Fr. Cole's Message for April 5, 2020
St. Peter Parish Family,
Today we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. How quickly the praises will go from Hosanna to Crucify Him. As we begin this holiest of weeks, may we dedicate ourselves to walking the journey with Jesus. The beautiful part of the liturgy, whether we are physically present or not, is that the Paschal Mystery continues to unfold for us and for our salvation. Not only are we remembering what Jesus did out of love for us so long ago, but that great love continues to unfold for us so that we, here and now, can experience God’s bountiful saving grace that transcends time. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, we celebrate Jesus as king. Then as we begin the Sacred Paschal Triduum, we walk with our Lord as he institutes the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday, the sacred meal by which we are continuously drawn up into the life of God. On Good Friday, our Hosanna turns to lament and we confront our sinfulness and unite ourselves to Jesus by dying to self, dying to sin, dying to greed, so that after we totally offer ourselves with Jesus to the Father through the liturgy, we jubilantly rise with him to new life on Easter morn! This will be a difficult Easter for all of us as I celebrate these liturgies without your physical presence and as you celebrate by watching them on TV or online. But may we keep in the fore of our mind the great spiritual dimension of these days and do our best to reverently unite in prayer out of love for Jesus’ salvific action. Our church buildings at both sites will be open from 6am-4pm on Palm Sunday and Easter. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be available on Easter from 9am-1pm. To bring the church home, I have included in this bulletin a prayer service for Placing of Branches in the Home. Have a blessed and spiritually uplifting Holy Week!
In Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Cole's Message for March 29, 2020
Greetings, Blessings, and Good Health Everyone! Well here we are, week two of this new way of life. Here at St. Peter’s Parish our facility has been completely shut down in compliance with the governor’s directive to reduce 100% of our workforce. Our teachers are working from home keeping their students on target through distance learning. Our school and parish office staff are working reduced hours remotely to keep things running in the background. Please know the parish office is open virtually via phone and email. Our secretary Amy’s email address is [email protected] and mine is [email protected] Do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything or have questions.
Many things in our lives are tight now, that is obvious. Here at the parish we are doing our best in this difficult situation to still take care of those who work so tremendously hard throughout the year. Our principal, IT director, office staff and maintenance are keeping us going at our reduced pace. Additionally, we are trying to take care of many other of our employees through unemployment. Our school and church heat have been reduced but, as you know at home, the bills do not stop coming. As you know, we are not allowed to celebrate liturgy publicly which is our primary source of income. I say this because necessary work is still being done and, if you are able, please help to support our staff, this is their livelihood. Your generosity through mail or online giving also helps to keep up our facility. If you are unable, I completely understand but do appreciate anything that you can do. Spiritually moving forward, keep an eye out for Sunday Mass that will be posted on our Website, Facebook, and parish App. I will continue with video updates of our happenings so it is important to stay connected during this time. I look forward to working with the Pastoral Council for ways to further our mission. Jesus asked Martha this week, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” Yes Lord, WE BELIVE and are confident we will see your glory revealed!
In Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Cole's Message for March 22, 2020
Greetings St. Peter Parish Family!
First and absolutely foremost, I hope and pray you are all doing well, are safe, and healthy! If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to call the parish office or email me personally at [email protected]
That being said, it is quite an interesting way to begin a new assignment but I have to say I am absolutely thrilled to be here! Between settling in, checking-in on the marvelous school staff, and essentially reimagining what it means to be Church, it has been a busy start to say the least.
I want to reassure you that I am still offering Holy Mass daily for the scheduled intentions and am lifting you all up in prayer. We certainly need an outpouring of God’s bountiful grace, so please know that heaven and earth continue to unite here daily at St. Peter’s Parish. As our Lord himself said, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” If you would like to reschedule your Mass intention, please call the parish office.
As we continue forward one day at a time, the Pastoral Council and I will be working behind the scenes on how to re-envision Church during this difficult time. Please stay connected through our parish website, online bulletin, Facebook, and parish app. The church will be open for private prayer from 7:30am-3:00pm on a daily basis. While we have yet to officially meet, know you are in my thoughts, prayers, and already have a special place in my heart!
In Christ’s Peace,
Rev. Cole Webster
Fr. Tom's Message for March 15, 2020
Dear Parish Family,
With my last pastoral message to you, I would like to thank you for welcoming me into your faith community. While I have only been here a short time, I have learned so much from this community. Please know of my thoughts and prayers for all of you as you continue your journey in faith.
I have so many wonderful memories that it is hard to pick out which ones influenced me the most. From greeting the school kids in the morning, to parent night when Mrs. Ingham asks me to say a few words. I literally said a few words and when I finished Mrs. Ingham looked at me and said, “is that it?” My response was “mean what you say, say what you mean and then move on.” My dad taught me that the less words you use the more they matter. I try to remember that when I speak.
I remember spending many of my Thursdays (my day off) driving up to Youngstown, eating breakfast at the Village Dinner and then going St. Bernard’s to pray and just let God love me. I encourage you to take some quiet time during Lent and Easter season and just let God love you.
There were so many wonderful times from all the festivals, to the most beautiful Christmas decorations I’ve ever seen. It was a life changing time here. Once again, thank you for all the love you gave me and know that you are always with me.
I’m not good at saying goodbye, so I will quote a song I like to listen to when I think of endings: “Time stand still, I’m not looking back but I want to look around me now,… see more of the people and the places that surround me now. Freeze this moment a little bit longer, make each sensation a little bit stronger, make each impression a little bit stronger.” I would like to close this column as I have done so many times before. May all that we do, think, and say be for the greater glory of God. (Ad majorem Dei gloriam). Mary, Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Fr. Tom Mahoney
Msgr. David's Message for June 2, 2019
My dear parish family,
My heart is overflowing with gratitude from last Sunday’s Farewell Celebration and the Blessing & Dedication of our new outdoor Shrine to the Madonna. I wish to thank in a most special way Maureen Ingham and Joe Conti for co-chairing the Mass and Reception, along with the assistance of Connie Locey and Lauren Frosolone for their presentations after Communion. Thank you to all the members of the Parish Pastoral Council for all their good work and for everyone who made it a truly memorable celebration for me and our entire parish family.
I also wish to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the many gifts, cards, notes, letters, and emails that I have received. You have truly etched yourselves into my heart and I will never, ever forget the warmth, the love and the generosity of our parish family of St. Peter & St. Bernard.
As I announced at last weekend’s Masses, Bishop Malone has appointed Fr. Thomas Mahoney as Administrator of St. Peter & St. Bernard Parish, effective June 10, 2019. Fr. Tom is 54 years old. He was born and raised in Western New York and grew up in Depew (my hometown as well!). Fr. Tom graduated from Lancaster High School and then went on to Niagara University where he graduated with a degree in Accounting. (Go Purple Eagles!) He worked in public accounting and was CFO of a small company in Amherst, NY. In 2007, Fr. Tom decided to sell his home in Lancaster and enter Christ the King Seminary. During his seminary formation, Fr. Tom was assigned to the following parishes to gain experience in pastoral ministry:
St. John Neumann Parish in Strykersville/Sheldon (2 Worship Sites, 1 Parish)
St. Mary of Lourdes in Bemus Point/Mayville (2 Worship Sites, 1 Parish)
St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Niagara Falls for a Pastoral Year (2 Worship Sites, 1 Parish)
Fourteen Holy Helpers Parish in West Seneca, where he served as a Transitional Deacon
Fr. Tom also did a 10-week Clinical Pastoral Education assignment at Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital here in Lewiston.
He was ordained a Priest on June 6, 2015 and was assigned as Parochial Vicar to St. Gregory the Great, Amherst (the largest parish in our diocese).
I know that you will welcome Fr. Tom with open arms and that you will love him, support him, collaborate with him and continue to grow together the wonderful spirit that is St. Peter & St. Bernard Parish.
I will certainly miss seeing you every week, but you will always be close to my heart in prayer, especially as I celebrate Mass. My new address and contact information after June 10:
Our Lady of Victory Basilica
767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, NY 14218
Telephone: (716) 828-9449
Email: [email protected]
You are always most welcome at Our Lady of Victory, the home of Fr. Baker! I would love to see you! Please pray for me and know of my ongoing prayers for you and all your loved ones. God bless you all! Our Lady of Victory, pray for us!
With my love and grateful prayers always,