Monday, June 27, 2016

Come and Follow Me

A person in charge of a lighthouse along a dangerous coast was given enough oil for one month and told to keep the light burning every night. One day a woman asked for oil so that her children could stay warm. Then a farmer came. His son needed oil for a lamp so he could read. Another needed some for an engine. The guard saw each as a worthy request and gave some oil to satisfy all. By the end of the month, the tank in the lighthouse was dry. That night the beacon was dark and three ships crashed on the rocks. More than one hundred lives were lost. An inquiry was held. The lighthouse attendant explained what he had done and why. But the prosecutor replied, "You were given only one task: to keep the light burning. Every other thing was secondary. You have no excuse."

They were hard decisions.   To follow Christ means to make some hard decisions. It is not an easy road!

Person approaches Jesus – “I will follow you wherever you go” – Foxes have dens, birds of the sky have nests, Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.   Rome has occupied Israel and they lord it over them – more and more our government challenges our beliefs – so, do we give in? Go along? St. Thomas More – “I am the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

Jesus calls another “follow me” – Let me go and bury my father first.   Who could be against burying father?   Points to excuses.  There is always an excuse!   Ask ourselves – will this action lead me to heaven or away from heaven?

I will follow, but (conditions) “first let me say farewell to those at home”   Conditions – what is in it for me?  What am I getting out of this? 

It is not a simple thing to be a disciple!!!
We have chosen the Cross and yet we look back at the easy road we have left behind. We miss lazy Sunday mornings, numerous relationships, gossip, or a career uncomplicated by ethics.

A League of their Own    “There’s no crying in baseball”
Dottie want to quit  packing   husband at war  -  tension with sister  -  grind on the road
It’s too hard  -    Manager: It’s supposed to be hard  -  that is what makes it great!

So remember the Yoke? My yoke is easy & my burden is light?  The yoke of Christ is a double yoke. He walks alongside us as we move toward His promise of joy, love and the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Farewell Father Christopher Argano

Father Christopher Argano will return to St. Columba to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, June 26 at 12:00 noon. It will be followed by a Reception in the School. All are welcome! May God bless Father Argano as he begins his new Ministry as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of New York. 

Funeral Mass - Paul Guadagno

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Paul Guadagno on Tuesday, June 28 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Valerie MacKay

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Valerie MacKay on Monday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Egidio Pettinella

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Egidio Pettinella on Monday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Funeral Mass - Philip W. Hill

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Philip Hill on Monday, June 27 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Franklin Troiso

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Franklin Troiso on Friday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Staff Reflection Day - Parish Office Closed Tuesday

Our parish office will be closed this Tuesday so that our staff can gather at Mount Alvernia for a time of reflection and prayer. It is important that we review the past year and set some goals for 2016-17. Please pray for us!

Farewell Father Christopher Argano

This is Father Chris' final weekend at St. Columba. Beginning on June  20, he will be transitioning to his new post as Vocation Director. He will return to St. Columba for a Final Mass and Reception on Sunday, June 26 at 12:00 noon. May God bless Father Chris in thanksgiving for his priestly ministry here at St. Columba.

Welcome Father James Sheridan

We welcome Father James to St. Columba Parish! He arrived Friday and is eager to meet our parishioners and begin his priestly ministry among us. Please pray for him as he experiences for the first time the life of a parish priest.

Question Answered, Answer Lived

Woman stops behind another car at traffic light
Light turns green but driver ahead is on his cell phone & does not notice
She begins pounding her steering wheel and yells move   -  He doesn’t move
She yells more . . . the light turns yellow  . . . she hits the horn
She starts cursing and makes gestures.
He finally looks up, sees the yellow light and goes forward just as the light turns red.
She is just besides herself.
A few moments later . a tapping on the window. It is a police officer with his gun drawn.
Turn off the engine, keep your hands in sight and get out of the car.
Takes her off to the police station where she is fingerprinted and placed in a holding cell.
An hour later, she is released and she meets the arresting officer.
“I am very sorry for the mistake. But I pulled up behind your car when you were swearing, yelling, blowing your horn and making an obscene gesture.
Then I noticed your bumper stickers:
“We worship at St. Joseph’s” & “What would Jesus do?”
I, I just assumed that you had stolen the car.

Who do crowds say that I am       general
Now, who do you say that I am         specific
Everything we say and do is a response to that question.
Every decision and choice proclaims exactly who we believe Jesus is
Every moment declares our faith is Jesus.
Question answered.  Answer lived!

Many of us have been blessed with people in our lives who have answered the question and have lived the answer!

Work – put God first
Whatever time he had, he gave to us – time: most precious gift
Prayer – kneel down next to our beds and pray with us.
Even toward the end of his life – dad went to bed, said his rosary, heard him praying for me, my mom, my brother, sisters and family.

Most precious gift: Taught me – He is my dad, but God is my Father in heaven.

Karen – her alcoholic and abusive father walked out on the family when she was 2 years old.   Every Father’s Day Karen’s mom would have her write a card to a father she never knew.    He never responded. Although he never accepted her, she found a different way to fill that void. Her mom taught her that God could be her father.
Whenever she went out to play, she yelled “Hey God, look at me.”
She felt a special awareness of him, as if he were smiling from heaven.
Rather than focusing all her negative energy on a man who had abandoned her, she found security and peace in her heavenly father

Question answered.   Answer lived.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Funeral Mass - Anna Manes

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anna Manes on Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Robert Gerritse - Rest In Peace

We sadly announce the death of Robert Gerritse, the father of our School Principal, Sister Kathleen Gerritse. His Funeral Mass will be here at St. Columba on Saturday, June 18 at 10:00 am. The wake will be on Friday at McHoul's from 2:00 - 4:00 pm & 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, June 13, 2016

David - King and Sinner

David – son of Jesse, shepherd boy
He would become a Poet, a Musician, a Warrior and a King – He reigned over the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judea. He made Jerusalem his capital city (city of David), he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem – he furnished materials so his son Solomon could build a magnificent temple.  He was capable of great things – but today we hear of one of his biggest sins. He took Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers – Uriah – and when things did not go according to his plan – he arranged for Uriah’s murder.  How could he???
He forgot who he was   &  He forgot who she was.
1)      He forgot who he was!
As king, as leader, he had the responsibility to set the example for his people. He was called to love them – which means willing the good of the other as other.   
We see this happening again and again. Sometimes you are almost afraid to pick up the newspaper.  Every day, it seems – a politician – a police officer – a member of the clergy – a school teacher – is accused of breaking the law and behaving poorly. Those of us in positions of responsibility need to be reminded – people have a right to look at us and receive good example, that we are living a fully integrated life.
That is:  We are the same person at work, at school, at home, on vacation, with friends.
2)      He forgot who she was!
Bathsheba was a wife, a daughter, a grand-daughter, a niece. She was loved by many people. Instead, he turned her into an object of his own desire.
To turn people into objects – there is an entire industry dedicated to this today.
Last year worth $97 billion worldwide. Has 107 million US visitors monthly. Involves 68% of young men and 18% of young women. Beginning for many around the age of 11.
We know it affects and changes our brains. It causes an addiction. It hurts relationships. It causes loneliness, destroys true love. It hates marriages and can lead to violence, especially against women.
Jesus loved the woman (again, willing the good of the other as other) and did not see an object but a subject – a person, a human being.
Invite all to consider 2 things – please carefully monitor the use of the internet by children.  And, use the settings on web browsers and also software filters to control what comes into the home.

David forgot who he was & forgot who she was – and it led to tragedy. May you and I live always as true Sons & Daughters of God. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Funeral Mass - Carlo DiLiddo

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Carlo DiLiddo on Monday, June 13 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Frank Nocerito

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank Nocerito on Saturday, June 11 at 9:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Statute of Limitations

Church Unfairly Singled Out for Sexual Abuse

By Deacon Philip Franco
Most of the issues being debated in the public forum today come down to our understanding of justice and its proper application. No one, in theory, is opposed to justice. Its application and its meaning however, give us many differences, political divisions, social media arguments and bumper sticker slogans.
Whether we are debating bathroom use, the life of a gorilla in a Cincinnati zoo or the right to life of an innocent unborn child, the issue of the true meaning of justice seems to be at the core of much of what we debate. Seeking justice for those who were abused as children seems like a no-brainer, and any law that might advance that cause must be a great thing. . . no? Always read the fine print.
Imagine for a moment if a law was passed that directly targeted one group of persons but gave a free pass to others for the same crime. There would be an immediate cry for justice and the politicians and pundits would take their places on either side of the aisle. There would be marches in the streets and more than a few college students would need a safe zone to cry this out. That is not so far-fetched an idea. Polls consistently show that many Americans are opposed to a potential ban on any and all Muslims entering the U.S., even if this ban is for a limited time. The Daily News itself has taken quite the strong stance against this proposal and has, many times maligned the man who proposed it. In February, they even went so far as to call him the anti-Christ. The fundamental argument is that it is unjust to blame an entire group for the evils of some, and to punish a specific group as opposed to only those guilty.
This makes me wonder why the same newspaper has no problem singling out the Catholic Church and printing a disgusting recent front page (May 25) which clearly insinuated that all priests are pedophiles. The Roman Collar of a priest looms large in the photo, and the crucifix blasphemously forms the letter “T” in the phrase “They Protect Predators.” Seems a bit of a double standard at best.
Every child deserves justice. Every child, no matter his or her current age, who was abused in any way, deserves the opportunity to confront the abuser and be given the chance for healing. However, the law being proposed in Albany and pushed so vehemently by the Daily News is one which is not just. I have no qualms about calling the sexual abuse crisis among the most horrendous moments in the history of the Church. Further, I have no problem saying that any person who knowingly and willingly assisted abusers is just as guilty. This applies equally to bishops. The law in question, however, is not about justice.
The law being pushed and peddled in the state capital, if you bother to read the fine print, has a much better chance of lining some lawyers’ pockets and creating newer victims than actually bringing justice to any abused person.
Existing in several different versions, the fundamental problem with the law is that it would be targeted solely at private institutions such as the Catholic Church. Public institutions such as schools would be exempt from the newly opened window for the statute of limitations. In other words, the state is saying, “we care about victims, as long as they’re not our victims.”
Sadly, sex abuse takes place everywhere. There are dentists, lawyers, Hollywood stars, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and many public school teachers who are guilty. Not just priests.
Passing this law would be a direct attack on the Catholic Church, which is, by a large margin, the single biggest charitable “institution” in New York. Open the flood gates for cases that go back as many as 70 years, and the incomparable good done by the Church will be diminished and wiped out. Housing, homeless ministry, food pantries, schools and hospitals would be the victims, and the lawyers would have quite the payday. Will the politicians in Albany step up in the place of the void they cause? Unlikely.
And now you just might be saying, “Who is he to say? How does he know? What right does he have?” I don’t blame you. But I am by no means someone who just happened to drink the “Catholic Kool-Aid.” I am a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest. My family and I have endured the mess of lawyers and the terrible tragedy of coming forward and dealing with the endless scars of abuse.
Lawyers do not bring healing. Christ brings healing. Counseling brings healing. People to walk with you bring healing. Those things were given to me by the Church and my family. The good priests who worked closely with me did not deserve the headline mentioned above, and the Church, providing help to victims, cannot do so if such an unjust law is passed.
Opposing this Albany bill and working for true justice for the abused are not mutually exclusive. Let us pray that ways are found to help victims all the more, without targeting one entire group of people. Let us pray for true justice.
Dr. Philip Franco is the principal of St. Margaret’s School, Middle Village, and a deacon at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, Williamsburg

Funeral Mass - Maureen Ehrhart

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Maureen Ehrhart on Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Ena Marie Rodriguez

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ena Rodriguez on Tuesday, June 7 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Visit to Naim

Naim – little town in the Galilee – near Mt. Tabor – 14 miles from Nazareth.
Two processions – one going out – one coming in.
One going out - to the cemetery. It serves as an announcement – a young man has died, most likely that day.  Incredibly sad moment – we find it very difficult when child passes before parent.
People stop what they are doing and join in. Not always the case today. Often too busy to go to a wake, funeral Mass or cemetery.  Sometimes families too busy to do this for someone who has died.
Another procession coming in – Jesus and his followers. He does not know this family, but he stops and looks!  He sees her. A woman suffering.  Imagine if his head was buried in his cell phone? He pays attention.
He finds out that this is the only son of a widow. He immediately understood. Now, she is in deep trouble. No means of support left. No pensions, no social security.  She is alone.
Jesus is moved with compassion  -  com – passion   suffer with.   Another word: Pity.   He feels for her   This is something that comes from the heart.  A spirit of compassion – he cares about people.
Interesting – no one asks him to do anything.  I think we made our parents very happy when we did things without being told.  You see something – you do something. Now:  we may not be able to raise someone from the dead – but – we can listen, we can phone, we can pray, we can help,
When the “Lord” saw her – first time called Lord in Luke – title for after Resurrection – he said “Do Not Weep.”
Then he touches basket, the bier – immediately becomes unclean – he is not concerned with his own status – he is concerned for her.
Says – Young man, I tell you arise -    first defeat of death in Luke. At the heart of the Gospel is Resurrection – from death to life!   Believe in the power of the Resurrection!
Fear – Fear of the Lord – they know who is there!

Another town = Hopewell Junction – procession going out, procession going in. Is anyone paying attention? Does anyone see? Does someone have the courage to do something? – bring light to darkness? – that leads to Resurrection! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Father James Sheridan

Cardinal Dolan has assigned a newly ordained priest to St. Columba Parish. This is a great honor for us and a big responsibility! Together we are called to help and encourage him as he begins his new life as a priest.
Father James Sheridan was born in London and raised in Ireland since age 5. He studied law at Trinity College in Dublin. He entered the Legionaries of Christ in 2006 in Dublin and made first vows in 2008. He received a BA in Philosophy from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He eventually was sent to New York where he served on the faculty of their Seminary in Thornwood. After a time, it became clear that he was more suited to diocesan priesthood, and he left the Legionaries in 2010. He entered our Seminary and was just ordained a priest on May 28.  He is expected to begin here at St. Columba the weekend of June 19. Please give him a warm welcome!

Father Christopher Argano

Father Chris Argano has, for the past four years, faithfully served the People of God at St. Columba Parish. Now, Cardinal Dolan has asked him to take on a new assignment. He has been appointed Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of New York. He will be actively recruiting future priests and helping young men discern a vocation to the priesthood. It is a huge responsibility, but we know that Father Chris is up to the task. He is a superb priest, devout, faithful and dedicated. Please pray for him as he begins this new chapter in his journey of faith.

Father Chris’ responsibilities at St. Columba Parish will end on Sunday, June 19. This will give him a few days to prepare for his new assignment which begins on July 1. Father Chris will return to St. Columba on Sunday, June 26 to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving at 12:00 noon. It will be followed by a reception in the school gym. Please come and thank Father Chris for his dedicated service to our parish.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Funeral Mass - Ann Egan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ann Egan on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.