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.

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.

Working to change.

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and He was heard because of his reverence.

So far in Lent we have focused on the change and reform necessary in our lives. We have been focusing on the various Lenten disciplines, the means and methods by which we achieve conversion, change and reform. These disciplines help us become more ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way.

The subjects of fasting, sacrifice (or giving), and study have been covered thus far. Next week we continue with the consideration of proclamation. Today, we focus on prayer.

This year we study from the Gospel according to St. Mark. In the first chapter of that Gospel, we hear that Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Prayer was a regular part of Jesus’ life. In Mark 11 we hear of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.’ In the same chapter Jesus reminded His disciples of the power of faithful and right prayer: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Jesus’ time on earth was a time of “prayers and petitions.” These two words portray a life of constant and persistent supplication. Not only did Jesus pray constantly and persistently, He prayed fervently. “Fervent cries” could also be translated “loud crying” or even “powerful shouts.” It makes us think of Jesus in Gethsemane, where He was “very sorrowful even to death”: And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray…” And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed.

Yet all this still does not exhaust the agonizing depth of Jesus’ prayers, for He prayed “with tears.” Jesus sobbed as He prayed. He threw Himself completely into prayer.

Jesus knew every facet of human suffering. He groaned under the depth of it. Through all this agony, Jesus learned something: He learned what it was like to obey as a suffering human in a fallen world and for that faith He was heard.

We are called to the same constant discipline of prayer that Jesus lived. Our prayer must be faithful and right. Our prayer must not be limited. Our prayer, heartfelt even when it groans without words, must call out to God. With prayer, like Jesus, we learn and are given just what we need to endure and cross into glory.

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now

In this, our centennial year, we are taking opportunities to look back with thankfulness and ahead with determination. It seems that along with the blessings of this year we have experienced the blessing of an ever more active parish. Things are going full steam ahead and are only going to increase. Just consider our Lenten journey. It is not only Holy Mass on Sundays, but also Stations on Fridays, Bitter Lamentations every other Wednesday, as well as ongoing Together in Faith and Love Zoom meetings every Thursday, time spent at the parish working on our centennial plans, and undertaking projects that need doing. We have an exceptionally rich heritage of prayer, music, and service before the Lord and we have been blessed more than abundantly. We share that abundance both in the parish building and virtually on Facebook and YouTube. The scripture quote above comes from Romans 13:11. It falls under the scriptural category of heritage. This passage reminds us that heritage is not a stagnant looking back, but rather a light guiding our preparation for the future, looking forward, constantly growing. In this Season of Lent and this centennial year let us resolve to press ever onward, eyes forward, to the salvation promises made to us on Easter: Freedom from every evil; Full possession of all that is good and glorious; Growth and increase in the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit; Being brought nearer to the saints; and Greater enjoyment of God’s marvelous love than we had when we first believed.

March and we are living out our Lenten journey. Lent in our 100th year as a parish allows us to use our past and heritage as a light guiding our preparation for the future. Abundant blessings are being received as we move forward.

This month we focus on Blessed Francis Hodur and making Christ’s principles and teachings more effective and evident in our discipleship journey. We hold our annual budget meeting, a tradition and obligation instituted by those who organized our parish – honoring each person’s voice and vote in the governance of the parish and the management of its funds. Our Valentine’s Raffle winners are announced. In our centennial article we focus on special items we have inherited. We will celebrate our next centennial event on the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19th) at 7pm. Information is provided on our national virtual Lenten retreat (March 23rd). And… you can donate to purchase a Blessed Polish Easter Basket.

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

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

December 2011, a stage jam packed with artifacts, boxes, materials, technology, bric-a-brac, and everything else. A counting room, two sacristies, choir loft, closet, and an odd side room off the parish hall similarly situated. It took months, but much of it was reorganized, labeled, filed, sent to the diocesan and general Church archives, and some simply recycled or discarded. But some of it… it ended up in that odd side room off the parish hall awaiting a decision. Here we are in February 2021, nearly ten years later and the time is now. That, my brothers and sisters is what Pre-Lent and our walk through Lent is all about. It is about assessing what we have, the stuff in our lives that stands as clutter between us and God. The amazing thing about our Lord and God is that He has no clutter, no obstacle – He is ever available to us. We, on the other hand tend to have stuff that gets in our way to Him. Over years of Pre-Lenten and Lenten seasons we have worked to remove those obstacles. Yet we still have those set aside rooms where there are lasting issues, stuff remaining between now and paradise. It is time to diligently set to cleaning out those things that stand between where we are and where we must be as Jesus’ disciples. Once we identify the clutter, let us take steps to clean it out and discard what gets in the way. Those things in us await a decision. They nag at us, will you cling to me, the clutter and mess, or will you give me up? Now is the time to clear out.

February is here and we are celebrating the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima and preparing ourselves for the beginning of the Great Lent. 

Lent in our 100th year as a parish gives us amply opportunity of reflect on what we must clean out so there is room for what Jesus has prepared for us.

We have an incredibly busy month ahead.

This month we focus on Jeremiah the Prophet and the Spiritual Works of Mercy in our discipleship journey. We hold our annual meeting, a tradition and obligation instituted by those who organized our parish – honoring each person’s voice and vote in the governance of the parish and the management of its funds. We hold our annual month long Valentine’s Raffle event. We celebrate Scout Sunday and also encourage you to apply for music scholarships, and share a reflection on “Being a Light in a Dark World.” Don’t forget about our weekly “Together in Faith and Love” Zoom get-togethers.

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

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

December, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. That’s our secular calendar for December. Whether we get our calendar at the bank, the local liquor store, or online – we can find all those things. But if we happen to have picked up a Home Liturgical Calendar (there’s still a few available), we find a bridge, the start of a new Church Year with the season of Advent. Advent is about hope and expectation of a brighter future. In Advent we at once commemorate the waiting of the Jewish people for the promised Messiah and connect with our urgent expectation of His return. We are first and foremost called to look forward with hope. Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz, the Nobel prize winning author, wrote his “Trilogy” of historical novels – set in the 17th-century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – in the late 19th century. In this series of books (and I recommend you get the translation by W. S. Kuniczak) he points to people looking to the sky in the midst of Poland’s wars and sufferings, and declaring ’It must be the end.’ Certainly they did. Yet the world did not end in the 17th or 19th centuries. Any among the people of that time expecting the end lost the opportunity to hope forward. For us as Christians, the call is not to sit around contemplating the end, biting our nails and hoping we get to heaven, but to offer hope today, and thus to be heaven, the breaking open of the Kingdom of God, for our brothers and sisters. We all long, that cannot be helped. We have all been challenged, and especially in this year. For us, Advent longing and the challenges of the time must not be met with dour, sad, and forlorn attitudes but rather with hope filled and bright faith looking forward. Each Advent, let us look forward, not in a delusional way, but with ready faith. Let us look forward expectantly, with active faith. Let us never lose the opportunity to live and share hope. Grasp it so we may meet Jesus, the Hope of humanity.

December is here and so is our newsletter. This month we focus on looking forward with hope as we walk through the Advent Season into the new dawn of Christmas.

Read about our Advent charity programs and Pastor Jim’s Christmas greetings as well as his thankfulness on the 6th anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Join us for weekly Zoom calls so we can face these days Together in Faith and Love. Stop by Wednesday mornings for a Rorate Holy Mass (Holy Mass by candlelight only). Offer a Memory Cross for our Christmas trees. Get your Christmas wafers/opłatki. See our Christmas season schedule of Holy Masses. We continue planning for our 100th Anniversary, observed in 2021. There is a great reflection On Holy Communion. Want to be on the Parish Committee? Time to get your name into running.

Read about it in our December 2020 Newsletter.

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Revelation 14:12

We start the month of November, as always, with a Solemnity honoring all the saints. Revelation 14:12 challenges the saints to endurance in keeping the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. If there was ever a year in which we have been called to endurance it was this one. What is this saying to us and what can we learn from this? Younger people might say: “I’m gonna hang tough for Jesus, suck it up and stick it out,” but that glorifies our abilities outside of Jesus, saying I can do it on my own. That is not our call, the call to those who would be saints. Rather, we are called to trust fully in Jesus. ‘Here is a call’ is an announcement pointing to the faith of Jesus. It’s the faith of Jesus that must live within us and be our power to face life’s trials. If we focus on ourselves instead of our Savior we set ourselves up for failure. We pose as hardened spiritual Rambos. That promotes self-trust and pretending. Human perseverance is a strength for sure, and God can use it, but that is not enough. God can’t do anything with us when we’re trusting in our own strength or leaning on our own understanding. Paul got it and told the Corinthians to rejoice in weaknesses. For when I am weak, then I am strong. The key to enduring the unendurable is to lift our eyes off present circumstances and ourselves, and to focus on what the Lord will bring about even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us. These challenges and hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us who are called to be saints. What Revelation is saying and what we can learn is this: That Jesus living within us is our true strength, the center of our lives. He calls us to rely on Him and to endure in that truth so that His light shines out of us. Jesus is the treasure within us, called to be saints, with a hope beyond hope and a blessed future.

Welcome to November’s newsletter. This month we focus on the saints and pray for our loved ones in their journey to heaven. There are plenty of thanks to offer as we approach Thanksgiving — so much good has been accomplished by our endurance. We begin planning for our 100th Anniversary, observed in 2021. We invite you to participate in planning, There is a great reflection on what happens on November 4th; what is the Christian to do post election? Also stay tuned for Valentine’s Raffle tickets and our planning for Advent which begins November 29th.

Read about all it in our November 2020 Newsletter.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This month, along with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Christian Family, we also celebrate Heritage Sunday (October 18th). Why? Reading through the documents created in the Church’s organizing years we see so many references to humanity, established in nations, to be bearers and sharers of the gifts God has given them. In the Tenant and Aims Document it is recorded: “The most important objective of the Church… is to maintain, enrich and develop the life of God in the soul of man…” Likewise, the Confession of Faith, our Creedal Document. Familiarize yourself with these statements, for they are a call to us and to the world. We are to recognize the dignity and value of each person and nation in their contribution toward helping us know God. These documents from the early 1900’s a sure cure to the inequality we still face today. We are not called to division, but to celebrate each other in unity and equality. We celebrate heritage because God has given us gifts, attributes, and experiences that when shared adds to our collective knowledge of God. A paraphrase of the Preamble to our Constitution sums this up: “Religion is the source of life and regeneration. Religion [that] possess the character of a nation [transmits innate] moral principles from which we achieve real freedom and stature.” As we celebrate let us each experience God more fully in each other and in what we share of ourselves.

October, our next jam packed month of events and opportunities. We bless pets on Sunday, October 4th. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Christian Family, a feast unique to our Church as well as Heritage Sunday. We will pray the Rosary every Wednesday evening in church and virtually. And … Fr. Jim is in the kitchen cooking up a yummy take-out/take-away American Goulash Dinner for Sunday, October 25th. Your efforts at discipleship and evangelism are drawing people to church – keep up the good work in the ministries you each have. There are some great prayers for family and our nation and a wonderful reflection on Certainty in God.

Read about all it in our October 2020 Newsletter.