As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

This month, in our years long discipleship study and journey, we are asked to pray both Psalm 42 and 121. Both of these Psalms pose longing and a response to longing. In each, the psalmist realizes that their hope is in God, that help comes from God. The introductory verse to Psalm 42 above is answered: Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. I can meet God by placing my hope in Him and trusting in Him. Our God is a saving God, not a punishing god. Can you imaging being as desirous as a deer in search of clear, cool, running water. The animal, parched with thirst happens upon that exact stream of water and is overjoyed in finding it and drinks deeply. So it is in our heart’s inner desire and need for God. Desire for God may seem more pronounced in difficult times, when we need extreme help for extreme troubles, but truthfully, that longing is always there. Our souls desire unity with God, for He is their source. They want Him for He is their refreshment. The cool, clear, running water of His grace is their answer, and we all seek to drink deeply of that grace. So, how do we do it. How do we find that water and drink of it? How do we meet God? We start by following Jesus’ gospel path. We do the things He said we must do. We live out the beatitudes and the rules from the Sermon on the Mount. We serve and sacrifice. To be a disciple means we live and love our Master’s instruction. Hard, yes. Impossible, no. From there we live in community. We live and worship as one family. This is the God designed, Jesus taught, Holy Spirit infused way we are to go. The cool, clear, running water of grace is found by those who do exactly this. As we follow Jesus’ gospel path He infuses us, through the Holy Spirit, with His grace. We receive actual help from on-high. As we live and worship as family we open the door to grace to others and support each other with that strength from on-high. We lift each other to that fountain of grace and in doing so our longing is answered.

Welcome to our October 2021 Newsletter. This month’s newsletter is filled with information about important events in the life of the parish: our centennial celebration; blessing of pets; healing; the rosary; family; the upcoming observance of All Souls; our discipleship focus on St. Teresa of Avila; and Ten Biblical Reminders for encouragement. We also pause to remember three beloved men who passed into eternal life.

Please come out to join us as we pray mightily, receive the sacraments, learn from the Word, and celebrate.

Check out all this and more in our October 2021 Newsletter.

Strength of Faith.

He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers.”

Over the months of Ordinary Time, a time dedicated to growth, we focus on how we live out the Christian faith, how we walk in Strength of Faith. We are focusing on our growth in Strength of Faith.

What does God, Who is all powerful, perfectly just, Who knows everything about us, even those things we hold in the secret of our heart, do for His people?

Some might say that sits as judge. That would be correct, for He has that role. Some might say He loves, for indeed that is His attribute as well. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews asks us to consider this:

For it was fitting that He, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the Leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.

The writer says that it is fitting, i.e., proper, and appropriate for God to choose the path of suffering for His Son, so that through this suffering we might be saved. Not only that, so that His Son would fully comprehend us, have the same experiences and trials as us, and walking with us show us the way to glory. By the Son’s strength of faith we are called to strength of faith.

Now we might figure, God could have done this differently, and of course He could, but then we would miss the vastness of His love, of His willingness to suffer and sacrifice all for us. His willingness to make us His brothers.

God not only loves as a concept but loves completely and sacrificially. He loves so much that He was willing to raise us up to the level of brotherhood with Him by His likeness to us.

This is an awesome and all-encompassing love. It is a compassionate love. It is a love that will not let God stand on the side as a spectator, but rather that involves Him intimately in our lives, because He humbled Himself in His sufferings to raise us higher than angels; to give us a triumph that is everlasting.

The symbols of marriage discussed in Genesis and today’s gospel mark not just a rule for life, a dictate for men and women to follow, but more so a call to be living symbols of God’s love toward us, for this is how God is, how He loves, and lives.

What God does for is people is to live a marital union of fidelity with us. Offering sacrificial love constantly, God only asks that we join ourselves to Him. Indeed, God calls us to live as one flesh with Him. He Who has so loved us that He gave His whole self for us asks us only to love Him and be joined with Him in return.

He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ, simply because it pleased him to do so. This he did for the praise of the glory of his grace, of his free gift to us in his Beloved, in whose blood we have gained redemption, and the forgiveness of our sins.

From this evening’s Canticle taken from the first chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Ephesus.

This evening we begin this three-day celebration, marked by worship in liturgy and in festive repast. We start with Vespers, the age-old rhythm of prayer in which we join with the entire Church praying through the psalms. How fitting that we pray with the whole Church as the whole Church prays with us.

This prayer, as with the Holy Masses we will celebrate is a communal action, joining the Body of Christ outwardly and mystically.

The words joining, communal. the whole – all speak to the unity we have in the Holy Name of Jesus. It is what St. Paul often speaks of – the one Body of Christ, each person with a role, each person a member. In Ephesians 1 Paul calls us adopted children through Jesus Christ.

As adoptees, we are members of the family of God. We have become co-heirs to the promises of the Father right beside His Son Jesus. This is a wonderful and happy prospect. It is a gift given to us by the Father’s beloved Son, Jesus.

The amazing and Most Holy Name of Jesus. It is interesting that this parish, currently Holy Name of Jesus, grew out of St. Joseph’s parish. It was Joseph, who having received instruction in a dream, gave God’s Son the name Jesus. Joseph listened to the voice of God and did what was asked of him. So, back-in-the-day the people of this parish listened to the inspiration given them and decided to dedicate this parish to Jesus’ Holy Name.

The amazing and Most Holy Name of Jesus. I suppose it would have been a bit easier to keep the name St. Joseph’s for this parish. We can relate to Joseph as a person, as a holy and righteous man who carried out God’s instruction. It is kind of hard to relate to an idea like a name. That is more conceptual. What does a name mean, what does it denote, what can it do?

We have plenty of scriptural evidence that tells us of the power of Jesus’ name, what it denotes and does. In Acts 3:16, the Holy Name of Jesus heals. Seventy-five times in the Gospels and Acts we find phrases like: the name of Jesus, the name of the Lord, His name, and other references. Jesus’ name is one of power and hope. In Acts 4:12 we hear Peter and John tell those persecuting them that: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” True life, eternal life, freedom from sin come from the Name of Jesus. Acts 2:21 tells us: “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So, we have been privileged to call upon His name and to be dedicated to His Holy Name, to be saved by and in His Holy Name.

But there is more.

During this weekend of celebration, look around. Look into the faces of people touched by our bearing witness to the Holy Name of Jesus. Then look deeper.

As Christians we often bandy about the idea that everyone is created in God’s image, that each person is a reflection of Jesus. You know, whatever you do or say to them, you do or say to Me. That is absolutely true. But there is more. Each person also bears within themselves the Name of Jesus.

For some, it is right out there for all to see. Some can certainly say: I bear the Name of Jesus in all I say and do. I proclaim Jesus wherever I go.  For others it may be more subtle, not quite on top, but we can perceive through their actions, their goodness and compassion, that they bear the Name of Jesus. Still for others, it is much harder to find, so much so that we forget they bear the Name of Jesus in them. We forget that Joe, Mary, Estelle, Nancy, Hypathia, Tony or the other is marked with the Name Jesus just as much as we are.

This is where that great hymn we began with should jump to the fore of our minds and lips: Holy God we praise Thy Name. For if we fail to act with compassion and charity toward anyone, we do not praise His Name we reject it, and thus reject the adoption, salvation, and healing His Holy Name brings.

This is a great and humbling lesson we must carry forth from here. It is a lesson for the next millennia – to continue to carry out the work underway here since 1921. 

For one hundred years, a century, we have opened our hearts and have seen the Name of Jesus in others, caught a glimpse of His image in them and welcomed them. We have grasped unto His adoption, healing, and salvation. We have brought comfort to the dispossessed, the stranger became no more a stranger. Those whose dignity was insulted found restoration here. Those who came without left filled.  We praised His Holy Name. We greatly and rightly praised the Holy Name of Jesus.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

I have a box. For those who get to church early enough or stay late enough, for the past two years you have seen me walking in and out of church with an old broken down box. The box is my briefcase of sorts. My family often comments: Why don’t you get rid of that old box and just get a briefcase? I don’t say much. I like my box.

This month’s scripture, taken from Matthew 6:33 reminds us of priorities – what comes first, what is most important: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

The box is a reminder to me of what we are celebrating this year, and in a special way how we will begin the month of October. One-hundred years ago people in Schenectady packed bags and boxes. They did not have much. They tread on foot to the corner of Raymond and Van Vranken to build a new church. This would be a church providing them the freedom to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Not long before this momentous event in 1921, these very same people packed boxes and bags and trunks to emigrate to the United States. They sought a better life and the opportunity to add good things to their lives – the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is worthy of not just celebration, but also emulation, is that these founders did not separate or compartmentalize seeking the kingdom, righteousness, and a better life. They saw them as God’s way-of-life. They listened to what St. James pointed out: Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God (James 1:17). As we celebrate the centennial of our wonderful parish, as we reflect on the good gifts we have received, let us remember those bags, boxes, and trunks. Let us recall that the search for truth and the achievement of victory took work and struggle. Most importantly, may we too live seeking what is important first, and all these things will be added to us.


Welcome to our September 2021 Newsletter. We are one-month away from our grand centennial celebration and September holds a wide variety of worship events leading up to this momentous occasion. Check out the October 1st through 3rd centennial schedule. In September we celebrate Labor Day, Brotherly Love Sunday, and Back to Church Sunday (who will you invite?). We commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001. We reflect on our summer events and the great things accomplished in our parish, including astounding generosity. Ready for coffee hour? It’s back starting September 12th. Ready for daily Holy Masses? They are returning to parish life. Pray in advance of our Diocesan Synod and reflect on walking with God and each other.

All that we do, all accomplished, a future filled with hope is by God’s good grace and YOUR love and commitment. Thank you!

Check out all this and more here in our September 2021 Newsletter.

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.

As this newsletter is being written we are preparing for summer youth events throughout our Church. Our church has always had a focus on the success of our children. Scripture tells us to take the time and to make the effort to instruct our children in the knowledge of the Lord such that our work in building the kingdom might continue to its success. In Psalm 144 we find David writing after his taking the throne. Even though victorious, it did not mean problems were over. In this psalm, David acknowledges triumph and thankfulness brought about by the great goodness of God. We must acknowledge that we have no victory apart from Him. David then prays for God’s help against current enemies. We must be ever watchful and turn to God for His constant protection. David then rejoices because he acknowledges God’s assurance of victory. We must not be people of fear, but rather of trust in victory. David then prays for the prosperity of his own kingdom and celebrates in the youth coming up in faith. So we must work for the future of the Kingdom and for our children’s faith. God’s blessings works wonders for us. So too for our children if we take the time and raise them in the Church. David prays as we should; that our sons be like strong, well rooted, young trees, which promise leadership toward great things. David prays that daughters be as corner stones, polished as a palace. Daughters unite us as corner stones join walls together. They do the work of knitting us together in our actions for God, in being leaders toward the kingdom of God. When we develop young men and women in holiness we will have joy in them and winners for God. Supported in their knowledge of the Lord we can be assured our children will achieve victory for the kingdom.

Welcome to our Summer 2021 Newsletter. We have tons of events going on this summer for youth and adults, for the sports minded and the musically inclined. These include the annual Kurs Youth Encampment, the National United Choirs Convention and Workshop, our Annual Parish Community Picnic (August 22nd on the parish grounds), and the YMSofR Golf Outing. We are engaged in prayer prior to this November’s Diocesan Synod as well as prayer for our country and for our youth. We have an update on our painting and refurbishment project (we are done – and your help in underwriting the costs would be really appreciated), our Centennial Raffle is in full swing (get your tickets soon), and we reflect on the danger of faithless shepherds and pray for clergy who have gone astray.

All that and more in our July/August 2021 Newsletter.

“So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops.”

In our Holy Church, we dedicate the month of June to prayer for Sacred Vocations. This prayer, commanded by Jesus in Matthew 9:38, is a necessary part of every Christian’s routine of prayer and I call on you to act, to take up this cause in your personal prayer life. In this cause of prayer, there are two requests. This first request is for the general gift of vocations, that many will be called. The second request is for responsiveness on the part of those called. The Church has always been in need of men to step up and into the role of Deacon and Ministerial Priest. It is no secret that the Holy Spirit has inspired many to accept these roles, yet few respond. As the Church’s National Vocations Director, I see the depth of our need for men to be called and for those called to listen, step forward, and take up the role God wants them in. We could engage in a ton of calculating as to why the called do not respond. I have heard all the alleged causes: economic and sociological. It is odd that the two greatest reasons are never really discussed: a lack of prayer and lack of faith. Being a Christian requires faith in Jesus in the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity. We believe those things by faith. So this is a test, will those called live fully faithfully? Will we proceed in faith-filled prayer as Jesus asked? Will those called respond in faith as the Holy Spirit asks? Will we trust God? The Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11 puts it very well in its first verse: “If people believe God, then they know they have the things they hope to get. It is the proof of things we do not see.” God does answer. Let us then buoy up our faith. Believe in God and pray each day this month and the rest of the year for vocations. See what happens.

We enter the month of June with concerted effort at prayer for vocations, and renew our call for those called to step forward in faith. We look forward to the many great events occurring during these warmer months, the Men’s Spiritual Retreat (sign-up now), the annual Kurs Youth Encampment (sign-up now). Both events are fully paid for by the parish, so do not pay when you sign up. The National United Choirs Convention and Music Workshop, the annual Golf Outing, and our wonderful community picnic on the parish grounds (stay tuned). Great Centennial Raffle tickets are available, get yours quickly. We celebrate, pray for, and encourage those who received the Sacraments of Baptism as well as two Marriages that occurred in May. We honor dads, reflect on the discipleship example of Ruth and Naomi, and learn about the the work of the parish in the post-World War II period.

All that and more in our June 2021 Newsletter.

Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Abide is a great word. It is a word with depth to it. We might think of similar words like remain or stay, but abide, that’s deeper. St. John writes about the meaning of abide in that deeper sense. It is not about just hanging out. Having invited folks to come over we might even invite them to stay or remain, but rarely do we ask people to abide with us – to stay forever. You see, stay and remain are time constrained words. Abide implies permanence, to persist, continue, and last. In abiding we go on without ending. To abide means we are in a stable and fixed state of relationship. In the phrase “abide in Me,” (John 15:4) which is May 2nd’s gospel, Jesus asks us, His followers, to stay constant in our relationship with Him, to live with Him in His gospel way forever. To abide, to stay forever in relationship with Jesus, is at the heart of the Christian journey. Our abiding with Him means we are incorporated into His Body and that we have accepted the responsibility of living out the gospel walk. We have received the gospel, God’s very word. Receipt of the gospel means more than just having a bible on the shelf, for if we have come to Christ by faith and have given Him our lives, then He has invited us to abide – in all that word means and implies. In this month of May, as Spring blooms about us, it is opportune to ask ourselves – where do I abide? Do I walk in Christ’s gospel way? Those who abide are changed outwardly and inwardly. The daily cares of the world continue, but impact us far less. In the Church of Hebrews and in Acts, people lost everything, homes, possessions, freedom – yet they counted it as nothing because they did not abide in the world. They knew where their home was, where the promise was. So they lived as citizens of heaven and as people freed from anything that might have constrained them, particularly the cares of the world. Let us who abide in Jesus then walk His way, free in His promise forever.

May and our Easter journey abiding in the True Vine continues. We also honor our Blessed Mother Mary, relying on her intercession for us as we continue moving forward.

This month’s newsletter is jammed packed with information. Summer activities, including the Annual Men’s Retreat and the Kurs Encampment are on. Learn about and get in on Great Centennial Raffle. We reflect on all the joys we experienced in April as we continue in Easter joy. We honor Mary in a special way this month as we also honor all our moms. We celebrate on Ascension Thursday as we look forward in hope to our risen life in the eternal kingdom. We have special gifts for you from the Annual Mission and Evangelism Workshop, “Discovering the PNCC.” We reflect on the discipleship example of Bl. Joseph Padewski. And… we look forward to the renovation of our church interior. That and so much more…

Check out all this and more here in our May 2021 Newsletter.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This Easter Season is marked by the particular joy of being together in-person in church once again. The beauty of each of your faces, your smiling eyes, the thanksgiving, the song, the praise reverberate with that joy. One year ago we could not gather in-person. We did not know what might happen. Would the parish survive? Would we ever gather again? How will I shop? How will I obtain my most essential needs? Most of us had never faced a challenge of the magnitude brought about by COVID-19. We deeply felt the loss of normalcy. The questions and the fears were natural. Tears were natural. Yet, in spite of those rightly placed feelings and fears, the parish persisted. Prayer and supplication were made for each of you, our entire Church, the nation, and the world. Holy Masses were offered. God’s mercy was called upon in Jesus’ Holy Name. Prayers of intercession were offered to the Blessed Virgin. Yes, throughout it all, the parish bore on, carrying out its witness before the world. Your discipleship fought against despair. The greatest testimony of the time was the gift of perseverance all of you, the parishioners, friends, and members of Holy Name of Jesus were graced with. You did not throw in the towel, nor would you even think of allowing for defeat. By God’s grace the parish not only survived, but grew and was strengthened. Your hearts were uplifted, but not only. The hearts and minds of countless others known and unknown encountered our witness to our risen Lord and Savior. We bore witness in ways seen and unseen, by prayer, outreach, charity, kindness, and sacrifice. Because of what we did together, witnessing to the might of Jesus’ Holy Name, grace continues to abound. The Lord Almighty is the creator of the times and the seasons. He chastises, but also lifts up. He tests and rewards those who bear up. You, my brothers and sisters, have borne up mightily in witness to the power of the Risen One in our lives.

April brings us again to Easter joy. Celebrating Easter in our 100th year as a parish recalls past joys and resurrects our hope for the future. Abundant blessings are being received as we continue moving forward.

This month we focus on Mother Teresa as a faithful disciple of our Lord who lived her life in a beautiful way showing unconditional love. We celebrate the return of two Holy Masses on Sundays and the regular reception of Holy Communion. We remind ourselves of our Sunday obligation which, first and foremost, requires our presence in church each Sunday. We learn various ways of giving the Easter greeting in many languages. Check out information on our Music Scholarship program. We look forward to this summer’s national activities, the Men’s Retreat and the Kurs Encampment for children and youth. Read our special thank you for great work and a beautiful donation. And, we also share more of our 100 years of memories.

Check out all this and more here in our April 2021 Newsletter.

Our parish has some really amazing artifacts, part of the wonderful legacy we have inherited. Among these are:

The chandelier at the center of the church’s nave: The chandelier came from the Grand Union Hotel in Saratoga Springs. The chandelier had been located in the grand parlor of the hotel. The historic hotel began as a boarding house built by Gideon Putnam in 1802, and eventually grew into the world’s largest hotel. The hotel was demolished between 1952 and 1953. Ironically, after it was demolished the hotel’s vacant lot became the site of a Grand Union Supermarket.

The church’s bells: We are still trying to track down the history of the church’s two bells. Thankfully, those glorious bells (a great bell and a tolling bell) are still in place and functional. Parish lore informs us that the bells were forged at the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in Schenectady where many of our parishioners worked.

Tadeusz Kszesniak created the Szopka which has been displayed in our church for the Christmas season for over 30 years. Tadeusz immigrated from Poland in the late 1970’s. Tadeusz had offered his artwork to St. Paul’s R.C. parish in Schenectady where it was rejected. He approached Stefan Węglinski from our parish who gladly accepted it.

Our 100th Anniversary web page at has a listing of all benefactors and what they donated.

Stay tuned for more to come – and comment if you are in the picture.

Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention…

Joseph, the man, the myth, the legend, the reality.

There is so much tradition around St. Joseph, whether it be his particular patronages, to the myths that surround his intercession, that we tend to lose the reality of the man. The myth and legend sort of push out Joseph’s reality. So today, on the Solemnity dedicated to his role as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin, let us focus on his reality. That is where we, as followers of Jesus, can take instruction and improve in our discipleship. 

Let us look at those words found in today’s Gospel which focus on Joseph’s reality.

He decided.
He intended.

Don’t we all do that. The old saying, ‘The best laid plans…’ Like St. Joseph, we decide things, we intend things, yet in all those thoughts and plans we often find God taking us by surprise. St. Joseph certainly did. He found himself with a wife, and a soon to be born child. He found his life trajectory now subject to change.

His trajectory would be affected not just by God, but also by the political machinations of his day. Suddenly, off to Bethlehem of Judea for a census ordered by Caesar since he was of the house and lineage of David. Nathan’s communication of God’s promise to David would be fulfilled in that. David’s throne is now forever since his descendant, Jesus, the Christ, sits upon it and reigns from it.

From there, Joseph is to be affected by the murderous intents of Herod. Joseph, take your wife and the Child and go into Egypt. Well, that’s new. Then, Herod dies. Joseph, go back, but not to Judah, you have to move to Nazareth in Galilee. 

I do not think many of Joseph’s plans, aspirations, decisions, or intentions worked out the way he planned. On top of all that, he and Mary sort of existed in a constant state of wonderment – What did Simeon’s statement about Jesus mean? Why did Jesus say what He did after remaining behind in the temple?

In our discipleship journey, the best lesson we can take from St. Joseph is his complete trust in God’s plan, ears that listened to and accepted God’s word, and a willingness to go in a direction that was not in his personal game plan. St. Joseph teaches us to accept God’s plan with great patience and trust. His example calls us to live that patience and trust, to go God’s way, in an upright, virtuous, and moral manner.

One hundred years ago a group of people, right here in Schenectady, got thrown off kilter. Everything they thought would happen, everything they had planned for went away. They had already faced changes they might not have otherwise imagined, crossing the ocean, third-class steerage, and arriving in a new country, often without any resources other than hope. Once relatively established and in place the next challenge arose. They had to set off in a different direction so to honestly and forthrightly follow God’s Holy Word, the Gospel way. They had to trust in God Who was showing them the path to faithfulness. This they did, taking St. Joseph as the patron for this journey. How apropos! How right they were.

Like Joseph, the surprises kept coming, and the road was not easy or smooth for those people, yet they prevailed, and today we walk in the footsteps they first trod. How blessed we are to be Jesus’ disciples and heirs to holy St. Joseph’s beautiful legacy right here in Schenectady.

Certainly, St. Joseph will continue to intercede for each of us, as immigrants, caretakers, husbands, fathers, foster parents, expectant mothers, workers, and for a peaceful falling asleep in the Lord. Who knows, he may even intercede for the sale of our homes…

More importantly, as we continue our journey, let us be imitators of St. Joseph’s reality, ever ready to say yes to God’s promptings; to go in a direction we otherwise would not. Let us be ready to go and to build. May we trust in God’s way. So too, let us remain loyal to the Blessed Mother Mary by properly honoring her and most of all, let us love Jesus above all by walking as Joseph did. Amen.