The blessing of Polish Easter food baskets, the Święconka, is a beloved tradition that takes place on Holy Saturday when families bring a sampling of Easter foods to be blessed in church. This year you can order a pre-prepared blessed basket for pickup or delivery.

Our Easter food baskets will be blessed by Fr. Jim and have over twenty (20) imported and locally made items to eat and enjoy on Easter morning! Use the form below to place your order. Baskets are $50 each and include:

  • Kielbasa
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Homemade Babka
  • Beet Horseradish 
  • Culinary Salt 
  • Homemade Butter Lamb
  • Fruits
  • Homemade Kruschiki (Angel Wings)
  • Juice
  • Tapered Candle
  • Traditional Palms
  • Pisanki Decorative Egg
  • Polish Candies
  • Informational Booklet
  • And more!

You may pick up your pre-ordered basket on Saturday, April 3, 2021 between 11am to 3pm at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 1040 Pearl St, Schenectady

In the alternative, you can have your basket delivered to your home using contactless delivery. There is a $10 delivery fee for addresses in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

Important:

  • Pre-orders ONLY. 
  • No substitutions. 
  • Must pick-up on date/time specified.

This week’s memory verse: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16
  • 2/28 – Romans 12:1-2
  • 3/1 – Proverbs 21:3
  • 3/2 – John 15:12-14
  • 3/3 – Philippians 2:4
  • 3/4 – Ephesians 5:2
  • 3/5 – Psalm 51:16-17
  • 3/6 – Mark 10:45

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, renew a sacrificially giving spirit within me. Grant that my giving may open room for me to better live Your gospel and empower me to do so.

Working to change.

As they were coming down from the mountain, He charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Lent calls us to change, to reform. Lenten discipline presupposes that we need reform. We may need reform because we lack an understanding of God’s call, or our religious practice has become just habit, or we are just going through the motions without knowing why, or just maybe, we are comfortable and do not want to change or reform.

Throughout our shared Lenten journey, we are studying the means and methods by which we achieve conversion, change and reform. This study will help us to reset our lives, right set our expectations, and get to the change and reform necessary to be ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way.

Last week we studied the discipline of fasting. We learned that as we fast from what pulls us away from the gospel, we feel Jesus filling that space with new longing to live the gospel as well as His grace power to do so. 

In the coming weeks we will continue with the subjects of prayer, study, and proclamation. Today we focus on giving, also known as sacrifice.

There is no more poignant call and answer to giving than Abraham’s. As the Passover sacrifice of a lamb prefigures Jesus, so Abraham’s offering of his son prefigures God’s giving of His Son Jesus.

Sacrifice is a call and a response. Abraham could have easily said: No, I’m too busy, I don’t feel like it, Your request goes too far, Moriah is too far. Yet, no matter how impossibly difficult it was for Abraham he answered yes, “Here I am!” In Lent we are called to answer yes to sacrifice and giving more than we normally would, to doing the harder things, and to permanently change the way we answer.

In our sacrifice and giving, God recognizes our devotion. As He said to Abraham: I see how devoted you are. God recognized that Abraham did not quit or hold back. Even more, God recognizes the fact that Abraham did not grumble afterward, but rather saw the gifts around him and he gave them to God. Because of that, God promised His abundant blessing in terms of descendants, victory, and that others will find blessing because of Abraham’s giving.

In Jesus dying and rising those gifts are carried forward for us. Because of Jesus’ devotion to His Father’s call and His giving response, we can call ourselves His descendants. We have the only victory that matters, and others find blessing in us. 

Lent calls us to give and sacrifice. Let us respond recognizing that we are doing so from the storehouse of abundant blessings He gives us and as the legacy Jesus left.

Organizations

Our parish was blessed with many organizations and societies that have worked to build up membership, the youth of the parish, our financial security, educational achievement, and to ensure an environment of glorious worship. These included:

The Chopin Male Chorus, the Harmonia and Concordia Choirs, Branch 56 of the Young Men’s Society of the Resurrection, The Women’s Adoration Society, two relief societies: the Men’s St. Joseph Society and the Women’s Maria Konopnicka Society, an educational group: “Ognisko,” The Girl’s — Children of Mary (Dzieci Maryi) and the Young Men’s — Defender’s Society (Obrońców Kościoła Narodowego), a Mother’s Club, and Branch 140 of the Polish National Union, Spójnia.

We will continue to bring you snippets of history throughout 2021 and will keep you informed as to the many spiritual, liturgical, and social events planned for the celebration.

Foundations

Our parish was initially founded as St. Joseph’s parish on Raymond Street in Schenectady in 1921 and was formally incorporated on June 5, 1922.

St. Joseph’s parish experienced a fire on Good Friday in April 1935, and it had hoped to remain open to serve the Northside neighborhood. At that time land had also been purchased on Pearl St. in the Mont Pleasant neighborhood for the foundation of a second parish, Holy Name of Jesus.

Work started immediately on the construction of a new parish based on architectural drawings by E.G. Atkinson. The members of the new parish built the edifice by hand. Construction costs were initially estimated at $261,625.

Unfortunately, the continuance of St. Joseph’s parish could not be fulfilled, so the two parishes were combined and Holy Name of Jesus was formally incorporated on July 27, 1937.

We will continue to bring you snippets of history throughout 2021 and will keep you informed as to the many spiritual, liturgical, and social events planned for the celebration. Also see our 100th Anniversary page.

This week’s memory verse: So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

Ezra 8:23
  • 2/21 – 1 Corinthians 9:27
  • 2/22 – Ezra 8:21
  • 2/23 – Isaiah 58:6-7
  • 2/24 – Zechariah 8:19
  • 2/25 – 2 Chronicles 20:3
  • 2/26 – Deuteronomy 9:18
  • 2/27 – Jonah 3:5

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, renew the fast within me. Grant that my fasting may open room for me to better live Your gospel and empower me to do so.

Working to change.

Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

On Ash Wednesday we heard that Lent calls us to change, to reform. 

Lenten discipline presupposes that we need reform at different levels. Perhaps we need to reform because we lack an understanding of God’s call. Perhaps our religious practice has become habit rather than challenge. Perhaps we are still doing things because mom or dad said so. Maybe, just maybe, we are comfortable and just do not want to change and reform.

Here we are and now is the time to convert, to change and reform. But how do I get there and do it?

Throughout the Lenten journey we are sharing together we will study the means and methods by which we will achieve conversion, change and reform. This study will help us to reset our lives, right set our expectations, and get to the change and reform necessary to be ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way.

Here is what we will study – the disciplines of the season: fasting, giving (sacrifice), praying, study, and proclamation – and how though these disciplines we come to conversion, change and reform.

Each of the Lenten disciplines are work. If any were easy to us, we need to find a way to make them a challenge. It may not be just in doing more of x, but in doing x in a different way.

Let’s say we love fasting; it is never that hard. Well, let’s fast in a different way, from a thing other than food, from a thing that pulls us away from living the gospel way.

Today we focus on the fast. As the hymn proclaims, these forty days of Lent O Lord, with You we fast (and pray).

Fasting is a means by which we rend (i.e., break) our hearts, tearing them away from the attractions that trap us and hold us back and refocusing our time and attention on Jesus’ gospel path. In fasting we separate ourselves from the things that distract us from the gospel cause.

There is so much that tries to distract us, pull us away from the gospel way. Here is a great question to ask ourselves in relation to our fasting: I would be sitting here reading scripture or praying or doing good works except that I am _______. I would be reading scripture or praying or doing good works far more often if I wasn’t _______. There is our stop doing that.

As we fast from what distracts and pulls us away from the gospel way, we will feel Jesus filling that cleared space with new longing to live the gospel and the power to do so. 

as the hypocrites do, like the hypocrites.

Nobody likes hypocrites, and not to put too fine a point on it, Jesus in particular called out the sin of hypocrisy in others. No sin was as sternly denounced by Jesus.

In Hebrew, the term actually meant ‘godless.’ To be a hypocrite was to be without God, that is to be dishonest/untruthful. In Greek, hypocrisy meant play acting at religious observance. The exterior of the person did not reflect their interior. To be a hypocrite was to be all show, no go.

In Luke 12:1-2, Jesus warned his disciples against following the practices of Pharisees who engaged in hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.

The bottom line on hypocrisy is that it is not a determination pointing to a person being intrinsically evil, but rather that they have either:

  • Failed to realize the nature of God’s call, or  
  • Are failing to properly live out the call they have.  

Religious hypocrites don’t really get it and make a mistake by interpreting their actions as true religion versus having a complete metanoia – a complete change in one’s life, from heart to mind, soul, spirit, and outward; all coming from spiritual conversion.

Some practical examples as Jesus points out today: Fasting and appearing as if one is suffering. Why not bother if it is just for show? Giving to be seen as giving. Why bother if it is just play acting? Why pray if it is only to hear oneself mumbling words made meaningless because they are not meant?

Jesus’ points about already being repaid pales in comparison to His warning from Luke 12 – if you are only doing it for show, unthinking, without inner change, play acting – everybody is going to find out, it will be revealed, you won’t be able to keep it a secret.

Lent calls us to change, to a genuine metanoia. The Lenten call presupposes the fact that we are all play acting at different levels. Perhaps it is because we lack a complete understanding of what God is calling us to. Perhaps our religious practice has become habit rather that challenge. Perhaps we are doing things because mom or dad said so. Maybe, just maybe, we are comfortable and just do not want to change.

Now is the time to have our hearts convicted, to convert and to change. We are called to rend our hearts, to break our hearts for failures and to learn a lesson from that heartbreak – a lesson that pushes us to be genuine, to live God’s call fully and completely, to be changed throughout.

St. Paul nails it: do not receive the grace of God in vain. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We have to work at truly being God’s vision of us this very minute, now, and stop any play acting we are doing. God’s grace stands ready to get us there – we must not take that opportunity in vain.

Why we do what we do is key to right perspective and true religion, to ending hypocrisy. This is what we will focus on throughout the Lenten journey we are sharing together. Understanding gained in this process and study will help us to reset our lives, right set our expectations, and get to the metanoia that will bring us to being genuine (not hypocritic) bearers and livers of Jesus’s gospel.

This week’s memory verse: And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5
  • 2/14 – Isaiah 43:19
  • 2/15 – Romans 12:2
  • 2/16 – 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • 2/17 – Ephesians 4:22-24
  • 2/18 – 1 Peter 1:3
  • 2/19 – Lamentations 3:22-23
  • 2/20 – Colossians 3:9-10

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You have clothed me in the new garment of salvation. You fill me each day with the new wine of Your grace. Grant that I may share Your ever new love with all those I encounter.

Cleaning out.

  • First reading: Hosea 2:16,17,21,22
  • Psalm: 103:1-4,8,10,12-13
  • Epistle: 2 Corinthians 3:1-6
  • Gospel: Mark 2:18-22

“No, new wine is poured in new wineskins.”

We are in the final half-week of this short season dedicated to preparation for our Lenten journey. It is a season of ‘cleaning out the old’ to make room for the new thing God has waiting for us.

In the first Sunday of Pre-Lent we recognized our likeness to the leper in the Gospel. We acknowledged the fact that we need Jesus to make us clean, clean from old idols and rebellion against God. We were asked to trust that He will indeed cleanse us.

Last week we saw Jesus forgiving sin and showing forth this authority to do so through the curing of the paralytic. Jesus came to cleanse us at an entirely different level – like with the paralytic a cleansing so deep it is complete. St. Paul reminded us that God’s promises are sure and firm. He will do what He says, providing us complete cleansing, forgiveness, and healing. We need only trust.

Today we focus on the room we have made by cleaning out the old and by trusting in God to cleanse us. The room we have made prepares us for the new thing God has waiting for us.

Have you ever reflected on how amazing God is at doing something new? Who else but our God would do new amazing things like lead His people dry shod through the midst of the sea on their way to freedom? Who else would cause the walls of the world’s strongest city to fall before His people? Who would allow His servants to walk safely through the hottest oven ever built? Who would give victory to His armies in the face of overwhelming opposition? Who would send His Son to save us? Who would love a prostitute?

Wait, what? Yes, who else, beside our amazing God, would be bold enough to do what no one else would do, love a prostitute.

The story of the Prophet Hosea is exactly that, God’s next new thing. Hosea was commanded to go out, find, clean up, and marry Gomer the prostitute. Hosea was commanded to go after her, even when she chose to leave him so she could go back to prostitution. In this relationship, God shows forth the depth of His love, a love ever new and renewing. A love deep, complete, and powerful to do new for Gomer and for us.

Jesus speaks of clothes and wineskins. Imagine your oldest most threadbare clothes. God’s ever new way is not to fix up your old clothes with patches, trying to cover the holes that leave us exposed. Rather, He has prepared new brilliant white clothes for us to wear into the kingdom. He does not want to fill the old us with His new wine, His word and His very self. If He did, we would burst. Rather He makes us new, in and out, and ready to receive His next new thing this Lent.