Sunday, December 30, 2018

Parish Office and Adoration Chapel

Parish Office

Monday, December 31 - Open 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Tuesday, January 1 - Closed

Adoration Chapel

Closed Monday, December 31 & Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Mary, Mother of God - Holy Day of Obligation

Tuesday is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Here is our Mass Schedule:

Monday, December 31 - Mass at 5:30 pm
Tuesday, January 1 - Masses at 8:00 am, 10:00 am & 12:00 noon.

Happy New Year!

Holy Family

We have been working our way through the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

-          Annunciation     (Immaculate Conception)
-          Visitation     (4th Sunday of Advent)
-          Birth of Jesus  (Christmas)
-          Presentation of Jesus  -  Jan 1
-          Today - Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

The Temple is long gone – Build by the son of King David – Solomon. It was a place of prayer and sacrifice. The Ark of the Covenant was kept in the Holy of Holies.
Destroyed by the Romans in Year 70
All that is left   so called Western Wall or Wailing Wall  built by King Herod.  Check it out 24 hour live web cam.

It continues to be a holy place:
Place of Prayer:  150 psalms each day.
Of Ceremonies:  bar & bat Mizpah
And Great discussions and teachings    can you picture Jesus being there?

Were his parents neglectful? How could he have been left behind?
Funny age – 12   turning boy to man
Up to 12 – raised by mother and women.
Around 12 – passed over to the men – which was a hard transition for many.

Men & women always traveled separately
So Mary thought – he’s with Joseph     Joseph thought – he’s with Mary
Go searching – found Him in the Temple.
“Did you not know I had to be in my father’s house?”
In other words – why didn’t you check here first?

1)      Raised him centered on God
Hopes for children – happy and healthy. Should also include: holy
They brought him to temple  -   you are our son, and you are also a child of God.
Raised him with religious traditions  -   they lived it out.

2)      A reminder that there is no guarantee things will work out the way we plan.
Do our best – and then hand it over to God.   Especially true when we have tried to pass on faith and they no longer practice – keep the faith! Live it by great example.

3)      Child was obedient to them. His parents tried to fulfill their responsibilities – They listened to Him, nurtured him, educated him, cared for him, tried to keep him safe. This is the true Mission of the family, and when this is done, the world is a better place! In turn, boys and girls should trust that their parents know what they are doing – have your best interests in mind -  would not hurt to say YES more often!

So today we celebrate the Holy Family. And we pray for all of our families:

O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church. 

Shower your blessings on these families gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say or do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Parish Office & Adoration Chapel

Parish Office

December 24 - Open 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
December 25 - Closed
December 26 - Closed

Adoration Chapel

December 24 - Closed
December 25 - Closed
December 26 - Closed

Christmas Masses

Christmas Eve
4:00 pm in Church
4:00 pm in School
6:00 pm

Christmas Day
8:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
12:00 noon

Merry Christmas!

Ark of the Covenant

They called it the Exodus  --  journey from slavery to freedom
In the course of the journey, Moses was invited by God to climb a mountain - Mount Sinai       There he spent 40 days with God.
On that mountain he received what we call the Decalogue – the 10 Commandments – laws for living – to keep the community together.

The people treasured this gift from God and eventually people built a container for them   “Ark of the Covenant”
Placed inside:  two tablets -  and later: jar of manna – staff of Moses

They carried it everywhere – when they stopped, they put it under a tent called   Tabernacle
Glory of God would descend upon it   “Shekinah”

During the reign of King David – he decided to take the Ark up to Jerusalem
During this grand procession, the Bible describes David   “dancing before the Lord”   “skirtao”
Later, his son, Solomon, would build a temple, and the Ark would be placed in the    “Holy of Holies”

586 BC   Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem
2 Maccabees suggests that Jeremiah hid the ark in the mountains.
Everyone looking for the ark since them – including Indiana Jones.

Many years later, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to a young woman of Nazareth
Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you!   -   the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you!          “shekinah   same word!
Mary said - I am the handmaid of the Lord – let it be done to me according to thy word.
Moment of the Incarnation.
She becomes the dwelling place of God.    The ark in human form!!!

Mary – arose -  “anistemi”   same word for resurrection.   Came across the hill country – to a town outside Jerusalem.  Ein Kerin
She greeted Elizabeth – and Elizabeth said - Blessed are you among woman, and blessed is the fruit of your womb – as she said this, she felt her son John dance within her  -“skirtao” - like David dancing before the ark 

Mary was given a title 325 Ephesus - Theotokos  -  God bearer  - she brings God’s light, God’s joy!!!

Jewish Tradition – Ark in each Synagogue – Torah scrolls
Catholic Tradition - Tabernacle  -  Eucharist  - True presence of Jesus

But both limited by place
Receive HC  -   we become Arks as it were
With opportunity to bring Jesus wherever we go.

Imagine what would happen if:
We bring Jesus to school, business, home, shopping
We have purpose – God’s needs us to bring Jesus there!!!
We are God bearers!!!  Like Mary, may we bring Jesus to a waiting world!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Reconciliation Monday

Churches in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn will be open for Confessions on Monday, December 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass - Kathleen Eisenberg

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Kathleen Eisenberg on Thursday, December 20 at 10:00 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Prepare The Way of the Lord

6 Miles east of Jericho – is the Jordan River. At that location, many believe:
-          John the Baptist Baptized Jesus
-          Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan after the Exodus
-          Elijah returned bodily to heaven.
Sadly – for the last 50 years it has blocked by land mines. By this time next year, they hope to have it cleared and open again.

The Jordan River. Out in the desert.
This is where we meet that unusual figure – John the Baptist – born of Eliz & Zach
Most consider him the last and greatest of the OT prophets.
Jesus took him very seriously “among those born of women none greater than JB”
Church celebrates 3 birthdays
-          Jesus – Dec 25           Mary – Sept 8      JB – June 24

He spent a great deal of time in desert – why? - no distractions – so he can listen to God.  Every now and then – put aside phone, turn off TV & computer - just be with God
Here is fruit of his desert time:

1)      He learned about Humility
“I am not worthy to untie his sandals” & “he must increase and I must decrease.”
Humility – this is not putting oneself down. Rather – realizing all is gift. It is putting oneself in right relationship with God. God is at the center, not me!
Realize – I am not in control!   I Need a Savior - I need Eucharist  -  I need prayer  -   I need God! 

2)      He learned about Repentance
Our students have been telling me about Elf on the shelf – a scout sent by Santa from the North Pole – helps Santa manage his naughty and nice list – goes to NP each night to make his report about what you were doing.
A tough one – I would not stand a chance  -  you see: Baptist knows I will sin, but I also can be forgiven – Baptist: turn back to God!
Nothing like a good confession!!!  Reconciliation this Monday from 4-8

3) He learned about Integrity
He was a person of principle & conviction – told the truth – even challenged the King!    People respected him.
Soldiers – nonbelievers – do not practice extortion, do not accuse anyone falsely.
Tax collectors - believers but not practicing – stop collecting more than prescribed
Faithful ones – whoever has 2 cloaks should share with the person who has none. Whoever has food should do likewise.
Walk the walk -   be the same person at church, in school, at home & work.

On our way to Bethlehem – need to stop at the Jordan River.
John will be waiting for us
To teach us about humility -  repentance  -  integrity.
To help us prepare the way for the Lord.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wedding - Morgan & Bitting

April Morgan and Robert Bitting will exchange the Sacred Vows of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on Friday, December 14 at 3:30 p.m. Please pray for this couple about to be married.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

No 12 Noon Weekday Mass Dec 10

There will be no 12:00 noon weekday Mass on Monday, December 10. Instead, we will offer a 12:00 noon Funeral Mass for Fernando Carozza. 

Funeral Mass - Fernando Carozza

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of the soul of Fernando Carozza on Monday, December 10 at 12:00 noon. Please pray for him and for his family.

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Think of Christmas – Baby Jesus, Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph
2nd Sunday of Advent – Meet unusual figure of John the Baptist
Sure can’t find him in Walmart!
But he says -  Prepare the way of the Lord.

You  are very involved in preparing - Presents – cards – decorating
Putting up the Christmas Tree

Think about – strange thing – cutting down a tree – bring it inside – hang stuff on it
Jesus – very connected with trees  -  carpenter – manger – boat - cross

Christmas Trees thanks to our German friends
Something about evergreen – stays green in winter – sign of eternal life.
One day, Martin Luther walking through woods – sees star light through trees – idea of candles – sure it did not go over big with fire departments   better with electric
Put angel or star on top
Angel – Glory to God   Star – star of Bethlehem

For a long while a Prot thing  -  Took a while for Catholics to embrace it -  John Paul II brought Christmas tree to Vatican 1982

The Largest Christmas tree in the world - Gubbio
Popes have blessed the tree.  3 Wishes:

1)     Looking at tree – not just look at bottom - not look just to material things  -  but causes us to gaze up – toward heaven – toward God
Wish that this Christmas   – look upward to God
Remember Baptist  -   he must increase – I must decreased  - I am not worthy to untie his sandals.

2) A light shown on the shepherds  - we too need that light – a light to show us the path of light amid darkness, fears and worries      who is our light?  – baby born is a stable – John the Baptist said -   Look, the Lamb of God.

3) Tree is made up of many lights -  Would look strange to see just 1 light   Wish is that we step out of selfishness makes us think only of ourselves  to  become lights for others 
JB  light of truth, justice & love

God of all creation,
we praise you for our Christmas trees
which brings beauty and memories and the
promise of life to our homes.
May your blessing be upon all who gather
around our trees,
all who keep the Christmas festival by its lights.
We wait for the coming of the Christ,
the days of everlasting justice and peace.
You are our God, living and reigning, for ever
and ever.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


I see the English have discovered Black Friday. Police called out all over the country. Assaults, broken bones, arrests. You think they would know better.
Different way to prepare for Christmas – Church invites us to consider Advent!
Adventus – “coming”   who is Coming? - Christ

3 Comings
in Bethlehem – history
each day – mystery
end of time – majesty

1)     History
Emperor Hadrian very famous for building 126 AD the Pantheon in Rome– also in 135 built a Temple in Bethlehem – for this we are grateful = marked the spot of the birth of Christ! – Constantine 327 - Church of Nativity- present church 6th century   oldest surviving church in holy land
Used to have huge door – made small because would ride horses in  -  have to bow. Then you go down steps – see the making on floor – and there you are
Believe that Messiah was born here  -  changed the history of the human race – why we celebrate Christmas

2)     Mystery
Tragedy of first Christmas – so few recognized what happened.  
Even today – so few recognize that Jesus is STILL with us.
1)     Word  -  2) Sacrament: Eucharist, words of forgiveness, pouring with water, anointing with oil  -  3) distressing disguise of the poor.
Pay attention  to the Presence of Christ

3)     Majesty
“As we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior”

When – we don’t know, stopped trying to figure that out a long time ago.
 But – he will come   -   be ready

“Sub specie aeternitatis”
“View everything under the aspect of eternity”
-         is this action going to help me get to heaven, or is it going to hurt my chances?
-         How will this appear on the day of judgment?

History – Mystery – Majesty  -
The coming of Christ.
Let us use this Advent well -  to prepare our hearts!