Monday, July 16, 2018

Be Faithful

Amazing to think, in three weeks I will be offering Mass in Ephesus – the final resting place of St. John, the home of Mary, the place where Mary was declared Mother of God, the place where St. Paul lived for over 2 years. His letter to the Ephesian today:  God chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him – so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.

We have a purpose and a goal
What will help us to get there?

Carry a walking stick – Go two by two – shake the dust from your feet.

1)      Carry a walking stick
You need something to lean on – trust in God’s providence.
All happens for a reason – can we trust in God’s love?
King had a falcon that helped him hunt. At the end of the day, began long ride home. Looking for a place to drink – saw some trickling water. As he went to put his cup under the water, the falcon swooped down & knocked it away.
Happened 3 times and king went into a rage. Took out his sword and hacked at the bird.
Then he went to get his drink – but then he finally noticed the source of the spring – dead animal – water was contaminated.
Falcon could see what we couldn’t – can God see what we can’t - does God have a plan?

2)      Go two by two
Genesis – not good for man to be alone.  Need each other.
Communion of saints.  Community of the church.
List of sick - “Through this holy anointing, grant comfort in their suffering. When she is afraid, give her courage, when afflicted, give her patience, when dejected, afford her hope, and when alone, assure her of the support of your holy people.”

3)      Shake dust from feet.
No 100% success rate. Great baseball hitter  .300
Makes out 7 out of 10 times!
Do our best & move on. Let go.
Not everyone will receive you
Not everyone will love you
Not everyone will appreciate you

Bank president was asked– secret to success?  Right decisions
How do you make right decisions – experience
How do you get experience – wrong decisions.

Mother Theresa  – “we are called not to be successful – but to be faithful.”

We know who we are – sons & daughters of God – and where we are going – toward the Kingdom of God. To get there: carry a walking stick, go 2 by 2, shake the dust from your feet! By God’s grace, we will get there!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Rules of Civility

What started as a handwriting exercise formed the basis of Washington's moral education.

When George Washington was a 16-year-old schoolboy, he sat down to copy a list of 110 “Rules for Civility” in order to improve his handwriting. The list, which was widely circulated in Washington’s time, has been traced back to a guide to behavior put together by French Jesuits for their young charges in 1595.
Painstakingly copying each of the 110 rules had an effect on more than just the future Father of Our Country’s penmanship. According to Richard Brookhiser, author of Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, Washington took the 16th-century Jesuit’s rules very much to heart, and relied on them in the course of his military and political career.
Covering everything from the strange and obscure (“Kill no vermin, or fleas, lice, ticks, etc. in the sight of others”) to serious ethical questions (“Wherein you reprove another be unblameable yourself, for example is more prevalent than precepts”), the rules form a road map to treating others with courtesy, respect, and civility, which Washington followed throughout his public life.
Here are all of the 110 “Rules of Civility” below, with modernized spelling and punctuation, courtesy of NPR:
  1. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
  2. When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body not usually discovered.
  3. Show nothing to your friend that may affright him.
  4. In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming voice, or drum with your fingers or feet.
  5. If you cough, sneeze, sigh or yawn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yawning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside.
  6. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
  7. Put not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half dressed.
  8. At play and attire, it’s good manners to give place to the last comer, and affect not to speak louder than ordinary.
  9. Spit not into the fire, nor stoop low before it; neither put your hands into the flames to warm them, nor set your feet upon the fire, especially if there be meat before it.
  10. When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even, without putting one on the other or crossing them.
  11. Shift not yourself in the sight of others, nor gnaw your nails.
  12. Shake not the head, feet, or legs; roll not the eyes; lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man’s face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.
  13. Kill no vermin, or fleas, lice, ticks, etc. in the sight of others; if you see any filth or thick spittle put your foot dexterously upon it; if it be upon the clothes of your companions, put it off privately, and if it be upon your own clothes, return thanks to him who puts it off.
  14. Turn not your back to others, especially in speaking; jog not the table or desk on which another reads or writes; lean not upon anyone.
  15. Keep your nails clean and short, also your hands and teeth clean, yet without showing any great concern for them.
  16. Do not puff up the cheeks, loll not out the tongue with the hands or beard, thrust out the lips or bite them, or keep the lips too open or too close.
  17. Be no flatterer, neither play with any that delight not to be played withal.
  18. Read no letter, books, or papers in company, but when there is a necessity for the doing of it, you must ask leave; come not near the books or writtings of another so as to read them unless desired, or give your opinion of them unasked. Also look not nigh when another is writing a letter.
  19. Let your countenance be pleasant but in serious matters somewhat grave.
  20. The gestures of the body must be suited to the discourse you are upon.
  21. Reproach none for the infirmities of nature, nor delight to put them that have in mind of thereof.
  22. Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another though he were your enemy.
  23. When you see a crime punished, you may be inwardly pleased; but always show pity to the suffering offender.
  24. Do not laugh too loud or too much at any public spectacle.
  25. Superfluous compliments and all affectation of ceremonies are to be avoided, yet where due they are not to be neglected.
  26. In putting off your hat to persons of distinction, as noblemen, justices, churchmen, etc., make a reverence, bowing more or less according to the custom of the better bred, and quality of the persons. Among your equals expect not always that they should begin with you first, but to pull off the hat when there is no need is affectation. In the manner of saluting and resaluting in words, keep to the most usual custom.
  27. ‘Tis ill manners to bid one more eminent than yourself be covered, as well as not to do it to whom it is due. Likewise he that makes too much haste to put on his hat does not well, yet he ought to put it on at the first, or at most the second time of being asked. Now what is herein spoken, of qualification in behavior in saluting, ought also to be observed in taking of place and sitting down, for ceremonies without bounds are troublesome.
  28. If any one come to speak to you while you are are sitting stand up, though he be your inferior, and when you present seats, let it be to everyone according to his degree.
  29. When you meet with one of greater quality than yourself, stop and retire, especially if it be at a door or any straight place, to give way for him to pass.
  30. In walking, the highest place in most countries seems to be on the right hand; therefore, place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to honor. But if three walk together the middest place is the most honorable; the wall is usally given to the most worthy if two walk together.
  31. If anyone far surpasses others, either in age, estate, or merit, yet would give place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or elsewhere, the one ought not to except it. So he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.
  32. To one that is your equal, or not much inferior, you are to give the chief place in your lodging, and he to whom it is offered ought at the first to refuse it, but at the second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
  33. They that are in dignity or in office have in all places precedency, but whilst they are young, they ought to respect those that are their equals in birth or other qualities, though they have no public charge.
  34. It is good manners to prefer them to whom we speak before ourselves, especially if they be above us, with whom in no sort we ought to begin.
  35. Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.
  36. Artificers and persons of low degree ought not to use many ceremonies to lords or others of high degree, but respect and highly honor then, and those of high degree ought to treat them with affability and courtesy, without arrogance.
  37. In speaking to men of quality do not lean nor look them full in the face, nor approach too near them at left. Keep a full pace from them.
  38. In visiting the sick, do not presently play the physician if you be not knowing therein.
  39. In writing or speaking, give to every person his due title according to his degree and the custom of the place.
  40. Strive not with your superior in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.
  41. Undertake not to teach your equal in the art himself professes; it savors of arrogancy.
  42. Let your ceremonies in courtesy be proper to the dignity of his place with whom you converse, for it is absurd to act the same with a clown and a prince.
  43. Do not express joy before one sick in pain, for that contrary passion will aggravate his misery.
  44. When a man does all he can, though it succeed not well, blame not him that did it.
  45. Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in public or in private, and presently or at some other time; in what terms to do it; and in reproving show no signs of cholor but do it with all sweetness and mildness.
  46. Take all admonitions thankfully in what time or place soever given, but afterwards not being culpable take a time and place convenient to let him know it that gave them.
  47. Mock not nor jest at any thing of importance. Break no jests that are sharp, biting, and if you deliver any thing witty and pleasant, abstain from laughing thereat yourself.
  48. Wherein you reprove another be unblameable yourself, for example is more prevalent than precepts.
  49. Use no reproachful language against any one; neither curse nor revile.
  50. Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any.
  51. Wear not your clothes foul, or ripped, or dusty, but see they be brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any uncleaness.
  52. In your apparel be modest and endeavor to accommodate nature, rather than to procure admiration; keep to the fashion of your equals, such as are civil and orderly with respect to time and places.
  53. Run not in the streets, neither go too slowly, nor with mouth open; go not shaking of arms, nor upon the toes, kick not the earth with your feet, go not upon the toes, nor in a dancing fashion.
  54. Play not the peacock, looking every where about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit neatly and clothes handsomely.
  55. Eat not in the streets, nor in the house, out of season.
  56. Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.
  57. In walking up and down in a house, only with one in company if he be greater than yourself, at the first give him the right hand and stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him; if he be a man of great quality walk not with him cheek by jowl but somewhat behind him, but yet in such a manner that he may easily speak to you.
  58. Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for ’tis a sign of a tractable and commendable nature, and in all causes of passion permit reason to govern.
  59. Never express anything unbecoming, nor act against the rules moral before your inferiors.
  60. Be not immodest in urging your friends to discover a secret.
  61. Utter not base and frivolous things among grave and learned men, nor very difficult questions or subjects among the ignorant, or things hard to be believed; stuff not your discourse with sentences among your betters nor equals.
  62. Speak not of doleful things in a time of mirth or at the table; speak not of melancholy things as death and wounds, and if others mention them, change if you can the discourse. Tell not your dreams, but to your intimate friend.
  63. A man ought not to value himself of his achievements or rare qualities of wit; much less of his riches, virtue or kindred.
  64. Break not a jest where none take pleasure in mirth; laugh not aloud, nor at all without occasion; deride no man’s misfortune though there seem to be some cause.
  65. Speak not injurious words neither in jest nor earnest; scoff at none although they give occasion.
  66. Be not froward but friendly and courteous, the first to salute, hear and answer; and be not pensive when it’s a time to converse.
  67. Detract not from others, neither be excessive in commanding.
  68. Go not thither, where you know not whether you shall be welcome or not; give not advice without being asked, and when desired do it briefly.
  69. If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained, and be not obstinate in your own opinion. In things indifferent be of the major side.
  70. Reprehend not the imperfections of others, for that belongs to parents, masters and superiors.
  71. Gaze not on the marks or blemishes of others and ask not how they came. What you may speak in secret to your friend, deliver not before others.
  72. Speak not in an unknown tongue in company but in your own language and that as those of quality do and not as the vulgar. Sublime matters treat seriously.
  73. Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.
  74. When another speaks, be attentive yourself and disturb not the audience. If any hesitate in his words, help him not nor prompt him without desired. Interrupt him not, nor answer him till his speech be ended.
  75. In the midst of discourse ask not of what one treats, but if you perceive any stop because of your coming, you may well entreat him gently to proceed. If a person of quality comes in while you’re conversing, it’s handsome to repeat what was said before.
  76. While you are talking, point not with your finger at him of whom you discourse, nor approach too near him to whom you talk, especially to his face.
  77. Treat with men at fit times about business and whisper not in the company of others.
  78. Make no comparisons and if any of the company be commended for any brave act of virtue, commend not another for the same.
  79. Be not apt to relate news if you know not the truth thereof. In discoursing of things you have heard, name not your author. Always a secret discover not.
  80. Be not tedious in discourse or in reading unless you find the company pleased therewith.
  81. Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private.
  82. Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.
  83. When you deliver a matter do it without passion and with discretion, however mean the person be you do it to.
  84. When your superiors talk to anybody hearken not, neither speak nor laugh.
  85. In company of those of higher quality than yourself, speak not ’til you are asked a question, then stand upright, put off your hat and answer in few words.
  86. In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to each one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, especially if they are judges of the dispute.
  87. Let your carriage be such as becomes a man grave, settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others say.
  88. Be not tedious in discourse, make not many digressions, nor repeat often the same manner of discourse.
  89. Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.
  90. Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough or blow your nose except there’s a necessity for it.
  91. Make no show of taking great delight in your victuals. Feed not with greediness. Eat your bread with a knife. Lean not on the table, neither find fault with what you eat.
  92. Take no salt or cut bread with your knife greasy.
  93. Entertaining anyone at table it is decent to present him with meat. Undertake not to help others undesired by the master.
  94. If you soak bread in the sauce, let it be no more than what you put in your mouth at a time, and blow not your broth at table but stay ’til it cools of itself.
  95. Put not your meat to your mouth with your knife in your hand; neither spit forth the stones of any fruit pie upon a dish nor cast anything under the table.
  96. It’s unbecoming to heap much to one’s mea. Keep your fingers clean and when foul wipe them on a corner of your table napkin.
  97. Put not another bite into your mouth ’til the former be swallowed. Let not your morsels be too big for the jowls.
  98. Drink not nor talk with your mouth full; neither gaze about you while you are drinking.
  99. Drink not too leisurely nor yet too hastily. Before and after drinking wipe your lips. Breathe not then or ever with too great a noise, for it is uncivil.
  100. Cleanse not your teeth with the tablecloth, napkin, fork or knife, but if others do it, let it be done with a pick tooth.
  101. Rinse not your mouth in the presence of others.
  102. It is out of use to call upon the company often to eat. Nor need you drink to others every time you drink.
  103. In company of your betters be not longer in eating than they are. Lay not your arm but only your hand upon the table.
  104. It belongs to the chiefest in company to unfold his napkin and fall to meat first. But he ought then to begin in time and to dispatch with dexterity that the slowest may have time allowed him.
  105. Be not angry at table whatever happens and if you have reason to be so, show it not but on a cheerful countenance especially if there be strangers, for good humor makes one dish of meat a feast.
  106. Set not yourself at the upper of the table but if it be your due, or that the master of the house will have it so. Contend not, lest you should trouble the company.
  107. If others talk at table be attentive, but talk not with meat in your mouth.
  108. When you speak of God or His attributes, let it be seriously and with reverence. Honor and obey your natural parents although they be poor.
  109. Let your recreations be manful not sinful.
  110. Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

Funeral Mass - Isabel McAdams

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Isabel McAdams on Friday, July 6 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

St. John the Baptist Birthday

A nice feature of smartphones – calendar with alarms – remember to send that birthday card.

Church calendar celebrates 3 birthdays.
Jesus - Christmas Dec 25  - preceded by Annunciation  March 25
Mary - September 8   - preceded by Immaculate Conception  Dec 8
John the Baptist - June 24  -  6 months before birth of Jesus
See how important this Solemnity is - even replaces Sunday.

Baptist  - last of great line of OT prophets – Isaiah, Jer, Ez
Son of Eliz and Zech  - temple priest – why is he in the desert?  now a new temple.

-  Points the way to Christ  - Remember story of David when ark brought to Jerusalem – leapt for joy   - leaps for joy inside his mother Elizabeth when Mary approaches carrying Jesus  -   behold the Lamb of God -    how can we point the way  - actions, not words -  easy here, what about outside here?

- Humble person -  I am not worthy to untie his sandals     -   he must increase - I must decrease    Timing – after longest day – days getting shorter.  It is not about me - it is about him!!!  Major mistake to compare to others instead to God -  Sometimes – say - I have everything together, my life in perfect order, need to improve nothing about myself.       In my humility - I admit my need for God, I need a Savior, I am a sinner - repent.

- Committed to the truth - not afraid to lay down his life for the truth  To tell King Herod the truth     A Long line: 
June 22  -   St. John Fisher & St. Thomas More
June 29 - St. Peter & St. Paul
June 30 - First Martyrs of the Church in Rome
July 3 - Thomas the Apostle

To point the way   -   to be humble -  to be committed to the truth
So we say – St. John the Baptist – pray for us!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day

Yard was a wreck tried to grow grass - could not - always playing ball
Killebrew - I’m not raising grass - I’m trying to raise children

Bonheoffer - True test of society is how it cares for its children

Some argue - don’t need fathers any more
20 Million children in America live without dads, and millions more have dads who are not emotionally present.

Children without dads
71% of HS dropouts
85% of behavioral disorders
85% of youth in prison
90% of homeless children
4X more likely to be poor and at dramatic risk for alcohol & drug abuse.
boys & girls need fathers!
Any man can have a child - it takes a special man to be a father.

Encourage – take St. Joseph as a role model – loved and cared for his family.
1)    Keep holy the Lord’s Day
2)    Get caught praying
3)    Teach the faith – words and deeds.
4)    Ask forgiveness when wrong
5)    Be generous
6)    Play
7)    Integrity

Nephew Kevin -.
When he was little we were at the beach - I was walking along the beach - there was Kevin, following me - but not just following - actually walking in my footprints.   Real wake up for me

Not all biological -  but all can be spiritual fathers
Teach rel ed, coach, scouts - every man can make difference

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Funeral Mass - Alma Martinez

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Alma Martinez on Friday, June 15 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Funeral Mass - Ralph Cilento

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ralph Cilento on Thursday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Funeral Mass - Angelina Vetrano

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Angelina Vetrano on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Corpus Christi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many names –
This is my Body
This is my Blood
Do this in Memory of Me!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Trinity Sunday

St. Augustine
Walking on beach – reflecting on God & Trinity
Saw boy making a lake in the sand – running back and forth to the sea.
What are you doing – I’m moving the sea” Can’t be done
And you think you can understand the mysteries of God?  But what we do know:

Throughout history -  humans had many gods:
Sun – moon – stars - trees – rocks – plants – animals – even Caesar
Even today:  everyone has a god – whether it  be: a person - money – power – success - material things -    even self

The great insight of the children of Israel - Abraham – there is one God  - Who said: You will be my people & I will be your God.

Moses – burning bush – I am who am . . . I Am

These are words used by Jesus to describe himself: I Am the Bread of Life -  I Am the Good Shepherd – I Am the True Vine, I Am the Light of the world – I Am the Way, the Truth & the Life –  I am the Resurrection   He was One with God – whom He called Abba - Father

Jesus said: I will send you the Advocate / the Holy Spirit
And when He comes -  you will go forth – the Great Commissioning
Baptize them   Father Son & Holy Spirit -  Trinity of persons, one God!

Here is a simple way to describe the Trinity – story told by Father Theophane, a Trappist Monk who was the brother of one of our priests, Father Boyd RIP.

Young man is speaking to a monk - Tell me what God is like.
Here, take this book. If you read it at the right hour, it will tell you what God is like.
He brought it back to share with his wife, who was carrying their first child. She said: What did he mean by the right hour?
Don’t know. Maybe on Good Friday, or after the Easter Vigil. Or maybe Pentecost. Maybe we should wait, and God will tell us. It could be years. Wait for a sign.

Two weeks later their first child was born.
He said: How can I explain how I felt?
I was worried – I was a dad. How will I do this?
I was filled with pride – I was a dad. You really grow up.
I was Humbled – we were involved in something so beyond us. Thought I had everything figured out. – not so!

That night, the child appeared in a dream – Asked: What is God like?
Woke up wife. This is it. Let’s open the book!

He opened it at random.
It’s very simple – God is a father.
Wife opened it – It’s very simple. God became a little child.
Let’s open it together. It’s very simple. Every breath you take is the breath of God.

Glory be . . .

Welcome Father Michael Connolly

Newly Ordained Father Michael Connolly has been assigned by Timothy Cardinal Dolan to serve at St. Columba beginning June 15. We are grateful to His Eminence for having the confidence in our parish to support and guide Father Connolly as he begins his priesthood. Here is an article about him from Catholic New York:
When Cardinal Dolan and talk show host and comedian Stephen Colbert appeared at Fordham University six years ago to discuss faith and humor, neither could know how the event encouraged then-Fordham student Michael Connolly to listen to a call deep within himself. “We were all abuzz about it in the dorms, and getting ready to get on line and get our ticket,” Father Connolly, now 25, recalled. Leading up to that, “all I heard was, ‘Oh, I’m going to go see Colbert. Hey, are you going to go to Colbert?’ “I found myself thinking, I’m going to see the Cardinal. Then I thought about that and was like, Why do I feel that way? I just had this reaction: no, I’m not going to see Colbert, I’m going to see the Cardinal, and then wondered, Whoa. Why?” Once there, he saw the cardinal descend the lobby stairs and cheerfully greet people. “I just felt this complete joy come over me, because it just emanates from him. I thought, I have to have that joy.” He concedes that his devout practice of the faith, rooted in childhood, “took a backseat” freshman year of college, at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. Despite all the fun he was having, “I just got to this point where I was so lonely, sad and empty. “God gave me a graced conversion moment and I just could see how horribly dark I felt.” Without thinking, he went to the chapel. He apologized to God and asked him to show him what he wanted him to do. “At that point, it wasn’t even necessarily priesthood. The first step was just coming back” to Church. “God bringing me back was like getting to meet myself all over again.” Now, through the priesthood, “robed with Him as my armor, I can go back in and communicate that, and sort of be like a missionary to millennials,” Father Connolly said. “But what’s so confusing for us millennials right now is that we’re being told from everywhere else that there’s no such thing as a mistake; whatever you feel like doing, that’s what you should do, that’s the truth, that’s the good thing.” Millennials are owed much more credit than they’re given. “We can take it, and, in fact, we want it,” Father Connolly said. “We’re not going to just fall apart if you tell me that there is such a thing as sin and poor choices. We want to know the truth.” Born in Sleepy Hollow, the second of John and Ruthann Connolly’s three sons is the brother of John Jr., 28, and Brian, 24. “I’ve grown up in very supportive, faithful family,” Father Connolly said. “A very important highlight of my family is my brother John, who has cerebral palsy. He’s taught me so much about enduring all kinds of suffering with joy and faith and hope, and even with gratitude. “I’ve also learned firsthand you don’t simply minister to a person with special needs; around that person is a whole family, a whole network of people who are affected by that situation...It’s definitely taught me compassion and patience.” He graduated from St. Augustine School in Ossining and John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers. At church, he was a lector beginning at age 7 and an altar server at age 11. While a student Fordham, he entered the college seminary formation program in Douglaston, Queens, in 2013. After earning a bachelor’s in philosophy from Fordham, he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie in 2014.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Memorial Mass - Gerald Volpe. Sr.

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Gerald Volpe, Sr. on Saturday, May 26 at 11:30 a.m., Please pray for him and for his family.

Memorial Mass - Roger Sampeur

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Roger Sampeur on Saturday, May 26 at 10:00 a.m., Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Michel Bizien

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Michel Bizien on Tuesday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. Please pray for him and for his family.

Funeral Mass - Ruth Ann Abbatiello

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Ruth Ann Abbatiello on Tuesday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.


Bishop takes the Holy Chrism puts it on forehead of confirmandi
Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit

Jewish friends called the feast Pentecost   50
Originally celebrating the barley harvest.
Later the giving of the Law
After Passover – wandered 40 days in desert
Moses went up Mount Sinai – after 10 days – he came down with 10 commandments           “heaven has come down to earth”

Same way – after Resurrection Jesus spent 40 days on earth –
Returned to heaven – the Ascension.           10 days later
heaven comes down to earth again – now: the Holy Spirit
1st law was written in stone -   this new law written on minds and hearts
Sinai was for Israel -   Pentecost is Israel & for the whole world!

Speak of receiving 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.
They are gifts – given by Holy Spirit – as long as we stay in the state of grace, they are very much active!

- They help us to become holy  -  help us share in the very life of God   now & in eternal life
- they enable us to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit
- they make perfect virtues   of    Faith, hope & love  

1) Wisdom -   seek out wise people to understand life  -  seek the wisdom of God
2) Understanding -  see the hand of God at work in my life & to trust!!!
3) Counsel – to judge individual acts – is this good  – or evil 
4) Fortitude – to overcome difficulties or endure pain & suffering with strength from God
5) Knowledge – use created things in holy and good way – see God who created them
6) Piety – worship God and see each other as children of God – justice!  
7) Wonder and Awe – Fear of the Lord -   do not want to be separated from God -  a healthy fear

Augustine  soon after conversion  walking down street in Milan.
A person he committed many sins with called out   “Augustine!”    “It is I!”
Augustine  “Yes, but it is no longer I”
A new creation  --  why we say  Come Holy Spirit!

Monday, May 14, 2018


We are in that “in between time” between Ascension and Pentecost. Lord Jesus had left them to return to the Father – but He promised to send the Advocate – the Holy Spirit. So the Apostles returned to the Upper Room, together with Mary, and they prayed – nine days – that’s where the word Novena comes from. They waited and prayed – Come Holy Spirit!
Surveys show that 55% of Americans pray every day – 21% weekly or monthly – 23% seldom or never.
How do they/we pray?   ACTS
2)     Contrition/Sorrow
3)     Thanksgiving
4)     Supplication/Petition
St. John Damascene says – “Prayer is the lifting up of the mind and heart to God.”   A good definition – but is it all our work? “Not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us first” – God seeks us. Another way to look at it – a conversation among friends.
Thoughts about prayer:
1)     How do you pray? Take the time – worth it. Put it right in the schedule.  Quiet in the morning or evening – in the car. Pray rosary when walking.
2)     Find the center – the meaning and purpose of life – keeps us focused.
3)     Speak with honesty – tell God what is going on!  Wife & mother at hospital with sick husband, day after day. She just couldn’t take it anymore. Statue outside of Mary. Started throwing dirt at it. Wanted to stop her, but chaplain said, it’s OK, she is praying.
4)     Listen attentively. Don’t do all the talking. Every now and then, God might speak audibly, but more often through Bible and other people.
5)     Silence – MT – silence leads to prayer leads to faith leads to love leads to service.
Once again note – Apostles made sure Mary was with them in the Upper Room – the model of prayer – let it be done to me – do whatever He tells you!
On this Mother’s Day, may the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, lead us to the Father.

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!