd Sunday

Growing up – listened to a victrola  - played records at 78.
Vinyl – needle  -  out this big horn.
I am old   you don’t think so.

Bit of history – 1898  British artist Francis Barraud painted a little white dog listening to a horn – part of an invention called a gramophone
Victor Talking Machine Co chose the painting as its trademark.

In 1929 – they were brought out by RCA -  became RCA Victor  -  so gramophone became a Victrola – and the painting of the little dog became famous!

Title of painting  “His Master’s Voice”
So many voices -  so hard to hear the Good Shepherd’s Voice!
Hear his voice!

Mother Teresa was visiting the United Nations
Approached by a diplomat
I am not a Catholic, but I ask you, Mother, how should I pray?
She grabbed hold of one of his hands and spread out his five fingers

When you pray, think of the blessings that you have received.
Then, at the end of the day count out these words on your five fingers:
“You did this for me.”    Then listen . . .
He held up his hand and repeated – “you did this for me.”

Often the Voice of the Shepherd is a call – follow me  - what return can I make for all the Lord has done for me?      World Day of Prayer for Vocations

In May and June 595 to be ordained priests for the USA – up 100
Average age  34
1/4 born outside the US
51% - Catholic school
78% altar servers
61% had full time jobs before they entered the seminary
Most encouraged by – in this order:  Priest, Parishioner, Friend, Mother, Father
About 50%  were told not to follow this path by family, friends or people they went to school with.

I am often asked – why?  A great way to spend life – feel you make a difference every day – close to God and meet many great people!!! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have another vocation from St. Columba?!!!

Hear my voice!!!    Listen!!!!       Follow me!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Funeral Mass - Frances Messina

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frances Messina on Friday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Theresa Kaps

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Theresa Kaps on Wednesday, April 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Funeral Mass - Pauline Pellettieri

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Pauline Pellettieri on Monday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family. Her daughter, Toni, was a long time secretary at St. Columba.

He Showed Them His Hands!

Story is told of a Missionary sent to Burma, had to ask permission of the king.
King looked him over
No, not you. My people are not foolish enough to listen to your preaching, but they will notice those calloused, work scarred hands.

Toward the end of my parent’s lives, I began to to notice their hands more and more. I can still picture them very clearly. How many meals she made! How much wash! How much work! All the cuts he used to have!

Jesus disciples were hearing confusing stories about resurrection.
Made up?  A ghost?
He comes before them – look at my hands & feet, It is really I!

You might think that the resurrected body was without blemish.   Shock at scars!!!
Yet, those scars helped disciples recognize him!                                        How he suffered!
It showed them it was the same person who was crucified.
It is a proof of his love.

People who care about others pick up a lot of wounds.    Outside and in.
No wounds – I wonder – was there nothing worth suffering for???

Amazing about hands.

Fist rage
Point finger
Wrap in embrace
Shake hand
Slam a door
Feed hunger
Steal from store
Bring joy
Bring sorrow

WWII – Story of a bombed out church. People went through wreckage – armless Sacred Heart – guess we have to get a new one – next day, someone put a sign – you are the hands!

Say you are a believer – that Christ is Risen.
Then other should be able to look at our hands and say!

look at his hands / look at her hands

Christ is truly Risen!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Funeral Mass - Donald McGrath, Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Donald McGrath on Friday, April 17 at 10:30 p.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Presentation of the Annuarium Pontificium

Vatican City, 16 April 2015 (VIS) – The Annuarium Pontificium 2015 and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2013 have been issued this morning. The former reveals some new aspects of the life of the Church that have emerged between February 2014 and February 2015, and the latter illustrates the changes that took place in 2013.
The statistics referring to the year 2013, show the dynamics of the Catholic Church in the world's 2,989 ecclesiastical circumscriptions. It may be seen that in this period one diocese and two eparchies have been elevated to the level of metropolitan sees; three new episcopal sees, three eparchies and one archiepiscopal exarchate have been erected; one territorial prelature has been elevated to a diocese, and one apostolic prefecture to an apostolic vicariate.
Since 2005, the number of Catholics worldwide has increased from 1,115 million to 1,254 million, an increase of 139 million faithful. During the last two years, the presence of baptised Catholics in the world has increased from 17.3% to 17.7%.
There has been a 34% increase in Catholics in Africa, which has experienced a population increase of 1.9% between 2005 and 2013. The increase of Catholics in Asia (3.2% in 2013, compared to 2.9% in 2005) has been higher than that of population growth in Asia. In America Catholics continue to represent 63% of a growing population. In Europe, where the population is stagnant, there has been a slight increase in the number of baptised faithful in recent years. The percentage of baptised Catholics in Oceania remains stable although in a declining population.
From 2012 to 2013 the number of bishops has increased by 40 from 5,133 to 5,173. In North America and Oceania there has been a reduction of 6 and 5 bishops respectively, in contrast to an increase of 23 in the rest of the American continent, 5 in Africa, 14 in Asia and 9 in Europe.
The number of priests, diocesan and religious, increased from 414,313 in 2012 to 415,348 in 2013.
Candidates to the priesthood – diocesan and religious – dropped from 120,616 in 2011 to 118,251 in 2013 (-2%). An increase of 1.5% is recorded in Africa, compared to a decrease of 0.5% in Asia, 3.6% in Europe and 5.2% in North America.
The number of permanent deacons continues to grow well, passing from 33,391 in 2005 to 43,000 in 2013. They are present in North America and Europe in particular (96.7%), with the remaining 2.4% distributed between Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The number of professed religious other than priests has grown by 1%, from 54,708 in 2005 to 55,000 in 2013. They have increased in number in Africa by 6% and Asia by 30%, and decreased in America (2,8%), Europe (10.9%) and Oceania (2%). The significant reduction in women religious is affirmed: currently 693,575 compared to 760,529 in 2005: -18.3% in Europe, -17.1 % in Oceania, and -15.5 in America. However, an increase of 18% in Africa and 10% in Asia is recorded.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Jubilee of Mercy





Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. The Father, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.

We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.

At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church; a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.

The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. So he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.

On the following Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome – that is, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – will be opened. In the following weeks, the Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened. On the same Sunday, I will announce that in every local Church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year. At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any Shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.

I have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. With the Council, the Church entered a new phase of her history. The Council Fathers strongly perceived, as a true breath of the Holy Spirit, a need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way. The walls which too long had made the Church a kind of fortress were torn down and the time had come to proclaim the Gospel in a new way. It was a new phase of the same evangelization that had existed from the beginning. It was a fresh undertaking for all Christians to bear witness to their faith with greater enthusiasm and conviction. The Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world.

We recall the poignant words of Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity … The Catholic Church, as she holds high the torch of Catholic truth at this Ecumenical Council, wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness toward her separated children.” Blessed Paul VI spoke in a similar vein at the closing of the Council: “We prefer to point out how charity has been the principal religious feature of this Council … the old story of the Good Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the Council … a wave of affection and admiration flowed from the Council over the modern world of humanity. Errors were condemned, indeed, because charity demanded this no less than did truth, but for individuals themselves there was only admonition, respect and love. Instead of depressing diagnoses, encouraging remedies; instead of direful predictions, messages of trust issued from the Council to the present-day world. The modern world’s values were not only respected but honoured, its efforts approved, its aspirations purified and blessed … Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channeled in one direction, the service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need.”

With these sentiments of gratitude for everything the Church has received, and with a sense of responsibility for the task that lies ahead, we shall cross the threshold of the Holy Door fully confident that the strength of the Risen Lord, who constantly supports us on our pilgrim way, will sustain us. May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of believers in cooperating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy....

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Thanks For Your Prayers

We learned last night that my Aunt, Roseann McManus, passed away in Liverpool, England. May God rest her soul. She was so good, sweet, gentle and holy. Now the four children of Michael and Alice McLoughlin are gone home to God. We will miss them. Thanks for your prayers for the McManus, McLoughlin and Morton Families at this time.

Divine Mercy

Spent a couple of nights in Washington
Wanted to see cherry blossoms & special art exhibit on Mary.

Visited Ford’s Theatre – where President Lincoln was shot 150 years ago this Tuesday. First President assassinated.

What could have been? – so many wanted to punish the South – but not Lincoln.
Just 1 month before, he spoke these words at his Inauguration:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Today is called Divine Mercy Sunday. Began by John Paul II   15 years ago.
Our Lord had Risen from the tomb, and He met many people who had treated him badly.
The apostles and disciples had run away and left him.     Peter denied him.
The only ones at the cross were his mother, the holy women & John.
But instead of condemning them, he was merciful and kind.
Remember the good thief on the cross - Jesus, remember me . . .
Today you will be with me in paradise . . .
Or his words - Father, forgive them . ..

2000 - JP II canonized St. Faustina. She has furthered our understanding of Divine Mercy.
She wrote that  - even at the moment of death - God extends his hand in mercy
This gives so many of us great hope when our relatives and friends leave this life unprepared..
Christ calls all souls at the moment of death and offers the grace of conversion.
They are, of course free to receive it or reject it.

We see the beautiful image of Divine Mercy - really an alternate image of the Sacred Heart
Flowing from heart - rays.
Remember soldier took lance and pierced Jesus heart - out flowed blood and water.
Red = blood = Eucharist
White = water = baptism
Loving heart of Savior calls - come for forgiveness, healing & salvation

1) Ask for mercy
Whose sins you forgive and forgiven them
St. Faustina was told:
- when you approach confession. Know that I myself am waiting there for you.
- I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul
- Here the misery of the soul meets the mercy of God

2) Be merciful
Thomas let me see your hands and feet
If we are followers, lets see your hands!

3) Completely trust in Jesus!
He has broken power of death - wants us to be with him forever.
It is all about mercy!!!

If you are free, join us at 3pm for Divine Mercy Service,

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Funeral Mass - Diane Hansen

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Diane Hansen on Monday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wedding - Brian Restaino and Katherine Chaloux

Brian Restaino and Katherine Chaloux will exchange the Vows of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Lord Is Risen!!!

Congratulations to Anna, and Kim, who will be baptized and receive First Communion and Confirmation. Congratulations also to Thomas, Robert, Meagan and Brian who will receive First Communion & Confirmation.   And to Ruth, ToniLisa, Joseph, Brian and Melony who will be confirmed.

Remember playing Flashlight Tag  -  Red Light, Green Light   -  Freeze Tag?
There are moments in all of our lives that are frozen in time and frozen in our memories. They can be good moments, or bad moments. Moments of utter joy and moments of profound grief.

That first kiss.   -   Yes, I will marry you.
A look on the doctor's face.   -   The birth of a child   –    Loss of a job
Graduation  -   The end of a life.

"DEFINING" moments some folks might call them. As we gather on this Easter we celebrate THE DEFINING moment of our Christian faith –
We call it - the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What Is the Resurrection?
-         Some say it is a metaphor – Jesus was still alive in their hearts and minds. He will live on in your memory
-         Some – another way to speak of the rebirth of nature after the death of winter. caterpillars to butterflies and frozen earth to green shoots.
-         Some – his legacy will live on. Jesus will live on, just like the writings of Shakespeare or the music of Beethoven.
Although it is comforting -    THIS IS NOT ENOUGH

First - Understand that Jesus was not asleep. He was dead, really dead. The Romans knew what they were doing.  He died on the Cross. His mother held him in her arms. His body was placed in a tomb.                On the first day of the week they came to the tomb and it was empty – most logical that the body was stolen – what other explanation could there be?

The angel said: “He is not here. He has been raised!”
Something new and overwhelming had happened. The one who was dead WALKED OUT OF THE TOMB. He took on a completely new form of human life. Not a return to normal life – subject to death – but a new life – no longer subject to death. He was truly there, alive. He spoke to them, ate with them – they touched him – yet he no longer belonged to this world.

This DEFINING MOMENT changed them forever –

Peter – crucified upside down, Paul beheaded – almost all of the Apostles martyred – for a metaphor, a nice idea or a worthy cause? – no = Because He is Risen!

Last night, the Pope had the Stations of the Cross in the Coliseum – amazing when thousands of Christians died there 2000 years ago – why – because he is Risen!

Why on earth would you become a priest and waste your life – because He is Risen!

Why do you try to live according to the teachings of Jesus? – because He is Risen!

Why do you do charitable works for your neighbor? – because He is Risen!

Why do you believe that you will live forever?  - because He is Risen!

Tonight – All these adults will complete their Initiation. Why?  Because He is Risen.

Tonight – is a defining moment for 2 women. They will now be known as Catholics, as Christians. And from now on, they will be able to touch, to receive, the glorified Body of Jesus in the Eucharist. Why? Because he is Risen!

St. Augustine once said – I can now catch sight of my homeland from afar> How do I get there? The One who is our Goal came to us. He brought us the plank to make our passage.” And now with St. Thomas we can say – My Lord and My God!”

Happy Easter!!!

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

Join us for Easter Sunday Mass!

7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 
12:00 noon

Have a Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday

The world waits in Silence . . .

Tenebrae at St. Kateri - 9:00 a.m.

Blessing of Easter Food - 10:30 a.m.

The Great Vigil of Easter - 7:30 p.m.

The following will  receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil:

Anna Aquije, Kimberly Schulte
First Communion and/or Confirmation:
Robert Marchetti, Jr., Meagen McNeill, Joseph Cigna, Brian Restaino, Thomas Horne, Ruth Adams, Melony Cosentino, ToniLisa Arviso-Jeans, Brian Conklin

Please pray for them that their faith may continue to grow!

Good Friday

Many people are interested to hear someone’s last words.
Jesus words are particularly meaningful.
Seven Last Words of Jesus – From Matthew, Mark, Luke & John
Words, of course, means phrases.
Words spoken from the Cross -
Mark – 3rd hour – about 9:00 a.m.
John – 6th hour  about noon
Agreement  - died  9th hour – about 3pm
Best explanation – crucifixion in 3rd hour – bet 9 & 12 noon
Lived about 3 hours on the cross.

1)      “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
First word is “Father”   Forgive them – Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you . . .  The alternative to forgiveness is destruction: end of oneself and the other. Forgive who? – Romans? Jewish brothers & sisters? How about us?  Our sins nail him to the cross again.

2)      “Today, you will be with me in Paradise” 
At least 2 others crucified with him. Read that sometimes the cursing was so vile they had to cut out their tongues. One is cursing – other: we deserve this! Says to Jesus: Jesus, remember me . . .  an awesome request!   Good thief – steals heaven – does he deserve it? Who does? God’s mercy & His grace.  Today – wants us to be with Him forever!

3)      “Woman, behold your Son. Behold, your Mother.”    She always said yes. She has stayed close.  She is our mother, too!

4)      “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  Psalm 22   How human (dad). His obedience came at a great price.  Gibson’s film “The Passion …” – Devil says: too much for one man! A prayer of faith and hope! Nothing can separate us from the love of God!!!

5)      “I Thirst” – of course, but also a different meaning .  MT convents & our Adoration Chapel– a crucifix with words: I thirst – I thirst for souls – I thirst for you.  Why did God make us? To know Him, love Him and serve Him.  He loves us so much!!!

6)      “It is finished.”  Consumatum Est.
The work is done. The power of sin is broken. New life will now begin.

7)      “Father, Into your hands I commend my spirit.”
True prayer of all believers. A surrender to God and to God’s will. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us. In my father’s house . . .

The Crucifix of Msgr. Paul Andrews – this is where you learn everything!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Funeral Service - Mary Anne Pantano

A Funeral Service will be held for Mary Anne Pantano at McHouls's Funeral Home on Thursday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Richard Harbison

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Richard Harbison on Wednesday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.