Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Funeral Mass - Katherine Atkins

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Katherine Atkins on Thursday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

The Body of Christ

My parents had different names. They were called Michael and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. McLoughlin. Mom & Dad. Aunt Mary and Uncle Michael. Nana and Pop-Pop.
Names can tell something about ourselves.

So too – the Body of Christ has many different names –

It all began at the Last Supper – night before Jesus died.
Benedict thinks it was not the Passover – but the night before the Passover as John describes.
Jesus is the New Passover – the Passover from Death to Life.

He said: This is My Body - This is My Blood.
Power of words:
Umpire says – you are out – can argue all I want.
Police officer – under arrest – no I’m not -     power of words
Jesus: little girl, get up  -  Lazarus, come forth     This is my Body: and it becomes His Presence

Eucharist -   thanksgiving for this gift – why we try to dress appropriately, come to Mass on time, try not leave before the final blessing.

Holy Sacrifice – makes present what Jesus did on the cross  -  the ONE sacrifice – why we fast 1 hour before receiving.

Most Blessed Sacrament – Sacrament of Sacraments – why we receive properly with two clean hands (make a Throne for God) or on the tongue.

Viaticum – food for the journey – the last Communion – try not to wait for last minute so Communion can be received.

Holy Communion – unites us to Jesus – challenge to stay in Communion – not receive when I am not in Communion  -   Confession helps!

Holy Mass (Misa) -  Missio – sending forth  -   like living Tabernacles we bring Jesus to a waiting world.

Many names –
This is my Body
This is my Blood

Do this in Memory of Me!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Mass at St. Denis Cemetery

Memorial Day is an opportunity to pray for and remember those who made the Supreme Sacrifice on behalf of our country. The parishes of St. Denis, St. Columba and St. Kateri (Cluster Parishes) will join together for Mass at St. Denis Cemetery on Monday, May 30 at 9:00 a.m. In case of bad weather, Mass will be in St. Denis Church.  There will be NO MORNING MASS at St. Columba on Memorial Day. All parish offices will be closed on Monday.

Wedding - Sousas and Martino

The Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by John Sousas and Marissa Martino on Sunday, May 29 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Corpus Christi Procession

Join us on Sunday, May 29 for our annual Corpus Christi Procession. We begin directly after the 12:00 noon Mass with Exposition. We will then proceed to two outdoor altars on our property as we pray the rosary. We will then return to the Church for Benediction. All are welcome!

Memorial Mass - Bernard Florack

A Memorial Mass will be offered on Saturday, May 28 at 10:00 a.m. for the repose of the soul of Bernard Florack, the father of our Director of Music, Linda Moore. All are welcome to attend. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"The Story of God" and the Holy Trinity

National Geographic Channel is showing a Series “The Story of God” hosted by Morgan Freeman. In the latest episode, Morgan recalls that, at age 16, he became very sick. Many of his family thought he would die. With good care and many prayers, he pulled through. Some family members said – God saved him. Did God save him? Was it a miracle?
Next, Morgan visits a man in NYC who was a window washer. While being lowered down a building, the cable snapped and he plunged 47 floors. He had 10 broken bones, collapsed lungs and other injuries. He was in a coma for 3 weeks. But he completely recovered.   Doctors told him – you are a miracle.  He says he is not so sure – because his brother was right next to him and died instantly.
If it was a miracle, why did God save him and not his brother? It is such a mystery!  He believes he has been spared for a purpose, but has not found that purpose yet.
Next, Morgan visits with a Jewish family in Israel. They are celebrating Passover. It is the Story of how God saved his people – with 10 plagues and then the parting of the Red Sea.   At one point in the ritual, drops of red wine are dripped onto plates – they symbolize sorrow – that God lost some of his children – the Egyptians – while saving the people of Israel -   This is a great mystery.
So much about God is a mystery!   St. Augustine once said – If you think you fully understand God, then you do not understand God.
Who Is God???      Moses at Burning Bush – “I am Who Am.”
Jesus tells us – “God is Love.”   Not loves, but IS love – the very definition of Love.   Father is the Lover – Jesus is the Beloved. The Holy Spirit is the Love they share -   a Family of Love, the Mystery of the Trinity.
A Good Explanation of the Trinity is found in a Story by a Trappist Monk: Father Theophane.
Young man is speaking to a monk - Tell me what God is like.  Monk says: Here, take this book. If you read it at the right hour, it will tell you what God is like.
He brought it back to share with his wife – who was carrying their first child. “What did he mean by the right hour?” – she said.
Don’t  know. Maybe on Good Friday, or after the Easter Vigil. Or maybe Pentecost. Maybe we should wait and God will tell us. It could be years. Wait for a sign.
Two weeks later their first child was born.          He said: How can I explain how I felt?
1)      Worry – I was a dad. How will I do this?
2)      Pride – I was a dad. You really grow up.            
3)  Humbled – we were involved in something so beyond us. Thought I had everything figured out. – not so!
That night his child appeared to him in a dream – Asks the question: What is God like?  Woke up wife. This is it. Let’s open the book!   Opened at random
It’s very simple – God is a father.         Wife opened it – It’s very simple. God became a little child.

Let’s open it together. It’s very simple. Every breath you take is the breath of God.     Glory Be . . .

Saturday, May 21, 2016

On Assisted Suicide and New York State

May 20, 2016
by Ed Mechmann
The appalling New York government never fails to disappoint in its ability to be shameless. This time, it's not just a matter of their reprehensible ethics. Now it is literally a matter of life and death.

With no prior public notice or advance warning, the long-time anti-life Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Dick Gottfried, has scheduled a committee vote on the recently-introduced physician-assisted suicide bill. This was learned on Friday afternoon, and the vote is scheduled for Monday. The committee meeting has been called “off the floor,” which means that nobody in the public will have any idea ahead of time where or when it will take place. It's a stealth meeting on an issue of monentous importance.

This is an outrageous abuse of power. The issue of assisted suicide is deeply controversial and highly complex. If it is going to be considered by the Legislature, it demands a full and extensive debate, with all sides having a chance to be heard. Evidence needs to be considered, the moral arguments have to be heard, and a careful weighing must be made of the consequences for the public good. 

That, of course, is a nice ideal, but it surely is not the way the New York Legislature does things. Instead, this kind of legislative skullduggery is a violation of every principle of good government and fundamental fairness. Even if it is not a technical violation of New York's Open Meeting Law, it surely violates it's spirit and intention. Those who are most at risk in this area -- elderly and disabled people -- are being betrayed by those who are supposed to represent them.

If the bill's supporters are so sure of the merits of their argument, why are they resorting to such a sneaky tactic? Could it be that their arguments have now been rejected unanimously by two New York courts, and they realize that the more people learn about assisted suicide, the more they are leery about legalizing it?

New York's government is notoriously dysfunctional, and deserves its reputation as one of the worst in the country. This latest maneuver brings it to an even more disgraceful low point. The Assembly leadership should feel ashamed -- if they're even capable of it. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Funeral Mass - Patricia O'Donnell

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Patricia O'Donnell on Monday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Your Spiritual Garden

After my Dad passed away, my sister Maureen made the decision to buy my parent’s house. One happy result was that my Mom’s garden remained in the family.  Mom had a green thumb. She could make anything grow. I still enjoy walking around the yard, looking at her plants and thinking of her.
We have been talking about a garden at St. Columba. Not a flower garden, but a vegetable garden. With the help of students and parishioners, we could grow fresh food for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. We have an Eagle Scout candidate working on the plans right now. We will keep you posted.
The idea of a garden is very Biblical:
-          Life began in the Garden of Eden.
-          Jesus spent his last night in the Garden of Gethsemene.
-          When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after the Resurrection, she thought he was the Gardener. Well, he was!
Our Life In the Spirit – our Soul - has been described by Saints like Francis de Sales as a Garden. It is a good comparison:
-          It needs Sun, just like our Souls need the Son.
-          It needs tending, It needs to be weeded – just like our souls do – get the sins out!
-          It needs fertilizer – well, we don’t have to go looking for that! It comes to us and we can use it to grow.
-          It needs patience. Can’t force it. All in God’s time.
-          It needs air – life breath of the Spirit
-          It needs water – and that is Prayer!   Raising our hearts and minds to God!    Prayer is how God loves us and we love God.
So many Ways To Pray– spoken prayers, memorized prayers, the Prayer of the Mass, reading the bible, praying the rosary, meditation, contemplation, singing and silence.
Four types of Prayer that we should try to include:    ACTS
Adoration – Praising God.   Do it very often when I am out hiking and see beauty.
Contrition – Sorrow about my actions that hurt others & God. Ask for forgiveness and Mercy
Thanksgiving – All is a blessing, all is a gift
Supplication – Petition – Pray for self & others.  Ask and you shall receive – really?   I would ask my parents for things – did not always give them to me – did they still love me – of course. Can I trust that they knew what was best.   Can we trust God?
So, how is your Garden? – the Garden of Your Soul?  Remember that Prayer keeps the garden growing – keep praying and do not lose heart!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send out your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Go To The Upper Room!

On Friday I played golf with my nephew, Kevin. He graduates from college in two weeks. He is experiencing a range of emotions. Sad about leaving school, excited about graduation, concerned about future. He is entering that in-between time.  Same as church – Jesus has ascended – he has returned to the Father – now what?  Jesus gives them the best advice: Go to the Upper Room!

Also called The Cenacle”  Latin from cena = dinner – Upper Room on Mount Zion – just outside old city of Jerusalem.   Mt. Zion:  Catholic Cemetery (Oskar Shindler), Dormition Abbey (Assumption of Mary) the Tomb of David and the Upper Room– place of the Last Supper – where they gathered after Ascension – where the Spirit would come on Pentecost – where they would be sent forth

Upper Room:

1)     Place of Betrayal – by our sins, we betray Jesus. This is why we begin each Mass asking forgiveness.
2)     Place of Sacrifice – This is My Body, This is My Blood, given for you!  He offered Himself. So too, we offer our lives, our work, our joys and sorrows to Him!
3)     Place of Service – the Washing of the Feet. Follow Jesus example of love. To serve the poor, sick and the outcast.
4)     Place of Friendship – He said I no longer call you servants but friends. He is our friend – we never alone – do not be afraid.
5)     Place of Promise – I will not leave you orphans. He will bring us to His Father’s house.
6)     Place of Prayer – Jesus prayed for himself, He prayed for them, then he prayed for us!!!
7)     Place of the Church – that they may be one. Strengthened to follow Jesus.  One reed easily breaks. Bind reeds together – very strong.

Upper Room – almost impossible to have Mass there today. Only 2 times a year allowed: Holy Thursday and Pentecost. I had to offer Mass next door – in Dormition Abbey.

But, you do not have to travel to Mount Zion to find the Cenacle – here is our Cenacle, here is our Upper Room! When we gather for Mass, to celebrate the Sacraments, to pray alone or with one another, gathered in prayer with the Mother of Jesus, we receive what we need – especially when we are in between times!

They are almost the last words of the Bible – may those words become ours – Come, Lord Jesus!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Funeral Mass - Joseph Pisani

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joseph Pisani on Saturday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ascension Thursday

Thursday, May 5 is Ascension Thursday. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Holy Mass will be offered on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and on Thursday at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Robert Mangieri

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Robert Mangieri on Wednesday, May 4 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Marion Hopper

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Marion Hopper on Wednesday, May 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wedding - Christian Schaad and Christina Michelin

Christian Schaad and Christina Michelin will exchange the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony on Sunday, May 1 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Bernard Florack - Rest In Peace

This past week Bernard Florack entered into Eternal Life. Bernard is the Father our our Music Director, Linda Moore. Please pray for Linda at this difficult time. May Bernard rest in peace.

I Am Going To The Father

(This Homily was inspired by the writings of Father Mark Link, SJ. Thank you!)

Young Marion would spend her days at a neighbor’s home while her Mom worked. But her mom would leave work each day at noon and have lunch with her. She loved it! Mom would pick her up, they would go home, eat lunch and then go back. The problem was, Marion would get very upset when Mom had to leave!
One day, Mom did not pick her up for lunch. Nor the next day. Nor the next day.  She wondered why? Didn’t her mom love her anymore?
Years later, she found out that mom DID go home for lunch. She sat at the window and watched Marion play in the neighbor’s yard. Each day, Mom wanted to be there, and hold her, especially if she cried. But, it was for Marion’s good, her growth and her development that she did not.  Eventually Marion adjusted, and continued to grow as a fine young woman.
This Thursday is the Ascension. Today, Jesus is preparing to go to the Father –. He told his disciples: You are sad and fearful that I am going. But it is better that I go. The Father will send the Holy Spirit to be with you always!
It was time for them to take the next step – to grow in their faith!
There are times in our lives when God seems to abandon us – to leave us alone.
1)      Prayer – maybe there was a time when we had deep peace in prayer. But now, it may be hard to feel anything. Prayer might be – where are you God?
2)      Faith – maybe was a time our faith seemed so strong that we could move mountains. But so much has happened. Maybe now I am struggling to believe.
3)      Commitment – Maybe enjoyed very much my work or my life, but now, it seems hard. Getting worn out by the daily routine. Or, I don’t seem to be getting anything out of Mass lately.
Just like Marion – does God love us as much as He once did?
Truth is – God does love us and always has loved us. But maybe it is time for us to take a step forward:
1)      Maybe it’s time to realize that prayer can take place without always feeling something good. Sometimes the best prayers are when we speak to God truly from our hearts – tell God what is really going on.
2)      Maybe it’s time to realize that faith is not a feeling – it is a commitment. It is saying yes to God. It is surrendering ourselves to God. Just like marriage: in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
3)      Maybe it’s time to realize that our motive for doing things or for going to Mass cannot be: what am I getting out of it.  It can’t always be about me!
A moth collector saw a very rare cocoon. He clipped the trig and took the cocoon home. He saw movement but nothing happened. Same next day. Finally took knife and opened the cocoon. Moth crawled out and soon died. What happened – moth must struggle to escape cocoon. It helps it to develop and enables it to survive.  

Being a Christian is not an easy road – we do not hide the crucifix – there it is!  But never forget this: in the struggle to get out of the cocoon, that tomb, Christ experienced Resurrection – and so will we! Do Not Lose Hope!

Funeral Mass - Florence DeGaetano

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of the soul of Florence DeGaetano on Saturday, April 30 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.