Pastor's Message

Msgr. David's Message for September 23, 2018

Dear Parish Family,

I am encouraging all of you to please come and join Bishop Malone for a Holy Hour of Prayer for Reparation & Healing on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (the Hour of Divine Mercy) at St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin Street, Buffalo. I will be attending the Holy Hour.

Priests, Deacons, Consecrated Religious and Lay Faithful are encouraged to come and spend this time together in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament as we pray for the healing of victims, for those who have offended, for the purification and renewal of our Church, and for forgiveness of those Church leaders who failed to respond adequately to the abuse crisis.

Let us continue to pray for the healing of all victims and for healing and transparency in our Church.

Gratefully,

Fr. David


Msgr. David's Message for September 16, 2018

My dear parish family,

This Sunday we are celebrating Catechetical Sunday. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis calls for this annual observance to be celebrated in parishes across the United States. Bishop Robert Barron, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, announced the theme for this year, “Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.” Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all—parents, grandparents, catechists, and priests, religious and lay faithful—to rededicate ourselves to this mission as a community of faith.

Bishop Barron reminds us, “We are living in a very secularized society which continues to squeeze Christianity to the margins, or completely out of engagement with Jesus Christ and the Church… At the same time, we are blessed with an incredibly generous cohort of faithful who are sacramentally graced to give the Gospel witness in their homes, schools and workplace, if only they were invited, trained and supported in their outreach as missionary disciples. It will take the whole Church’s witness and engagement of the ‘Nones…a term used for people with no religious affiliation,’ inside and outside the walls of the Church and across society, to reach out, accompany them, and share the joy of the Gospel with them.”

I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of our parish family to acknowledge our Parish Director of Faith Formation/Religious Education, Ms. Dianne Wysocki, and our dedicated Catechists and Faith Formation Aides who serve the children of our parish in teaching and forming them in our Catholic faith and tradition on Sunday mornings as well as during our Children’s Liturgy of the Word on Sundays during the 10:30 a.m. Mass. I also wish to express gratitude and appreciation to Sr. Ann McDermott, our Pastoral Associate who coordinates the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) along with our dedicated RCIA team members who assist Sr. Ann in educating and forming the adults who seek to become members of the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and/or Eucharist. In addition, I thank Mrs. Maureen Ingham and our School Teachers for what they do every day to strengthen the Catholic faith in our school as well as all who assist with our Pre-Baptismal Class.

Please help me invite others to join our wonderful faith community here at St. Peter’s & St. Bernard’s and to welcome back those whose faith may have grown lukewarm and who need to be re-engaged in the practice of our Catholic faith. Often all it takes is a gentle invitation to return and come to Mass. Also, if you have children in your family who are not enrolled in our Faith Formation/ Religious Education Program, please contact Ms. Dianne Wysocki at 754-2812 or go to our parish website www.stpeterlewiston.org. If you know of any adults who have never been baptized or who are uncatechized or who are baptized in another faith tradition and wish to become a member of the Catholic Church, please contact Fr. David or Sr. Ann McDermott at the rectory, 754-4118.

May this year be a time for all of us to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ though daily prayer and to become more intentional witnesses for Jesus Christ. May we all do our part to reach out to those who are in need of God’s unconditional love and mercy and know that they are most welcome here.

Be assured of my grateful prayers,

Fr. David


Msgr. David's Message for September 9, 2018

My dear Parish Family,

As I was preparing this letter, I received word that our Pastoral Associate, Sister Ann, fell at Stella Niagara on Labor Day evening and suffered a broken hip. I visited with her on Tuesday morning and she was preparing for surgery. Please keep Sister Ann in your prayers. If you would like to send her a card, please send it to the rectory and I will bring it to her.

This past Wednesday, we welcomed back to St. Peter’s School 211 students to begin our 2018-2019 Academic Year. We ended last year with 183 students… so we are extremely happy with our growing enrollment. Our school is truly a gem as we provide the very best in Catholic education and academic excellence! The school has never looked better, all cleaned and polished and filled with 211 wonderful children, along with our very dedicated and gifted Principal, Mrs. Maureen Ingham, and our outstanding faculty and staff.

Next weekend, we begin Faith Formation Classes for Kindergarten through Grade 10 on Sunday, September 16, so if you have children who are not registered in one of our Catholic Schools and they are in need of Faith Formation, please contact Dianne Wysocki, our Director of Faith Formation, at 754-2812. I am deeply grateful to Dianne and all of our excellent catechists for providing the very best in Faith Formation to our children. May God bless and protect all of our children as they begin another school year.

Next weekend is the Annual Collection for Christ the King Seminary. Over 680 alumni of Christ the King Seminary (CKS) are currently serving in our diocese. This year, 40 Seminarians are currently enrolled, up from just 12 a few years ago. Four Seminarians were ordained to the priesthood in 2018. Over 100 students (laity and men in formation for the Permanent Diaconate) are enrolled in academic programs at CKS – preparing to minister in our parishes and communities.

The Seminary is truly a treasure for our diocese. Christ the King Seminary is a fully-accredited graduate school, with the same academic rigor expected of a college or university offering an advanced degree. As a Catholic seminary, this learning is connected with communal and personal prayer, personal growth programming and structured pastoral experiences, better preparing graduates to serve the needs of others than a purely academic degree. Future priests, deacons and lay ministers study and work together. Christ the King is one of the few Catholic seminaries using this collaborative model. We are very pleased to have one of our parishioners, Eric Deutschman, presently enrolled in the Permanent Diaconate Program and another parishioner, Mrs. Bernadette Franjione, who graduated from the Seminary in May 2017 with a Masters in Arts degree in Theology and who serves our parish in the RCIA process, as a Eucharistic Minister, and in many other parish initiatives.

Please support Christ the King Seminary in next weekend’s second collection. For more information on our seminary’s mission or programs, or to give online, go to www.cks.edu. Be assured of my grateful prayers for all that you do for our parish, as well as for the greater good of our Church here in the Diocese of Buffalo. God bless you!

Fr. David


Msgr. David's Message for September 2, 2018

My dear Parish Family,

To say the least, these are very challenging times for our Catholic Church both here in our own diocese and throughout the world. As I have mentioned in my homilies over the past couple of weeks, I want to thank you for ‘staying the course’ and ‘keeping the faith!’ At a time when people are shaking their heads and walking away from the Church, I encourage you to remain strong in faith, hope and love. It is important to remember the failures and sins of priests and bishops are human failures…not failures of faith. More than ever, we as clergy, religious and laity must remain strong and united in prayer… in our personal prayer and in the communal prayer of the Eucharist. Prayers before the Blessed Sacrament are very powerful. I urge all of us to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to inspire our spiritual leaders to hold fast to the truth, to protect our children and people of all ages and to help everyone to heal and be strengthened by the unconditional love and mercy of God.

First and foremost, our main concern must always be for the victims of abuse who have suffered oftentimes in silence for many years, to this very day. One case of sexual abuse is one too many…and we can no longer tolerate the silence and any form of cover-up or denial. We must also be clear that this is not just a Roman Catholic Church crisis… but sadly is prevalent in all of society and needs to be rooted out. So let us all commit ourselves to the power of prayer as we pray for the victims of abuse, as we pray for the offenders who are sick, as we pray for Pope Francis, Bishop Malone, Bishop Grosz and Bishop Kmiec and for all of our priests and deacons and religious, and as we pray for all of our parish family, that we will continue to hold fast to our faith in Jesus Christ who alone is the Divine Healer of souls. Let us remember the words of Jesus to our patron, St. Peter… “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

Please join me in praying this prayer for healing victims of abuse:

God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son to save us by the blood of His cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear our cries as we agonize over the harm done to our brothers and sisters. Breathe wisdom into our prayers, soothe restless hearts with hope, steady shaken spirits with faith: Show us the way to justice and wholeness, enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform our brokenness. Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace, so that we may act with justice and find peace in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!

© 2018 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

May God bless you all with a safe and peaceful Labor Day Weekend!

Gratefully,

Fr. David