feb_2015_gods_field

The latest issue of God’s Field is now available online. This edition features Lenten reflections, updates on our Year of Regeneration, and details on getting a subscription to God’s Field. Information on other upcoming programs including Lenten Retreats is also included.

Articles for the March issue are being accepted now through March 1, 2015. You may E-mail items and photos or send them to:

God’s Field
Polish National Catholic Church
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505

February tends to remind us of our loves and our obligation to love. It presents an opportunity to renew our love toward God and to give thanks for the abundant unconditional love we receive from Him. This February we enter into the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima, hold our Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle, and begin the season of Lent. Remember too that we now have an expand Holy Mass schedule and find tons of great information in our Newsletter. Come be lavished with abundant love in your church – right here in Schenectady.

You may view and download a copy of our February 2015 Newsletter right here.

0d9b8cc384226f12ff384c9002178818

Logo_Soup_Pot_Logo

It is projected that over 150 million people will be tuning in to watch the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the 49th Super Bowl game on Sunday, February 1st, while 50 million Americans will be struggling with hunger. Souper Bowl of Caring gives people the chance to help those who are in need and to think of those who do not even have a bowl of soup to eat.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first Souper Bowl of Caring, when 22 churches in Columbia, SC raised $5,700 for local hunger-relief charities. Since then, young people have rallied schools, churches, businesses and community leaders to work together to raise over $106 million. Like in 1990, Souper Bowl of Caring has remained true to the first collection: 100 percent goes to the charity each group chooses.

Holy Name has supported local charities in Schenectady, NY for the past thirteen years through Souper Bowl of Caring. This year, our Church’s National United Youth Association is joining in the fight against hunger and has joined Souper Bowl of Caring in celebrating its 25th anniversary.

About Souper Bowl of Caring: Souper Bowl of Caring is a national youth-led movement of schools, businesses, community organizations, places of worship and compassionate individuals joining together to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities, transforming the time around the Super Bowl into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving. Since the program started in 1990, volunteers have collected more than $100 million in dollars and cans, with 100 percent of all donations going directly to community food banks, soup kitchens or other charities chosen by each group.

jan_2015_gods_field

The latest issue of God’s Field is now available online. This edition features reports on our Year of Regeneration, a Biblical Financial Planning Workshop with Dr. Jim Ploskonka (live and on-line), the history of our Church’s martyr, Bishop Joseph Padewski, and of course the National United Choirs Music Scholarship program. Information on other upcoming programs including the national Mission & Evangelism Workshop are also included.

Articles for the February issue are being accepted now through February 1, 2015. You may E-mail items and photos or send them to:

God’s Field
Polish National Catholic Church
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505

Fabulous Valentine’s Raffle — Support our Youth

Make February 2015 – the month of love – a month to win in more ways than one!

The Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle

This summer we will once again be sending our young people to the annual KURS summer encampment and we are saving for CONVO 2015 in the eastern Diocese.

We need your support to give our young people a great beginning in 2015. To start them off right we are holding a month long Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle this coming February to support our youth. Each raffle ticket gives the purchaser a chance to win up to $1,180. The Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle will include drawings for $40 daily prizes and a $100 daily prize on Valentine’s Day. The raffle is drawn each day of the month, giving the ticket holder 28 chances to win! Winners are returned to the raffle bucket, making them eligible to win again and again. Your support will help cover our young people’s summer expenses with the ultimate goal of paying their way completely.

Tickets cost only $10 each. Feel free to contact Fr. Jim at 518-372-1992, Stephanie Dominy at 518-369-1346, or any parish member to purchase a ticket.

We thank you for your support of Youth Ministry and the School of Christian Living at Holy Name of Jesus parish in Schenectady and wish you good luck!

Val-header

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus 2015

Easter-Web-slider-Jesus-name_above_all_names_by_jcrod-d493yuy

First reading: Exodus 3:13-15
Psalm: Ps. 113:1-6
Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the LORD is to be praised!

Today’s Solemnity holds special significance for our Parish, for it was established under the patronage of Jesus’ Most Holy Name. It is our patronal feast day.

All Churches are dedicated to the worship of God, of course, and when Christians first became able to build churches they built them on holy sites associated with events in scripture, the life of Jesus, or over the tombs of the martyrs. If the site where the parish church was being built had no particular significance the parish church would be dedicated in the name of God, the Trinity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin, a saint, or an event from the history of salvation.

The naming of parish churches keeps the history of salvation before our eyes and in our thoughts in a particular way. As such, the celebration of a parish feast ought to be something special, full of prayer and fellowship. It is a celebration, a kind of birthday party. It is something that every parishioner should participate in, giving thanks to God for our place of worship, for God’s mercies to us, for the intercession and protection of our patron in our walk through life. For our parish family and our fellowship it is Jesus’ Holy Name.

We can see that our parish family truly recognizes the import and power of Jesus’ Holy Name. We notice that when Jesus’ name is spoken in the liturgy – and hopefully also in our personal lives – we bow our heads. Jesus’ Holy Name is recognized when we say ‘Praise be the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ’ and we reply ‘now and forevermore.’

This Solemnity is interesting. In our Holy Polish National Catholic Church it has been consistently celebrated. Not so in other places. This Solemnity has been celebrated on any number of days or not at all. In some Churches it has been celebrated variously on January 1st, in some places as only an optional celebration on January 3rd, 8th, 14th, 15th, or 31st. In some places on August 7th. On February 14th, 1969 the Roman Church removed the feast and only later restored it in 2002.

As a Church and a parish we have consistently recognized the power and beauty of Jesus’ Holy Name. It is in His Name that we are saved. It is in His Name that we are blessed and reconciled. It is in His Name that we are made the children of God and co-heirs to the promises of heaven.

St. Bernard, writing on the Holy Name of Jesus, tells us that reciting Jesus’ Holy Name produces holy thoughts, fills the soul with noble sentiments, strengthens virtue, begets good works, and nourishes pure affections.

We are all in great need. There is a cure for our needs. In the faith-filled invocation of Jesus’ Holy Name we are sustained, cured, led away from ills like anger, pride and inappropriate passions. In Jesus’ Name we are given the powerful grace needed to conquer, and assurance of His life giving compassion. The Name of Jesus is the purest, and holiest, the noblest and most generous of names. If we allow the Name of Jesus to reach the depths of our heart, we will be changed and filed with heavenly virtue.

St. Bernard tells us that when we take up our pen, write the Name Jesus: if we write books, let the Name of Jesus be contained in them, If we are ill, call on Jesus’ Name. It we are troubled, call on His Name. If we are in danger, spiritually or bodily, call on His Name. No temptation, no weakness, no coldness of heart can resist His Holy Name.

Yet today, blasphemies against Jesus’ Holy Name are rampant. We, as the special beneficiaries of the graces we receive in Jesus’ Holy Name, must never take it in vain or use it as a weapon against anything or anyone. It should be seen solely as our defense against evil. If we hear it being misused, say a prayer for that person, that they might come to realize the beauty and power of what they so recklessly step on. Not that they be punished, but that they be saved.

We, as a parish and a Church have been greatly blessed in honoring Jesus’ Holy Name. May His Holy Name ever remain before our eyes, hearts, and minds. Let us hold it in highest honor and love it. In doing so we are and will continue to be blessed. Amen.

Thank You Lord for the Year Past and Bless Us in the Year Ahead

We give Thee our most humble and hearty thanks O God, for blessings without number which we have received from Three in 2014, for all Thy goodness and loving kindness, for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life. And, we beseech Thee, give us that due sense of all Thy mercies, that our hearts may be truly thankful for all things, and that we show forth Thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to Thy service and by walking before Thee in holiness and righteousness all our days. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All_Things_New_sm

Lord, we pray for all mankind in 2015, that we may brought to know, love and serve Thee. We pray for Thy Holy Church throughout all the world and especially for our own part of the Church, for our Bishops, Priests, Deacons and People.

We pray for the employed, that they may work as unto Thee and not unto men. We pray for the unemployed, that they may find work and be saved from despondency. Be Thou their strength in adversity.

We pray that the sick be healed, the hungry fed, the mourners comforted, the poor succored and the afflicted in mind and body be firmly held in Thy deep peace, that peace which passeth all understanding.

Bless our friends and enemies and grant us all the spirit of penitence, that we may be forgiven through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ or Savior, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.

We wish you every blessing in the year ahead.

Fr. Jim and the Parish Committee of Holy Name of Jesus

January 2015 Newsletter – Happy New Year! Happy Abundant Life!!!

January, we are left with a question. For all we have learned about abundant life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will we decide to participate in that abundance? The New Year always presents an opportunity to make a turn, to pledge our lives to Christ and to membership in His Holy Church. This January we continue our celebration of the forty days of Christmas, we expand our Holy Mass schedule, and we continue our charitable work. Come be lavished with abundant life in your church – right here in Schenectady.

You may view and download a copy of our January 2015 Newsletter right here.

round-2015-calendar_23-2147497720

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds 2014

Come to Me

Getting even
busier.

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off; say, `He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’

Today we celebrate a special day within our Holy Church. Uniquely, we celebrate this Solemnity in honor of the humble shepherds that God chose to first hear word of His Son’s coming among us. He chose these simple shepherds, who were generally outcasts from society, to not just hear of His Son’s birth, but then to go forth and proclaim it to all: And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.

In these days after the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity we may be tempted to relax a bit. The hustle-bustle seems to have died down a bit, yet if we look at our Church’s calendar we will notice that we are just getting started. That’s what happened to the shepherds. Their mission was just starting that night in Bethlehem. They recognized the preciousness and joy of the Lord’s birth and then got busy.

Getting busy means that we too recognize the meaning and import of the tremendous joy that is the coming of the Lord. This requires two things, two kinds of busyness.

We must keep this solemn season before our eyes and in our hearts. Jesus’ coming was not a one-time event. His coming as man marks only a beginning. He constantly stands before our doors, always knocking, asking that we allow Him to enter our homes and our lives. We have to get busy in answering the door. We need to open ourselves to Him and carry out His will for us. We have to recognize that His coming again remains immanent. We have to get busy in making His presence known to those who are not hearing the knock, who do not recognize it.

We must also respond in a special way, particularly the men among us. We encourage them to get busy in answering Jesus’ special call, for He needs those men to go out, as those humble shepherds did. Jesus is knocking and they are being called to make known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.

Our Holy Church is so blessed for we are not a Church at rest. Right here, in our community, we are busy working diligently at making the Lord’s coming known. We have among us those humble shepherds who have responded with joy to the Lord’s call to be busy about the work of the Lord as bishops, priests, and deacons. Let us give thanks for God’s tremendous blessings to our community and our Holy Church, for all who commit their lives to being busy about the Lord’s work.

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Nativity 2014

RetellingChristmas-644x380

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light…

We know by faith that God is from eternity and for eternity. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unity, peace, and complete mutual love and giving. They have always been and will always be together. They have it all – absolute truth, perfection, and justice. They have what we might consider, abundant life. They have abundance that is abundant!

I like to imagine the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit having a Board meeting in heaven, a sort of Parish Committee meeting. They were sitting around their table of abundance and were working out a plan. How can We possible share all this abundance with humanity? In Their perfect and abundant love They never brought up the fact that humanity had largely rejected Them, or that the the chosen people continued to walk in darkness after all They had done for Them. They focused on one thing – sharing Their abundance with humanity – not counting sins, but giving love. They worked out their plan. The Son would divest Himself of the abundance of heaven, its beauty and perfection, and would take up humanity. He would empty Himself of everything, even His life, so He could put it all in a big basket and hand it to us.

Nine months ago an angel appeared to Mary. He asked a question and she said yes. The Son was immediately sent to carry out Their plan. He was sent, as He would later say: so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

This night He lies in a manger. We must look beyond our symbolic mangers in church and at home to the manger of our hearts. His beautiful face is cradled in our hearts. His love is within each of us. His abundance fills us. He offers Himself to us – truly abundant life – over and over.

Certainly, life is not always easy nor does it seem abundant if we look at it with worldly eyes. Difficulties, struggles, and even suffering come. Yes, Jesus Christ’s abundance is greater and overcomes every obstacle because as His anointed and commissioned followers we fully share in His abundance. He has given us abundance without bounds or end.

On this day we have a chance. It is a great chance, an opportunity, a moment. Let us agree together to accept His abundance once again, to re-connect to it. Let us say: I desire only His abundance. I accept His promise and gift of abundant life.

I was remarking while watching TV a few days before Christmas that we are going to be seeing Valentine’s Day commercials starting the day after Christmas. Within a few seconds a Valentine’s Day commercial came on. Here too is an opportunity and a blessing. Remember that the theme of Valentine’s day is love. Today marks the start or re-start of our acceptance of abundant life in Jesus, the great gift of love shared with us as planned by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They gave us everything. Over the next fifty-one days between Christmas and Valentine’s Day let us give thanks and more closely recognize how blessed and loved we are. We have abundant life, love, healing and protection because on this night He emptied Himself so He could give it all to us. Thank you Lord for coming to give us abundant light, life, and love. Amen.