Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał! Cristo è Risorto! È veramente Risorto!

On Easter Sunday, we spoke of the inevitability of change. We opened our eyes to the heavenward change we must be as we live Easter lives unafraid of change Jesus brings and full of surprise for all we encounter.

Today we encounter a kind of weird surprise. Thomas meets up with his friends, co-workers, followers of Jesus who are reporting the resurrection to him. Thomas is incredulous. In modern parlance we might hear him say: You’re taking a horrible situation and are turning it into a bad joke.

The thing about Thomas and Jesus’ other followers is the way they motivate us to place ourselves in their situation and conclude that we would act differently. If I were only there, I would…

For those who went to see Jesus Christ Superstar yesterday, or recently, or perhaps saw the John Legend version of the play on television, or even the original 1973 film adaptation we might connect with Mary Magdala, Judas, Peter, the other Apostles, Pilate, the Sanhedrin, and think along those lines – I wouldn’t betray, deny, question, or persecute. I would stand firm in faith and be clear. I have no incredulity as to Who Jesus is. But then we come to the realization that we would fall short just as they all did.

In the play as in Godspell there is no clear resurrection event. That is left out because it is a matter of faith. It is a matter of surrendering ourselves to the change Jesus wants in us.

St. John speaks of being begotten by God and conquering. John notes that this is completely dependent on faith. If we give ourselves and our shortcomings over to Jesus, we allow Him to change us, to remake us into His very image and to thus become victors over all things and in all things.

St. John is calling us to the confidence of the beloved disciple, the first at the tomb, who stood under the cross with Mary, but who also fell asleep in the garden. John knew that it is not who we were or where we came from, but what we allow Jesus to make of us.   

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Christ is Risen! He is truly Risen! Alleluia! Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał! Cristo è Risorto! È veramente Risorto!

My dear brothers and sisters, do we think change is inevitable?

As a young man, I was most focused on stability, keeping things the way they were. It wasn’t that everything was perfect the way it was – but at least it was comfortable. I liked that. I liked my surroundings, the security I had, and most of the people.

A psychologist would probably tell you that early loss in my life would lead a young person to crave stability because stability is security, or at least the appearance of security.

Here I am, and you with me, generations later. We have the fifth generation of computers, smartphones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, great strides in heath science, constant change in the way people live and relate to one another – some for good, others for ill. All those comfortable surroundings and people are gone.

People think the Holy Church is so unchanging, that it takes centuries to even move an inch. Yet that is not true – just look at this resurrection morning. Jesus did not create us to stand still.

The women and the two apostles are taken by surprise. The readings and gospels throughout days and weeks ahead will recount surprise after surprise, change after change. Jesus is about that.

This is a vivid reminder – one we need badly – that the Church, the Body of Christ – is not a stagnant place. Rather, this is the place we encounter the very change Jesus came to bring within and beyond us.

St. Paul reminds the Colossians to think and live differently and to be different. Old definitions are no more. We have died with Christ and we are in Him where everything is different. Jesus changes who we are.

There are no limits on what we can or cannot do. There are no boundaries we cannot cross with Christ within us. His universe spanning life is in us.

Jesus’ resurrected life is intended to open our eyes to the heavenward change we must be. Let us rejoice heartily then and be those gospel living Easter people of unafraid change and full of surprise.

If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.

In the second version of the Stations of the Cross, at the Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross, we pray: ‘if we ever saw this for what it truly is – a compelling demonstration of how far You would go to prove Your love for us – then we…’  

Then we would what? There are many answers to that. 

We might break down in sorrow over our sinfulness, our betrayals and failures in living up to Jesus’ gospel way. We might reform of those things. We might enter into contemplation – reflecting on the great mystery of Christ Jesus, trying to grasp the great love that propelled Him to suffer and die for us. We might rejoice in our redemption, acknowledging that Jesus’ sacrifice has freed us from sin and eternal death. We might be more thankful and faithful in our daily lives. None of these is a bad thing to do and all have value. Indeed, each of these and other faithful practices should be central in our life, not just an occasional or Lenten thing.

It is not just in the nailing to the Cross that we are reminded of all the compelling things Jesus did for us. A quick survey: He was bound that we might become free. He was crowned with thorns that we might be crowned with eternal life. He fell that we might rise. He was stripped that we might become clothed in glory. He died that we might live. He was buried to show us that the grave is not the end. In these many ways Jesus’ love is proved in its fullness. The question remains, what is the one necessary response.

In our Eleventh Station prayer we go on to say: ‘then we would be so moved and touched that we would eagerly give You our love in response.’ Jesus seeks a love response from us. Then we must declare in every moment of our eternal Easter lives, I will love as Jesus loved. Jesus says that He will draw all to Himself from His being lifted up on the Cross. If we see the Cross as what it truly is – the full-on intensity of God’s love for us, then we will live the love response Jesus seeks.


Welcome to our March 2024 Newsletter. March is racking up to be quite a whirlwind. We go from the third Sunday in Lent to Easter all within the month. Check out our Lenten offerings and our Holy Week and Easter schedule. We share the Lenten and Easter poetry of Rev. Walter Hyszko. We are preparing for our annual Basket Social (the 20th anniversary) coming up on Sunday,April 21st starting at noon. Do you get God’s Field? We offer various ways from online to subscriptions. In college or taking music lessons? Scholarships are available. All this and more in our March 2024 Newsletter. Check it out.

Lived Victory!

Holy Spirit, our Comforter, grant us a new vision and a new counsel, new wisdom and fresh understanding, the revival of our piety and the renewal of our fortitude, so we may go forth from this place faithful in service and fruitful in deeds. Establish us in the knowledge of God and in the fear of the Lord that we may see the Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.

Thank you for joining today as we conclude our Easter joy and set out from here proclaiming: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Throughout the week I was considering the age of the disciples who on this very day became the Apostles of Christ’s Holy Church. They were all in one place together. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

I was thinking about their age because in most artistic renderings (except for St. John the Apostle and Evangelist) they all seem so old. You know how they look, long grey hair and beards, a little stooped over. Then I look at myself – uh oh. 

Jesus’ promise and final words to His disciples are fulfilled with the gift of the Holy Spirit. They came from many places. They were fishermen, tax collectors, ordinary working people like us. No one was fancy – plain old folks like us. They had common names like we do. Except for Paul who was called later, they were not scholars of the Law or Torah, only having a basic education in Jewish Law and practice. We know Peter was married and had a mother-in-law. They were all now Apostles.

Though the Bible does not give the exact ages of these Apostles, it is likely they were all between the ages of 13 and 30 at the time they followed Jesus with John likely the youngest and Peter perhaps one of the oldest since he was already married.

This is all in way to illustrate the exact power of the Holy Spirit, to take each one of us and with our willingness and cooperation to make use of us. Like the Apostles and the women in the upper room we are empowered to proclaim the gospel, to live as Jesus lived, to draw many into the kingdom (3,000 were added the day of Pentecost).

St. Paul tells us what was revealed to him: there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, forms of service, workings. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.

The words I quoted at the beginning of this reflection are taken from the closing prayer of today’s Holy Mass and are a prayer request for what we need to do God’s work.

These gifts are not just for our personal benefit, but rather for the benefit of God’s purpose. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” as Jesus said. As we pray through this Octave and give thanks for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, let us take those words from the closing prayer and make them a reality by laying our lives completely before Jesus so He may use us as He wills. If we trust God at that level, then we shall surely be blessed and the Kingdom will grow.

Lived Victory!

“I revealed Your name to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They belonged to You, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they know that everything You gave Me is from You, because the words You gave to Me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from You, and they have believed that You sent Me.”

Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Over the past few weeks, we moved from Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in the gospel passage to excerpts from St. John’s Last Supper narrative between Jesus and His disciples.

John’s Last Supper narrative is a very open and honest (what else could Jesus be?) discourse not just about what was to happen in the immediate aftermath of the Last Supper, that is Jesus’ arrest, torture, crucifixion, death, and burial, but out into the future – the forever future – a future of promise.

Jesus lays out a roadmap from His ministry with the disciples, what He taught them, their experiences of His ministry and miracles to His identity in the Father.

In today’s gospel passage He is bringing all this together in a farewell speech and concluding prayer. This prayer has been called the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus or the Arch Priestly Prayer of Jesus. Interestingly, this is specifically mentioned in the Canon of the Bishop Hodur Rite of the Holy Mass.

Jesus in this prayer is consecrating His followers in the Father. Indeed, Jesus’ whole life’s work was about connecting us to His Father, revealing Him, letting us know about His love, mercy, forgiveness, and thorough and complete healing. We learn, through Jesus, that His sacrifice was designed by the Father to save us. He is now blessing them in the Father.

We are heirs to this knowledge, to this revelation, and to its promises because we have, by God’s choice and the work of the Holy Spirit, accepted Jesus by faith in the same way the first disciples did. Therefore, we are possessors of the same glory Jesus has – the Father’s glory. Because we belong to Jesus we belong to the Father and so we are blessed in both the Father and Son. We have abundant eternal life in an ongoing knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son.

Jesus speaks of the glory His Father will give Him and makes a very fine point about our possessing that same glory because of our unity with Jesus, our belief in Him, and in such our unity with God the Father.

Jesus, also being realistic, knows we remain here, unified with Him, but subject to the trials of the worldly and so He prays for them.

For us all this comes down to who we are, what we possess, and where we are going. As a faithful Christian I am in the Father through Jesus. I have the promise of eternal life. I am headed toward heaven – but there is still work I must do here.

Lived Victory!

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear

Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Scripture tells us of Peter’s mother-in-law, how Jesus healed her, and how she took care of Jesus and His disciples. Certainly, one of the many amazing, devoted women in Holy Scripture. I must imagine that Peter also had an amazing mom considering the letter that he wrote which we are reflecting on: Be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear.

That is a mom statement if I ever heard one. I can hear my mom saying similar things. You know, those occasions when we are upset, feel misunderstood, or are angry and want to run off and do something not quite smart. Maybe the words were slightly different, yet they were the same: ‘Explain yourself clearly. Use your words. Do things with gentleness and reverence. Honor those you encounter. Do not sin. Act with integrity. Just because someone wronged you does not mean you should do wrong. Have a clear conscience.’

Consider some of the other moms of the Bible. Like our moms they were wonderful examples of devotion to God, His people, and their families.

Jochebed was the mother of Moses and would not let the commands of government overcome her love for her son. She refused to allow him to be killed, hid him, and saved him. Not only did she protect Moses, but she reverently placed his fate in the hands of God when she placed him in the basket in the Nile. Our moms have confidently placed us in the hands of God. They taught us to trust in God over all things.

Hannah was in despair because she was unable to have a child. She was deeply loved by her husband Elkanah, but still longed for a child of her own. Every time Hannah went to the Temple, she poured her heart out to God. God heard her, and she bore a son. Out of gratitude to the Lord, she surrendered her son back to God. Hannah gave her child to God because she knew it was the best she could do for him. Releasing control opened the door for God to do amazing things for Samuel, one of the greatest prophets. Our moms have prayed for us and have given us to God in baptism so that He bless us as well.

The Widow of Zarephath gave what little she had to feed the prophet Elijah. Amid famine and desperation, her reverent faith and trust in God was essential to her and her son’s survival. Later when her son died, she went to Elijah for help, and her son was saved. Our moms have had “famine” seasons where things seemed bleak and hopeless. During those times, they taught us that reverent trust and faith in God overcome even when things don’t make sense.

Elizabeth and Mary reverently surrendered themselves to God’s will even though His way seemed impossible from a human perspective. They act as the premier example of moms who allowed God’s will to be done.

If we have learned from our moms and the moms of the Bible, our ears are opened to what Jesus asks and promises: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Let us honor the special women of our lives by our reverence to God and by living His gospel way of life.

Lived Victory!

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to the Father.”

Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Do you celebrate your baptism day? Do you even know when it was?

Because I do genealogy as a hobby I happen to know when mine was without digging through all the papers in that locked metal box in the closet (we all have those don’t we?). Mine was December 14th.

Sometime this week, open that box and look at the date. I know Carin (May 15th) and Vince (April 1st) had to do that to be godparents. Then put it on your calendar as an annual thing, and when it rolls around celebrate. Go out to dinner, have cake, take a trip, and share the time.

We celebrate lots of stuff: team wins, national whatever-it-is-day, a promotion or retirement. We celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. It is only right and fitting that we should celebrate that day when we met the greatest love of all time, the greatest love in all eternity – Jesus in our baptism.

You see, in baptism we are made one in Jesus. We enter the water dying with Him and are thus buried with Him to then rise-up out of the water to new life.

Our Holy Church does not look at this event, baptism, as some kind of ritual cleaning because babies are born all dirty and sinny. No! Indeed, we see baptism as that moment a person is regenerated, brought to new life in Christ Jesus. It is also why the Church must never be a place of criticism and condemnation, but rather a place of welcome, healing, and continual entry into God’s new life.

With this new life come the promises we hear in Scripture and in the Holy Mass today: You will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones. We have true power. You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own.” We are set apart by God, made different by our baptism. I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself. We have an eternal home that Jesus built for us. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. We have intimate knowledge of God the Father because we know Jesus.

Yes, friends, celebrate the day you received the greatest gift of all. We can buy stuff, acquire, earn, give our children clothes, schooling, hobbies and sports – all good things, but the best gift for Olivia happens today because it is a forever gift, and it is free. 

It happened for you perhaps years or decades ago – don’t forget it, or just tuck it away in a little metal fireproof box. As you take out that paper and look at it recall that you were given the greatest gift ever. Pray in that intimate moment. Picture mom, dad, your godparents and their joy as they gave you this gift. And, thank God each day by living out the new life you entered with thanksgiving.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

As this newsletter was being prepared we were in the midst of final preparations for our 19th Annual Basket Social. The golabki (golumbki, golumpki, piggies) were being made, the programs printed, the baskets organized and sorted, and finally everything moved into place (tables, the microphone/ speaker, food, all the odds and ends).

Leading up to the Basket Social there was of course normal trepidation. Will anyone show up? What other events will pull people away that weekend? The only worry I did not hear concerned the weather, but I am sure someone must have mentioned it. The weeks leading up provided perfect opportunities to talk about what really mattered: faith that overcomes all things, confidence, victory in Christ, and the care of the Good Shepherd – on the very day of the Basket Social. Immersed in the Easter Season those are the things we celebrate and most central to our celebration is victory, winning.

In the end, the Basket Social was a great success, the most successful ever. We literally won. In this winning we are reminded to really focus on the victory we have in Christ Jesus. Yes, we did very well. Yes, this year was a success. But what happens tomorrow and the day after and into eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:57 reminds us of what should be primary to us, at the top of our agenda. It is not momentary wins and occasional losses, but eternal victory in the defeat of death by the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is the forgiveness of our sins. St. Paul continually focuses his teaching on Jesus’ victory which has made us a new people. He tells us: ”In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

As we prepare for the big things in the life of our faith family, our own families, and our daily lives let us concentrate on what resolute faith teaches us – that we are indeed winners, victors, and conquerers through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Welcome to our May 2023 Newsletter. We continue our journey of joy through the Easter Season literally ending the month with Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter.

There is tons in this month’s newsletter. Spring and Summer events are upon us. May means Mary and our devotedness to the Mother of Jesus in both private and collective prayer. We will hold our annual Memorial Day Holy Mass at the parish cemetery (weather permitting). We also have some great volunteer opportunities through which we actually live out the Greatest Commandment. BTW – can you help us get our funeral candlesticks refinished?  

We look forward to seeing you.

Check out all that and more in our May 2023 Newsletter.

Lived Victory!

When He has driven out all His own, He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him, because they recognize His voice.

Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Lost, wandering, confused, despairing, angry, tired.

Considering our Good Shepherd, Jesus, has caused me to reflect on all those times in my life where I was lost and wandering. In different measure we all live through being lost, wandering, confusion, despair, anger, and tiredness.

One night of my life jumps right out at me. I was literally awake all night, that kind of awake where you know sleep will not come, that kind of awake where you cannot even close your eyes. My eyes were wide open, starring at the ceiling.

A lot had gone on – broken relationships, financial difficulties, job worries, my diabetes not in good control at all, a doctor who could only lecture – no help there. It all rushed through my mind, and it did not seem solutions were forthcoming. I couldn’t even despair.

As I mentioned, people go through times like that and if they have even an inkling of hope to overcome it, they start to actively seek a solution.

Now you might ask: ‘Where was your faith?’ On that, there was little of that left. I was away from the Church. I never rejected Jesus – but as I’ve told many people, that was a constant temptation.

So, what happened, how did I overcome? I’ll start with the fact that there was no miracle or amazing revelation. One day, thinking about my faith, I realized I never took it seriously. I never even memorized some of the most basic prayers beyond the Our Faith and Hail Mary.

I will ask you to consider this – that for the first time in my life I really heard the Good Shepherd’s voice and the message – Get serious! That’s what I did, I got serious.

Did my problems go away magically? No. Did I have to work hard? Yes. As I studied my faith, as I memorized those prayers, as I did the work necessary to overcome my troubles, as I went to church each week my life normalized. My week started right, and it made a huge difference to not just have God as an active part of my life, but to truly listen to His voice, to work at walking His path. To seat Him on the throne as God in my life.

Brothers and Sisters, is all solved? Of course not. What has changed is that I am no longer lost, wandering, confused, or despairing. Angry and tired – sometimes – must work more at that, but I know with absolute assurance that when I was at my lowest the Good Shepherd sought me out. He seeks all of us, calls to us, and we innately know His voice.

Wherever we are on the journey of life, wherever we came from, the Shepherd calls to us. Let us listen, not just to listen, but actively engage and follow for a real overcoming.

Lived Victory!

If you invoke as Father Him Who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct with the precious blood of Christ.

Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Let’s talk about faith. It seems recently I have received a lot of questions about faith, or encountered situations in which the answer to the struggle a person is undergoing is faith.

One would think that faith is an easy endeavor. Afterall, Jesus promised that those who believe in Him would have the best gift ever – victory and eternal life, but for some reason it isn’t all that easy.

A person may have all the good things in life – I mean look at HGTV. My wife and I like to watch “Love It or List It.” In the show a family gets the flaws in their current home fixed while they tour new homes. In the end they must decide whether they will love their remodeled home or list it and buy a new one with all the bells and whistles. Simple enough premise, except the people in these situations miss what they have and don’t really appreciate how lucky they are to have it, to be blessed in the ways they are even with the few flaws they may have around them. In their arrogance they miss the fact others have little to nothing – and are yet more grateful than they are.

That’s how faith works. Some see it, understand it, perceive it, and are grateful for it despite the flaws they may have in their lives. Others completely miss it.

This was the story for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were so caught up in their own perceptions and drama they forgot to see with eyes of faith. They did not perceive their hearts burning within them. They did not hear the women’s testimony with faith. Jesus was so astounded He would say, “Oh, how foolish you are!” Exclamation mark on purpose.

Now, not to make this too distant from us, think of the tragedy, destruction, horror, pain, and sadness these disciples had gone through. Can we blame them for not seeing with eyes of faith?

We go through those things as well at different times and in different measure. Perhaps it is a situation where everything does not turn out as we planned, when we receive an impossible diagnosis, or when we see that flaw in the place we live and just wish it would get taken care of. It is indeed about how we conduct ourselves during the time of our sojourning. The lesson of Emmaus is to see with eyes of faith, that go beyond the now and focus on our life in Jesus’ victory no matter how things are going or what our worries are.

Our blessings are abundant even in times that challenge because we have victory in Jesus, and we are continually called to live that victory by faith ransomed from our futile conduct with the precious blood of Christ.