Fr. Cole's Message for July 25, 2021
St. Peter Parish Family,
I hope you are all enjoying the slower pace of summer and are taking some time to relax. While the faculty and staff here at St. Peter’s are getting some much-needed rest and time-off, we are equally busy catching up on things and preparing for the Fall! At end of June, our Parish Spiritual Life Committee met to discern ways we can grow as a parish family in our relationship with Christ. Stay tuned for a parish-wide book study launching in late September, a healing Mass with Confessions prior that has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, and we also hope to see the return of Children’s Liturgy of the Word at our 10:00am Mass.
Our Faith Formation department is busy preparing for a new program that will launch this Fall. We have brought on board Karen Smaczniak, a recently retired Faith Formation Director from St. Mary’s in Swormville to serve as our Faith Formation Consultant. Ryleigh Myers has also joined our team and will be working alongside Dianne Wysocki as our new Faith Formation Coordinator. On Tuesday, July 13 we had a very productive gathering of catechists who were presented with our new format. If you feel God calling to you to lead a Faith Formation Workshop, or if you would like more information about becoming a catechist, please do not hesitate to contact Dianne at [email protected] or 754-2812.
On July 12 the Director for Buildings and Properties for the Diocese of Buffalo, Mike Sullivan, met with the Lewiston Preservation Board to present our rectory restoration plan. Now that all the paint is off and we can get a good look at what needs to be done and are subsequently in the process of getting estimates and doing stucco samples. Once the right exterior formula and color is decided, Mike will present our findings at the next Preservation Board meeting in early August. In the meantime, we hope to soon begin repairing, repainting, and replacing rotted sections of woodwork.
A very special thank you to Lauren Frosolone, Helen Murray, Mike and Diane Blenk, and our entire maintenance crew for all their help at our recent St. Bernard cleaning day. The basement was cleaned out, particularly, in the area where the ceiling is collapsing now making it accessible for repair. Storage areas were cleaned and every cabinet and closet in the sacristy was gone through. THANK YOU!
Last, but certainly not least, a HUGE THANK YOU to Mike and Bridget DeDario for organizing this past week’s golf tournament and for all those who sponsored or took part! FINALLY, the sun came out and we could not have asked for a better day to come together as a community to support Catholic Education!
In Christ’s Peace, Fr. Cole
Fr. Cole's Message for June 27, 2021
To our illustrious principal and leader, HAPPY RETIREMENT!
It is impossible to thank Mrs. Ingham for all she has done for St. Peter’s School over the past ten years, yet let this be my feeble attempt. Through her dedicated leadership and the wisdom of surrounding herself with talented faculty and committed stakeholders, she helped St. Peter’s School grow from 79 to 229 students while promoting academic excellence. Working closely with Rev. Msgr. David LiPuma, classrooms received new furnishings, a Library and Media Room added, and a new playground constructed. Little did she know what was in store for her when I arrived at St. Peter’s the week COVID shut everything down. Rescinding her retirement, twice, to see us through the worst of the worst, our school was safely able to reopen this past September with a five-day program. Navigating the constantly changing rules and regulations, it was through holding ourselves to the highest safety standards that St. Peter’s did not have to go fully remote for one day! It is time to collapse into a chair with your favorite Starbucks, Mrs. Ingham, for through a world of chaos you not only brought order, but joy and smiles, under those masks, of course.
Yet, what does our Savior, Jesus Christ, teach us? In Matthew’s Gospel we read, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Not only is this passage a good reminder for all of us, but it serves as a perfect summation of Mrs. Ingham’s character, mission, and drive. Aside from temporal accomplishments, Mrs. Ingham, most importantly, emulated and modeled for us a Christ-like heart. She worked tirelessly to foster an atmosphere and culture where the love of Christ was shared. How often we heard or saw on bulletin boards those famous words, “Be Kind.” How often would our emails end with a prayer of supplication or gratitude for all of God’s goodness. As Christ placed his trust in his Father’s plan, how often Mrs. Ingham would remind us with a smile that everything will be okay. “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” At the heart of Mrs. Ingham was Christ radiating through her as she shared the treasure of her spirituality to everlasting effect. May God Bless you Mrs. Ingham for answering his call and for your service to his Church. Relax, relish your family, and be assured of the imprint you left on all our hearts! Once again, HAPPY RETIREMENT!
Fr. Cole Pastor
Fr. Cole's Message for June 13, 2021
St. Peter Parish Family,
It has been a fantastic couple of weeks and MANY THANKS are in order! First and foremost, a THANK YOU to all of you for embracing some new traditions. Lately, things seemed to have returned to a level of normal that we have not experienced in quite some time. Yet, because we are not quite out of the woods yet, where could be a better place to gather than outside?!
Our St. Bernard Cemetery Memorial Day Mass was absolutely beautiful, and God certainly came through for us with a gorgeous morning! A very special THANK YOU to VFW Post 313 for being present with flags, erecting a soldier’s cross, and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. A huge THANK YOU to the members of our Pastoral Council who helped with set-up and traffic direction, Hardison Funeral Home for lending us an altar, our IT Director, Mark Gaynor, for providing power and sound, and our organist, Brad Wingert, and choir members for leading us in music. When we all come together much can be accomplished. I am still blown away that in a cemetery we had a small portable organ and a singing choir! A beautiful tribute to our beloved departed and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the armed services.
THANK YOU to everyone who helped with and participated in our Corpus Christi Procession this past Sunday. Once again, God bestowed his blessings with a beautiful day as we honored him in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Pealing church bells, a slew of altar servers, wafting incense, and strewn flower pedals, led the Blessed Sacrament, our singing choir, and over 90 of us to two outdoor altars. A grace-filled day as we heard the Feeding of the Five-Thousand and John’s Bread of Life Discourse proclaimed and received multiple benedictions. A very special THANK YOU to our altar servers, choir led by Brad, the St. Bernard Altar-Rosary Society and Erika Conti for decorating our two altars, and Joe Conti who served as Master of Ceremonies for the Mass and Procession.
Finally, on behalf of all of us, THANK YOU to Rev. Dennis Baker, SJ who has helped with Masses at our St. Peter site for the past several months. It was a wonderful joy to welcome him back to his home parish while he was residing in Buffalo. Unfortunately, for us, he received his new assignment in New York City that began on June 1st. You will be missed and know you are always welcome home!
As we draw nearer to the official beginning of summer, we have our St. Peter School graduations to look forward to, the summer sun, vacations, and an altogether slower pace. I always say summer goes by too fast in Buffalo, let’s all be sure to get some relaxation in and enjoy it!
In Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Cole's Message for May 30, 2021
St. Peter Parish Family,
Are we glass half-full or glass half-empty people? With Christ who is our hope, may we always be a people who look at the good that surrounds us. How blessed we were to confirm 22 teens and 3 adults at our Confirmation celebration this past Monday. While we expected our Vicar General, Fr. Peter Karalus, due to an unexpected turn of events Bishop Michael Fisher returned to St. Peter’s as our celebrant. I joked as I welcomed him at Mass that having returned so soon, he “Just can’t get enough of Lewiston!”
Our St. Peter’s School celebrated Hope Day this past Thursday. As we reflected upon the wonderful successes of our eighth-grade students, we look forward with hope to future blessings and successes! Congratulations to our soon to be graduates, you make our community so proud!
As we celebrate Memorial Day, a reminder to invite your friends and family to our 9:00am Mass at our parish cemetery located on Oak St. in Youngstown. Our school students have an extended weekend with Friday and Monday off. I think we are all due for a bit of relaxation but let us not forget that what we have as a nation was paid for by the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
This coming Saturday at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the Diocese of Buffalo is tremendously blessed to celebrate the ordination of four men to the priesthood. They are and have been assigned: Rev. Charles Johnson, St Amelia – Tonawanda
Rev. Michael Johnson, Nativity of our Lord – Orchard Park
Rev. Ryan Keating, St. Mary – Swormville
Rev. Daniel Ulmer, SS. Peter & Paul – Hamburg
Not only is this coming weekend ordination weekend, it is also the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. We are to be evangelizers, witnesses, and sharers of the Good News of the Gospel. In John, Jesus tells us, “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” There is no closer way that God is present to his people than in the most Blessed Sacrament, and so we go out! We throw open the doors of the church as we take our Savior into world in glorious and joyful procession. Our procession will begin after our 10:00am Mass (around 10:45), stop at two altars for a reading and benediction as we walk around the block, and solemnly conclude in church. All are welcome!
In Christ’s Peace,