- Wednesday, December 21st, 7:30am: Feast – St. Thomas the Apostle and Rorate Holy Mass – celebrated in candlelight.
- Saturday, December 24th, 4pm: Vigil of the Nativity. Holy Mass for Children and Youth.
- Sunday, December 25th, Midnight: Solemnity of the Nativity. Pasterka/Mass of the Shepherds. A High Holy Mass, offered with incense and chanting.
- Sunday, December 25th, 10am: Holy Mass of Christmas Day.
- Monday, December 26th, Noon: Feast, St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr. Holy Mass.
- Tuesday, December 27th, Noon: Feast – St. John Apostle and Evangelist. Holy Mass with blessing and distribution of wine.
- Wednesday, December 28th, Noon: Commemoration – Holy Innocents. Holy Mass.
- Saturday, December 31st, Noon: Solemnity of Holy Family. Holy Mass.
- Sunday, January 1st, 10am and Noon: Solemnity of the Circumcision. Holy Mass.
- Monday, January 2nd, Noon: Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus. Holy Mass.
- Friday, January 6th, Noon: Solemnity of the Epiphany. Holy Mass with blessing of incense and chalk. Epiphany Home Visitations/Kolędy begin.
- Sunday, January 8th, 10am and Noon: Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds. Holy Mass.
- Monday, January 9th, Noon: Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. Holy Mass.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
UhOh! It’s October. Pumpkin spice, apple pie and crisps, gourds, the colors of Fall, and all that goes with it. That means we will shortly be bombarded with the need to shop for our Christmas gifts. The disciples gathered (Acts 1:1-11) and asked Jesus a lot of questions. They wanted to know the times and occasions for various future events. Jesus spoke to them rather about gifts. Our knowledge of what is to come is indeed influenced by our experiences, plans, and calendars. We prepare for Holy Synod, decorations, the covering of flower beds in anticipation of frost. Yet we can never fully know our tomorrow. Jesus was not interested in tomorrow or what was coming. That was for His Father (Matthew 24:36). Jesus was interested in and wanted to prepare us for action now. So in addressing His disciples (yes, us), He promised the Holy Spirit, Who would outpour gifts on us.
Gifts are wonderful, aren’t they? God’s gifts are particularly special. But just as with every gift we must make decisions. Will I use it, leave it unused, misuse it, or ignore it. The Holy Spirit has indeed come. We celebrated that fact on June 5th this year. We momentarily reflected on the outpouring of the Spirit’s sevenfold gifts. Perhaps some of us were moved to more deeply explore those gifts, to see where they were active in our lives and the life of our parish and wider Church. And yes, the Holy Spirit has been busy while we reflected! Never doubt that. We have been granted wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Of course we should give thanks, but more-so we should be active in setting those gifts to work in our lives, in the life of our parish, and in the wider Church.
Jesus wants us to rightly use the gifts we possess and make ourselves visible in doing His work in the world. No worry about tomorrow. Decide to put the Spirit’s sevenfold gifts to work today and urgently work so that all their qualities shine from us as we show Jesus to the world.
Welcome to October and all the beauty and grace God offers to His faithful!!!
In October we stand as an ally during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). We celebrate the month of the Holy Rosary, honor St. Francis with the Blessing of Pets, stand with St. Clare of Assisi in our devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, prepare for the XXVI Holy Synod of our Church and the grand celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Organization of our Church. We continue our series of devotions to the Infant of Prague in the Polish Language — Koronka do Praskiego Dzieciątka Jezus w Waszych intencjach w każdy wtorek o godz. 12:30 po południu. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Christian Family. Also, note the reminder concerning All Souls Day.
Get you tickets for our Christmas Vigil Raffle with a chance to win $2,500 and check out the great insurance special being offered by our sister organization, the Polish National Union.
Check that and more in our October 2022 Newsletter.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
We have a God of unconditional love. In John 3:16 quoted above we recall that verse which many of us memorized early in life, or at least we recognize it from sporting events. It may be the greatest verse in the Bible! It tells us about a God who loves us unconditionally. You see, our great God loves us so much, that He was willing to send His only begotten Son to die for us so that our sins be washed away. He gave His all to destroy the barrier that separates us from Him and each other. He loves us so much that He showed us what was to come, that thing we celebrate every Easter, the resurrection of the dead – when we will all appear as Jesus did – in glorified bodies. We also recall that God loves us so much that He did not create any complicated rules, or hoops to jump through, to get to Him. He only asks one thing – faith: To believe in the Lord Jesus by confessing our sins and making Him the Lord of our lives. Then living in His Kingdom community.
We make things complex in this world because it is difficult to grasp the full meaning of what it is to love unconditionally. We place conditions on love. We read in realities in our relationships that are not really present. We need to stop that. The little word ‘so’ in John 3:16 means that God loves us mightily! He loves us with an unconditional love that is not based upon circumstances, wants, or as part of any deal. God’s love is not based upon what we do, what we can do, or what we have done in our life. He only desires that we actively love as He does. Perhaps in a very special and unique way we connect with that aspect of God during the month of May for we reflect on the unconditional way in which Mary offered herself to God’s service and the way our mothers gave of themselves unconditionally for us. God’s mighty unconditional love is what we must both cherish and give; love without reason or excuse. So let us love in God’s way.
Welcome to our May 2022 Newsletter. At the start of the month we are a little less than half-way in our celebration of the Easter Season and our remembrance of the new life we have in the Kingdom, in the resurrected Christ. By the end of the month we will be preparing for the celebration of the Church’s birth at Pentecost where we live the Kingdom life.
The summer ahead is jam packed with activities highlighted herein. There is the Men’s Retreat, the Kurs Camp, Convo, the annual Golf Tourney, and so much more. May itself is filled with the great celebrations of Good Shepherd Sunday, Mother’s Day, May Marian devotions every Wednesday, and the Solemnity of the Ascension on its proper day – the Thursday that is forty days after Easter. We are exceptionally thankful for everyone’s Basket Social support, Swięconka (Easter) Basket support, and all who worked so hard to make Holy Week and the Triduum deeply prayerful and Easter incredibly celebratory.
All this and more in our May 2022 Newsletter.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13
At the start of the month we are nearly five full weeks into the Lenten season. On April 3rd we enter into Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent, a time marked by the somberness of veiled statues and candles and deep reflection on the Passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So I ask, are you somber?
I know, from my own experience, that there have been years in which a deep somberness would overcome me by Passiontide since I had done nothing to reform my life. I did not engage in more diligent prayer, fasting, worship, or giving. I was not turning from my sins, nor did I change direction. I had great intentions at the beginning, on Ash Wednesday, but did not take any concrete steps. I would feel that, well, it is too late now… In other years I would start off wonderfully and then get stuck and would start going backward. So the question many somber people ask: Am I too late?
The scripture above from Jeremiah 29:13 says no. God’s infinite mercy says no. The very fact that we feel a somberness in ourselves is proof of God’s acting on us to change, turn away from sin, and go in His way. Is it easy to change, to yank the sinfulness out of ourselves, and to walk more closely with Jesus? No, it does take work – but turning with our whole heart has the full support and assistance of the Holy Spirit, our Guardian Angel, and the whole Church. So we must not despair nor be somber. We must start now. What makes a difference is setting aside the idea of intention. ‘I intend to’ is no more than words. We have to act. The Prophet Joel told us on Ash Wednesday: rend your hearts and not your clothing. That statement means we cannot just stand on the intention of change and return without ever doing anything. Intention is no better than tearing our clothes, an outward appearance. Rather, even today, we can actually change our hearts, our whole self, and find God waiting to embrace us. Seek wholeheartedly and find Him.
Welcome to our April 2022 Newsletter. At the start of April we enter Passiontide, then Holy Week, and finally arrive at Easter. We have tons of opportunities to finish Lent well with daily Holy Mass, Stations of the Cross, Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie Żale, and our directed giving program. We invite you to join us for all things Holy Week and Easter. During the Easter Season we will also hold a welcome back/renewal day. Beyond all that, read about our engagement to help Ukrainian refugees.
There’s more to check out as well: We have blessed Polish Easter Baskets for sale (a portion of the proceed will be donated to Ukranian relief efforts), our amazing Basket Social is April 24th at the South Schenectady Firehouse, we are planning for the wonderful activites coming up Churchwide, and now is the time to apply for music scholarships.
All this and more in our April 2022 Newsletter.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being [remodeled] day by day.
Have you ever remodeled your home? Maybe you have rebuilt a car or truck? Maybe you changed the way things are done at work – improved them. In any event, consider what is involved in a remodel or re-do. My wife and I are in the process of updating our home. We watched HGTV and saw lots of nice things we might like to do. Finally we pulled the trigger and embarked on the remodel. Oh my… Well, it is nothing like HGTV. It will not happen in a weekend or in a sixty-minute episode. At each turn there is something unexpected, something one might consider frustrating. That, and the cost, the necessary investment. You like that vanity and sink – it will be eight to twelve weeks. We got the bathroom tile in, but now need to shave down your door. The moulding is disintegrating – you will need new moulding. It goes on.
Here we are in Lent. Here we are in this season of spiritual remodeling. Some parts of us may need a major redo, other parts, just a nice touch of paint. Nonetheless, we all need a remodel, a re-do in some measure. As we enter Lent we might view it like an episode of the other HGTV – Holy Grace TV. We think we can get it done quickly, but then reality sets in. It takes grace and work. Some of what we undertake is going to take time. Some of what we attack is going to require far more. Perhaps we need to bring in a consultant (a spiritual director, Holy Scripture, a good and proper Christian study book…). As with any work we need to do, we must begin by taking account of what we are willing to invest. Our investment: What things we can sacrifice to make more time for our Lenten re-do (prayer, charity, holy reading, sacrifice, diligence). Once we set to work we must fully expect the frustrations that will come along the way. It will not be easy, but wait till you see the result! Let us then enter our Lenten re-do, our internal renewal without delay.
Welcome to our March 2022 Newsletter. It is packed full of info on the season of Lent and all of the great opportunities we have to increase prayer, devotion, almsgiving (charity), and scriptural study. We need folks to go to the National Mission and Evangelism workshop and we should all participate in our Seniorate Lenten Retreat.
The BASKET SOCIAL is back. Read further on our Discipleship focus on the Holy Eucharist, get your Polish Easter Baskets, and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for The Ukraine. All this and more in our March 2022 Newsletter.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.
The text above is from Jeremiah 17:7, the Old Testament reading at the start of Pre-Lent. The next verse goes onto say about the one who hopes and trusts in the Lord: They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit. As you will read herein, the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima is one of preparation. So the question, Preparation for what?
We could say that Pre-Lent is preparation for a better 40 day Lenten journey. That we might make time and schedule our fasting, prayer, giving – that is certainly true. We could mark the time off on the calendar as days until Easter: 70, 60, 50 – that is true as well. Notice how both of these thoughts on preparation are time-constrained. I must set time to do these timely things according to the time on the calendar. However it might be better if we did not consider our preparation or even our lives as time constrained, as limited. We have, through our baptism, been added to the great cloud of witnesses – disciples of Christ – who already reside in His eternal Kingdom. We are no longer time-bound. Rather we are freed to be as Jeremiah states. Then, let us prepare to be fully engaged as a people who trust in the Lord – having a real and active faith that Jesus does as He promised to do. We are to have full-time hope in Him – and that trust and hope leads to a courage when speaking about Jesus to others. If we focus on trust and hope and who we are in the Kingdom we turn out (bloom) like that tree. We are planted in Christ Jesus Who nourishes us. We do not fear the negatives, the “heat,” for Jesus has us safely in His care. We remain alive in Him, so prepare to bear fruit full-time by timeless lives that draw others unto Jesus.
Welcome to our February 2022 Newsletter. It is packed full of info on the season of Pre-Lent / Septuagesima, the two-and-a-half week time of preparation for the Great Lent (which starts late this particular year). We have provided materials linked herein for your study. We are holding our annual meetings this and next month, part of our ecclesial democratic tradition. The Valentine’s Raffle is here, SouperBowl Sunday, and Epiphany house blessings continue – schedule your time soon. March 6th is Scout Sunday and Scouts coming to church in uniform can get their Scout Sunday patch for 2022.
Also, read up on things to say in church, the meaning of “Lord have mercy,” College Stipends and Scholarships, free healthcare opportunities, and the BASKET SOCIAL is back. All this and more in our February 2022 Newsletter.
“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
In our Catholic tradition we consider Advent to be a time of fasting, prayer, and penitence. To modern ears that seems weird. Isn’t the whole Advent season about getting ready for Christmas? After all, this isn’t Lent.
Liturgically, Advent may look penitential (at least in some parishes priests use violet vestments). In our parish we use blue vestments, a valid liturgical color in our Church. This more clearly distinguishes Advent from Lent. We focus on the expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and on our own expectation of Christmas, Jesus’ first coming. We also use Advent to focus on the end of the world, Jesus’ triumphant return. Thus the need for readiness. Advent is indeed a period of devout and expectant preparation, getting ready, and does have a penitential character. We all need to take ongoing sanctification (becoming more Christ-like) seriously and both Advent and Lent call this to mind in a very focused way. As Lent is a preparation for the awesome celebration of the Resurrection, so Advent is preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and return.
We are to spend Advent reflecting on the areas of our spiritual and material lives where we fall short in living up to the standards Jesus set for us; working diligently so we are ready for the Bridegroom’s return. We should not loose the opportunity of Advent, but rather take advantage of it. Throughout Advent, like in Lent, we should be focused on prayer, scriptural reading, works of charity, all part of personal growth as we await Jesus return. We should take time to fast and pray so that Jesus might find us ready to meet Him each day and upon His return.
This Advent we focus on the Promises of God, promises that are guaranteed. We will take steps together to grow in Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Come to church on November 28th for your free book and let us prepare together.
Welcome to our November 2021 Newsletter. Much to read and consider including our schedule for the month, our entry into Advent at the end of the month (free gift included), the return of daily Holy Mass to the parish life, parish history documented, the month of All Souls, our clothing and food drives assisting those in need locally, our discipleship lesson, a prayer for Thanksgiving, a short report out on the clergy conference, and a retrospective on our centennial celebration. That and much more awaits you.
Check out all this and more in our November 2021 Newsletter.
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.
“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.
“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.