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.