Msgr. David's Message for March 24, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
Last Saturday, March 16, Bishop Malone bestowed the St. Joseph the Worker Award to 34 Catholic laymen and laywomen from across our diocese, during a special Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral. I am pleased to announce that Joe & Erika Conti were among the recipients. Joe and Erika are most deserving of this recognition that celebrates the faithful commitment of those active in their parish. Joe serves as the Chair of our Parish Pastoral Council, in addition to chairing our Catholic Charities Annual Appeal, as well as serving as a Eucharistic Minister and training and coordinating the Altar Servers for our parish. Joe also serves as the Chair of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, which represents the laity of our diocese and meets with the Bishop four times a year. Erika serves as the Director of Environment for St. Peter’s Church, where she does all of the decorating for the various feast days and holidays as well as decorating the rectory. Together Joe and Erika serve in many quiet and thoughtful ways, often behind the scenes. I am deeply grateful to them for all that they have done and continue to do for our parish. Congratulations Joe and Erika! May God bless you for your selfless and loving service to our parish family.
As we journey through this Lenten season at the midway point, we are reminded that we are all called to love and serve God by the way we love and serve one another. I share with you today the time honored Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy that can assist us in our commitment to be intentional disciples of the Lord Jesus in the world today.
Corporal Works of Mercy (kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs):
feed the hungry
shelter the homeless
clothe the naked
visit the sick and imprisoned
bury the dead
give alms to the poor
Spiritual Works of Mercy (kind acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs):
counsel the doubtful
instruct the ignorant
comfort the afflicted
bear wrongs patiently
pray for the living and the dead
May God bless you with His mercy and may you in turn bless others by your compassionate love and mercy.
Msgr. David's Message for March 17, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
A special thanks to our Parish Pastoral Council under the leadership of our Chairperson, Joe Conti, and all those who volunteered for the Fish Fry we hosted on Friday, March 8. Everyone raved about the delicious fish prepared by Krolick’s BBQ. I also want to acknowledge with deep gratitude and appreciation the High School Faith Formation Students who volunteered to work the Fish Fry. Everyone was so impressed by their kind and helpful service. Thank you as well to our school children and families who provided the Baked Good Sale. Thank you to all our parishioners and friends who supported this event. God bless you all!
Year of Prayer and Healing
Beginning this March, the Diocese of Buffalo has begun a special Year of Prayer for the Healing of Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse and for the Church. On Ash Wednesday at St. Joseph Cathedral, Bishop Malone lit a purple vigil candle reminding all to pray for victims of abuse and for the healing of the Church. The candle will burn perpetually throughout the Year of Prayer and Healing before the statute of St. Joseph, the Patron of the Diocese.
I have also now lit a purple vigil candle in front of the statue of St. Joseph in the side chapel at St. Peter’s Church and also before the statue of St. Joseph at St. Bernard’s Church. These candles will burn perpetually throughout the Year of Healing. Please join me in praying the following prayer:
O Merciful Father,
Your Son in Love stretched out his hands upon the cross to embrace us.
Embrace and heal our brothers and sisters who carry the wounds of abuse inflicted upon them.
Heal Your Church broken by this betrayal of trust.
Cleanse and sanctify Your Clergy that they may radiate the selfless love of Your Son. And strengthen and call the people of the Church throughout Western New York to a new dawn of hope and grace in your Holy Spirit.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Finally as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend and St. Joseph’s Day on March 19, I wish you all a Blessed and Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a Blessed and Happy St. Joseph’s Day.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
Viva San Giuseppe!
God bless you and all of your loved ones,
Msgr. David's Message for March 10, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
As we gather on this First Sunday of Lent…we journey with our Lord Jesus into the desert for 40 days where He overcame temptation by Satan and showed us that, by God’s grace, we can do the same. Lent is a time for all of us to turn away from sin and to return our hearts to God.
Every year Catholics try to answer the age old question: “What should I do for Lent?” I find the following reflection helpful in making that decision:
“From Fasting to Feasting”
Fast from judging others; Feast on seeing the best in people.
Fast from emphasis on indifferences; Feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from despair; Feast on hope.
Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that destroy; Feast on phrases that are encouraging.
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
Fast from being negative; Feast on being positive.
Fast from worry; Feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
Fast from hostility; Feast on peacemaking.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from constant activity; Feast on slowing down.
Fast from disrespect; Feast on recognizing the Sacred in all of Life.
Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
The three traditional pillars of our Lenten observance remain: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The practice of our faith calls us to surrender ourselves to God in prayer. Fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities (i.e. social media and spend face to face time with family and friends). Likewise, the giving of alms is an effort on our part to share this world equally by caring for the poor and needy, not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talent. By doing so, we truly feast on all that God calls us to be. A wonderful way for us to give alms is to support the 2019 Catholic Charities Appeal where 96.6 % of the money collected goes directly into services that assist the poor and the needy of our community. Every dollar…every gift…makes a difference!
Opportunities abound to make this a graced-filled and fruitful Lent: attend daily Mass, attend the Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:00 p.m., reserve time in your day for quiet prayer and reflection, participate in the Western Niagara Vicariate Retreat (April 1—2), and make a good confession. Please note that in addition to Saturday afternoon confessions, I will be available every Friday from 5:45—6:45 p.m. (except for March 22) in the Reconciliation Room at St. Peter’s Church.
God bless you with a grace-filled Lent! Please make it your Best Lent Ever!
Gratefully, Fr. David
Msgr. David's Message for March 3, 2019
Dear Parish Family,
March 6, 2019 is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. A few things to remember:
ABSTINENCE: All Catholics who have reached their 14th birthday are bound to abstain totally from meat on the following days: Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent and Good Friday.
FASTING: All Catholics between their 18th and 59th birthdays are also bound to observe the Law of Fast on the following days: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This practice involves limiting oneself to a single full meal and avoiding food between meals. Light sustenance may be taken on two other occasions in the course of the day.
EASTER DUTY: After they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, all the faithful are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year. This obligation may be fulfilled between March 10 (First Sunday of Lent) and June 16 (Trinity Sunday).
THE FOLLOWING SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED:
RECONCILIATION: Catholics are bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year (Canon 989).
OTHER FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR: Catholics should be reminded that all other Fridays of the year remain as days of penance, in prayerful remembrance of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
OBLIGATION: The obligation which we have as members of the Church to do penance is a serious one. Furthermore, the obligation to observe, as a whole or "substantially", the penitential days specified by the Church is a serious one.
While no one should hold himself or herself lightly excused, one should not become unduly scrupulous. Failure to observe individual days of penance is less serious than the failure to observe any penitential days at all or a substantial number of such days.
AN INVITATION: In the name of peace, and in union with the Bishops of our country, the faithful of this Diocese are invited to add voluntary fasting to the practice of penance during the Fridays of the year. Together with works of charity and service toward our neighbors, this practice would become a sign of our commitment to conversion, reconciliation and peace. (The Challenge of Peace, Art. 298).
I hope this information will be helpful for you to plan ahead to make the most of the holy season of Lent. It is a special time for all of us to examine our lives and return our hearts back to God whose love and mercy is unconditional.
God bless you always,