This week’s memory verse: And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children.”

Acts 2:38-39
  • 5/19 – 1 Peter 4:10
  • 5/20 – 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 5/21 – Ephesians 4:5
  • 5/22 – 2 Timothy 1:9
  • 5/23 – Psalm 119:128
  • 5/24 – Philippians 2:12-13
  • 5/26 – Isaiah 61:1

Pray the week: Holy Spirit, Make me tremble with Your gifts. May my heart burn with passion for the work You call me to do. May my breath proclaim Jesus’ gospel. Amen.

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

A blessed Pentecost to all of you!

Fifty days ago, we celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Ten days ago, we celebrated the Lord’s Ascension. Today we are gathered into that singular moment where alongside the Apostles, disciples, and the Blessed Mother we enter prayer and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But Father, what do you mean? Isn’t the Spirit something we ‘got’ when we were baptized and later confirmed? Well… yes and no.

If we think about the Holy Spirit’s presence and affect in our lives as merely a transactional thing, something that happens once and we are done with it, we would be mistaken. We must remember that the Spirit’s key gift is an ongoing and energizing life together. 

Let’s dissect this a bit. 

Where are we? Indeed, yes, in church. But think about this, the way our parish church is configured we are upstairs, in the upper room. Like the Apostles, disciples, and the Blessed Mother we are engaged in prayer. Like them we have received Jesus’ promise of the Advocate: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” And… here He is among us and in us.

Let’s take a moment and breathe that in. Let us close our eyes, breathe in deeply, just like when the doctor is checking your heart and lungs, and breathe out doing a self-check on our hearts and lungs.

Our hearts and minds should be perceiving the Holy Spirit flowing through us, planting His unique gifts in us. Our breath should be filled with praise for His wonderful presence and the power He gives us.

Back to the idea of transactional things, was that check-in with the Holy Spirit just a transaction. We paid a few seconds of our time and now we’re done? Not at all!

Life with a transactional god is life with a mere idol, it is idolatry. Life in the Spirit gets us forever strength and power. Doing that close your eyes, breathe in and out exercise focused on the Holy Spirit’s being with us should leave us trembling with energy and enthusiasm for doing as those others gathered in the upper room did this day: “speaking of the mighty acts of God.

This week’s memory verse: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:15
  • 5/12 – Psalm 4:3
  • 5/13 – 2 Corinthians 7:1
  • 5/14 – 1 Peter 2:9
  • 5/15 – Romans 12:1
  • 5/16 – Romans 12:2
  • 5/17 – Deuteronomy 14:2
  • 5/18 – Galatians 2:20

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You have made me a new person, set apart for the work of the kingdom. Grant that I may pursue only those things of the kingdom and reject all that is worldly. Amen.

“I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.”

Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! 

On this last Sunday in the Easter Season, we hear again from the extended Last Supper dialog between Jesus and His Apostles. Jesus is pouring out His heart to them as their servant, teacher, and Lord. He is begging them to take these lessons to heart.

In this dialog Jesus draws the distinction between the world and worldly and those who follow Him. He plainly states that those who follow Him are different.

On this Mother’s Day we might recall those dialogs with our moms: ‘Aww, mom, do I have to be so different. I want to be just like everybody else.’ Maybe it was the clothes or shoes we had. Maybe it was our weird lunch. Yet mom always reinforced the value of being unique. You know how that goes, in one ear, out the other. 

Perhaps I was weirdest and differentest kid of all, my dad having died, my diabetes touching everything I wished I could do. I was the textbook case of a child wanting to be just like everybody else.

I am thankful for the time I had in church. I recognized in God’s word the value of giving my all for His kingdom. In my mind it was no longer a question of wanting to be the same as everybody else but of embracing a different way of living; life different in Jesus.

Let us reinforce this – Jesus made us separate from the world. What we pursue matters. What we want matters. How we live matters.

Jesus asks us to consider those things we are chasing after. Our moms asked a similar question didn’t they: ‘What are you chasing after? What’s important to you?’

If we are not pursuing the kingdom we end up just like Judas. As Acts tells us, Judas went his own way. He pursued what was important to him and that was not God. He was after a worldly prize – power and wealth. That is why he is referred to as the ‘son of destruction.’

In a week we will move from the Easter season into Pentecost and living out the mission given us by Jesus with the power given us by the Holy Spirit. Our Easter joy becomes practical. Let’s then embrace our differentness, not pursuing the world and becoming sons and daughters of destruction, but indeed being sons and daughters of our heavenly King.

New York government has announced the launch of the New York Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement Statewide (NY HELPS) program. 

What is the NY HELPS program? The NY HELPS program was created to help New York State agencies fill thousands of jobs open across the state. This program streamlines the appointment process to allow State agencies to hire diverse, qualified permanent employees quickly and without examinations.   

What does this mean for you? Now is the time to join New York State public service! With the NY HELPS program, it’s easier than ever to get a job—without taking an exam. New employees hired under the NY HELPS Program will be appointed on a permanent basis

Interested? You can view NY HELPS Job Postings on StateJobs.  To narrow your search for NY HELPS jobs, click on “For the General Public”. Select “YES” in the NY HELPS field. Press submit. This will bring up all of the NY HELPS jobs that are available. Once you find the job in which you are interested and qualified, review the entire job posting. Directions to apply will be specified on each individual job posting.  View Open NY HELPS Positions

Why now? The State workforce provides crucial services to their fellow New Yorkers. Yet thousands of vacancies remain. By temporarily lifting exam requirements, this program will help fill crucial state positions and improve services for all New Yorkers. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors, and look out for a new marketing campaign promoting the benefits of fulfilling work helping the public as an employee of New York State. There has never been a better time to apply. 

More questions? Check out our NY HELPS FAQ webpage.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

The text above is from Proverbs 12:25. The proverbs of King Solomon begin by stating their purpose: for gaining wisdom and instruction; understanding words of insight; receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right, just, and fair; giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

We all need this kind of learning and insight, especially when confronted by the anxieties of our time. When we look at the world and all its conflict, or perhaps even in our own hearts, how can we possibly be cheerful. Well, Proverbs tells us – by a kind word.

Spring is well underway, Summer around the corner – yet what surrounds us can still choke the air with anxieties. As this is leap year, we will soon be (and already are in) the midst of political conflict, bickering, election noise, and nastiness on all sides. As such, I ask you to realize the anxiety that rises in us and offer a solution that will work for our own hearts. It is God’s advice. With anxiety’s heaviness, kindness is a powerful counter-balance. This is more than just a feel-good sentiment. It’s a call to action, reminding us of the profound impact we can have on ourselves and others. We have the opportunity to be light-bearers, to offer kind words that uplift, cheer, and heal.

As we extend kindness, we ourselves often experience a lightness too. Kindness multiplies, spreading light to both the giver and the receiver. Then, as this year goes on, let’s take this Proverb to heart. Let’s seek those moments to speak a kind word. We never know the impact a single word of kindness can have – it might just be the very thing that lightens someone’s load. Lord, In a world filled with so much anxiety, help me to be a source of light, using my voice to uplift and cheer the hearts around me, just as You do for me every day.


May, what a wonderful month. All is coming to bloom and we are busy with all the great things we can do to magnify the Lord and His Blessed Mother.

We give thanks for an excellent Basket Social and all its supporters. We will celebrate Mother’s Day on May 12th. May Devotions are underway each Wednesday following Noon Holy Mass. The Ascension Solemnity is celebrated on its proper day, May 9th (no, Jesus did not Ascend on the 43rd day after His Resurrection!). Join us as we honor all who gave their lives in service to our country with our annual Memorial Day Holy Mass at the parish cemetery (May 27th at 10am). Read about all the great summer events – and yes, you can go without cost to you – such as the Men’s Retreat (June 12-15), the Kurs Youth Encampment (July 4-13), and Convo (July 22-26). Looking for volunteer or ministry opportunities? Check out our articles as to what you might want to do. Like mysteries? Encounter a season dedicated to God’s mysteries starting this May. All this and more in our May 2024 Newsletter.

This wee’s memory verse: If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

1 John 4:20
  • 5/5 – 1 Peter 4:8
  • 5/6 – Romans 12:10
  • 5/7 – Romans 13:8
  • 5/8 – 1 John 4:11
  • 5/9 – Galatians 5:13
  • 5/10 – Ephesians 4:32
  • 5/11 – Hebrews 10:24

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, grant me a spirit of self-giving love centered in Your cross and the Holy Spirit’s word in me. Wherever sin prevails in my life, give me the grace to change. Amen.

This is My commandment: love one another as I love you. 

Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! 

On this Sunday in the Easter season, we are blessed to welcome a new member of God’s Kingdom through the waters of regeneration – rebirth into a completely new way of life. It is indeed a life of love.

Now, this causes us to raise a question as to Kingdom love, our Christian way of life. What’s all so different about it?

Indeed, people of every background provide love and charity for others. Most people regardless of religious affiliation, or no affiliation whatsoever love in ways aimed at the physical, emotional, psychological, relational, and economic well-being of others.

For Tallulah and us this is the difference. It is not the how, where, or work of love, but rather, its source, sustaining power, and goal.

For those in the Kingdom the source of love is the cross of Christ, the total self-giving of God for a people who neither deserved nor merited His concern. St. John tells us: “We love because He first loved us.” In the Cross our sins are forgiven, we are justified, accepted, and loved by God. By the cross fear and greed, the great barriers to love, are taken away as we trust in what God has done in Christ. So, the first difference between secular love and Christian love is that our love is rooted in the work of Christ and its impact in us.

Second, Kingdom love is sustained and shaped by the Holy Spirit, where secular love isn’t. St. Paul calls it the “fruit of the Spirit.” It is the Spirit that takes the death of Christ, causes it to be real for us, and gives us new hearts so that the death of Christ has a love-producing effect on us. The work of the Spirit sustains and shapes Christian love, but not the love of the world.

Finally, Christian love has a radically different goal, All the good we do in our loving has a Godward goal. Our love has more than a here and now goal and effect. Our love is not just for the present, rather it is forever because its emphasis is what is truly good for all, bringing all to God in Christ.

All that was about how our loving is different, what our baptismal faith changes about our outward loving. But there is more. Our commitment to Kingdom love must bring about deep change in us. We cannot remain just as we are. Within ourselves we must be fully convicted of our love’s shortcomings and work to grow our love so to meet Christ’s commandment.

This week’s memory verse: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.

John 15:16
  • 4/28 – Philippians 1:6
  • 4/29 – 2 Peter 1:5-9
  • 4/30 – Matthew 3:8
  • 5/1 – Psalm 1:3
  • 5/2 – Romans 7:4
  • 5/3 – Galatians 6:7-8
  • 5/4 – 1 Peter 4:10

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, grant me fruitfulness in doing Your work. When my courage lacks, fortify it. Where my witness fails, renew it. Amen.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.

Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! 

My dear brothers and sisters, we continue in our celebration of the Easter Season. We have not so much journeyed with Jesus as we do in other seasons of the Church year, rather we have sat and listened to His teaching, encountering His Risen presence, and being reassured in what He has won for us. We are having the meaning of all scripture opened to us so we might integrate all we learned as we did journey with Him. In short, Easter is about a deeper learning and integration of that learning into ourselves.

We heard this same gospel of the vine just seven weeks ago on the Solemnity of the Institution. On that occasion we related the meaning of the True Vine and our connection to it corporately as the Church.

Today, we consider our personal union with Jesus. Today is about how we are effectuating Jesus’ life in us in tangible ways, i.e., how we are bearing fruit.

We are given the best of examples of bearing fruit in Acts. Saul has just encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road. This man, who, as Paul, would later write about his life of animosity toward the Body of Christ, and toward Jesus, who lived as an enemy of God in his self-righteousness, now lives washed of all sin. Saul was regenerated and made new in forgiveness and in his desire for unity with Christ’s body. Not only that, but he now lives on fire for evangelization: [He] spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.

We see fruit in Barnabas who brought Saul into the community. He acted as a true brother in kindness and personal witness.

St. John reminds us of our obligation toward love of God and each other. He tells us: And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. He also reveals to us the mark of our salvation, the source of the confidence we should have from living in the True Vine and bearing His fruit, the Spirit he gave us.

Having the Holy Spirit in us and carrying out the work of Jesus in building the kingdom, evangelizing the unbeliever, acting in witness and welcome, we glorify the Father and bear great fruit living what we have learned.