67th Annual PNCC Bowling Tournament coming to Schenectady

We invite you to Schenectady:

On behalf of the Tournament Committee for the 67th Annual PNCC/YMS of R Bowling Tournament, please accept this invitation to participate in this year’s event, sponsored by our parish, Holy Name of Jesus in Schenectady, NY. The Tournament will begin on Friday, May 18th and conclude on Sunday, May 20th.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, May 17, 2012 – Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord

Friday, May 18, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Accommodations:

We recommend:

Ramada Plaza Albany
3 Watervliet Ave. Ext.
Albany, NY 12206 US

Check in: After 3:00 PM
Check out: Before 11:00 AM
Phone: 518-438-8431
Fax: 518-438-8356

Hotel website

The Ramada Plaza Albany hotel is right off I-90, Exit 5 and is right down the street from our Friday and Saturday evening venues (almost walking distance). The hotel’s location, adjacent to the I-90 interchange allows for quick access to the I-87 Northway which will get you to Spare Time Lanes and Holy Name of Jesus. The hotel is also close to great sightseeing in New York’s Capital, shopping and entertainment.

The hotel offers a free deluxe breakfast buffet. There is a fitness center as well as indoor and outdoor pools. You can also stay connected to home with free Wi-Fi Internet access. The hotel is pet-friendly. Rooms feature in-room microwaves and refrigerators, guest laundry services and free parking for vehicles of any size.

Venues:


View Larger Map

A = Albany Polish American Citizens Club, 110 Commerce Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
B = Spare Time Lanes, 375 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110
C = Holy Name of Jesus Parish, 1040 Pearl Street, Schenectady, NY 12303

Registration and Forms:

You may click on any of the following links to download these forms to your computer, or just click and print them from this website.

Please return all forms and fees by April 15, 2012. Make all checks payable to: 2012 Tournament Committee.

Mail completed packets to:

Holy Name of Jesus
Attn: Deacon Jim Konicki
1040 Pearl St.
Schenectady, NY 12303-­‐1846

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in New York’s Electric City – Schenectady for some powerful bowling action and competition, great fellowship, and fun over a Spirit filled weekend.


Bible Study for the First Week of Lent

  • 2/26 – Ephesians 3:14-15 – Father, grant that we may see You as the center of our family – its light, peace, perseverance, and joy.
  • 2/27 – 1 Peter 2:17 – Lord Jesus, help me to see my inter-relatedness with others, our mutual membership in Your family. Grant that I may honor and cherish every member of our family.
  • 2/28 – 3 John 10 – Heavenly Father, I thank you for giving me a Church that casts none out, and opens its doors to all who seek You. Grant that my arms may be open to all who seek You and that I never shut the door, nor cast anyone out, because in doing so I fail in my duty to love.
  • 2/29 – Galatians 3:26-29 – Lord Jesus, thank You for rebirth and regeneration through the waters of baptism. Grant that I may never draw distinctions, but see only one fellowship in You.
  • 3/1 – 1 Timothy 5:1-2 – Lord, grant that I may ever honor and cherish every member of the human family as a mother, father, sister, and brother. May I respect each person’s humanity and the gifts they bring to our family of faith.
  • 3/2 – 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 – Holy Trinity, may we not consider You with the eyes of the mind, but rather rejoice in love, unity, and fellowship that surpasses all understanding.
  • 3/3 – John 3:3-5 – Lord Jesus, give Your enlightening grace to many so that they may enter into the one family of faith through baptism and the Spirit. Grant that my example of Christian life opens the path to You and never shuts the door.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, help me to see my place in the family of faith.


Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent

Hey, this is my boat!
You cannot go alone…

“God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you.”

Consider Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Mary, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter – what do all these, and the rest of the heroes of the Bible have in common? They were all members of a family.

Our Lenten theme is all about family. We see that God makes His promises not just to one person, but to the human family.

God always deals with family, with people’s relationships with each other. God isn’t building His kingdom on hermits and loners. Rather, He is looking to us as His children, and a single body (the body of Christ), as a community that is defined as a family.

Remember that Jesus always referred to His Father as our Father. This wasn’t some sort of light saying, just to make us feel good. Jesus meant what He said. His Father is our Father.

Jesus came to rebuild His Father’s family and He did so on Calvary – reconnecting us to God.

God is our Father, and we are Jesus’ brothers and sisters. This makes us His family and family to each other. We have even taken the steps necessary to be born into that family, through the waters of Baptism, by our regeneration.

There’s a lot to study this Lent, so let us begin our focus on the fact that we are members of one body – the Church, the body of Christ, and that makes us one family. With that comes a knowledge of how we were born into this family, how are related, how we relate to the Father, Jesus, and each other, our responsibilities as family members, our importance to the family, and the inheritance that is in store for members of God’s family.

Brother, or brethren, is found 319 times in the New Testament. Child, or children, is used 168 times in the New Testament. God didn’t send Noah onto the boat alone, and doesn’t make His promises to only a select few. His promises are for all of us as a family. He doesn’t want us to go it alone. He is our loving Father.


Ash Wednesday

First reading: Joel 2:12-18
Psalm: Ps 51:3-6,12-14,17
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 and 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart

Focus (this morning):

Today, the first day of Lent. After three weeks of preparation you would think I would wake up ready to go. Well, this morning was not that kind of morning. Instead of waking prepared with Lent in my heart and mind, I woke in a haze. I focused on what I normally am, rather than what I should be becoming. I was self-focused. In the midst of preparing chicken and baloney sandwiches it finally hit me — it is Ash Wednesday.

It wasn’t just the no meat Lenten sacrifice, it was the sudden realization that I had a long way to go this Lent. It would be a journey from inward self-sufficiency, self-focus, to becoming emptied.

Emptiness:

Think of an iron bar. It is strong, complete, self-sufficient. You cannot add anything to it or change its nature. It is what it is.

Think now of a musical instrument: woodwinds, brass, guitars, or violins. These instruments are hollow. Their emptiness is intentional. These instruments are empty so that they may reflect what their master does – produce and echo music that is beautiful.

For my part, and for many of us, we exist like iron bars. We are who we are. We feel rather complete and total, solid, self-sufficient. Our task this Lent is to change from iron bars to musical instruments.

Process of emptying:

Lent is a process of emptying, of moving from the iron bar to a state of emptiness, away from self to becoming a reflection of God’s music, God’s light, God’s way.

Full of God:

In Lent we work to empty ourselves so that we become full of God. We work to reflect His light and His music. We recognize once again that He is the Master of our lives. We wipe the sleep from our eyes and clear the fog from our heads so that we can see our lives as part of God’s life; God who exists within us and within our brothers and sisters.

We are not separated, God here, us there. We are unified, together.

Lent gives us the opportunity to have God once again permeate, fill, encompass and saturate our thoughts and actions, our words, our deeds.

St. Paul reminds us that we cannot be self-sufficient iron bars because:

He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for them (2 Corinthians 5:15).

We have to live with a focus on being filled by God.

Full of family:

If you read the sign outside the church, you will note that our theme for Lent is God’s cell therapy. In Jesus we have been changed from a random group of individuals to adopted children of God, and brothers and sisters in faith. Our old mortal cells are being replaced and we are a new being, a new people, and members of one family of faith in Jesus Christ.

We must empty ourselves so that we become better family members. This is not just to our immediate or biological family, but to all the members of the family of God.

Throughout Lent we will focus on what makes us family, as well as the joys and responsibilities as members of the family of God.

Reconciling family:

Today we begin the process of reconciling, of emptying ourselves. Things like our Lenten self denial and sacrifice are makers along the road toward our becoming the people we ought to be. We are changing from iron bars – but we will not become empty, music-less instruments either. We will become, by the time we reach Easter, and for the days ahead in our lives, members of God’s family, each others brothers and sisters, and gloriously, the reflection of God’s light and music in the world.

Inheritance:

Our work, the road ahead is not without a promised reward. That promise is from God – that we will enter life everlasting as one family, as one people, as God’s children and as brothers and sisters. We have our inheritance before us. It won’t be paid out to iron bars, but to family filled with the light and music of God. Amen.


Bible Study for Quinquagesima Week

  • 2/19 – Luke 7:35-50 – Lord Jesus, I love you and I know you love me. Grant me the strength to come to you with my failings, as this woman did, so I may leave free.
  • 2/20 – Luke 15:11-32 – Lord Jesus, You are generous in your forgiveness. Grant me the grace to forgive generously, freely, and extravagently.
  • 2/21 – Luke 19:1-10 – Lord Jesus, You restored Zacchaeus, and he generously restored to others. Grant me the same generosity in making right my relationships with others.
  • 2/22 – John 8:1-11 – Lord Jesus, help me to reflect on my own failings so that I may reconcile with You and Your Church. Grant me the grace to avoid judgment of others.
  • 2/23 – Acts 9:1-19 – Lord, grant me the strength to go before those who have wronged me, and with faith forgive them as You forgive me.
  • 2/24 – Matthew 18:21-22 – Lord, grant that I may not count the cost of forgiveness, but rather forgive generously and freely.
  • 2/25 – Matthew 7:1-5 – Lord Jesus, grant me perseverance throughout this Lent to forgive others and to focus only on my own shortcomings. In this process may I be reconciled with You, Your Church, and all my brothers and sisters.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, teach me to forgive as You forgive.


Reflection for Quinquagesima Sunday

Swim away!
Maybe it would be better if…

“Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Fishing is a two-way relationship. It involves work, struggle, and tension. It also involves pain and trauma for the fish.

When a fisherman hooks a fish, which of them is really in charge? Most think the fisherman. He has the brains, the tools, and the power to overcome and land his catch.

Every fisherman knows that for every fish caught, many more get away. Some snap lines that trail behind them as they swim away. Others tear the hook out in the struggle, and swim away wounded.

Yet some fish figure out a simpler, braver path. Rather than pull, dash, or thrash, they swim toward shore, and approach the fisherman. When fish do so, you’re bound to see a frantic person reeling like crazy shouting “No, no, no—not towards me!” But if the fish persists, the line goes slack, and the hook comes out with a flick of its head.

In cases where fish swim toward their enemy, they often gain freedom from pain, and leave dragging nothing behind them.

Today, God asks us to consider His forgiveness and the way we forgive each other.

Like the fish and fisherman, we are in relationships with each other. At times those relationships can be marked by struggle, tension, and pain.

When we choose, as a result of hurt (those hooks that stab at us) to fight and flee, we end up either dragging the memories of those hurts behind us, or we end up deeply wounded.

God asks us to be the smart fish, to swim towards those who have hurt us. As we do, we free ourselves from the barbs that hurt us and we are free.

The pain doesn’t go away easily, and true reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationships is a much longer process, but it has to start with our going toward those who hurt us. There we offer our forgiveness.

When we hurt God through sin, we will always find Him swimming toward us, with complete forgiveness. As we enter Lent, let us resolve to do the same with each other.


Requiem on the Anniversary of the Death of Ś+P Bishop Franciszek Hodur

First reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
Psalm: Ps. 23
Epistle: 2 Timothy 1:6-11
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16

You are the light of the world.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.

Gather:

Today we gather, on this anniversary of the calling to heaven of our organizer, our spiritual mentor and father, Bishop Franciszek Hodur. Today we gather to remember and recall his work, but not only. Today we gather to refocus and recommit ourselves to the path he laid before us, a sure path that shows our Christian light and faith to all, and which leads all to heaven.

The great piece of art on the ceiling of St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Cathedral shows exactly that. Bishop Hodur is following Christ, our light. In turn the people and clergy follow behind him, as he reflects Christ’s light. Off in the distance, more and more people continue to follow Christ’s light as it is reflected by each person who follows Christ.

We are debates:

As is so often the case in any endeavor, we attempt to label our actions. We attempt to define ourselves in words. For those who do not know us, we use analogy and metaphor.

As the people of the Holy Polish National Catholic Church, we do the same. We walk through the litanies of who and what we are, and sometimes engage in extensive debates. Everyone has a favorite analogy or metaphor. It is natural, because those coming through our doors want a touch point. They want some basic understanding. You know the questions and the answers:

  • Do I have to be Polish to join? No.
  • You’re Catholic, right? Yes, but not the kind you’re thinking of.
  • Democratic Church? What does that mean? It would take too long to answer in one homily…

No one wants to come to church, especially for a first visit, and be inundated with long technical answers or even the quite inappropriate and untrue: We are just like the Roman Catholic Church, except…

Who we are:

Bishop Hodur would have none of that. As I noted in the bulletin, Bishop Hodur referred to the numerical growth of the church and noted that an increase in numbers was not enough. What is necessary is spiritual commitment. Growing the Church is not only about numbers. It is something more profound. It is our personal commitment to the spirit and faith of our Church. It is also an invitation to others to join in our Church through the power of our ideas.

Who we are is the light of the world. We are a community of believers, in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith, that reflects Christ’s light and leads all to heaven. We are people who are committed to the spirit and faith of our Holy Church, because that spirit and faith best lead to heaven. We are a Church whose hands and arms are open to all because we invite all to join. Our invitation is the way we reflect Christ’s light and the sheer power of our ideas.

Dignity:

Looking at the work of our great organizer, we can reflect on the accomplishments achieved by the community of faith he built.

The first accomplishment is dignity. Bishop Hodur led an immigrant people, largely disenfranchised, used as fodder in mines and factories, underpaid, and seen as the dirty underclass of society, to dignity. He built up the people’s spirit; he called on them to exercise their patriotic duties, to become involved, and to grow — as a result of their faith — into physical and intellectual strength as solid citizens, business people, and community.

The people he led were the descendants and heirs to a strong and proud land, with a rich history of physical, political, intellectual, and democratic endeavors. Most importantly, as human beings, they needed to see the inherent dignity bestowed on them by God. Bishop Hodur saw all people as God’s children. He saw every nation as endowed with particular gifts by God. No one was without dignity. No one was to be treated as less than human or as mere capital for use by others.

We are all endowed with human dignity by God and that is the starting point for reflecting the light of Christ. No one is too small or insignificant to be the words, actions, and light of Jesus in the world.

Equality:

Another accomplishment is Bishop Hodur’s support for equality. He fully supported, encouraged, and stood in the midst of the Labor Movement. He rallied for equality in the workplace, and in the ownership of property. He saw a great wrong in those who amassed great fortunes and who horded wealth, building self-serving empires on the backs of their workers. Bishop Hodur rallied too against churches that saw their people as donation machines, who aggrandized their clergy, bishops, and popes while letting those they considered subjects suffer want and subjugation.

We are equal children of God. Within our Church no one ranks first, no one last. Our great democratic principles make all equal owners in the responsibility — not just for governing and managing — but for being Christ’s light to the world.

Education:

A third accomplishment is Bishop Hodur’s focus on education. Look at our Church and its organizations. You cannot trip over an organization or event without finding some sort of scholarship or college stipend associated with it. Bishop Hodur built poetry societies, a large publishing house, and literary societies. He coupled intellectual education with physical education, taking a holistic approach to learning. He saw reading and all education as the keys to success — both in society and in our key mission of spreading Christ’s word and light, being light to the world and teaching the gospel.

Light:

God’s light does not exist in a vacuum. Spreading God’s word and reflecting Christ’s light, is dependent on people. Our organizer, Bishop Hodur, knew that. Being the light of the world is not a definition, metaphor, analogy, or description. It is not a comparison, or a job for the clergy caste. It is the job of the Church. The Church is all who take up its spirit and faith, who invite others to join by the way they reflect Christ’s light and by the sheer power of ideas.

Let us once again take up the spirit and faith of the Holy Polish National Catholic Church by the way we acknowledge the dignity of every person, the way we practice equality in our democratic model of Church, by educating to teach the gospel, and most importantly by being Christ’s light to the world — the same light Bishop Hodur reflected and continues to reflect. Amen.


Church is for lovers

His banner over me is love. – Song of Songs 2:4

May our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, bless your marriages and relationships. May He be the source and example of love and fidelity in your lives. May He grant you the gifts of love that are patience, kindness, selflessness, forgiveness, truthfulness, trust, and perseverance. May He be the center of your love, for He is love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Bible Study for Sexagesima Week

  • 2/12 – Psalm 68:5-6 – Father, Your care and concern are ever before me. I rely on You. I praise and thank You for Your justice and the good You do for Your faithful.
  • 2/13 – Hebrews 13:5 – Father, grant that I may never fall into the traps of the world. May I always recognize that every gift is from You and that without Your grace I am lost and alone.
  • 2/14 – Isaiah 61:1-3 – Lord Jesus, thank You for the fulfillment of the promises spoken by Isaiah. Your love and care are with me, and I am Yours.
  • 2/15 – Philippians 2:3-7 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may follow You in serving others, in putting their needs before my own in Christian love.
  • 2/16 – John 15:18-19 – Lord Jesus, You have taken me from the clutches of the world and have given me a great inheritance with You for eternity. I praise and thank You.
  • 2/17 – John 17:23 – Lord Jesus, You prayed to the Father and in doing so, I have become one with You. Grant that I may recognize the unity I have with You and the Father.
  • 2/18 – Psalm 34:15-22 – Father, my refuge is in You. I desire to live righteously and know that in doing so, You will ever hear and be with me.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, free me from all loneliness.


Reflection for Sexagesima Sunday

Just say away!
Please don’t abandon me!

He remained outside in deserted places.

Jesus had just healed the leper who had begged Him for mercy. Jesus instructed the former leper to go show himself to the temple priests and to make the called for sacrifice. But now Jesus was in trouble.

According to Mosaic Law, Jesus could not go near anyone. He had touched a leper, and in the process had made Himself ritually unclean. According to the law, He had to stay away from people, had to be isolated, so that He would not contaminate anyone else.

Of course, Jesus was completely pure and clean, but He abided by the strictures of Mosaic Law.

Jesus came to us, not to be separated from humanity, but to be part of humanity. That meant He was subject to the same feelings, the same temptations, the very same things we face. So today, we learn about Jesus’ experience of isolation.

The whole point of Jesus’ isolation was not to show that He is like us in every way but sin, but to let us know that He is here, to this day, as the remedy and cure for our isolation.

God created us, each of us, to be social, to live in community, to be a real part of each other’s lives. We need people because God designed us that way. Recall what God says in Genesis: “It is not good for man to be alone.

Jesus calls us to repent and follow the Gospel, to fix relationships that are damaged and spoilt because of our own wrong actions and selfish behavior. He also wants us to know that the Father – the maker of the whole world – is a loving person, who desperately wants a relationship with us! It may be unbelievable, but it is true. God is not a power, a force, a feeling, or a distant angry ruler – He is a person, who wants to be a ‘friend who stays closer than a brother’. He is the ultimate Family, the real Lover, and the special Friend. What is more, He can give us a new power inside, to handle life, relationships and problems. He came to heal isolation, to end loneliness, and to be with us, even when we think we are so alone.