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 www.nyscatholic.org 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