Saint Ignatius Loyola
Hicksville, New York
Est. 1859

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April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday
Jn 20:1-9

Last year, I had the opportunity to see the movie “The Impossible”. This is a true story about a family (Maria, Henry and their three sons) who went on a Christmas vacation to Thailand back in 2004. If you recall, on the morning of December 26, 2004 a major earthquake had occurred that generated a huge tsunami that destroyed many countries along the Asian Pacific rim and took countless numbers of lives with it.
Maria, Henry and their family were separated by walls of water coming up from the ocean and the mayhem of tens of thousands of strangers clamoring for help and looking for their lost, mostly dead loved ones. It was only through a miracle of God and love, that the family was re-united again. When it seemed that all was lost, hope and
new life sprouted up for them again. They had a new created family. It truly was “The Impossible.”
It seemed that for the disciples that all was lost. Their Lord, master, teacher and friend was taken from them, tried as an enemy and was executed on a cross. However, when Peter and the beloved disciple (John), run to the tomb, they both discover that there is no body in the tomb and that the wrappings that covered the body of Jesus had been rolled up and pushed to the side. But, the power of the Resurrection still has not reached the heart of the other disciples. Even after Mary Magdalene, Peter and John recognize that Jesus is risen, the other disciples are still terrified and locked behind closed doors, out of fear. Fr. James Martin in an article entitled “The Risen Christ and Daily Life” writes that they “failed to realize that they are dealing with the living God, the same one whose message to Mary at the annunciation was “Nothing is impossible with God.” They could not see beyond the walls of that closed room. They were unwilling to accept that God was greater than their imaginations”.
Often in our own lives, we believe that nothing can change for us too. We think we know better than God and we end up in the dark closed room of our lives, not allowing God to restore us with new life. We may fall into despair that is far darker than death. Fr. Martin tells us that “this is the time to turn to the Resurrection”. When Peter and John discovered the wrappings in the tomb rolled up, it told them that Jesus has pushed death aside. Death no longer has a hold over Jesus. He is victorious! The risen Christ has unwrapped death from our lives too. It is because of the Resurrection, that “we are not called to live behind closed doors of darkness, fear and death. We are called to come out of our hiding and accompany Mary Magdalene, weeping sometimes, search always and ultimately blinded by the dawn of Jesus’ new life-surprised, delighted and moved to joy”. The risen Christ teaches us that we are called to believe what Mary has seen , He is risen in us and for us. May we never give up because with God in our lives, nothing is IMPOSSIBLE!
Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead so that we might live, die, and rise to eternal life and live with him. It is through the risen Christ that we too can experience the impossible of being victorious over death. Sure our bodies will die, but our spiritual souls can now live with God forever. This is thee day to remember that with God the impossible can and does happen! On behalf of the priests Fr. Saul, Fr. Benjamin, Msgr. Bennett, Sr. Mary, Sr. Cathy, Sr. Karen, Sr. Joan and the entire parish staff, may I wish you and your family and friends a happy and blessed Easter. May the risen Christ dwell in your hearts forever! Christus surrexit, sicut dixit ,alleluia! Christ is risen as he said! Alleluia!

NEW BULLETIN COMING
Beginning on the first weekend of May, we will be using a new bulletin company called the Church Bulletin Company from West Babylon, NY. I thank J S Paluch for their services. I look forward to working with George Keenan and his company. You will find some nice changes coming. We will be including the Spanish bulletin as well. As one parish, it is my belief that we should have ONE BULLETIN AND NOT TWO.

AWAY & PRAY
I will be away from April 22nd thru May 2nd for my nephew Michael’s confirmation in Mission Viejo, CA. Please pray for Michael and his peers who are receiving this beautiful sacrament of initiation! Pray also for all of our children who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist beginning in two weeks. What an exciting 50 day Easter Season God has in store for us.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families!
St. Ignatius Loyola pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

April 13, 2014

Holy Week

HOLY WEEK
We have begun the holiest of weeks, Holy Week, the week that saved the world. We invite you, your family and friends to join us here at St. Ignatius as we remember and re-present Jesus' journey to Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday; His Last Supper and act of charity on Holy Thursday; His act of suffering and sacrifice on the Cross, which gave us life on Good Friday; the quietude of Holy Saturday as Jesus' body lays in the tomb and Jesus rising from the dead on that first dawn of Easter.
We call Holy Thursday evening, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday the Easter Triduum. The word Triduum means "the 3 days". In the way we count days in the West, one would think that Thursday thru Sunday is four days. However, we follow the Jewish tradition of counting a day. A day in the Jewish culture is from sundown on one day to sundown on the next day. So, for example, Holy Thursday evening to Good Friday evening is considered one day.
During these Three Days, we enter into the central part of God's plan for our salvation. We enter into the Paschal Mystery where Jesus Christ who is the Paschal Lamb, saves us by the shedding of His blood on the cross. May we make these 3 days a priority in our daily lives to show our thankful praise to a God who loves us so much that he would give His very life for us. What other god, hero, prophet or person in all the world's history would do this for us? Please pray for all of our people in the whole Catholic Church who are to be baptized and received fully into the Church at the Easter Vigil. They are true examples of what it means to live a new life in Christ Jesus.

GOOD FRIDAY
In the past, on Good Friday for the veneration (kissing or bowing) of the Cross, our tradition had been the use of 3 crosses. However, with the edition of the Third Roman Missal, the Church now calls us and all Catholic Churches to use one cross. This is because we are worshiping one Lord as the one body of Christ. I ask for your patience and devotion as we take the time to venerate the one cross at the Liturgy of the Lord's Solemn Passion. Please follow the instructions of the ushers so that we can move as timely and as reverently as pos sible. May we all have a blessed and sacred Holy Week.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families. St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim
Pastor

April 6, 2014

5th Sunday of Lent
Jn 11:1-45

HOLY WEEK/PALM SUNDAY
TAKE NOTE
Next Sunday, our Church enters into its holiest of weeks as we walk with Jesus into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, to Garden of Gethsemane, the Praetorium where Jesus is condemned, to the cross where He gave His life for us, to the grave where He was buried and then to the empty tomb where Jesus lives again! My hope is that each of us will make the time to be with our Lord by participating in the Mass and in the Holy Week prayers as best we can. This is how we can best enter into our Lord’s Paschal Mystery (Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection) and make it our own so that by dying with Jesus, we will rise once again.
This year for Palm Sunday we are going to do something a little bit different at the Saturday evening Mass on April 12th. To commemorate the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, the Church tells us that we are to process from a station outside the Church before the Principle Mass. Therefore at 4:45PM, we will gather in Msgr. Tarrant Hall (Old School) to open with a prayer, bless the palm and read a Gospel. From the Tarrant Hall, we process down the sidewalk on East Nicholi into the Church and begin the Mass. We invite all those who are able to join us in the procession of our Lord. If you are unable to process, then proceed right to the church. I just ask that everyone come a little bit earlier than you usually do so that we can get our procession underway.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Please join me in welcoming Barbara Malerba as the newest member of the staff at St. Ignatius Loyola. Barbara is the new Administrative Assistant in our Religious Education office. She and her husband, Joseph have been parishioners of St. Ignatius for 18 years. They have 3 children – Matthew, Gregory and Julia. The Malerba children attend Holy Family School in Hicksville. Barbara graduated from St. John’s University. She worked at CNBC and MSNBC. Amongst her many roles as a wife, mother and parishioner, Barbara is involved with Cub Scout Pack 382 at St. Ignatius and volunteers at Holy Family School.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always, St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

March 30, 2014

4th Sunday of Lent
Jn 9:1-41

This Sunday is a day of joy called Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday. This day takes its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit's "Laetare (Rejoice O), Jerusalem". We can be joyful because Lent is half over and Easter is enticingly near. To celebrate this Sunday, the presiding priest may wear rose colored vestment and flowers may adorn the altar, marking our rebirth through our Baptism where we have journeyed from darkness into light. In our Gospel, we hear of the blind man’s encounter with Jesus. We also hear of the conflict that Jesus has with the Pharisees over healing the man during the Sabbath. The blind man becomes healed not only of physical blindness, but also spiritual blindness because he can now see the Lord as his Messiah. He journeys from no faith to a little faith to full faith in Jesus as the Christ. Meanwhile the Pharisees who can physically see, are becoming blind more and more in their hearts to the God who stands before them. Their sins of ignorance and pride blind them of seeing the true, good and beautiful.
What about us? What are we blind to in our lives during this season of Lent? One way to clear our vision is through the spiritual practice of fasting. During this 4th week of Lent, as found on your Lenten Card, we are focusing on the importance of fasting. The act of fasting is an ancient practice where we detach ourselves from certain desires to awaken deeper hungers found within our hearts. St. John Chrysostom called fasting a medicine that helps make people healthy. We are often blind by our sensual desires such as food, drink, hunger, sex and pleasure. Fr. Robert Barron tells us that by becoming detached from these “admittedly good things” we allow for deeper hungers to emerge such as the desire for God, desire for intimacy and communion with him. This week may we choose one shallow desire to detach ourselves from, not suppressing it, so that we can help awaken our hunger for the living God who helps us to see his truth in a world of spiritual darkness.

LENTEN MISSION
Join us for our Lenten Mission Retreat this weekend and on March 31stth and April 1st at 7:00pm here in the Church. Our guest preacher this year is Fr. Patrick Martin. Fr. Martin, a native of Limestone, Maine has worked with the “broken” of the world for some 40 years. Fr. Pat ‘s work grew out of his own “handicap” –legal blindness since the age of 9. Now a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Ct, Fr. Pat has preached parish missions on God’s love in our Broken lives” in well over 1200 parishes worldwide since 1980.

May God bless you and your families always. St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

March 23, 2014

3rd Sunday of Lent
Jn 4:5-42

Water is an essential element in our lives. The human body is made up of approximately between 50% to 75% of water. Our earth is covered by at least 70% of water. We can go a few days without food. However, without water we would die sooner. In today’s readings, we hear a lot about thirst and water. In the Book of Exodus, the people have been saved by the Lord from slavery by the Egyptians. Instead of trusting in the Lord in the desert, they are complaining and grumbling that they have been abandoned. They want to go back to their old way of life, Egypt. This shows us how quickly we forget about God’s goodness and providence. It also shows that we can thirst for the wrong things in life and fall into sin. To satisfy their thirst, God had Moses strike a rock from which pours out water to drink. Despite the people’s grumbling, God still provides because his mercy endures forever.
The Gospel of Jesus with the Samaritan Woman at the well is one of my favorites. We see that the woman is thirsty just like the Israelites though, she is not sure what it is she really thirsts. John purposely tells us that she comes out at noon, the hottest time of the day, so as not to be seen by others because she is a Samaritan and she is ashamed of her lifestyle. While conversing with Jesus, he draws her in slowly to bring her into an act of faith in him. When Jesus speaks to the woman of giving her living water, he is speaking about himself and his gift of eternal life, not the water in the well.
Jesus brings relief to her life of spiritual longing. Now that she has come to a full faith that he is the Messiah of her life, she then goes out as an evangelist and tells others about him. They come to believe in Jesus at first on her testimony, then by themselves alone. Lent is an opportunity for us to allow ourselves to feel our spiritual thirst and to welcome the living water that Jesus offers. It is also a time to share that living water of Jesus with others. We too like the Samaritan woman, are called to share our faith with others helping them to quench their thirst for salvation.
In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelli Gaudiam (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis writes “Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”. If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (Jn 4:39). So too, Saint Paul after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). What are we waiting for?” As Moses strikes the rock allowing water to break forth and Jesus strikes at the heart of the Samaritan woman helping her to come to faith in him; may God strike at the hardness of our hearts so that we recognize that only God can quench our real thirsts in life.

LENTEN MISSION
Please welcome Fr. Patrick Martin, a blind priest, who will be presenting our Lent Mission next week. Mark it on your calendar!

CATHOLIC MINISTRIES APPEAL
Recently, I received great news from the Pastor’s Advisory Board which oversees the Catholic Ministries Appeal for our Diocese. Our goal this year was reduced from $104,000 to $80,000. This makes the Appeal more manageable for our parish. I am grateful to the Pastor’s Advisory Board for taking our concerns into consideration. I am also happy to announce that Kathy Mize, one of our dedicated parishioners, has accepted in taking on the role as the leader for the CMA in our parish. I am grateful to Kathy for saying yes and in bringing her creative ideas to help us with our goal. If we go over 80% of the goal, then our parish will receive a rebate. In this season of Lent, may we all take the time to give! More to come!

WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND OUR FACILITES
Our new boiler is working well. I am asking for you to sacrifice a little to help us with its payments. We never want to freeze in our church. Your extra offerings help keep us warm. Our rectory offices have a new carpet. This is to help the rectory be a little more welcoming and presentable for all of our parishioners and visitors. The winter took a hard toll on the old rugs. May this time of Lent bring us all a newness in our heart, mind and soul.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

March 16, 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent
Mt. 7:1-9

When was the last time you looked at your face in a mirror. Often, we wear a variety of emotional and personal masks that often hide the real us. We have masks for work, home, for church. We are often terrified of criticism, rejection, not being liked and intrusion. We so much want to be in control of our live and to have approval, we will go to any extent to hide the real us.
On this Second Sunday of Lent, Jesus begins to reveal who he is to his disciples in the Transfiguration. He and the disciples have journeyed up to the Mountain (Mt. Tabor or Mt. Hermon), when Jesus’ face becomes dazzling white and very clear. The disciples are witnessing that Jesus’ full identity is not only human but also divine. He gives them a brief glimpse of his resurrection to prepare them to enter into his Passion and Death. He wants to make sure that as they gaze on his face and listen to his word, they will be given grace and strength for the future.
When we venture deep inside ourselves, we too can catch a glimpse of the people we truly are, underneath all of the layers of the experiences in life and our masks. We are all God’s children made in God’s special image and designed to live a joyful life with wholeness. Don’t we want to see the real us, or are we sad or guilty of what we shall see. Thomas Merton once wrote “Unless we discover this deep self, which is hidden with Christ in God, we will never really know ourselves as persons. Nor will we know God.”
During this second week of Lent, may we remove our masks and see our real self. Allow the light of Christ to touch the depths of our hearts so that all of our fears, feelings, desires, excitements, thoughts and dreams become clear. If there is some quality we don’t like, take it to God. Always remember that no matter what we see, God don’t make junk.
One way to uncover our real self is through celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You also may know it as Confession or Penance. Christ Jesus is present through the priest to listen, forgive, heal and challenge us to “go and sin no more” (Jn 8: ). We need not be afraid to tell the priest any of our sins because God never tires of forgiving us. He is not going to yell at us or tell us we are bad. Scripture tells us “if you have sinned, do not lose heart. We have Jesus Christ to plead for us with the Father” (1 Jn 1:1).
Join us at St. Ignatius Loyola, where we celebrate the sacrament on Saturdays at 4pm, First Fridays at 6pm, during our Mission March 31-April 1) and during Holy Week. If these times are inconvenient for you and your family or friends, you may always stop and talk to the priest on call. Please make use of this sacrament, because it is one of the best kept secrets in our Catholic Church. Pope Francis and I do. A Psychologist, who is Jewish, once said, “I don’t understand why Catholics don’t go to Confession. However, if they went, I would be out of a job!” Sometimes we need to hear from someone on the outside of the Church to appreciate a gift that is right before us. Take advantage this Lent and let the real you stand up!

OUR PARISH PRAYER FOR LENT 2014

Jesus, I know that I am yours and you are mine forever.
I thank you for sending your Spirit to me
That I might have the power to live this new life with you.
Stir up your Spirit within me. Release your Spirit within me.
Baptize me with the fullness of your Spirit
That I might experience your presence and power in my life;
That I might find new meaning in the Scriptures;
That I might find new strength in the sacraments;
That I might find delight and comfort in prayer;
That I might be able to love as you love, and forgive as you forgive;
That I might discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the Church;
That I might experience the peace and the joy that you have promised.
Fill me with your Spirit, Lord Jesus. I wish to receive all that you offer me.
And open the hearts of those that have fallen away
that they might be home more often with you this Lent.
Amen

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always! Have a Blessed Lent!

Fr. Jim,
 Pastor

March 9, 2014

First Sunday of Lent
Mt. 4:1-11

Welcome to LENT! The word Lent means springtime. This is the time preparing us to SPRING INTO EASTER! For the next 40 days we will be journeying through the desert of “Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving” as we travel with Jesus to the celebration of His resurrection at Easter. When we think of a desert, we know that it is not all pretty. It is sparse, desolate, filled with danger and lacking in necessities as food and water. Why would we comforting is that he is not alone because the same Holy Spirit who came upon him at Baptism is with him now and
will continue to be with him throughout his mission to the cross.
As Jesus enters into the desert, Satan comes upon the scene with temptations in three different ways. What is being tested is Jesus’ obedience to his Father. Jesus could have shown us that he was the Son of God by using his power. But he chose not to because this would have been an abuse of power and lack of authenticity . He was able to remain faithful because of his trust in God’s Word. This desert event reminds us of what happened to the people of Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy(6-8) when they were in the desert for 40 years. They too were tested but failed. Jesus reverses that by his success. He shows us that as the Son of Abraham and Son of God he is completely faithful in living God’s Word. Jesus was not only tested in the desert., He was tempted all along the journey most especially on the cross to give into what the people wanted. But, Jesus held firm and his dealings with the
temptations in the desert show us that we can overcome them too.
Each us are tempted everyday as to our faithfulness to God. Jesus shows us the way to get through them. We need to be faithful and focused on God’s Word. One best way to do that is through prayer. This past Wednesday, each family or single household received a satchel with different cards. These cards help us to focus on a specific theme for each of the 6 weeks of Lent. This week our focus is on prayer. Prayer is an activity where we raise our hearts and minds to God every day. As Pope Francis wrote “Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have daily relationship with the Lord”. I invite you take time for prayer. Take the Scriptures of the Day, read and meditate on them for 10 minutes. When you make this a habit, you will see the difference. Prayer reminds us that the Holy Spirit is with us and that God will give us the grace to say yes to his presence no matter the temptations that try to throw us off from our path. In your prayer, ask God to fill you with his grace, love wisdom and strength so that you can pass every test that lies ahead. If we are open , we like Jesus will know our identity as sons and daughters of God.

OUR PARISH PRAYER FOR LENT 2014

Jesus, I know that I am yours and you are mine forever.
I thank you for sending your Spirit to me
That I might have the power to live this new life with you.
Stir up your Spirit within me. Release your Spirit within me.
Baptize me with the fullness of your Spirit
That I might experience your presence and power in my life;
That I might find new meaning in the Scriptures;
That I might find new strength in the sacraments;
That I might find delight and comfort in prayer;
That I might be able to love as you love, and forgive as you forgive;
That I might discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the Church;
That I might experience the peace and the joy that you have promised.
Fill me with your Spirit, Lord Jesus. I wish to receive all that you offer me.
And open the hearts of those that have fallen away
that they might be home more often with you this Lent.
Amen

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always! Have a Blessed Lent!

Fr. Jim,
 Pastor

March 2, 2014

Keeping a Holy Lent

As this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) starts the beginning of Lent, let us strive to make this Lenten journey a prayerful and holy one and we ask Jesus to help and guide us.

OUR PARISH PRAYER FOR LENT 2014

Jesus, I know that I am yours and you are mine forever.
I thank you for sending your Spirit to me
That I might have the power to live this new life with you.
Stir up your Spirit within me. Release your Spirit within me.
Baptize me with the fullness of your Spirit
That I might experience your presence and power in my life;
That I might find new meaning in the Scriptures;
That I might find new strength in the sacraments;
That I might find delight and comfort in prayer;
That I might be able to love as you love, and forgive as you forgive;
That I might discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the Church;
That I might experience the peace and the joy that you have promised.
Fill me with your Spirit, Lord Jesus. I wish to receive all that you offer me.
And open the hearts of those that have fallen away
that they might be home more often with you this Lent.
Amen

February 23, 2014

7th & 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Preparation for Lent

LENT 2014

Lent is beginning in just a few short weeks. To prepare, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you what we are planning here at St. Ignatius Loyola this Lent 2014. We may be thinking about what we are going to do this Lent. Give up candy, soda or some sort of food. Well, it is more than just that.
On Ash Wednesday, we will receive ashes reminding us of our sinfulness and that one day we just won’t be here anymore. As my first Pastor, Msgr. Frank Gaeta always said, “ashes remind us that we are going to croak.” Since, this world is only temporary, we as Catholic Christians are called to live this life as faithful and as
obedient as we can as Jesus did in this world. To help us with living more faithfully this Lent, we will be handing out little satchels with 6 different cards in each giving us some practical advice in helping us belong more deeply to our Church and our parish. These cards will set up the theme of the week. The First Week of Lent will focus on prayer. The Second week is on Almsgiving (Donations). The Third Week focuses on the Sacrament of Reconciliation and what it means to be a forgiving person and family. The Fourth Week‘s theme is on the Lenten staple of fasting. We will offer a Soup Supper this week. . The 5th week will focus on Praying for all those who have died and supporting the bereaved. Holy Week’s theme is on Almsgiving once again, where we reserve some of our means for our people who are destitute from material goods. Each week during Lent, this column will delve deeper into each theme. The Parish Mission is on the last week of March and early April. Save the date.
Lent is a time to help us to delve deeper into our lives and our relationship with Christ Jesus. Please make every effort to join us in some way this Lent. Bring a satchel to someone who may think they are still a part of our parish home, but have not made a visit to the House, the Church. To make this lent successful depends on Jesus and you praying, serving and working together.

OUR PARISH PRAYER FOR LENT 2014

Jesus, I know that I am yours and you are mine forever.
I thank you for sending your Spirit to me
That I might have the power to live this new life with you.
Stir up your Spirit within me. Release your Spirit within me.
Baptize me with the fullness of your Spirit
That I might experience your presence and power in my life;
That I might find new meaning in the Scriptures;
That I might find new strength in the sacraments;
That I might find delight and comfort in prayer;
That I might be able to love as you love, and forgive as you forgive;
That I might discover and use the gifts you give me for the life of the Church;
That I might experience the peace and the joy that you have promised.
Fill me with your Spirit, Lord Jesus. I wish to receive all that you offer me.
And open the hearts of those that have fallen away
that they might be home more often with you this Lent
.
Amen

THE MARDI GRAS(CARNIVALE)

Come to the Mardi Gras on March 1, 2014 in our Msgr. Tarrant Hall! The Mardi Gras is a time where we can gather as a parish to celebrate our life as a community. This can be a major parish event. At the Mardi Gras, will have games for children, a DJ, dancing, food, prizes and the crowning of a King and Queen. We will conclude the event with a prayer service and the burning of Palm. This will help us prepare for the Season of Lent. We are not able to have a celebration without YOUR PRESENCE! Bring the family! You can even come in costume. We will go from Happy Hour to Holy Hour!

May God bless you and your families always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

February 16, 2014

Mt. 5:38-48
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When I speak with people about the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) I hear the excuse, “well Father what do I have to confess”? I say to them, look at the 10 Commandments. They will say “I have not killed anyone, or stolen anything or even committed adultery.” I say to them “think deeper, there is more to the commandments and sin than meets the eye”.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is continuing his Sermon on the Mount as was begun with the Beatitudes. Today, Jesus is challenging us to go beyond the literal interpretation of the law. He quotes the commandments, but then gives a new interpretation of the commandment. For example, none of us may have literally murdered anyone (thank God), however, we may have killed people’s spirit and their soul by our gossiping, name calling, abusive words and even our sarcasm. The word sarcasm, means the “tearing of the flesh.” Many times we don’t even know we are doing it. We heard of the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Jesus is saying that is false. Words can and do hurt. When we hold grudges, we are also killing our family and our friends. We may not have committed adultery, but we may have looked at pornography or other illicit images on the computer (smart phone or i-pad) or in magazines. We may have allowed our lust to get the best of us which destroys our inner soul and robs us of our peace. Jesus is saying that those actions are equal to killing and committing adultery. He is challenging us to look deep within to see where we have turned our backs away from God and one another.
Jesus is teaching us that our Christian life is defined not only by what we don’t do (murder, stealing, adultery) but by what we do. However, God never tires of forgiving us while we are on this earth. We always have a chance to renew our life, examine our choices and look at the fidelities that shape our lives. Do they come from the Gospel or the media and our secular culture? The next time you say to
yourself, I have not broken one of the 10 commandments, remind yourself to look deeper!

LENT - This Lent, beginning on March 5th Ash Wednesday 2014, we are going to attempt to look deeper into all of our lives. We will be handing out little sacks with 6 different cards helping us to be more active during Lent. In order to do this, I am looking for families, young people and ministry groups to help us distribute a Lenten gift to each family and single parishioner who enter our doors on Ash Wednesday. It will not demand too much of your time, just a little bit of your presence. You can help me spread the Good News to those who may have forgotten it or have missed it for a while. If you are interested, please contact me at the rectory (931-0056 Ext 47 or 17) and leave your name and information with Joan D. or myself.

THE MARDI GRAS (CARNIVALE)- So far, we have not received one reservation for our first annual Mardi Gras Celebration. It will be held on March 1, 2014 Mardi Gras here in our Msgr. Tarrant Hall!  The Mardi Gras is a time where we can gather as a parish to celebrate our life as a community. This can be a major parish event. At the Mardi Gras, will have games for children, a DJ, dancing, food, prizes and the crowning of a King and Queen. We will conclude the event with a prayer service and the burning of Palm. This will help us prepare for the Season of Lent. So, please fill out the form in our bulletin and drop it in the collection basket or bring it to the rectory. Do not wait for tickets at the door. We are not able to have a celebration without YOUR presence! Bring the family! You can even come in costume. We will go from Happy Hour to Holy Hour!

BISHOP ELECT-ANDREZJ JERZY ZGLEJESZEWKSI- This past Tuesday, we received word that Msgr. Andrezj Zglejszewski was appointed as the next Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre. We are deeply proud and happy of this auspicious occasion. Bishop-Elect Zglejeszewski came from Poland before being ordained in 1990. He was born in the same town as my grandmother in Bialystock, Poland. He
currently heads the Office of Worship in our Diocese. Bishop Elect Andrezj has been here at St. Ignatius to give conferences on liturgy. He will be ordained at the Cathedral of St. Agnes on the Solemnity of the Annunciation March, 25, 2014! To Bishop –Elect Andrezj, we say STO- LÓT -may you live 100 years!

PS -Next week I will be away with my family.

May God bless you and your families always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

February 9, 2014

Mt. 5:13-16
5th Sunday of Ordinary

Back in the year 2000, I had the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land with about 25 other priests from around the country. It was a special retreat for priests in the hope we ourselves would one day lead a trip. I recall one instance when at night we were looking toward a mountain range when we would see the glow of light from one particular city, Safed, located many miles away. Our guide, Franciscan Fr. Stephen Dolye told us that Safed was most likely the city that Jesus was referring to in this passage we hear today about light from a city on the hill from the Gospel of Matthew.
The lights of Safed and many cities in Israel, cannot be hidden because they are located on mountainsides. Wherever you go you see them. When Jesus tells his disciples that they are to be like a city on a hill, he is telling them that their actions cannot be hidden. They must be seen by all and reflect the message of the Gospel. We too are called to be that light. We illuminate the presence of Jesus for others by our actions. The Gospel is not something that is read on Sunday and forgotten about on Monday. It is to be lived by each of us every day. When we live out the Gospel, we become a light of Jesus for others. We can be a light by centering ourselves in Jesus each day, doing acts of mercy (i.e., snow shoveling), speaking about our personal faith with others, inviting others to Mass, a prayer group, bible study, mission or retreat, sharing a DVD, CD or book on our Catholic faith. If we do not go out and live our faith, then we are as stale as contaminated salt that needs to be discarded. Our life is negated. How will you be a light this week for your family members, a coworker, office peer, a store clerk, a fellow parishioner?
One way to become a light is to help us with a Lenten project beginning on March 5th, Ash Wednesday 2014. I am looking for families, young people and ministry groups to help us distribute a Lenten gift to each family and single parishioner who enters our doors on Ash Wednesday. It will not demand too much of your time, just a little bit of your presence. You can help me spread the Good News to those who may have forgotten it or have missed it for a while. If you are interested, please contact me at the rectory (931-0056 Ext 47 or 17) and leave your name and information with Joan D. or myself. Stay tune for more to come and please also save the date March 1, 2014 Mardi Gras here in our Msgr. Tarrant Hall!

BLESSINGS UPON OUR RELIGIOUS SISTERS & PRIEST
Last Sunday the Church celebrated World Day for Consecrated Life. This day celebrates the women and men who live in a Religious Community. At the Saturday 5pm Mass, our parish recognized and blessed the Sisters of St. Dominic who live in the parish convent: Sr. Joan Hepburn, Sr. Karen Lademann, Sr. Kathleen Murphy and Sr. Mary Frances O’Donnell. There are other Sisters  of St Dominic who also live in our parish community; Sr. Margaret Briody, Sr. Judy Golden, Sr. Diane Morgan, Sr. Mary Ryan, Sr. Jane Doherty, Sr. Joan Donovan, Sr. Margaret Galiardi, Sr. Margaret Mace.
We also recognized and blessed our Yarumal (Pronounced Jaumal) Missionary Fr. Saul Londońo.
We thank them for their service. Please keep them all in your prayers as they continue to give witness to Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

TIRED OF THE SNOW???
While most of us are tired of Winter by now, may I share with you a verse from the scriptures to cheer us up; “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” Is 1:17-18). Every time we look at snow may it remind us that the Lord never tires of forgiving us and that he yearns for our souls to be white as wool.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

January 26, 2014

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mt. 4:12-23

Today we witness the calling of the Disciples to their new vocation to follow Jesus. What is interesting is that the call challenged them to give something and/or someone up. For Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, they had to let go of their previous job of fishing for fish. They left their nets and followed Jesus. For now they will be catching people for Jesus. James and John were also fishing, but they were not alone. Matthew tells us they were with their father Zebedee. Not only did they leave their job symbolized by the boat, but their dad too. All four decided to leave their families and their things for Jesus.
Each of us have a calling from Jesus to come and follow Him. We call this a vocation. The word vocation comes form the Latin phrase vocare which means calling. The calling that comes to each of us varies in capacity. Some have a deeper and more demanding calling than others. Some of us are called to the Married or
Single life. Others are called to the Ordained Priesthood & Religious Life. Within our call is also a specific call to do a task or job that God has made us for and bring good to our world. God may be calling you to help your parish. It all depends on God’s plan and our capacity to receive it.
Whatever our calling, our main task is to follow the Lord by our Baptism. It is through Baptism that we are all made priests of Jesus Christ, his Church and for one another. What matters is not the specific calling, but how we live it out. Sometimes however, there are events, things and people that drag us down and become an obstacle.
The reign of God is open to all of us, if we are willing to risk a new way of living and to make a commitment to Jesus Christ. We will experience the kingdom to the extent that we are willing to let our nets go. It is hard to follow the Lord if we are dragging all kinds of tangled webs woven from bad memories, angers and sins. We can tell what is really important in our life not by what we get out of it, but by what we are willing to give up for it. What nets, things, people, substances and attitudes are we willing to leave behind at the shore in order to push out to sea and follow the Lord. The disciples left their nets and if needed people, and followed the Lord. So can we, according to our calling! Jesus does not just give us a call and leave us alone. He is right there to walk with us on our new journey.

WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND OUR FACILITIES
I don’t have to spell it out, it is cold! We all know that if we want to keep warm in our homes we need heat, whether it is from Gas, Oil, Propane or Electric. We also know that if the heating goes, we are in trouble if it is not fixed. A few weeks ago, the gas part of our Oil/Gas boiler broke down. We have been on oil ever since which is very expensive. Our contractor AMD, has been here this past week to give us a new boiler so that we can be toasty warm to gather and worship in our church. Otherwise, we would be the “frozen chosen” of Jesus Christ. Like the expenses in our household when we have to fix our heating system, we too have expenses here at St. Ignatius Loyola. The cost for the new boiler is approximately $34,000. Please keep this in mind for our future collections. Without your help and financial support, St. Ignatius Loyola would not be able to maintain itself. Please help your parish family as your means permit. Thank you for your generosity!

CAROL KERINS
This past week, our parish family lost a beautiful person who was a part of the staff of St. Ignatius Loyola, Carol Kerins. Carol had been here for many years as a cook during the pastorate of Msgr. Bennett. She came also to help us out in pinch over my 2 ½ years as pastor. Carol was a great lady filled with liveliness, faith and zeal. May she now experience the eternal reward of heaven in being with God. I believe that because she cooked for priests, she had that reward a long time ago! Please keep Carol and her family in your prayers.

May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

January 19, 2014

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
John 1:29-34

Encryption is a modern term that is used to hide something important, like a code within a code. Within each of us is an encryption, a deeper plan of our vocation in life that is known only to God. In the first reading today, we hear from one of the 4 Songs of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah. The servant is this mysterious person who realizes that he was formed in God’s image. He thinks that God has a plan for him to bring only the people of Israel back to God. However, the plan is something greater; he is to be a light for the whole world. Encrypted in his life was a call for something much larger than imagined to bring the world back to God. In the Gospel, John the Baptist realizes that his calling was not only to preach repentance but to identify the Messiah, Jesus, the Lambof God who takes away our sins.
We all have a calling, a vocation in life. But, within that call there is a deeper purpose that God has in mind. Things that occurred in our lives in the past happened for a reason. Like the mysterious servant in Isaiah, there is a mission and significance to our lives larger than we can imagine. Within our public vocation is a call within a call known only to God. One commentator wrote “This means that everything that happens has moment, mystery and purpose.” May we begin this year 2014 by pointing our lives to Christ, like John the Baptist.

BEGIN THE YEAR BY RESPECTING LIFE
This Monday, January 20th, the country will be celebrating the birthday of a remarkable man ,Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was known for his bravery and his speeches, in creating civil rights for all, most especially African Americans. This Wednesday, Jan. 22nd another more somber day in history for our nation. It is the marking of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973 that made abortion the law of the land. Dr. King Jr. moved our hearts with his “I Have a Dream” speech, in speaking about a nation where black and white would be together and all human beings would be held in respect and dignity. Our goal as Catholic Christians, is to remind our government leaders and our citizens that Dr. King’s dream extends to our all human beings, most especially the vulnerable. One particular forgotten person, is the baby in the womb.
Since Roe vs. Wade had been decided, it is estimated that there have been 54,559,615 million abortions in the US since 1973. Recently, in a speech to diplomats around the world, Pope Francis decried abortion Monday as a sign of a wasteful modern culture that treats goods and people, including unborn children, as easily discarded commodities. Francis said the denial of human dignity was a threat to world peace, and cited the problems of hunger among the have-nots and food waste among the haves. He said “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary.’ For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.” And yet, in our country we have laws that protect animals over human beings. For example in my home state of PA, it is against the law to kill a rattle snake and yet it is ok to kill a human being in the womb of a mother. Go figure!
Protecting human life from the beginning of conception is not just a religious matter, it is also verified by science that human life is formed in the womb.

What can we do to mark this somber day on January 22nd?
1) You can go on the March for Life to Washington and join thousands of other Catholics around the country to join in Solidarity. Mass for our group begins at 5am Wednesday Jan 22nd. Contact the rectory if there is still room to go. If you cannot make the march, join us for Mass.
2) For those unable to go on the March, this is a day of fasting, penance and prayer. We can take time to pray silently in our homes, at work, outside or in Church. Pray not only for the dead, but also for mothers who have committed an abortion or are contemplating one at this very moment.

This Wednesday the main body of the Church will be available for prayer and adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament with the conclusion of the 9am mass till 5pm. I invite all to come at any time. Please note: If there are funerals, then the adoration will begin following the funeral Masses.

Happy New Year ! May God bless you and Mary keep you and your families, always! St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us!

Fr. Jim,
Pastor

 

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date last changed: 04/19/2014
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