Monday, July 17, 2017

Wedding - Anthony Arce and Linda LeBron

Anthong Arce and Linda LeBron will exchange the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony on Sunday, July 23 at 3:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Wedding - Andrea Miele and Donn Shaver

Andrea Miele and Donn Shaver will exchange the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony on Saturday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m. at the Marist College Chapel. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Sowing Seeds

I want to start a garden – he told the owner of the garden center – but my yard is a problem. I get blazing sun in the afternoon for two hours, but otherwise it’s all shade. How about the soil? – Hard clay, lots of rocks. What do you recommend I plant?  Why don’t you check out aisle 2 – we have a new supply of Birdbaths and flag poles!
Passing on the faith is just like planting – sometimes there are many obstacles. Unlike modern farming, where seeds are put in nice straight rows, the farmers of Jesus time just tossed the seed. It landed in all sorts of places:
Some fell on hard soil. Saw on “CBS This Morning” New on line grocer called “Brandless.” Sell about 200 products – everything is $3.00. They sell directly to consumers, saving people money.  Owners say 78% of customers are millennials born between 1981-1997 or so.  They:
-          Don’t want to buy products they grew up with
-          Don’t want their parents government
-          Don’t want their parents institutions
-          Don’t want to go with brands.
Soil is hard!!!

Some fell on rocky ground – no roots
Was a time we valued things like motherhood, fatherhood, fraternity, civic involvement, church involvement – this has given way to SAT scores and future earning power.   Marriage and religious participation is being replaced by striving for money, power, prestige.

Instead of bringing happiness – has led to great loss of meaning and hope. Since the 1980’s loneliness among adults in USA increased from 20% to 40 %.   Social isolation is now a major public health crisis – on par with cancer & heart disease.  Life expectancy of Americans is decreasing for first time since 1930’s.  I don’t have to tell you – drugs, suicide is now 2nd leading cause of death among teens and young adults.    NO ROOTS!

Some fell among briars & choked it. Two brothers were Christians – Clarence & Robert. Clarence involved with civil rights &Robert was a lawyer. Once Clarence asked Robert for legal help – no, it could hurt my career. I thought you were a follower of Christ?  -  only to a point, I am not following him onto the cross.  Robert, you are not a follower of Christ, only an admirer.  Faith choked!

Some found good soil – we realize the difference faith can make –   
Beautiful Vacation Bible School – Sister Marie teaching Catechists about their faith – collecting clothing & food for homeless for Midnight Run – St. Joseph’s Men’s group delivering beds to the poor – and our own garden out back – delicious vegetables for the food pantry

So – we keep throwing the seed – and we don’t give up - because we have something here – a light in the darkness – THE way to experience peace, fulfillment and joy!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Discovery Regarding St. Columba!

St. Columba, known in Gaelic as Colum Cille, “the dove of the church”, arrived on the island of Iona, in the western coasts of Scotland, in the year 563. Considered one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, he was the founder of the great Abbey of Iona, which became one of the most important religious, cultural and political centers of the region for centuries.
According to BBC, using radiocarbon dating processes, archaeologists have finally been able to identify the charred remains of a hut found in 1957 in the place in which, according to tradition, the saint’s cell stood. The place is called Tòrr an Aba, “the abbot’s mound”.
The test results on these pieces of burnt wood date them as being almost 1500 years old. These pieces would have belonged to St. Columba’s cell, where the saint worked, prayed and died.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Funeral Mass - Theodore DeRosa

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Theodore DeRosa on Tuesday, July 11 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Come To Me . . .

Come to me all who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest – lovely words!
So many burdens:   responsibilities  - hardships  - anxiety  - Loneliness - Handicaps
Failures  -  Bitterness  -  Grief  -  Guilt  -  Illness  -  Old age  -  Worries that we are burden to others.

Some carry burdens and are not even noticed! A faculty member at a college had his room cleaned every week. A woman came in and did an excellent job. They would often chat. He learned that she had to be up at 5 each day to catch a bus to work. Then, when she was done after a long day, she had to care for her family.  He also learned that a professor was in this same room for 14 years and never once spoke to this woman. She would say Good morning with no response. Finally, she gave up.   All it takes sometimes is just a word of appreciation, to help make a heavy burden light. It makes a world of difference when we treat others with dignity and respect.

Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart

Meek and humble of heart – allowing others to walk over us? Not at all!

Meek – from Greek word praus  (prah-oos)  a military term  referring to a horse.  The finest wild stallions were trained as war horses. They were filled with spirit, courage and power, but were disciplined top respond to the slightest nudge or pressure from the riders leg. They were “meeked”   strength under control.   Cooperation.  Allow God to guide us, allow God to be in control.

Two things about yokes:
-yokes are custom made for each ox. They were carved from solid wood , form ftted so that the yoke would not create sores. Like having on an old pair of shoes.
- allows two animals to pull together. Work is shared!

My yoke is easy and my burden is light

Boy was helping dad with yard work. Dad asked him to move a few rocks. There was this one rock, He tried and tried but he could not move it. Finally, he gave up.  Dad, I can’t do it.  Dad asked – did you use all your strength?   Yes, every ounce.  No, you did not.  You did not ask me to help.  Together they moved the rock.

Come to me   . . .      Take my yoke . . .    

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Graduation Homily - Feast of St. Columba

As we mentioned earlier, today is the Feast Day of St. Columba, the Patron Saint of our parish, and one of the Patron Saints of our school. Twenty-five years ago, Cardinal O’Connor split the parish of St. Denis and created the new parish of St. Columba. Fifty years ago, the people of St. Denis Parish, which included the Mission Church of St. Columba, founded our magnificent school. And so, we are celebrating two significant milestones this year!
St. Columba was born in Donegal, Ireland many years ago. When he began his studies for the priesthood, he used to spend much time praying in church. His fellow students called him Columkille – the Dove of the Church. He was a brilliant man who would travel about Ireland teaching about Jesus. He founded many churches and monasteries.
Eventually, St. Columba left Ireland with a small group of monks and landed off the coast of Scotland on Iona Island.  There he founded a monastery that became famous all over Europe. From there, Columba and his monks spread the faith all over Scotland. At one point, he even banished an evil creature to the deeps of a lake – the Loch Ness Monster! Years later on Iona Island, his monks created the famous “Book of Kells” which can be seen today at Trinity College, Dublin.  
Two years ago, I traveled to Iona to visit his monastery and his grave. Sadly, the Vikings beat me there. To protect his relics, they were moved to Downpatrick in Ireland where he rests next to St. Patrick & St. Bridget.
Monasteries were and still are special places of learning. Throughout history, Catholics have built schools and colleges to educate their young. Fifty years ago, the people of Hopewell Junction stepped out in faith to create a school. It has educated generations of young people like yourselves.  A school cannot work without a dedicated principal, outstanding faculty and staff, supportive parishioners and parents who understand the unique role of Catholic education – Education of the Whole person: Body, Mind and Soul. My dear graduates, you have much to be thankful for tonight.
As you go forward from St. Denis – St. Columba, what is my wish for you?
Before age of cable TV and cell phones., town streets were lit by gas lamps.
Couldn’t just hit a switch, had to have a lamplighter who would go out each evening and light the lamps.
One night, an English writer named John Ruskin was sitting on his porch.
Across the valley, he could see the torch of the lamplighter as he went to each gas lamp.
Because it was getting dark, he could not see the lamplighter.
After a while, he pointed to the trail of lights and said to a friend:
That is a good example of how Christians are to live. You may never have seen them. But you know they passed through the world by the trail of lights they left behind.

Jesus said, you are the light of the world – in a world where there is so much darkness - my dear graduates, let your light shine!!! God bless you!!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Great Letter!

Some days ago, Fr. Andrea, the pastor of Milan’s parish of St. Michael the Archangel and St. Rita, found pro-abortion graffiti scrawled on the wall of his church.
Not only did the vandalism promote abortion, it added some blasphemy: “Abortion on demand (for Mary too).”
Fr. Andrea took to Facebook to respond to the anonymous criminal, encouraging him not only to see abortion for what it is, and to be brave about changing the world for good, but assuring him that the very community he had violated was ready and able to love him.
Here is a translation of the priest’s letter, which has gone viral:
Dear anonymous writer on the wall,
I’m sorry you couldn’t take an example from your mother. She had courage. She conceived you, carried on the pregnancy and gave birth to you. She could have aborted you. But she didn’t. She raised you, fed you, washed you, and dressed you. And now you have a life and freedom. A freedom you’re using to tell us that it would be better if people also like you weren’t in this world.
I’m sorry, but I disagree. And I admire your mother very much because she was brave. And she still is, because, like every mother, she is proud of you even if you behave badly, because she knows that there is still good inside of you that only needs to manage to come out.
Abortion makes nonsense of everything. Death wins against life. Fear defeats a heart that wants to fight and live, not die. It means choosing who has the right to live and who doesn’t, as if it were a simple right. It is an ideology that conquers humanity and wants to take its hope away.
You obviously have no courage. Given that you’re anonymous.
And while we’re at it, I would also like to tell you that our neighborhood has already experienced a lot of problems, and we don’t need people to vandalize the walls and ruin the little beauty we have left.
Do you want to show how brave you are? Then improve the world instead of destroying it. Give love instead of hatred. Help those who are suffering to endure their sorrows. And give life instead of taking it away! This is real bravery!
Luckily our neighborhood, which you are destroying, is full of brave people! Who know how to love you, too — you, who do not know what you are writing.
Fr. Andrea

Information For Funeral For Sister Kathleen's Sister

Scarponi-Bright Funeral Home
26 Main Street
Lebanon, NJ 08833
 Janice Marie Prostak, age 53, of Greenwich Twp., NJ passed away on Monday, June 5, 2017.
 She was born on June 4, 1964 in Staten Island, NY.  She was a resident of the Hunterdon/Warren County area her entire life, moving to Greenwhich Twp. in 1988. 
 She was the daughter of the late Robert Andrew and Maryann Sicora Gerritse.
 Janice was the wife of Thomas S. Prostak, celebrating 30 years of marriage.
 She was a 4th grade teacher at Greenwich Elementary School where she taught for 21 years.
 Janice was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alpha, NJ.  She loved traveling and running.  Most of all, she loved her family and she loved education.  She was a very dedicated teacher who would spend a great deal of time thinking about what she could do for her students. 
 Survivors in addition to her husband include her son; Thomas W. Prostak and his fiancee Lauren Perlingero of Stewartsville, NJ. She is also survived by two sisters; Sister Kathleen Marie Gerritse of Hopewell Junction, NY and Karen Gardineer and her husband David of Ewing, NJ.  Two brothers; Thomas Gerritse of NE and John Gerritse of CA. 
 Calling hours will be Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Scarponi-Bright Funeral Home, 26 Main Street, Lebanon, NJ.  
Funeral Mass will be Friday, June 9, 2017 at 10:30am at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church,  830 5th Ave., Alpha, NJ. 
Inurnment on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Mausoleum in Alpha., NJ. 

 Memorials can be made to the Cysic Fibrosis Foundation  (

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Mass - Emilio Osso

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Emilio Osso on Saturday, June 3 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass = Edward Begosh

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Edward Begosh on Thursday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day

The Cluster Parishes of St. Denis, St, Columba and St. Kateri will join together to offer Holy Mass on Monday, May 29 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Denis Cemetery. (In case of rain, Mass will be in church). Please note that there will be NO MASS offered at St. Columba on Monday.

Funeral Mass - Michael DeLorenzo

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michael DeLorenzo on Saturday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ascension Thursday

Ascension Thursday Mass Schedule

Wednesday, May 24 - Mass at 5:30 p.m. at St. Columba & 7:30 p.m. at St.Kateri (Revive Lower Dutchess Closing Mission Mass)

Thursday, May 25 - Masses at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Absolutely Remarkable Story

 Gianna Jessen, an American survivor of a failed saline abortion, delivered a powerful testimony in the Eternal City on Saturday, May 20, at the 7th annual Rome March for Life.
The March began it Piazza Repubblica and made its way through the streets of Rome to Piazza Venezia, where crowds listened to several testimonies.
A young woman who had an abortion spoke of how she found healing. Professor Stephane Mercier, of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, testified to standing up for life, after almost losing his teaching post after calling abortion “murder” in one of his classes. And a young man who survived a car crash but was left for dead by doctors, spoke out against euthanasia.
In her testimony, Gianna Jessen delivered a courageous witness to faith. She also posed a “gentle” question to feminists, offered a heartfelt message to women who have had an abortion, gave wise advice to young people, and had a powerful message for men.
Speaking in Rome’s Piazza Venezia, Gianna told the crowds:
I’ll give you a brief summary of my life. It’s been complicated. But first I want to thank the brave presenters that spoke before me. I have great admiration for what you are doing and what you did. I have cerebral palsy because I survived an abortion. I didn’t have an abortion; I lived through one. My biological mother was seven and a half months pregnant and she had a saline abortion. This burns the baby. It burns the baby inside and out and blinds and suffocates the child, and then the baby is born dead within 24 hours. But instead of arriving dead, I arrived alive, and in an abortion clinic, not a hospital.
So I love to say this: I am alive by the power of Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed of Jesus and I shout his Name in the streets of Rome, so everyone can hear: Gesu, Gesu, Gesu [i.e. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus]. I know that’s not popular. Sometimes pro-life people don’t even like to speak about Jesus, but I’m telling you: I’m not ashamed of the God who saved my life. How could I be? This is a battle between life and death, and we need God’s help. It’s a broken world, and broken people need real answers that come from God.
So it says on my medical records: born during saline abortion, 6:00 am, April 6, 1977. It went on to record that she was 29 ½ weeks pregnant, and I was only two pounds. The nurse called an ambulance because the abortionist wasn’t at work yet. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die.
You may wonder why I have no burns on my body or why I am not blind, and it’s just a simple answer: Jesus. But I do have cerebral palsy, and I was never supposed to leave the bed; I was never supposed to hold up my head. It was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving an abortion. So I would like to gently ask the feminists that are listening, whether online, Facebook live, in the audience: if abortion is merely about women’s rights, then what were mine?
I just have a few things to say in conclusion, and they are these: I was later adopted. As I just told you, I was told that I would never walk. But what I want to tell you is that no human being can ever tell you what your destiny is. Only God can. Also, I want to tell you: I have met my biological mother, and I have said, “I am a Christian and I forgive you.”
I want to also say to anyone who has had an abortion, or more than one abortion, or any man who has paid for one or more abortions, and to anyone who doesn’t believe in God or Jesus: The only freedom any of us will ever find from our sin is Jesus. So just give him that abortion; tell him that you’re sorry, and ask him to forgive you, and he will set you free. And if you don’t believe in Jesus, tell him you don’t believe in Jesus and he will answer you. Just talk to Jesus and he will change your life.
And the last thing, to the young people listening: listen to me, there is great honor in honoring the marriage bed. Women, young women: you are made to be loved and respected. We are not meant to be used and have the men walk away.
Men: you are made to be courageous and honorable. You are meant to be faithful and kind. And guess what: I think men are wonderful. I love men. I don’t hate men like feminists do. I think men are great. God bless the men! Men: you can only be courageous if you know who you are, and you are made in the image of God, just as women are. So stand up and be who you are born to be: protectors of women and children, and be honorable.
God bless you! Ciao, ciao

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cluster Revive Mission - Lower Dutchess Parishes

Join us Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday May 22-23-24 for our Revive Mission at St. Kateri Church in Lagrangeville. Each evening starts at 7:00 p.m. with Adoration followed by the Mission 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. At the conclusion of each night, Confessions will be available. All are welcome!
Bring a friend!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Funeral Mass - Kathleen Fusari

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kathleen Fusari on Tuesday, May 23 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Edmund Conley

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Edmund Conley on Saturday, May 20 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Anthony Spano

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anthony Spano on Saturday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

On behalf of the priests, deacons, religious sisters and staff of St. Columba, we wish all of our mothers a Happy Mother's Day. May God bring you many graces and blessings this day! We also offer a heartfelt prayer for our mothers who have gone before us in faith. May they rest in peace.

Funeral Mass - Eugene Murphy

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Eugene Murphy on Thursday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family. 

Funeral Mass - Rosemary England

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Rosemary England on Tuesday, May 16 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family. 

Our Lady of Fatima

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of Mary’s Appearance to the children in Fatima. Pope Francis traveled to Fatima this weekend to offer Mass and to canonize two of the shepherd children – Francesco and Jacinta. First time in our church history that children who were not martyrs were declared saints. St Francisco & St. Jacinta, pray for us!
Mary appeared beginning today and on the 13th of each month for 5 months – until October 13, 1917. On that day, 70,000 traveled to Fatima, including the aunt and uncle of Bishop Dominick. It had rained all morning. The people were wet and the roads and fields were filled with mud. But then came our Lady, revealed as Our Lady of the Rosary. And then came the Miracle of the Sun. The sun danced in the sky. Their clothes were completely dry and the mud was gone! Bishop and his family were very affected by the miracle – a reminder is found in the back of our church – placed by Bishop Dominick!
The children were given 3 secrets:
-         First was a vision of hell which foretold of the coming of WWII. They were encouraged to pray, especially the Rosary.    O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.
-         Second had to do with the rise and fall of communism, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
-         Third was written down and sealed – looked at by John 23 and Paul 6. On this exact day May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul 2 was shot 4 times. He lost 75% of his blood, but her survived. He asked to see the third secret – “Bishop dressed in white shot by bullets.”  Was asked by his assassin Ali Agca – “Why aren’t you dead?”   Pope – “A mother’s hand guided the bullets path.” On May 13, 1982, John Paul II went to Fatima and offered one of the bullets to Our Lady. It has been placed in her crown.
I have been to Fatima – it truly is a special place. I offered Mass at Cova da Iria – Vale of Peace.  Jesus said – do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God, have faith in me!
Mary said:
-         Peace is not only possible, it is inevitable. You will make it happen. Give everything over to my Immaculate Heart.
-         Nothing that hurts you, no sacrifice, no war, no fear can stand up to the peace my Son offers. The way to that peace is through the Cross, which is a key to all there is, a path to walk with me. It is not – it is never – too late.
-         Sin hurts but sinners can be bathed in mercy. Wars happen but they will not be the last act. You can drive God out of the country, but my image will stand in Red Square.”

On this Mother’s Day when we thank God for our moms, grandmothers, godmothers and foster mothers – we are reminded by Pope Francis – We have a another Mother – Mary, the Mother of Jesus - Cling to her.  Holy Mary Mother of God. . . .

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Funeral Mass - Anthony Oswain

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Anthony Oswain on Friday, May 5 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.


The Road to Emmaus – Emmaus – 7 miles from Jerusalem - became famous 200 years before Christ – Judas the Maccabee (the Hammer) and his army won a victory against the Syrian forces of Antiochus Epiphanes. A few days later they took back the temple
And tore down the Statue of Zeus  – they wanted to light the candle but had only 1 flask of pure oil – 1 day’s worth – lasted 8 days - the Feast of Hanukkah – Festival of Lights

Now Emmaus seems to be a place to drown your sorrows – a place to lick wounds – a place of defeat.
Jesus is dead – Peter did speak of an empty tomb and women say something about seeing him – but it must be all nonsense.  The dream is over. Mistake – left the group, off on their own, easy to doubt.

Stranger joins them  -  why could they not see it was Jesus?
-          Resurrected body?
-          Just could not be Him!  Did not fit!

He asks – what are you discussing?    A look – what’s wrong with you? Don’t you know what happened??   – actually HE IS the ONLY ONE who really knew what happened!

Begins to make connections – helps to understand Scripture – the Messiah first must suffer!    Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ - Jerome

Acts to go farther - stay with us – Act of hospitality -  a brilliant move – he said, when 2 or 3 are gathered, there am I!  Recall painting in St. Paul’s, London. Handle on inside!

He enters as a guest – becomes the Host -  Takes Bread – breaks it  - eyes were opened  -   They knew Him in the Breaking of the Bread – Eucharist.

Jesus revealed in Word – Eucharist – together.  Sound familiar?  God is present in many way – but in a most special way here!!!

Emmaus – where is it today?
Card Dolan in Holy Land – anything else – want to see Emmaus!
Sad – about 4 that claim it.
Could be this road – or that road.

Could be  5th Ave – I 84 – Taconic State Parkway – Rt 9 – 55 – 82???!!!

All roads can lead to Emmaus – here! -  and here our hearts will burn within us as we see Him again   -   Word + the Breaking of the Bread and one another!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. Denis St Columba School 50th Anniversary

Here is the Prayer that Father Michael offered Saturday Night at the 50th Anniversary Gala:

Dear Lord and Good Teacher,
We thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of St. Denis – St. Columba School.
We give thanks for all who are present and all those who have contributed to the life and success of our school.

We thank you for our parish priests and parishioners for providing material and spiritual support throughout the years.

We thank you for the Archdiocese of New York for all the support and guidance we have received.

We thank you for the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt and the Sisters of the Resurrection for their leadership and dedication.

We thank you for all the principals, teachers, staff and volunteers for their amazing generosity and countless hours of service to our school

We thank you for parents who have entrusted their children to us.

We thank you for all our benefactors whose generous support assists us in providing the very best for our young.

We thank you for all our current students and for our Alumni who are now offering distinguished lives of service to their families, communities and our country.

We thank you for the lives of those who worked, served or attended our school and now have departed, may they rest in peace. (Pause particularly for Sean Grogan)

Almighty Lord, we ask your continued blessings on us and we pray that students of the present and future generations may learn in this school to know, to love, and to serve You and recognize Your Presence in one another.

We ask the Patrons of our school, St. Denis and St. Columba, to keep us under their special protection and we pray for the Intercession of our Lady. Hail Mary

Together . . .  Bless us O Lord.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Funeral Mass - Sean Grogan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Sean Grogan (18) on Wednesday, April 19 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - William Maher

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of William Maher on Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Vigil

Congratulations to Kimberly, Linda & Pamela, who will be baptized and receive First Communion and Confirmation. Congratulations also to Matthew, Christopher, Jennifer, Hazelmary, Amanda and Carolyn who will complete their Initiation in the Church.
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.
Remember? (Give time for each to be remembered)
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 3 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!”

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Sunday Schedule

9 a.m. - Tenebrae (Office of Readings & Morning Prayer) @ St. Kateri
10:30 a.m. - Blessing of Easter Food
7:30 p.m. - The Easter Vigil (Includes Blessing of Fire, Baptisms & Confirmations)
NO 5:30 p.m. Mass - NO Confessions

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

8:00 a.m. Morning Mass
Parish Offices Closed - Adoration Chapel Closed

We wish all of our parishioners a very Blessed Easter!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reconciliation Monday

Come to Confession today! Experience the Lord's Mercy and Forgiveness! Prepare your heart for Easter!
Confessions available at all Churches here in the Archdiocese of New York from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

So we begin our Holy Week. Once again an opportunity to remember and live the great events of our salvation:
-          Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday
Truly a cast of characters:
The Twelve – All except John abandoned Him.
False witnesses – willing to lie.
Leaders – not open to the Truth
Pilate – knows the truth but washes his hands.
Soldiers – took away His dignity
Judas – betrayed Jesus with a kiss
Peter – three times denies Him – I don’t even know the man.
Sounds like us from time to time – difference between Peter & Judas – Peter knew he could be forgiven – Reconciliation Monday
Others –
Simon of Cyrene – helped to carry the Cross
Veronica – wiped His face
His Mother – stayed close by
Mary Magdalene – remained faithful
Good Thief Dismas – This day you will be with me in paradise!
Centurion – Truly this was the Son of God.
Joseph of Arimathea – gives his own tomb.
Also – sounds like us from time to time – or, what we hope to be?
Most of all – Barabbas – like us, guilty of sin – but the innocent One, Jesus, takes his place – our place!

Do you want to strengthen your Faith?  Make it a Holy Week! – focus on what is most important – avoid frivolous entertainment and unnecessary shopping and try this: Prayer – Fasting – Works of Charity.   Together let us Prepare for Easter!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I Am The Resurrection

Hanover Germany – in a cemetery a huge grave. It is covered with slabs of granite and marble, held in place by steel straps.  Underneith, a woman who said she did not believe in the resurrection. But if it happens, it will not reach her.  Over the years a seed fell, began to grow, slowly but surely moved the granite and marble, a steel strap broke.  Tiny seed.  If nature can move stones, what about God?
Our Friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him!!!
As Jesus arrives in Bethany he experiences two emotions. First is bit of anger – Martha, then Mary: Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  All life we try to gain control, but in the end we are not in control. No amount of money or influence can help.  One minute with us, next minute gone.  And, we get angry.  Some let their anger get out of control. They allow themselves to be consumed by anger and they begin to hate – God and everyone else.   Jesus also become angry -  perturbed – snorted in spirit – a different anger -  anger at what sin and death have done to us – not part of the original plan for us.
Another emotion – tears. When a Jewish person dies, they are buried that same day. Then they sit shiva for 7 days – came to show love and respect – sadness and tears.  “And Jesus wept”  The shortest verse in the Bible.   He wept over the city of Jerusalem and wept over the death of Lazarus.  Wept because he loved.  Compassion – suffered with his dear friends.
I am the Resurrection and the Life -   I am  -  word spoken at the burning bush.  I am God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob.  First glimpse of Resurrection. God of the living, not of the dead!   Where I am – life & light – not death & darkness.
Where have you laid him?   Genesis – Adam and Eve sinned & tried to hide from God: where are you?  How did you get so far away from me?   Look what sin and death have done!  Where is he???
Lazarus – come out – not darkness, no sin, no death can keep us from God – linger no longer in darkness and sin – no hate, bitterness, prejudice and anger – addiction to drugs, alcohol, technology, materialism, money, pornography 

come out – still wrapped in burial bands.   Untie him & let him go free.  Go free –-   Sacrament of Reconciliation – be free – Reconciliation Monday           1 seed, one little seed, slabs are moved, steel is broken. Nature can do it how about God???

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Funeral Mass - Grace Fiederlein

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Grace Fiederlein on Monday, April 3 at 9:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, Founding Pastor of St. Columba Parish and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on Friday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Please pray for our Confirmandi.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Was Blind, But Now I See!

Amazing grace . . . How sweet the sound  . . . was blind but now I see.
1)    Whose sin is this? I remember my dad. Last 2 years of his life very difficult. He was a very devout, faithful man. After retirement went to Mass daily. But he asked me: did I do something wrong? No, you just got old. I told you don’t get old! Some though misfortune due to sin. Sometimes we do cause our own problems, but many times do not.  Jesus – we can bring good out of this.
2)    Now Jesus, the enemy of darkness does something unusual – spits on the ground and makes a mud paste – remember creations story – formed out of clay of ground – mudbloods – now in Jesus, creation is being completed.
3)    Go wash in the pool of Siloam  “Sent”  - symbol of Baptism – restores sight, new life!
4)    He is a new person – he can see physically – but like everyone Baptized, he is invited to see spiritually!
5)    Can we see?  Basketball commentator – art critic – doctor – they see thing I cannot see. Must train ourselves to see, to see as Jesus sees!   Remember phrase: seeing is believing   Now: believing is seeing!
6)    Step by step the man born blind sees:
a)    A Man
b)    A Prophet
c)     A Man from God
d)    Lord!!!
7)    Now he can truly see.  Faith is a new kind of sight -  we see Christ in poor, unborn child, homeless person, husband, wife, parents, children, co workers, different race or religion.
8)    John Newton 1748 was a Slave Trader “The Great Blasphemer.”  By the way, reading history of our area, slaves here at same time!   Ship was in a terrible storm. Tied himself to helm of ship and made a promise to God that if he survived, he would stop the slave trade.  He survived and he did. Later wrote the word of this song:

9)    Amazing Grace . . .      was blind but now I see.  I see!

Monday, March 20, 2017


Take a sip of water. Let it work it’s magic. It does a lot more than take away thirst. It renews tissues and organs. It moistens the eyes, brain and spinal column. It aids in digestion and elimination. It lubricates joints and regulates temperature. Without water, our lives are in danger.
Jesus asks her for a drink, but it turns out that he has something to give her. If she would ask him, he would give her living water. “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst..”   Sir, give me this water that I may not be thirsty.”
We all thirst, don’t we? There is a thirst in every human heart. Bruce “Everybody has a hungry heart.”We are thirsting for something, something that will satisfy all our human longings.
-         Some seek the water of praise to quench lack of self esteem
-         Some water of success to quench thirst for self importance
-         Some water of pleasure to quench thirst for happiness.
Some disappear into a world of drugs, pornography, violence. Someone here seems to die from heroin every month. I read how one young man died after playing a video game 24 hours straight.
But we find ourselves still thirsty. Each person has an emptiness, a “holy longing” that we choose to fill with either good or evil.   There is a hole that we believe only God can fill.    St. Augustine “You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you!”

Only God can give us what we are looking for. This is why we are here.  We are not doing God any favors by coming to church.  By coming it helps us always to remember who we are and who we are called to be!!    Pray, fasting and almsgiving keeps us on the right path.  It helps us make good choices, and it gives great example to others.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Listen To Him"

Anna White was a Parishioner of St. Julian’s Church in Chicago. When she reached 106th birthday she was asked by a reporter - what is her secret?
She said: “There is no secret. I live by my rules. When I go to sleep, I tell God my problems. He tells me what to do. I keep waking up – so I guess God’s happy with how I’m listening to Him.”     How I’m listening to him!

Mt. Tabor   up near the Galilee  to understand Tabor – first Caeseria
A few days before this, Jesus was with his Apostles in Caeseria Phillipi
asked:   --  Who do people say that I am      Elijah, John the Baptist, prophet
Who do you say that I am?     Peter – Messiah
Jesus - This Messiah must suffer, die on the cross, and rise 3 days later
Peter – this cannot be    Get behind me, Satan  - you are talking not as God does, but as people do.    (You Are Not Listening”)

6 days later Jesus takes his Apostles – filled with sadness and fear - up Mt Tabor –
-         mountain a “thin place”  closest to God.
-         Elijah & Moses appear – the Law and the Prophets
-         he is transfigured    -  turned inside out so divinity is revealed. How He looked at Resurrection!
-         There will be darkness  – crucifixion!   – but there will be light
-         Peter – let’s put up tents – can we stay here – no, but carry this experience with you!!!
-         Father – this is my beloved son   LISTEN TO HIM!!!

Get on a plane – go through safety routine – do we listen?  Except for this flight – we may have a problem with the landing gear – lets go through what can happen – everyone is listening now.   Why listen – best interests at heart –- want to save us -  doesn’t Jesus?!

Try Listening to the One who can save our lives and our souls!

Anna White was asked – what is your secret?  It’s no secret – I listen to God!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lent is Spring Training

March is finally here – although it was much warmer in February.! March means that all the baseball teams are in Florida or Arizona getting ready for the new season. They call it Spring Training.
Some players, like Tim Tebow of the Mets, want to see if they have what it takes to play Major League Baseball.  All the players – veterans and rookies – want to work on their skills. They want to practice their hitting, fielding and running.   They want to become better players.
Lent means “Spring.” Someone once described Lent as Spring Training for the soul. We want to be better followers of Jesus.
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert – to get ready for his public ministry. So, Lent is 40 days. In the desert, Jesus faced different temptations.  He did not want to make the same mistakes that Adam and Eve did – to give into temptation and sin.
1)     Turn stones into bread – get something, buy something, eat something: that will be the answer! So, we Fast During Lent. Many of us give up something – Twitter lists top 5: alcohol, social networking, chocolate, twitter & chips.  We offer it up – unite with Jesus sacrifice. Even more important – fast from sin – make a good Confession.
2)     Throw yourself from the temple – test God.  Jesus always – not my will but you will be done.  And so, we pray – St. John Damascene - lift up minds and hearts to God. Morning, evening, meals, Mass, Bible, Rosary, Stations.
3)     Bow down and worship me -  power and glory – the answer is to serve others – almsgiving. Pope Francis says if you see someone in need - just give.  We will do that next Friday with all the Midnight Run donations you gave us.  Rice Bowls, SVDP, your favorite charities & very important – give yourself to your own family.
One player at Spring Training this year is Tim Tebow. He is trying to see if he is good enough to play for the Mets.
Asked: Do you feel pressure?  “What pressure? You mean 0 for 12 vs like fighting for your life or being homeless.  That’s why there is no comparison – that’s why you can handle pressure in sports – it’s a game!”
“Sports - It’s not why I am here, it is not my biggest purpose, it is not my biggest calling. It’s not how I want to be known in my life – not to be known as a football or baseball player. I want my life to be so much more than that!”
“I want to be someone that was known for bringing faith, hope and love for those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. This is so much bigger than sports.”

Thank you, Mr., Tebow – sound like a definition of a good Christian. – a great reminder WHY we need the season of Lent!

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. 

Blessed Ashes will be imposed during Mass after the homily at 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.
Blessed Ashes will be imposed at the end of Services at 9:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

Remember - Ash Wednesday is a Day of Fasting and Abstinence from Meat.

Join us for Stations of the Cross on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

25th Anniversary Mass POSTPONED!!!

Cardinal Dolan has asked us to postpone the 25th Anniversary Mass scheduled for March 4. His mother, Shirley, recently had a fall. He needs to be in St. Louis next weekend. When he returns, we hope that we can set a new date. In the meantime, please pray for Shirley Dolan.

Do Not Worry!

A man used to worry a great deal. One day his friends noticed – he seemed not to have a care in the world
Well, I decided all this worry was unwise and unhealthy.
So I decided to hire someone to do my worrying for me.
How much?  Oh about $1,000 per week.
How can you afford to pay this man?   That’s his worry!

Wish it was this easy!   Safe to say we all have worries!

Recent study:
2% of worrying time is spent on things that can actually be helped by worrying
40% on things that never happen
35% on things that cannot be changed
15% on things that turn out better than expected
8 % on useless, petty worries

Listen to Jesus   three times-don’t worry    your Father knows what you need -  after all I know you, I love you, I care about you!!

1)     Yesterday is History  -   with it’s cares,  pains, and mistakes – is gone. It was mine, not it is God’s
2)     Tomorrow is a Mystery – with its fears, possibilities, burdens, promises and failures. But it is not mine, yet – it is God’s
3)     Today is a gift  -  that is why we call it “the present.”   One day at a time

Today is the gift.

1)      Live in the present
2)     Always try to do the right thing – nothing like a clean conscience
3)     Let go of the rest  - Hand it over to God
Holding up a glass – how heavy is it?   10oz   16oz
Weight doesn’t matter – it depends on how long you try to hold it.
Hold minute – no problem     hour – arm aching    Day – call an ambulance
Put it down
Next to bed
“Before you go to bed, give your troubles to God. He will be up all night anyway.”

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr