Fr. Tom's Message for July 14, 2019
This weekend, July 13th and 14th, we welcome Fr. Denis Kiyenje. He is a missionary from the Diocese of Butare in Rwanda who will share with us his missionary work. Rwanda is a small country situated in the middle of Africa that in 1994 experienced a horrific genocide that was politically motivated, during which one million people were murdered in approximately 100 days. The genocide left behind traumatized and many brokenhearted orphans and widows. Infrastructures like schools, medical centers and churches were destroyed. The good news is that now there is peace and security in the country, but there lies the challenge to rebuild the nation and to help the people in the process of healing.
The mission of the Diocese of Butare is focused on Catholic education, teaching the youth unconditional love, peace and reconciliation, so that the country may heal and experience a brighter future. These efforts have made a great difference in the hope of the Catholic Church and have contributed tremendously to the building of a new Rwanda we see today. The Catholic faith in Rwanda is strong and the priestly and religious vocations are booming. Today, 60% of the country’s population are Catholics. The financial support from you our brothers and sisters in Christ will help us to build more classrooms, buy school supplies and enable us to carry on our mission of making the love of Christ known and felt to the people of Rwanda.
As you listen to Fr. Denis speak, it brings into focus that we are truly a Catholic Church. Catholic meaning universal. While we are a beautiful, local faith filled community, we are also a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are a part of a worldwide church that continues to grow, to spread the gospel and continues to bring the light of Christ to the world. It is my hope that you will prayerfully consider continuing to aid the mission of the Universal Church , to be a light in the world. Thank you for your generous support and may God bless you abundantly.
Fr. Tom Mahoney
Fr. Tom's Message for June 23, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
Over the last several months our parish family has seen some big changes. Msgr. LiPuma has moved to Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, I have replaced him, and Sr. Ann has retired as our Pastoral Associate. We wish both Msgr. LiPuma and Sr. Ann all the best in their new endeavors.
We have more changes to announce. Nicole Ball, our Administrative Assistant and Office Manager for the last four years, is leaving to continue working with Msgr. LiPuma at Our Lady of Victory Basilica. Nicole’s last day was this Friday, June 28. Please keep Nicole in your prayers as she transitions into her new role at the Basilica.
We have decided to hire from within our current staff to fill Nicole’s position. It is my pleasure to announce that Amy Hopkins will be taking Nicole’s place in our parish office. Amy has been working for St. Peter’s for five years. While Nicole leaves big shoes to fill, I am confident that Amy will do a wonderful job. Please join me in welcoming Amy to her new position as Administrative Assistant and Office Manager.
In addition to Nicole’s departure from St. Peter’s, Peter Smith has decided to step away as the Musical Director here at St. Peter’s. Peter has been with us here at St. Peter’s for over 13 years and it was a difficult decision for him to leave. However, the demands of his regular, full-time job have been increasing and he felt the need to resign so he could focus on the demands of his job. Peter is retiring from Church music ministry after over thirty years of participating in some form of music ministry. I give thanks to Peter for the gift of his ministry and wish him all the best in the future.
We are in the process of working on job descriptions for both a Pastoral Associate and Musical Director and we will begin working to fill those positions as soon as possible.
We ask for your prayers and patience as we transition to our new roles.
Fr. Tom's Message for June 23, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. This feast celebrates the reality of Christ’s Real Presence in the gifts of bread and wine every time we gather to celebrate the Eucharist. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church stated so beautifully, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.”
Why is the Eucharist the source of our faith? Because we believe that the bread and wine brought forth as gifts become the Body and Blood of Christ. St. Augustine stated, “What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ… How is the bread his body? That which is in the chalice — how is that his blood? Those elements, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments because in them one thing is seen but another is understood. What is seen is the corporal species; what is understood is the spiritual fruit… You yourselves are the body of Christ and his members.”
Believing that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist comes with the challenge to believe not only bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, but to believe also that, indeed, we are to become what we eat and drink; we are to become the true presence of Christ, breaking ourselves like bread to nourish our neighbor, pouring ourselves out like wine and outreach to those in need.
My prayer for our parish family this weekend is that we all grow deeper in our appreciation and love for the great gift of the Most Holy Eucharist that we are so privileged to celebrate and receive.
Why is the Eucharist the summit of our faith? Because Jesus said to his disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.” As St. Paul reported in his first letter to the Corinthians, Jesus asked his disciples to do one thing in worship of him — celebrate the Eucharist. For over 2000 years, the Catholic Church has faithfully done as Jesus asked.
Today in the celebration of this Eucharist, we have been faithful to the request of Christ “to do this in remembrance of me.” May this Eucharist nourish us to be the presence of Christ in the world today.
Speaking of being the presence of Christ in the world today, I would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of our Catholic Charities Appeal. We have achieved our goal for 2019! Thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this year’s appeal a success. On behalf of all those people whose lives are made better by your contributions, I would like to thank you for being the light of Christ in the world.
May God bless and protect you and your families.
Fr. Tom's Message for June 16, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
Hello everyone! I’m Fr. Tom Mahoney. While I don’t want my first bulletin article to be about me, I think some facts about who I am would be helpful. I grew up in Depew and have spent most of my life living here in Western New York. I am the youngest of four (one sister and two brothers). I was ordained to the priesthood four years ago. I spent my first four years as a priest assigned to St. Gregory the Great Parish in Amherst. In May, Bishop Malone asked me to be the Administrator of St. Peter’s Parish. After careful prayer and reflection before the Blessed Sacrament, I decided to accept the opportunity to come to your parish and join with you on our journey in faith.
I’m excited to begin my first weekend here at St. Peter’s and St. Bernard’s. I took a tour of the school and was very impressed by the wonderful reception I received from each of the classes. I am looking forward to working with the school and the Faith Formation program in forming disciples of Jesus Christ.
A friend of mine told me once, “Change is difficult.” Boy, was he right! I know how difficult it was for all of you when Fr. David announced he was leaving. When the Diocese asked me to come to St. Peter’s, I was excited about the new opportunities, more than a little nervous about the new responsibilities of running a parish, and very sad to be leaving the assignment I had.
As I stated earlier, I have been a priest for four years and St. Gregory the Great has been my only assignment. As it was difficult for you to say goodbye to Fr. David, it was also difficult for me to say goodbye to St. Greg’s. It is very strange to feel both sad and excited at the same time. It is very confusing, but I want to assure you that I am happy to be here because I know in my heart it is God’s will. It is His grace that will sustain all of us in this transition and His grace that will lead us forward in our journey. As St. Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I am confident that God is indeed with us and together we will discover His plan for our future.
To all of our fathers, I would like to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. May Our Lord continue to pour out His blessings upon you and your family!
Please keep me in your prayers and know that I will be praying for all of you.
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,