Prayers in Preparation for Holy Synod – the Next 8 Days

shining dove with rays on a dark golden background

  1. Sunday, 9/21 – Holy Spirit, keep before our Holy Synod the wisdom and love 
that has been revealed in Jesus Christ. Help our Holy Church to become more and more like Him in word and deed.
  2. Monday, 9/22 – Holy Spirit, give Your gift of wisdom 
to those You have called to lead Your Holy Church. Guide them in leading our Holy Synod.
  3. Tuesday, 9/23 – Holy Spirit, Guide our Holy Synod so that its work may result in the growth of Your Holy Church. May many be brought to holiness, truth, and joy by its work.
  4. Wednesday, 9/24 – Holy Spirit, guide our Holy Synod and fill its delegates minds and hearts with your wisdom.
  5. Thursday, 9/25 – Holy Spirit, guide our Holy Synod in the way of Christ. Keep us ever faithful to Scripture and Holy Tradition and assist us in rejecting all that is contrary.
  6. Friday, 9/26 – Holy Spirit, may everything done at Holy Synod begin with Your inspiration, and continue with Your help. Grant that its work always finds its origin in You, and through Your help reach completion.
  7. Saturday, 9/27 – Holy Spirit, I know You hear my words and will show understanding to my hopes and needs. Guide our Holy Synod in doing Your work and help it to reach all of Your goals for us.
  8. Sunday, 9/28 – Father, without You we can do nothing. 
Send forth Your Holy Spirit and help our Holy Synod to know what is right 
and to eagerly do Your will.

Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, Grant, that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Reflection for Pentecost 2014

pentecost

What it takes to
bloom

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.

St. Paul is telling us that God brings each of us to completion, to perfection, to a full blooming of the nature we have in Him through the work and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God sends His Holy Spirit to us exactly for our benefit – not just as individuals – but also as members of the family of His Holy Church. In the Spirit His Church is created and sustained. Its members manifest conversion through faith and contribute the gifts he or she has been given.

A good way to determine how brightly we are blooming in personal faith and as members of the Church is to measure how completely we have given our life over to God’s Holy Spirit. Consider Paul’s message to the Galatians: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

These verses offer an inspiring, and deeply comforting revelation of how our life, spirit, and actions will bloom when truly “spirit-filled.” It also speaks of the relationship that should bloom within the family of the Church.

Our lives and our Church should “bloom” with the fruit – the “blossom”—or living proof, of the Holy Spirit within us! People should be able to clearly recognize our fruit – in our actions, our words, and our lives.

“Love,” “joy,” “peace,” “gentleness,” and “goodness,” is the food the Holy Spirit gives us so that we can bloom. His goodness, wraps us in His love, comforts us with His peace, and calms us with His gentleness – and together define what true, lasting, and eternally accessible “joy of the Lord” is made up of.

“Longsuffering,” “meekness,” “faith” and “temperance,” are words that describe the characteristics we should display as mature, Spirit-filled Christian believers and most particularly as a Church family alive in the Spirit.

Sometimes we have to struggle when we are wronged or recognize when others are right and our ego needs to take a back seat. The food of the Spirit is sometimes painfully cultivated in us, but to really bloom we must stay committed to attain the best of what God has to offer!


June 2014 Newsletter – Led by the Spirit, Called by God

June 1st and our newsletter is here on-time. June offers us the opportunity to specially recognize our being filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to respond to those gifts in very special ways (do you have a vocation?). This month we particularly honor our dads and our spiritual fathers. We invite you to stand and recognize the Spirit’s call to faith and to join in growing in faith, worship, and service right here in Schenectady. You may view and download a copy right here — June 2014 Newsletter.

vocation


Reflection for the Solemnity of Pentecost

Pentecost 2013

I have no energy.
I feel the power.

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit… The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.

Pentecost, unless it falls very late, generally occurs within allergy season. If you have seasonal allergies you know that they cause the typical sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes. An overlooked side effect is feeling exhausted.

Allergies aren’t the only reason for exhaustion. American society is one of the most productive on earth. We work-work-work and we don’t see many people imitating the seven dwarves as they sing their way to work. Beyond work itself workers face a dilemma – whether to rest, take time off, or take a vacation. The current work environment looks at time-off as a sign of not being needed. If you’re not missed while you are away you may come back to a pink slip. Without time-off, without the balanced life we need, we live exhausted.

It is ironic that when Pentecost rolls around, and we reflect on the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, many of us are just plain exhausted. We think – wow, it would be great to have the power of the Holy Spirit, that energy that drove the apostles and disciples to conquer the earth for faith in Jesus.

As we lay in bed in the morning our prayer to the Holy Spirit may well be, Spirit, help me get out of bed. Then we lay there and perhaps feel guilty, perhaps feeling that we either missed out on or lost those great gifts of the Spirit; even the energy to get up.

What scripture teaches about the Holy Spirit is important to us.

We learn that as Christians we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit dwells in each of us and is constantly filling us with love, inspiration, and very unique gifts – the variety of gifts given to each person for a good purpose.

The Spirit lives in us and listens to us. It is not a one-way conversation, the Spirit prompting us to do things but ignoring what we have to say. The Spirit takes what we say, and even what we cannot articulate, and brings those as prayers and petitions before the Father. As a result we get help.

Key to all of this is trust. Jesus told the Pharisees that the only unforgivable sin was to speak against the Holy Spirit. This is not literal – like saying the Holy Spirit is a bad guy. It is a failure to see and acknowledge the good the Spirit is doing, to trust the obvious power of the Spirit in our lives with Christ. This Pentecost we may feel exhausted, but we must trust that the Spirit is with us, giving us the gifts we need to do good, hearing our prayer, filling us with power!


Reflection for the Solemnity of the Baptism of our Lord

Baptism

Why should I join?
What does it mean?

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

It wouldn’t be unusual to wonder about baptism, what it means. We might also wonder why Jesus was baptized.

For us, baptism is membership in the body of Jesus, the Church – we are made part of Jesus by descending into the water, as He descended into death. With this membership we are promised that we, like Jesus, will rise again.

For us, baptism is washing. We are washed of sin. In baptism we recognize that we fall short of the glory of God. As St. Paul wrote to the Romans “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” We know that we are sinful, no one is perfect and without failings. In baptism we acknowledge our sinfulness and our reliance on God, who through Jesus’ sacrifice washes us of our sinfulness, brings us forgiveness, and welcomes us back – always, no matter what.

For us, baptism is proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God, true God and true man. We proclaim the triune nature of God, Jesus’ sacrificial death, resurrection, and ascension. In baptism we proclaim the Creed – stating definitively what we believe by faith. At Jesus’ baptism the heavens were opened. The Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The Father’s voice is heard: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This is God revealed, as He is, plain and simple, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Jesus’ baptism pointed to all these things. At Jesus’ baptism John publicly recognized and declared that Jesus was the One who was awaited, the Messiah, the One who would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Jesus’ baptism also showed that He identified with sinners. His baptism symbolized sinners’ baptism into His righteousness. In addition, Jesus baptism showed His approval of John’s baptism, bearing witness to it, that it was from heaven and approved by God. Later, after His resurrection, He would tell His followers that by baptizing the many they would be made His disciples. In Jesus’ baptism the reality of God was revealed in testimony direct from heaven.

All the glorious truth of the mercy of God found in Jesus Christ is on display at His baptism. We join ourselves to that glory and truth in our baptism.

In the dynamics of baptism we join ourselves to all the truth of Jesus. We proclaim that God has freed us by His grace and our acceptance of that grace. We declare with all the faith that we have – we are members of His body, and that He is our Lord and God. We are His members – and it means this: That we receive His mercy and glory.


Pray for the Holy Synod of the Central Diocese

Tomorrow, Thursday, October 11th, we begin the quadrennial Holy Synod of the Central Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church. As we review the accomplishments of the last four years and plan for the next four, please join in praying that the Holy Spirit guide the deliberations and grant us His sevenfold gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of Thy faithful with the fire of Thy love. Grant Your sevenfold gifts to the Holy Synod of the Central Diocese. Guide us in drawing souls to Your Holy Church. Grant us an increase in vocations. Draw Your community of faith to accord with Your will. Grant that we may set our hearts, minds, and actions to carrying out all that You will. Infuse us with love and fortitude. Renew and energize us by Your ever present grace. Grant safe travel to all participants. Amen.

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. – Isaiah 11:2-3


Special Synod of the Polish National Catholic Church

On Friday June 22nd, a Special Synod of the Polish National Catholic Church took place at St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Cathedral and its Youth Center in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Synod was held to elect two candidates for the office of Bishop within our Holy Church. Four nominees were put before the Church, Rev. Stanley Bilinski, Rev. Raymond Drada, Rev. Bernard Nowicki, and Rev. Jerzy Rafalko. There were 218 delegates from the Church’s five Dioceses as well as guests who witnessed this solemn and special occasion.

Holy Name was represented by Mr. Lawrence Panfil, our Parish Chairman. Each Nominee for the Office of Bishop spoke, giving his plans for the growth of parishes and expansion of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC). The PNCC has parishes throughout the United States, in Canada, as well as in Poland, Norway, Italy, Sweden, and soon in Germany.

The Church sought the intercession and working of the Holy Spirit during Holy Mass before the Special Synod and before the election. Your prayers here in the parish, and those who joined us online were very important to this process, and to the blessings that were received.

Based on the information presented to the delegates and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Synod body chose Rev. Stanley Bilinski and Rev. Bernard Nowicki as candidates for the office of the Bishop.

Bishop elect, Stanley Bilinski

Bishop elect, Bernard Nowicki

There are two dioceses, Buffalo-Pittsburgh and the Western Diocese, in need of Bishops. The date of the the Bishop elects’ Consecration and their assignment will be announced by the Prime Bishop’s Office.


Prayer for the Holy Synod

And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab’bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi’as.
And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen.
And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi’as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:23-24,26)

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of Thy faithful with the fire of Thy love!

Come, Father almighty! Open our minds to see your way, believe in your word, and know you.
Come, Lord Jesus Savior! Open our lips to speak your truth, proclaim the word, and praise you.
Come, O Holy Spirit! Open our hearts to feel your life, to act on the word, and love you.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, prepare us for your blessing; guide our Synod, and bless Your Holy Polish National Catholic Church that we may do your will, for you are one God living and true, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…


Prayer for Thursday before the Holy Synod

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of Thy faithful with the fire of Thy love!

Come, Father almighty! Open our minds to see your way, believe in your word, and know you.
Come, Lord Jesus Savior! Open our lips to speak your truth, proclaim the word, and praise you.
Come, O Holy Spirit! Open our hearts to feel your life, to act on the word, and love you.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, prepare us for your blessing; guide our Synod, and bless Your Holy Polish National Catholic Church that we may do your will, for you are one God living and true, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…


Prayer for Wednesday before the Holy Synod

Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth. (Psalm 54:2)

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of Thy faithful with the fire of Thy love!

Come, Father almighty! Open our minds to see your way, believe in your word, and know you.
Come, Lord Jesus Savior! Open our lips to speak your truth, proclaim the word, and praise you.
Come, O Holy Spirit! Open our hearts to feel your life, to act on the word, and love you.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, prepare us for your blessing; guide our Synod, and bless Your Holy Polish National Catholic Church that we may do your will, for you are one God living and true, now and forever. Amen.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…