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

HOLY SATURDAY
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

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

EASTER MONDAY
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

Water

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

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.
Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, February 19, 2017

President's Day

Monday, February 20 is President's Day. It is a National Holiday. Mass will be offered at 8:00 a.m. All parish offices will be closed. The Adoration Chapel will be closed. Have a good holiday!

An Eye For An Eye . . .

In the Louvre Museum in Paris there stands a seven-foot-long stone on which is inscribed the Code of Hammurabi – who ruled ancient Babylon over 3500 years ago. It is among the oldest written laws in the world.   It gives great insight into the laws of the time. It also contains the great Law of Talion – Lex Talionis – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It may seem to be a very cruel law, but historically it was a great move forward. It limited vengeance.  Because of this, the Torah of Moses embraced the Law of Talion. And yet, someone like Gandhi would say – if all of us were to practice the “eye for eye” the whole world would be blind and toothless.
Some might say that there are basically two responses to oppression or injustice: Fight or flight.
Fight – we oppose evil on its own terms. They want to fight you – you fight them. The answer is violence – and it can only get worse. 
Flight – run away. Do nothing.
Jesus proposes a third way
-          Turn the other cheek – see, I will not lower myself to your level.
-          Take your cloak, give your shirt
-          Roman soldier could force you to carry his things 1 mile – like Simon of Cyrene – no, go 2 miles. (Now he will get in trouble!)
Lincoln once let a southern prisoner go – received a letter criticizing him – you should destroy the enemy. Lincoln wrote back – If I make him a friend, don’t I destroy an enemy?!
Example: Day after the Inauguration – Woman’s March in Washington. Not all women, of course. Woman part of Respect Life Groups were told they were not welcome.  Anyway, it turned out that there were many women and not enough rest rooms.  Some Dominican Friars noticed and kindly let a few in to use their rest rooms. Before they knew it, hundreds of people lined up.
Now, this became a source of great anxiety for the Dominicans. First, a large crowd had descended. But also, many had disagreeable signs, shirts and hats. Some messages were anti-Catholic, pro-abortion, vulgar and even pornographic. Realizing where they were – the people had the courtesy to cover them up.  The Dominicans spent time in conversation with the women and realized that they had many reasons for being at the March. Some were very anti Catholic and Anti Life, but others believed in the dignity of women, or laborers, of the poor and the importance of the environment. They wanted their daughters to grow up in a world that would not mistreat them.

Amazingly, some marchers started to take up a collection for the Friars. Some were fascinated by the Dominican Habit with their Rosaries (you know the chant) and why they would give their lives to God.  This very strange and uncomfortable experience reminded the Friars of today’s teaching – to love you enemies – to will the good of all!  How to be rid of an enemy – make them your friend.  Remember: if all of us were to practice the “eye for eye” the whole world would be blind and toothless.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Funeral Mass - Peter Keenan

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Peter Keenan on Saturday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Funeral Mass - Timothy Zammiello

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

You Have Heard The Commandments . . .

I am sometimes asked – how late can you come to Mass and it will still count?
Our older priests would have told you – back in the day, the priest would take the veil off the chalice – the bell would ring – and that would be the cut off.
I was taught – you had to make the Gospel – after that, you were out of luck.
Now – it is in your hands!  Do your best to arrive and leave on time. And remember, there’s a difference between being caught in traffic & checking my email. Difference between getting to Marios 1st after Mass and the baby getting sick all over you!
Do I do the minimum, the least amount that I have to do  -  or do I give my best?

Gospel is calling us to more.

1)     You have heard  it said – thou shalt not kill. But – whomever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. There is such thing as righteous anger – In Hidden Figures, Dorothy Johnson, a human computer at NASA is asked – why do you go missing at times – there is no bathroom – no bathroom? – no colored bathroom, have to walk ½ mile. She is angry and rightfully so.  Danger when anger turns to hate, that destroys us and others.
2)     You have heard it said- thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  That woman is someone’s daughter, sister, even mother. There are made in the image and likeness of God. This lust turns them into an object for my possession. Pornography is an awful thing.  Ruins lives and destroys marriages.  Do everything you can to be faithful!
3)       You have heard it said – do not take a false oath. But – do not swear at all.  Judge Judy with dad.  Take oaths – and half would lie anyway.   Let your Yes mean yes & no mean no.  Person of honesty and integrity.

Can rightly say – too hard – how can anyone live up to all these.
Who said living the Catholic Faith was easy?!
Bishop Barron – extreme standards – after all, the church wants to raise up saints.
but extreme mercy.

How to do it?    Brother had dog – Yogi – my favorite dog – yellow lab.  Beautiful.
Yogi loved to eat – eat anything.    Tom taught him obedience.
Would put food in bowl and say NO
Yogi, of course, was dying to eat – but tried to obey. He never looked at the food.
Like – if he did, the temptation would be too much.

He always looked at Tom’s face    What a great lesson – keep our eyes on Master’s face!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

St. Blase Blessing of Throats

Friday, February 3 is the Feast Day of St. Blase. We are happy to offer the Intercessory Prayer of St. Blase:
- after the 7:00 a.m. Mass
- after the 10:00 a.m. Mass
- at a 7:00 pm Service

Be - Attitudes

2nd Season on National Geographic Channel - “The Story of God” narrated by Morgan Freeman. It is a study of all things God – how God is understood and worshipped across the whole earth.  As Morgan has suggested – there is truth to be found in many religions. It is interesting to learn about the Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.  Many have exceptional teachers – Mohammed, Confucius and the Buddha.  But only one – Jesus - has said – I AM THE way, THE truth and THE life.  Follow me!
Today we follow Jesus up the mountain – just like Moses went up the mountain to receive the 10 commandments.
Then Jesus sits down – the posture of a teacher -  Cathedral come from word Cathedra – the chair – from which the bishop teaches.
This is the path to happiness – to true joy!   Beatitudes -  Be-Attitudes  -   Attitudes for being.
1)      Happy are the Poor in Spirit – not praising poverty – rather, how good it is to be detached from things – do things own us or do we own them?
2)      Happy are those who mourn – not good to be depressed – rather those filled with compassion, to suffer with.
3)      Happy are the Meek – sounds like allowing people to walk all over us. Rabbis described Moses as the meekest person ever, yet he erupted in anger when they worshipped the Golden Calf.  The meek person empties themselves out so they can hear God.
4)      Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.   Makes us think of being self-righteous.  No – righteous means in right relationship with God.  Stay in God’s good graces. Do it God’s way. Thy will be done!
5)      Blessed are the merciful -  Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Det Steven McDonald said the boy damages my body, I will not allow him to damage my soul – I will let go of the hate!  Allow the divine life in us to grow!
6)      Blessed are the Clean of Heart – pure of heart – My heart is focused on God – not divided between my life on the internet or TV & my life with my family.
7)      Blessed are the peacemakers. – Madonna “I’ve thought about blowing up the White House.” Later -   "However, I know that acting out of anger doesn't solve anything," she said. "And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love."   Exactly!  Can we listen?  I have monthly lunch with local Protestant clergy. Many differences – but can listen.
8)      Persecuted for the sake of righteousness.  Very hard in certain areas of the country to say you are Right to Life.  But if we don’t experience some ruffled feathers, we are probably not living our faith.

Nietzsche thought that Christian values were mere “consolation prizes” for those who could not make it in the world. For losers. And Jesus was the ultimate loser – hanging on the cross – or was he?  Where there is death – now there is life! So consider the Beatitudes – path to true joy – as way that leads to heaven!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Funeral Mass - Angela "Angie" Buchanan

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Angela Buchanan on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Helene Browne

A Funeral Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Helene Browne on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

The Face Of Christ

Back in September, a high school teacher in NC gave a lesson on the First Amendment.  He took out an American flag.  First, he tried to burn it.  Then, he tried to cut it.  Then he placed it on the floor and took two steps on it.  He said – this is an example of free speech.
Two students just got up and left the classroom. No words, they just left. Another student stood up and picked up the flag.  Later, he was suspended.   “There are better ways to teach about the First Amendment then by desecrating the Flag.”
Some might say, what is the problem?  It is just cloth.  More than cloth, it is a symbol.
I have stood in many cemeteries, watching members of our military carefully and even reverently fold the flag and carefully handing it to a member of the family.   A symbol of – as they say at West Point – duty, honor, country.
I was thinking of that as I watched Martin Scorsese’s film “Silence.”  A very difficult film to watch. In the 1600’s, The Jesuit Order and the Catholics they were serving in Japan were experiencing great suffering. Word had gotten to Portugal that one of the Jesuit priests had recanted, turned against God, and left the priesthood.  Two of his former students could not believe it.   We must go to see if this was true.  They were warned that they could face great suffering, but they insisted.
When they arrived in Japan, they found a church living in fear and secrecy.  One could be arrested or killed for being Catholic.  For some time, they could serve secretly, but they were found out.  As the 2 priests hid, people were arrested.  They were being forced to renounce their faith.    All they had to do was step on the “fumie” an image of Jesus.   They were told – just step on it, it does not matter, save your life.   Some did, some did not.   For some who did, they then took out a crucifix.   Just spit on it.  They could not.
Just a picture, just a piece of wood. Rather, what is symbolized.    Easy for me to judge.  Who knows, would I have the strength?   But, I am afraid I am very capable of stomping on the image of Christ right in my midst.
Rel Ed teacher wanted to teach a lesson.  Boys and girls, they may be people that you don’t like.  Would you please draw a picture of them?   And they did.   She attached the pictures to a sheet of paper on a dart board.   She handed out some darts.   Now throw them at the pictures.  They did. They were ripping big holes.   Now stop.   Removed the pictures,  removed the sheet of paper.  Beneath – the face of Christ, all torn up.    Do you understand??

So much hate.   Ranging from politicians we don’t like, to children yet to be born, to our elderly, sick and immigrants.  Where does it stop?  I always show reverence for the flag of our country, for an image of Christ.  If only I could do the same when I see the face of Christ in others.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday

Monday, January 16 is the Dr. King Holiday. Morning Mass is at 8:00 a.m. The Parish Office and the Adoration Chapel will be closed. Have a good holiday!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Holy Name

Burglar broke into house. As he flashes a light around, he hears a voice – Jesus knows you are here.  He nearly jumped out of his skin. When he heard nothing more – he continues his search for valuables.  Once again he heard – Jesus is watching you!  He looked around frantically – in the corner – there was a parrot.   Did you say that?   Yes.  I’m just trying to warn you that he is watching you.   Warn me?  Who are you – Moses, replied the bird.   Moses, who would name their bird Moses.  The same people who would name their Rottweiler – Jesus!  
A name! Names are so important. Tells everyone who we are. During the course of our lives, we hear our names 1,000’s of times. I usually loved to hear my parents speak my name – except when I was in trouble!
Readings today speak about names
1)     Book of Numbers – Moses is told to have Aaron bless the people in the name of God. And what is God’s name – I am Who Am – Yahweh – so awesome it is not pronounced. When it is written, the vowels are left out.  Jesus said – Hallowed be thy name!  Second Commandment – Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain.
2)     Paul tell us, because of Jesus, we can call God by another name – When you pray say – Father – Abba – Daddy.  An intimate word. Points to a relationship. God is awesome and all powerful and also Abba!
3)     Eight days after his birth, Jesus was presented in the Temple by Mary and Joseph. He was given the name Jesus – the name the angel gave him – Yeshua, a form of Joshua – Yahweh saves.  St. Paul wrote that this is the Name above every other name. At his Name, every knee should bend and every tongue declare that Jesus is Lord.
At Baptism – this is the first question that parents are asked – what name have you given your child?  Reminds everyone that this is a unique individual – never before and never again will this unique person exist. This child has been entrusted by God to your family to be loved and cared for – this is a child of God!!!
President Bush (41) was once visiting a nursing home. A resident was giving him a good looking over. The President asked him “Do you know who I am?”  Resident – No, but if you speak to those nurses over there I’m sure they can help you!” 

Who are you – Joseph, Mary, Michael, Susan - You are a child of God!!!