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.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 21:15

I remember those hot summers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. They were marked by an unease due to the social unrest around me. I used to be a real news junkie and would watch the process of protest unfold each night. Between the ages of 6 and 9 it scared me, and it also marked my psyche and life. Those hot summers of protest did engender change. Voices that needed to be heard were heard. Now they are back. They are needed to make a difference now. The promise of past decades slowed to a crawl and needs to be bought closer to completion. Perhaps it is our general comfort with the way things are. We get used to the status quo. No matter how much we say we like excitement, and things to be different, we don’t. This is why scripture is important. This is why we must study what God has said on the subject, look to God’s design, and then set to work to close the gap between God’s way and what is. Jesus tells us: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We must live that. We need to ensure action for justice and dignity.

Summer and we have plans to re-open for public worship in our parish on Sunday, July 19th at 10am. Take a look at the required guidelines. We can do this by working together. 

We had a busy June and July/August look to be just as busy. We are looking forward to Virtual Kurs and to re-opening for public worship. We look forward with hope and continue to be the faithful church at home and together.

Read about all it in our July/August 2020 Newsletter.

Be anxious for nothing

Philippians 4:6

St. Paul is writing to the Philippians. He starts in Chapter 4:6-7 by saying, Be anxious for nothing. Now we might say, good advice Paul, thanks, but you do not understand. After all, we have disease, civil unrest, the problem of generational prejudice, murder bees, plus a stadium sized asteroid making a close pass at earth. How can I not be anxious? Paul is not writing in a vacuum. Paul’s command, Be anxious for nothing is not an option. All of our undue cares intrude into an arena that belongs to God alone. Having undue care knocks God out of His Father role and makes us father instead of child. Let God be Father. Paul goes on to tell us to pray to God, to ask, for there are no areas of our lives that are of no concern to God. Pray with confidence, thanksgiving, and receive peace.

June and warmer weather. The world continues to change – and some of that change has long been required. Read our Commitment to Dignity.

June also brings thoughts of our heavenly, spiritual, and earthly fathers. We are called to action. Our newsletter contains information on various summer events being held virtually including PolishFest, our Men’s Spiritual Retreat, and Kurs. As of now we plan to reopen on July 19th with one Holy Mass and with certain required conditions. We will do so responsibly and with great care and only if the situation continues to improve! We look forward with hope and continue to be the faithful church at home and together.

Read about all it in our June 2020 Newsletter.

To be prayed daily as we prepare for Pentecost

In the Name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

V. Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And You will renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O Holy Spirit, my Lord and my God, I adore You and humbly acknowledge here in Your sacred presence that I am nothing, and can do nothing, without Your operation within me. Come, great Paraclete, thou Father of the poor, thou Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Savior, who would not leave us orphans, and enter my mind and heart as You descended on the day of Pentecost upon the holy Mother of Jesus and upon His first disciples. Grant that I may have a part in those gifts which You did so prodigally bestow upon them.

Take from my heart all that is not pleasing to You and make of it a worthy dwelling place for Jesus. Illumine my mind, that I may see and understand the things that are for my eternal welfare. Inflame my heart with pure love of the Father, that, cleansed from attachment to all unworthy objects, my whole life may be hidden with Jesus in God. Strengthen my will, that it may be conformable to the will of my Creator and guided by Thy holy inspirations.

Aid me to practice the heavenly virtues of humility, poverty, and obedience which are taught me in the earthly life of Jesus. Descend upon me, O mighty Spirit, that, inspired and encouraged by You, I may faithfully fulfill the duties of my state in life, carry my daily cross with patience and courage, and accomplish the Father’s will for me more perfectly. Make me, day by day, more holy and give to me that heavenly peace which the world cannot give.

O Holy Spirit, Giver of every good and perfect gift, grant to me the intentions of this novena of prayer. May the Father’s will be done in me and through me. And may You, O mighty Spirit of the living God, be praised and glorified for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Saturday, May 30th: Come, O Holy Comforter, and grant me a relish for heavenly things. Produce in my soul the fruits of virtue, so that, being filled with all sweetness and joy in the pursuit of good, I may attain unto eternal blessedness.

Let us pray: O God, who as at this time did teach the hearts of Your faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then is said the Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory be….

Our Father …
Hail Mary …
Glory be …

Let us pray. Almighty God, You instruct the hearts of the faithful thru the grace of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and to ever rejoice in His comfort, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

In the Name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

To be prayed daily as we prepare for Pentecost

In the Name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

V. Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And You will renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O Holy Spirit, my Lord and my God, I adore You and humbly acknowledge here in Your sacred presence that I am nothing, and can do nothing, without Your operation within me. Come, great Paraclete, thou Father of the poor, thou Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Savior, who would not leave us orphans, and enter my mind and heart as You descended on the day of Pentecost upon the holy Mother of Jesus and upon His first disciples. Grant that I may have a part in those gifts which You did so prodigally bestow upon them.

Take from my heart all that is not pleasing to You and make of it a worthy dwelling place for Jesus. Illumine my mind, that I may see and understand the things that are for my eternal welfare. Inflame my heart with pure love of the Father, that, cleansed from attachment to all unworthy objects, my whole life may be hidden with Jesus in God. Strengthen my will, that it may be conformable to the will of my Creator and guided by Thy holy inspirations.

Aid me to practice the heavenly virtues of humility, poverty, and obedience which are taught me in the earthly life of Jesus. Descend upon me, O mighty Spirit, that, inspired and encouraged by You, I may faithfully fulfill the duties of my state in life, carry my daily cross with patience and courage, and accomplish the Father’s will for me more perfectly. Make me, day by day, more holy and give to me that heavenly peace which the world cannot give.

O Holy Spirit, Giver of every good and perfect gift, grant to me the intentions of this novena of prayer. May the Father’s will be done in me and through me. And may You, O mighty Spirit of the living God, be praised and glorified for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Friday, May 29th: Come, O Spirit of holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set You, my Lord and God, before my face forever; and shun all things that can offend You so that I may be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your divine Majesty in the heaven of heavens, where You live and reign in the unity of the Ever-blessed Trinity, world without end.

Let us pray: O God, who as at this time did teach the hearts of Your faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then is said the Our Father and Hail Mary and Glory be….

Our Father …
Hail Mary …
Glory be …

Let us pray. Almighty God, You instruct the hearts of the faithful thru the grace of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and to ever rejoice in His comfort, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

In the Name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.