Sunday, April 24, 2016

Annual Retreat

Father Michael will be on his Annual Retreat this week. Please pray for him, and know that his prayers will include the intentions of our parishioners.

Love One Another

New commandment – love one another, As I have loved you, you should also love one another.
What does it mean to love? Love according to St. Thomas Aquinas – willing the good of the other.
Most famous description of love – St. Paul 1 Cor 13
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous or boastful,
It is not arrogant and rude.
Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong,
But rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Holy Father recent Exhortation  “On Love in the Family” – gives an extended meditation.

Love is patient:  One does not act on impulse and avoids giving offence.  EG internet: get some nasty emails from time to time. Write my response & hold it for 24 hours.  Does not mean being used or mistreated. Problem is when we think other people should be perfect or act the way I want them to.

Love is kind:  Love is more than a feeling. We show our love by our deeds. To do good. Boys and girls – can we help more at home?

Love is not jealous:  Fulfills the last 2 commandments.  (Shall not covet neighbor’s wife or goods). There is no room for discomfort at another’s good fortune. 

Love is not boastful or arrogant: Do not need to be the center of attention. Refrain about always speaking about yourself but be focused on others. This love is marked by humility – to understand, forgive and serve others from the heart.

Love is not rude: Courtesy: learn how to listen, speak and at certain times, to keep quiet.  Nothing like a kind look!  Words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement.

Love does not insist on its own way:   Mothers are the best at this – how many sacrifices of self!

Love is not irritable or resentful:  an interior hostility can grow if we are not careful.   Indignation is only healthy when it makes us react to injustice.   Pope - Never let the day end without making peace in your family.

Love rejoices with others: Some must always compare & compete, even with spouse, so they end up rejoicing in failures.    Instead, give glory to God!

Bears all things: - use of tongue.  Judge not lest ye be judged. Speak well of one another.
Believes all things - grow in mutual trust!
Hopes all things: - be a person of hope – that God’s grace can do wonders.
Endures all things – keeps a positive attitude. A love that never gives up!

In the end – these three remain – faith, hope & love, and the greatest of these is love!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wedding - Mandile & Warner

A Nuptial Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. The Holy Vows of Matrimony will be exchanged by Thomas Mandile and Caitlin Warner. Please  pray for this couple about to be married. 

The Good Shepherd

My parents emigrated to USA from Ireland. Eventually they became USA citizens.
As I grew older, I wanted to go to Ireland to meet my aunts, uncles and cousins.

One cousin I enjoyed very much was Michael Joseph. He emigrated to America, worked as a bus driver for the MTA in the Bronx, then, for a few years he went back to Ireland to be a shepherd. A shepherd in our family! I wondered – was he like Jesus the Good Shepherd?

Sheep knew the Good Shepherd’s voice – yes, some – You Tube video – but the Voice of the Good Shepherd can be hard to hear.
Good Shepherd knew his sheep by name – yes, many – Jesus know us all by name – sons & daughters of God!
The Good Shepherd cared for them - (bath) – Baptismal bath for forgiveness: mercy
The Good Shepherd Lay down his life for the sheep? – cared, put up fences, had sheep dog -  Jesus died on the cross for us!

Good Shepherd Sunday is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations – Focus on Priesthood, Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters and Deaconate.

Need for Good Shepherds:
Last year’s Class of 2015  -  595 ordained – up over 100
Still about 20 short each year.
Average age – 34
Most between  25 – 39
2/3  white   14% Hispanic   10% Asian
25 % born outside USA
½ attended Catholic schools
Began to think of priesthood about the age of 17
80% were altar servers
70% encouraged by priest
45% by friends and parishioners
40% by mothers
½  were actively discouraged – mostly by friends  12% dads  9% mothers

Msgr. George Thompson coming to St. Columba.
Have you ever thought of becoming a priest?

We are grateful so many families and parishioners have encouraged vocations from St. Columba – a number of young priests – 1 in deaconate formation & 3 discerning – at least two young women considering becoming sisters.   We pray that there may be more to serve the Good Shepherd!!!

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, in verdant pastures he gives me repose, beside restful waters he leads men he refreshes my soul. He guides me on right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil, for u are at my side with your rod and staff that give me courage. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.

Monday, April 11, 2016

St. Peter

Two churches come to my mind today –
1st is on the shore of the Sea of Galilee – has a Rock inside called Mensa Christi – Table of Christ – where Jesus served that 1st Breakfast
2nd – in Rome – great Basilica built over the Tomb of Peter
Amazing  – had come so far from Galilee!  How did he get there?

Peter:  Given name was Simon – called Petra – Rock, but also Scandalon – Stumbling Stone
-       Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man – From now on catching people.
-       Jesus walking across the water – Peter says if you wish, I could do it to – come! – walks but begins to sink – took his eyes off Jesus
-       Who do people say I am – Whom do YOU say I am – You are the Christ!

But now things have changed – Crucifixion, then an empty Tomb - they were told to go to Galilee – there they would see him.

There were 7 apostles there that day -  Peter says: I am going fishing
Strange - back to old ways – of course they caught nothing - without Christ!

Dawn had come – they hear a voice: Children - still spiritual children - have you caught anything to eat?
Cast your net on the right side - do it his way - net full to the breaking point
153 fish - symbol of every species - from all nations

John - it is the Lord!
Peter - has no clothes on – strangely puts on clothes to jump in water
Adam - put on clothes after he sinned

Charcoal fire - last time - Peter denied him 3 times.
Come have breakfast - loaves & fish - Eucharist

Some unfinished business:
Simon son of John do you love me?   Agape – self giving
Unwilling to say - I love you - you know that I love you  -  Philia – friendship   Feed lambs!
Once again – do you love me – agape?
You know that I love you – philia    Tend sheep!
Do you love me – philia
You know everything – you know well that I love you – philia   Feed sheep!

From Galilee to Rome?
All has to do with Mercy – Peter committed a grave sin and denied Jesus.  Three times denied now three times forgiven!
Despite his failures, Peter was the first to visit empty tomb – first to preach Resurrection – first Pope – and on the Vatican hill he was crucified upside down – and the greatest church in the world was built on that spot

Like Peter, we are all sinners – we are imperfect – we commit same sins over and over again – we do not always trust – we struggle with faith

And yet - If Jesus could do all that with him – he can do it for us!  And so, He says to each of us – FOLLOW ME!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Visit of Relics of St. Faustina

The Relics of St. Faustina will visit St. Columba Church on Sunday, April 10. You are welcome to join us at any time. Here is the schedule:
2:45 pm - Arrival of the Relics
3:00 pm - Divine Mercy Chaplet
4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m. - Veneration of the Relics and Confessions available
6:00 p.m. - Rosary
6:30 p.m. - Talk
7:00 p.m. - Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Peter Byrne

Funeral Mass - Emil Meli

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Emil Meli on Saturday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Elizabeth Fronckowiak

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth Fronckowiak on Friday, April 8 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Funeral Mass - Thomas Gunther

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Thomas Gunther on Tuesday, April 5 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Henry Jaronczyk

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Henry Jaronczyk on Monday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Divine Mercy Service - April 3

Our parish is holding a Divine Mercy Service on Sunday, April 3 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. It will include Exposition, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Veneration of the Image, Confessions and Benediction. All are welcome!

Divine Mercy

Pope Francis call this the Year of Mercy.
What is mercy?
In simplest terms – God made us out of love! He loved us into being.
But, human beings always seem to turn away – this is called sin.
God calls us back into relationship – this is called mercy.

Pope Francis likes to use 2 great examples:
-          Righteous man stand in front of temple – look at me, I fast, tithe, thank God I’m not like that tax collector -   O God, have mercy on me a sinner.
-          Woman caught in act of adultery  - let the one among you without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.
Two extremes:
-          So sure I am always so holy, good and right – I have no need of mercy
-          I have done so many bad things, I cannot possibly be forgiven,

Today is called Divine Mercy Sunday. Began by John Paul II.
Our Lord Rose 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.
Remember – Father, forgive them.
Or – to the thief on the cross  -  Today you will be with me in paradise . . .

In 2000, JP II canonized St. Faustina – her relics are coming here next Sunday.  She has furthered our understanding of Divine Mercy.
She wrote that  - even at the moment of death - God extends his hand in mercy
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.
This gives so many of us great hope when our relatives and friends leave this life unprepared..

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
Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy.

3) Completely trust in Jesus!

He has broken power of death - wants us to be with him forever.  It is all about mercy!!!