Monday, April 16, 2018

Funeral Mass - Bernadette Wrafter

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Bernadette Wrafter on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

"Look At My Hands!"

Story is told of a Missionary sent to Burma, had to ask permission of the king.
King looked him over
No, not you. My people are not foolish enough to listen to your preaching, but they will notice those calloused, work scarred hands.

Toward the end of my parent’s lives, I began to notice their hands more and more. I can still picture them very clearly. How many meals she made! How much wash! How much work! My dad had a meat store & deli. All the cuts he used to have! I would know those hands anywhere!

Jesus disciples were hearing confusing stories about resurrection.
A Made up story?  A ghost?
He comes before them – look at my hands & feet. It is really I!

We might think that the resurrected body was without blemish.   Shock at scars!!! How he suffered!    Recent studies of the Shroud of Turin reveal over 600 wounds. Yet, those scars helped disciples recognize him! It showed them it was the same person who was crucified.    It is a proof of his love.

People who care about others – people who love - pick up a lot of wounds.    On the outside and in. (Sometime children yell at their parents and even hit – hurts their hearts!)
If a person has no wounds – I wonder – was there nothing worth suffering for???

Thing about hands – they teach us about a person:

Hold a hand
Make a Fist in rage
Point finger
Thumbs up
Thumbs down
Wrap in embrace
Shake hand
Slam a door
Feed hungry person
Steal from store
Bring joy
Bring sorrow

What we do with our hands – says much about who we are.

WWII – Story of a bombed out church. People went through wreckage – armless Sacred Heart – guess we have to get a new one – next day, someone put a sign – you are the hands!

We are the hands, we are the feet, we are the heart – we can show others that Christ is truly Risen!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Funeral Mass - Frank Fiorentino

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frank Fiorentino on Monday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Funeral Mass - Marie Mastrati

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Marie Mastrati on Friday, April 13 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Joseph Lanza

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joseph Lanza on Wednesday, April 11 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy.
But - what is mercy?
In simplest terms – God made us out of love! He loved us into being.
But, human beings always seem to turn away – this is called sin.
God calls us back into relationship – this is called mercy.

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

Today is called Divine Mercy Sunday. Began by John Paul II.
Our Lord rose from the tomb, and He met many people who had treated him badly.
The apostles and disciples had run away and left Him.     Peter denied Him.
The only ones at the cross were his mother, the holy women & John.
But instead of condemning them, He was merciful.
Remember – Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
Or – to the thief on the cross  -  Today you will be with me in paradise . . .

In 2000, JP II canonized St. Faustina – She has furthered our understanding of Divine Mercy.
She wrote that  - even at the moment of death - God extends his hand in mercy!
Christ calls all souls at the moment of death and offers the grace of conversion.
They are, of course free to receive it or reject it.
This gives so many of us great hope when our relatives and friends leave this life unprepared.

We see the beautiful image of Divine Mercy - really an alternate image of the Sacred Heart
Flowing from heart - rays.
Remember soldier took lance and pierced Jesus heart - out flowed blood and water.
Red = blood = Eucharist
White = water = Baptism
Loving heart of Savior calls - come for forgiveness, healing & salvation

1) Ask for mercy – especially in Confession
Whose sins you forgive and forgiven them
St. Faustina was told:
- when you approach confession. Know that I myself am waiting there for you.
- I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul
- Here the misery of the soul meets the mercy of God

2) Be merciful
Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy.

3) Completely trust in Jesus!
He has broken power of death - wants us to be with him forever.  Lord Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner – Have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Memorial Mass - Brian Donahue

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Brian Donahue on Saturday, April 7 at 11:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Michele Colabatistto

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michele Colabatistto on Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! A time of new beginnings!
Easter Baskets – the Lenten fast is over – time to eat!
Easter Eggs with festive colors – like chicks, Christ has come out of the tomb
Easter bunnies – spring babies – new life
Easter outfits and Easter parade – new garments received by newly baptized

All these signs point to one thing – the Resurrection.
Amazingly – the one who was dead now lives. How can this be? 

What is the Resurrection?
-         Some say it is a metaphor – Jesus was still alive in their hearts and minds. He lives on in memory.
-         Some – another way to speak of nature after the death of winter, like caterpillars to butterflies and frozen earth to green shoots.
-         Some – his legacy lives on. Jesus will live on, just like the writings of Shakespeare on the music of Beethoven.
Nice – but we believe in something more – That he physically rose from the dead – Why? What is the evidence?
1)     The Tomb was empty. Where is He? If the authorities took His Body, why not show it?  If robbers – why did they leave behind the cloths, the only things of value?
2)     He was seen on 11 occasions, once by over 500 people. Some say a hallucination – for 500???
3)     The disciples were never the same. They left the Upper Room never to return. All except John would die a violent death – John in exile. Would you give your life for a made-up story?
4)     It is still happening! Over 1 Billion Catholics in the world. And the Faith is still being passed on.
See now – we come to the decision point
Is he who he said He is – the Son of God?
Was he crazy or dangerous – of did he speak the truth?
If he did – what does that mean for my life?

Did He Truly Rise from the dead? If he did not, it’s time for me to get a real job and time for us to close and sell St. Columba Church!

But if He did – and I believe He did - it changes everything!

How I look at my life – as a gift from God.
And how I look at death – a passing to eternal life.

It changes what I do with my life, how I speak to others, where and how I work, what I read, what I watch on TV, what I view on the Internet, how I treat the poor, the aged, the sick, the immigrant, the unborn. 

It changes everything!
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!”
A time of new beginnings!  Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter 2018

Saturday, March 31
Easter Vigil at 7:30 pm
No 5:30 pm Mass - No Confessions

Sunday, April 1
Masses at 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 noon

Monday, April 2
Morning Mass at 8:00 am
Offices Closed & Adoration Chapel Closed

Happy Easter!!!

Good Friday

St. John writes – “They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths” Many people believe that this is the famous – Shroud of Turin. It provides a true image of Jesus after His death.

Recently, scientists at the University of Padua created a 3-D copy of the image – it looks like a statue. It shows a man of extraordinary beauty.  His height is about 5 11 whereas the typical male was 5 5. They count 370 wounds on His front and back – they estimate about 600 wounds.  At the moment of death, he sagged to the right because his right shoulder was dislocated.  All this for us. By His wounds we are healed!

This extraordinary man – who gave his life for us - uttered seven last words .(sentences) while He hung upon the Cross.

1)      Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
First word – Father -   forgive them  - Father forgive us – It is I who have made you bleed.   He forgives!

2)      Today, you will be with me in paradise.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. = The thief steals heaven – did he deserve it? Who does – all about mercy.  Divine Mercy Sunday

3)      Woman, Behold Your Son.  Behold, your Mother.
The one who said yes, who always said yes – is given to us as our pattern of holiness. notice – no name – the Beloved Disciple – on purpose? -   Behold – now she is our mother, and we are her Sons and Daughters. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

4)      My God, My God, why have you forsaken me/
Psalm 22 - Obedience comes at a great price – He took the weight of human sin and carried it to the cross – but not a psalm of despair – read it – filled with hope!

5)      I thirst.
Humanly speaking, of course – but another kind of thirst. MT’s Convents & our Chapel -  I thirst for souls. I thirst for you.

6)      It is Finished. Consumatum Est.
The work is done. A cry of victory. Power of sin is broken. Beginning of new life, the church. Out of his side flows blood and water.  Water – Baptism. Blood – Eucharist.

7 )  Father, Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit.
Surrenders to the father. A true prayer of all believers. I have said this prayer every night for 37 years - He is gone ahead to prepare a place for us. In my father’s house there are many dwelling places. He will wipe all tears from our eyes, for we shall see him face to face.

Old Pastor = Msgr. Andrews – Crucifix – Why should you want anything else, I never did! This is where you learn everything. This is the wood of the cross on which hung the Savior of the world – come let us worship!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Day Wednesday

All Parish Offices are closed on Wednesday, March 21. The Adoration Chapel is closed. All parish programs and activities are cancelled.

Funeral Mass - Ronald Cammarata

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ronald Cammarata on Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - James Martz

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of James Martz on Friday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Antoinette Baudille

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Antoinette Baudville on Friday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Memorial Mass - Giuseppe Osso

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Giuseppe Osso, who died in Italy, on Saturday, March 24 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Walter Klara

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Walter Klara on Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Ethel Theresa Fleming

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ethel Fleming on Monday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

The Way of the Cross

(This homily was inspired by a talk given by Father William Bausch)

For centuries, the three great Pilgrimage destinations were Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Jerusalem. Rome – to the tomb of St. Peter & all the holy sites. Santiago – to the tomb of St. James. And Jerusalem to the holy places, but most especially the tomb of Jesus Christ.
These trips were costly and dangerous. But the Franciscans came up with a great idea – we will bring Jerusalem to the people – and the Stations of the Cross were born. Artists began to sketch the holy places, and they were hung in churches. The number went from 7 to 24, but eventually they settled on 14.
They are called Stations – stationary standing places. We are invited to stand before each Station for 2 reasons: First – to meditate upon the scene. Second – to enter into it.  That is, to become a participant!
Some examples:
1)      Pilate Condemns Jesus to death. Did he have to? He seems to have some understanding that Jesus is innocent. He thought, let’s torture Jesus for a bit. Maybe that will be enough. Not good enough. Well, let’s release 1 prisoner, but they chose Barabbas. Now what? – I wash my hands. Should know better! Should stand up for the truth but I did not.
4) Jesus meets his Mother. Mary’s heart is broken. She wants to help him but she can’t. She would have gladly changed places with Him. Mary is every parent who tried to save their children. She is every parent who stands watching in a hospital or at a drug treatment center. Every parent who has prayed that their child would end a sinful lifestyle or who has left the faith. They instead stand silently offer their prayers and their tears.
5) Simon is forced to carry the cross. Simon stands for all the people who carry crosses they did not want or bargain for – cancer, addiction, sick parent or child, divorce, job loss, depression.  Yet Simon, first forced to carry the cross, then began to understand, then he began to love this man, and his whole family would become followers of Jesus.
6) Veronica – she stops and shows compassions. She walks with Him even when nothing else can be done. She could have run away, but she did not.
9) Jesus falls a 3rd time. You may say I know this station from experience. I keep falling. I am trapped in this habit  of sin. I keep gossiping, quick judgments, anger, misuse of  internet. I keep falling  Stations should say – Jesus GETS UP the third time.
12) Jesus dies on the cross – Father forgive them, they know not what they do. Help me to get rid of grudges and holding on to a hard heart. Jesus had a deeper love. Might I learn the same love?
14) Into the Tomb – I am empty, there is no hope. All is darkness. A loveless marriage, a dead end job, a bad relationship. Where is God? Faith is routine and empty. The stone has been placed over the tomb. But is that stone going to stay there forever.
And now we understand – unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat – but if it dies, it produces much fruit – 1 grain can produce 70 grains.
The Stations of the Cross – a wonderful way to prepare for Holy Week and Easter!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thanks For Prayers

I will be seeing my 7th doctor who will attempt to diagnose my foot pain on Friday, March 23. He is at NYU Langone in NYC. Doctors at NYU fixed my afib a few years ago. Let's hope they can get a handle on my foot!!! Thanks for your prayers!

Adoration Chapel Issues

For  some reason our Convent is on 2 circuits. One circuit is still out and affecting additional homes on 376. Thankfully, our Sisters have heat and power in some locations in their home. However, some power is still out, including the lights in the Adoration Chapel. So, we can only open in daylight hours until this problem is fixed. We will be open until further notice from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thank you for your patience!

For God So Loved The World . . .

John 3:16 – Memorized by most Protestants, perhaps we should too! – for God so loved the world – central teaching of the NT. That we might have eternal life!

Today’s Gospel Recalls the Exodus story – snakes biting people – Moses was told: mount the snake on a pole and anyone who looks at it will be healed. Became symbol of medical profession.   Caduceus
Strange – that which caused death now becomes the instrument of life?!  A sign of what was to happen later: Jesus nailed the snake – the Evil One – to the cross. He took the weight of all sin upon His shoulders!

The cross – In the early Church, Christians DID NOT want to pray in front of one or wear one. Go to catacombs -  no crosses – more like Xst the Good Shepherd or the Lamb of God. It was simply too close in time to Jesus’ Crucifixion – plus Romans still used crucifixion.
Only after 300 years could they look at it again.  Devotion began to take off when St. Helen discovered the True Cross in Jerusalem.

So developed the idea of a crucifix - cruci fixus – fixed to the cross.  INRI    Today we expect to see one in a Catholic Church. Many of us have one hanging over our bed.

Other devotions began to develop:
Sign of the Cross: around the 200’s – in the name of the Father  Orthodox: 3 fingers: Trinity – Two fingers: divinity and humanity of Jesus.  Mother had holy water font at door: bless yourself. Do it morning at night – Bless children as well!

Stations of the Cross  Via Crusis – Via Dolorosa  (sorrow)   Began obviously in Jerusalem – Franciscans had idea of bringing it to churches     “We adore you O Christ and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”  St. Francis

Pilate washing hands, Soldiers mocking, Meeting his mother, Simon steps in to help, Veronica wipes his face, Mary Magdalene & John stay close by, Joseph of Aramethea gives own tomb.

So why the Cross?

1)    Look what he did for us -  God so loved the world . . .
2)    We all have a share of the cross    Church is a meeting of cross bearers . . . look around you, no one here without splinters in shoulders.
3)    Difference we can make ..  help others carry cross     a support group for people with weighty crosses. 

So, we live by sign of the cross – prayer, around our necks, meeting rooms, homes, offices, classrooms.

John 3:16  - 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Winter Storm

Hi Everyone. Office Closed and Adoration Chapel closed Wednesday. All parish programs and activities cancelled. Stay home if you can and stay safe!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cleansing of the Temple

The Cleansing of the Temple
This is actually the Third temple
-         1st - Solomon
-         2nd – Was destroyed and rebuilt After Babylonian Exile  539 BC
-         3rd - Temple of Herod.    Destroyed in 70   all left is Western or “Wailing” Wall.

Our Jewish friends were and still are people of the Covenant – try to live by the 10 commandments
First three – honor and worship God.  One of the ways was to come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, especially on Passover.

1) Some had to come a long way. Could bring their own animals for sacrifice but they had to be without blemish – also, priests would not quickly certify animals from outside – so they had a cornered market. Kept prices high.
2) Also – the money had to be changed into shekels  -  Roman money was unclean - could not use money that had pagan images. They would charge a high rate of exchange.
3) All the buying and selling could get out of hand.  -  who could even pray with all the noise????

All this gave Jesus a righteous anger  -  things are not in right relationship with God - some anger is good anger – can be for a good purpose – like the students in Florida or the Me Too Movement.
On this day, Jesus flipped the tables and said: “my house shall be a house of praye!.”
He cleaned out the temple. It was Time for a radical cleaning.    

This Scripture has a significant place in Lent
St. Paul wrote -  “Are you not a temple of the Holy Spirit?”
Lent is a time for cleaning of OUR temple!
The Perfect Instrument  -  Sacrament of Reconciliation

Why not?    Some excuses:
1) Feelings of guilt and shame    -   face truth. Truth is difficult   I may have to change. Like maybe I have to put software filters on my home Internet to keep bad stuff out.
      Remember – all about the mercy of God who forgives & welcomes us back!

2) There were changes for those of us who are a bit older  -   do I have to go face to face, how about old act of contrition   Listen: go the way you always did!

3) May not know what to confess -   Sometimes children say – I have no sins .  What if we were to ask Mom??? examine your conscience every day. Look to 10 commandments as a helpful guide.

4) Why tell a priest?    Not an intermediary, but a mediator – a channel of the power of the Holy Spirit   -   You leave knowing, without question, you are forgiven!

Godfather III
Don Corleone tells the Cardinal – a legitimate deal with the Vatican bank gone sour
Cardinal picks up stone  “It has been lying in water a very long time. The water has not penetrated it. He smashes the stone  Look – perfectly dry. Same has happened to the men of Europe – surrounded by Christianity for centuries, but Christ does not live in their hearts.”

This is what we call a hardened heart.
Why not invite Jesus into our hearts for Lent? Cleanse the Temple – Get ready for Easter!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

In the Desert - Repent and Believe in the Gospel!

It began in a beautiful Garden. Adam and Eve had everything they needed. But they began to listen to that voice – the voice of evil.
“If you wish you can become like gods – you can decide what is right and what is wrong. You determine what is good and what is evil.
The listened and they acted. Simply put, it was a catastrophe for all of us. We are still suffering from the effects of it. We call it Original Sin.
They were cast out, and the garden became a desert. Look what has become of it Just ask any of our children and they will tell you.
We produce almost 4 ½ of waste per day per person. 40% of our food ends up in the trash. 64% of our lakes are not clean enough to fish or swim in. Air pollution kills 2 million people per year.  
And look what has become of us.  Another school shooting. In a state where you don’t need a permit to own a rifle, where you don’t need a permit to carry a rifle, you don’t have to register the weapon, you don’t have to take safety classes, you can buy it from anyone, no limits on the amount of guns you can buy, there is no waiting period to buy a rifle, no ongoing permit  or inspection requirements. Really? We can’t do better? And, get the help needed by mentally ill people?
Into this desert comes Jesus. Spirit drove him into the desert – to take on the evil one and remain faithful – to show us the way out of this desert.
Jesus gives us the True Weapons that are needed:
1)     Prayer – lift hearts and minds to the God who creates us and loves us. To recognize where we have come from and where we are going.  Pray – morning, noon, night, Mass, quiet room, reading bible, walk, rosary or stations
2)     Fast – from all that can take us from God – God’s grace is sufficient. We will not be consumed by the things of this world but see these things as gifts!
3)     Almsgiving – we respond to hate with love. Love is willing the good of the other. For all our brothers and sisters.  We will put aside all anger, all hate, all revenge. We are better than that.
In the end, the only answer can be God. How wonderful then that we are about to begin a Mission – an opportunity to reflect upon God and our relationship with Him.    Tony Bellizzi

Saturday, February 17, 2018

President's Day

Monday, February 19 is President's Day. It is a National Holiday. There will be one parish Mass at 8:00 a.m. All Parish Offices will be closed on Monday. The Adoration Chapel will be closed.

Funeral - Helen Figarella

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Helen Figarella on Tuesday, February 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Wedding - Elaine Bilello and Conor Merryman

The Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony will be exchanged by Elaine Bilello and Conor Merryman on Saturday, February 17 at 1:00 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


February 14 - Ash Wednesday - A Day of Fasting and Abstinence

7:00 a.m. Mass (Ashes Distributed after Homily)

9:15 a.m. Prayer Service - School Children will attend (Ashes distributed at end)

12:00 noon Mass (Ashes distributed after Homily)

3:30 p.m. Prayer Service (Ashes distributed at end)

5:00 p.m. Prayer Service - Religious Ed Children will attend (Ashes distributed at end)

7:00 p.m.Prayer Service - Religious Ed Children will attend (Ashes distributed at end) 

Jesus Reached Out And Touched Him

Jesus put out his hand and touched him.
I wonder, when was the last time?
How could you blame the people? - They just did not know what to do with leprosy – had to send him away.
Young man discovered something worse than leprosy – disconnect from family, friends, synagogue.

He needed a cure – but more importantly – he needed healing of a broken heart.

160 years ago tomorrow – young girl named Bernadette was gathering firewood – when she felt a breeze, looked up and saw a Lady. Who are you?  – in time – I Am the Immaculate Conception – Build a church, dig for water, pray and turn back to God.

Every year, 5 million people come to Lourdes – 80,000 who are sick – many seek a cure – many more experience healing.

Thing about Lourdes - Sick come first at everything – they are all surrounded with love – they all matter to God and to us.

Brought to the baths – yes, you bathe in the Lourdes water. Surrounded by volunteers, they gently and firmly immerse you in the water – a cleansing of the body.   If you wish today, dip your finger in our holy water fonts – I have added water from Lourdes.

Off to confession – after cleaning the outside, you clean the inside – I spent a grace filled week their hearing confessions – but I am just as moved in our little confessionals here – your sins are forgiven!

Procession with the Blessed Sacrament – Jesus is truly with us – Body and Blood – and he becomes a part of us when we receive Him. He is waiting for you in our little chapel – hear your prayers and bring healing.

Candlelight Procession – 30,000 people – light in so much darkness – we are not alone. So, we light a candle in church or one at home – do not be afraid!

Someone once said that the greatest miracle is not when God does our will – but when we do God’s will. The miracle of healing, the miracle of Lourdes, can happen right here.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl

172 Million watching  -   14 million calling in sick
Philadelphia vs New England – cheesesteaks vs chowdah.  No super bowl championships vs five. The backup quarterback vs one of the all-time greats.
Nick Foles is a great story. A good man. He revealed this week, that after football, he wants to be a youth Pastor. During the off season, he has been taking classes at seminary “I want to continue to learn and challenge my faith.”
For a time, he thought he was going to retire from football, but
“I kept reading scripture, I kept praying, I kept asking God — and so many of us ask God for signs, we ask God, ‘Hey, please just put it on the wall, like, I want to know,’ but that’s not how it works,” Foles said. “God’s not always going to do that. He was shaping me. He was bringing me down to my knees … At that moment, through that prayer, He said, ‘Hey, just take a step of faith.’
And then, there is Tom Brady, in many ways, an average player who made himself a great player, one of the best ever.
“What are you willing to do, and what are you willing to give up, to be the best you can be?” Brady asks. “You only have so much energy, and the clock’s ticking on all of us. And when you say yes to something, that means you got to say no to something else. In the end, my life focused around football. It always has been and always will be, as long as I’m playing. I’ve given my body, my everything, every bit of energy for eighteen years to it. So, if you’re going to compete against me, you better be willing to give up your life. Because I’m giving up mine.”
I’m sure a lot of professional athletes share this mentality. But what makes Tom Brady different is that he’s allowed this interior drive to transform every aspect of his life – diet, exercise, everything.
For him, mediocrity is a waste of time. He’s not content just to win more than he loses. He doesn’t want to be in the middle of the pack. He wants to be the best of the best, and he sacrifices every shred of his being to reach that goal. At 40, he knows the clock is ticking, but rather than coast into an already high place in football history, he doubles and triples his efforts to get even higher.
Sounds like St. Paul – I am obliged to preach the Gospel – a slave to all so as to win over as many possible!  Everything he can!
Here’s the thing – willing to do it for a super bowl trophy – what about eternal life? What about the state and destiny of our souls? 
In 10 days Lent - With Lent coming why not more – more than just giving up chocolate or saying an extra prayer or 2  - make it truly a time for spiritual growth!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Memorial Mass - David Mitchell

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of David Mitchell on Saturday, February 3 at 9:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Miriam Garcey

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Miriam Garcey on Thursday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Health Update

Thanks for your prayers! I am deeply moved by your support! At the Center for Morton's Neuroma, I received a radiofrequency ablation and a PRP treatment. There is some hope that this will decrease pain and enable me to sleep at night. The doctors at the Center also questioned whether I am suffering from Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. They advised me to see a neurologist to be properly tested. If this is my correct diagnosis, treatment can begin immediately. Please keep the prayers coming! 

"I Know Who You Are!"

The movie “American Sniper” is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal and the most lethal sniper in US history.
Early in the film, Chris Kyle’s Dad tells him – there are three types of people in the world:
-         Evil wolves that threaten the sheep.
-         The sheep who are good people, but they can be harmed because they don’t understand about the existence of evil.
-         The sheepdogs that protect the sheep.
Chris Kyle knew that evil is for real. He understood himself to be a sheepdog. He is out to protect the sheep and his fellow soldiers.
Sheepdogs are not the only ones protecting the sheep! There are also shepherds!  Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He cares for the sheep as well. He also understands that evil is real!  But, He wages a different kind of battle against evil – a spiritual battle – which is even more important!

Man with unclean spirit enters the synagogue:   unclean spirit: something out of place in the spiritual sense, not in order, something opposed to the holy.
Cries out “What have you to do with us?”     Plural is frightening.    Trinity = unity    Evil = disunity.
Jesus says “Quiet! Come out of the man!”
What are we to think of this in our modern world of medicine and psychology?
Can’t this be explained just as a healing of an illness?  Clearly many times yes, but not always.
I have done enough spiritual counseling to see the effects of evil in people’s lives.  The presence of evil is real and can sometimes overtake people. 

We see evil at work today:
-         when young gymnasts are taken advantage of by a trusted doctor
-         when women come forward to say “Me Too” that men have used their power in evil ways.
-         In the use of drugs that are supposed to help people that end up taking over their lives.
-         When fake news is used to destroy people reputations.
This is all the work of the evil one!!!
Pope Francis speaks about the evil one quite often. He says there is no shadow of a doubt – a battle exists in which the eternal salvation of us all is at stake!
Some thoughts:
1)    “Salus Animarum Suprema Lex” What can be more important than eternal life or the loss of it? Protect our souls. Stay away from people or things that can threaten us!
2)    King Philip sent a note to John about his brother, Richard the Lionheart: “Look to yourself. The devil is loose!”  Fight against complacency: watch ourselves and guard our hearts. Make a Daily examination of conscience.
3)    Fight against worldliness – living the way of the world. Live the way God truly wants us to!
4)    Fight against hate, anger and bitterness – all come from the evil one. Never hate but serve others. Pray and live in joy.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd has entered the struggle against evil.  Never forget this, in the words of Pope Francis: “God is stronger!   God is stronger!”     So, may God give us the grace to turn away from evil and live only in the Light!!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Funeral Mass - Sister Narcisa Pineda, OBT

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Sister Narcisa Pineda, OBT, on Wednesday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m. Please pray for her and for the Oblates to the Blessed Trinity.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Prayers Please!

After five podiatrists and two surgeries, I am still experiencing debilitating foot pain. I have been accepted as a patient at the Center for Morton's Neuroma in Framingham, MA. I will be spending time at the Center this Wednesday and Thursday (my appointment was moved up!) Please pray that they may find the cause of the pain and apply some remedy. Thanks so much! 

Funeral Mass - Josephine M. "Joan" Scocozza

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Josephine Scocozza on Thursday, January 25 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Kenneth Christman

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kenneth Christman on Monday, January 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

The Call

NFL Championship Games are here – Philadelphia vs Minnesota & Jacksonville vs New England (again New England)
People will be doing a lot of praying!  Especially for Tom Brady’s hand! Ok to Minny to pray after their miracle?  Yes.  Of course – no public prayers before games – and athletes usually pray they do well and won’t get hurt.
Surveys taken 2 years ago reveal that a lot of praying is going on before the Super Bowl:  26 % of American pray to God to help their team -  23 % believe their team is cursed! No more Cubs or Red Sox Fans!
31 % of Catholics  &  45 % of Protestants believe:  God plays a role in determining the winner of a sporting event!
65 % of Catholics believe that God rewards faithful athletes.   Wow!  
This is how God works?         What happens if a faithful athlete loses? He didn’t pray enough? 

Website “Open Doors” says that: Each month 322 Christian are killed because of their faith     214 Christian Churches and properties are destroyed    772 forms of violence are committed against Christians.  Worst country – North Korea – followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan & Pakistan.
They did not have faith????   
I remember my Dad one year before death – his health was getting worse – Michael:  what did I do?  Did I do something wrong?    This was a faithful, good man who went to daily Mass after he retired.    Broke my heart -      no, dad, you just got old!    Since when does having faith mean bad things do not happen?   What about the Cross?

Young priest was talking with a group of old priests like me.   Would you do it all over again?
He said: The expected answer is YES
The Question is WHY?  
Not because I had good support from other priests - 
Not because I met so many wonderful people - 
Not because everything went well: IT DID NOT ALWAYS GO WELL!  -
Not because it was an easy life: IT WAS GOOD BUT LIKE MOST PEOPLE, NOT EASY.  (Or else our seminaries would be full!)
WHY? – because somehow God worked through me!  -  CALLED!!!!
I was used for good –
somehow my life made a difference -  
despite sometimes lousy homilies or not best advice –
yet God was at work.
I Wonder – would Andrew, Peter, James and John done it all over again? – said yes and followed? – nothing like they thought – yet they were used for good    
How about Mary? -  do it all over again?
Faith does not mean things will always go our way – but that God will always be there – and if we cooperate with His grace – God can use us for good!!!!

So, who will win games today?   God knows (which does not mean he fixed it!)  May the best teams win!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Memorial Mass - Annette Green

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Annette Green on Saturday, January 13 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Joseph Bellino

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Joseph Bellino on Friday, January 5 at 9:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family. (He is dad of Lt. Bellino, East Fishkill PD)

Funeral Mass - Hilda DeCicco

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Hilda DeCicco on Thursday, January 4 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Raymond Baumann

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Raymond Baumann on Thursday, January 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.