It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.

Throughout Lent we talked about what Jesus came to fulfill. Today we enter the week of ultimate fulfillment that took away our bruises and reignited us.

We start the week of fulfillment at the moment Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, to the acclamation of Israel. Then, at the very end of our Liturgy of the Palms we are starkly presented with the Scourging of the Crucifix. 

On this first day of the week, we move from triumph to the torture leading to the Cross. Yet even in the Scourging of the Crucifix we hear the promise: “It is written, they strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But, after I am resurrected, I will go before you to Galilee.” He will indeed rise and be with us. He is not abandoning us. He is saving us, not just for a week, but forever.

Let us look at Jesus’ weeklong journey and its parallels to our journey as citizens of the Kingdom.

We, the people of Christ Jesus, now reside in the Kingdom Jesus came to establish, that He has conferred on us – no, not just on the Apostles, not just on those who were there back then – but on all of us who live now in eternity with Him along with all who came before and will come after us.

Because of this week we have come out of a world mired in tortuous death, a world blind and deaf, and have entered the Kingdom life. We dwell in the Kingdom of everlasting life, a place of seeing and hearing where Jesus’ gospel path defines our steps.

Because of this week we have been pulled free from the imprisonment of fear and want. We are no longer jailed by the type of fear the Jewish leadership fell into – The Romans will come and destroy... No one can take away what we have! No one can remove Christ’s promises from us. Satan still tries to accuse us, but we are able to say confidently – away from me, I am washed in the blood of Jesus and have been set free. I have the promises of Jesus, so I have no want, the chains of my captivity have been broken. I have absolute fearless assurance.

Because of this week we have an eternal ‘year of favor, a year acceptable to the Lord.’ The “year acceptable to the Lord” that Jesus spoke about that day in Nazareth, which He brought about this week, was a reference to a Jewish Jubilee Year. The Jubilee Year was one in which all debts were remitted, all lands restored to their original owners, and the liberation of all slaves. In the Jubilee Year the people were invited to see the world through God’s eyes. We live in that eternal year now, where the debt of sin has been paid and where we hold God’s vision of us – as beautiful forever by Jesus’ redemption. It is all about this week!

Holy Week and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are the true central point of our life as Christians and of our liturgical year. In this time, we are called in a special way to walk with Jesus from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, through His passion, death, and entombment, to His glorious resurrection. Come, join in as a member of God’s Kingdom.

Holy Week

  • Sunday, April 10, Palm Sunday. Holy Mass with the Traditional Blessing and distribution of Palms at 10am. Second Holy Mass at Noon.
  • Monday, April 11, Holy Monday. Holy Mass at Noon.
  • Tuesday, April 12, Holy Tuesday. Clergy Conference and Chrism Holy Mass at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania starting at Noon.
  • Wednesday, April 13, Spy Wednesday. Holy Mass at Noon. Private Confessions 12:45 until 2pm.

Pascal Triduum

  • Thursday, April 14, Maundy Thursday. Reception of Oils, Holy Mass of the Institution of the Eucharist, Procession, Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Vespers, and Striping of the Altar at 7pm. Church remains open afterward for private devotion.
  • Friday, April 15, Good Friday. Church opens at Noon for private devotion Seven Last Words at 1pm. Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie żale at 2pm. Liturgy of the Presanctified and Opening of the Tomb at 3pm. Church remains open afterward for private devotion.
  • Saturday, April 16, Holy Saturday. Liturgies of the day (New Fire, Blessing of Holy Water, Proclamation of the Exhortations, Renewal of Baptismal Promises) at 10am followed by the Blessing of Easter Baskets. Church open until 2pm for Blessing of Baskets and private devotion.

Solemnity of the Resurrection

  • Sunday, April 17, Solemnity of the Resurrection (Easter). Solemn Resurrection Procession and Solemn High Holy Mass at 8am. Second Holy Mass at 10am. Easter repast (Swięconka) after each Holy Mass.

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.

Working to change.

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.

Throughout Lent we have focused on the change and reform necessary in our lives. We delved into the Lenten disciplines of fasting, sacrifice (or giving), study, and prayer. There is one discipline left – proclamation.

If we have taken these disciplines seriously, we should each be seeing change in our lives, or at least more clearly hear the call to conversion, change and reform. By now we should be walking each day as more ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way. Sins like anger, resentment, and their like should be more foreign to us.

Of all the disciplines of Lent, proclamation may be the hardest to achieve.  We can take time to fast, sacrifice or give a little more, study, pray. Most of that we can do on our own, almost stealthy, unseen to the outside world, but proclamation – everyone sees that.

Proclamation is very important to me personally. Let me tell you about that.

I often wonder if people think I am a little off, maybe not quite aware of what’s going on. Perhaps I do not see reality? They see me often thanking and congratulating people for what they might consider insignificant or even something the people I am thanking should just do – you know it is their job…

There are reasons for that. Most of my early life was marked by ongoing encounters with two kinds of people, those who recognized kindness and those who could not find a good thing in a basket of gold. Two types of proclaimers modeled. Who would I be?

Our first reading from Isaiah 50 points to Jesus Whose whole life was proclamation. He came speaking the Good News. It was His constant message. He showed us the kingdom. He told people – and tells us – what we have to do, repent and believe in the gospel

Isaiah says in Chapter 52: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation.

The beauty of Jesus’ proclamation was that there was nothing in His entire being –  including every trial, wound, scourge, humiliation, thorn, nail, lack of breath, and curse heaped on Him that was not Him speaking out about our value before God. His death on the cross was proclamation of that value.

If we want to bear Christ’s name in honesty and integrity, we must be proclaimers of the kingdom. We must proclaim good news, peace, happiness,and salvation. We have to let people know, and in the end let people hear the change and reform Jesus caused in us. Could we rather nitpick, focus on the one mistake someone made, or criticize even the smallest gift shared? Sure. But then, what kind of proclaimer are we?

Holy Week and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are the true central point of our liturgical year. In this time, we are called in a special way to walk with Jesus from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, through His passion, death, and entombment, to His glorious resurrection. 

All celebrations will be conducted in full and the church is completely open. We will also broadcast our services for those who cannot attend in person.

  • March 28: Palm Sunday. Holy Mass with Blessing and distribution of Palms at 10am.
  • March 30: Holy Tuesday. Chrism Holy Mass in the Cathedral, Scranton, 11:30am.
  • March 31: Holy Wednesday. Day of Fast.
  • April 1: Maundy Thursday. Day of Fast. Holy Mass with Reception of Oils, Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Striping of the Altar at 7pm. Church remains open afterward for private devotion.
  • April 2: Good Friday. Day of Fast. Church opens at Noon for private devotion Seven Last Words at 1pm. Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie żale at 3pm. Liturgy of the Presanctified and Opening of the Tomb at 7pm. Church remains open afterward for private devotion.
  • April 3: Holy Saturday. Day of Fast. Liturgies of the day (New Fire, Blessing of Holy Water, Proclamation of the Exhortations, Renew of Baptismal Promises) at 10am followed by the Blessing of Easter Baskets.
  • April 4: Solemnity of the Resurrection (Easter). Solemn Resurrection Procession and High Holy Mass at 8am. Second Holy Mass at 10am.

These are extraordinary times we are living through. Our Parish and our entire Church, no less than any other institution, is adapting to these new realities in ways we have informed you of in recent calls, in social media, and via our website.

We remain committed to carrying out the worship and devotions of God’s Holy Church and to continue to plead for our people, and the whole world, before the altar of Jesus. We remind all to remain home and to join us in worship online, if you are able, or privately through prayer, scripture reading, and the joining of our hearts together as God’s holy people, a nation of priests pleading before the throne of God together.

Holy Week and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are the true central point of our liturgical year. In this time, we are called in a special way to walk with Jesus from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, through His passion, death, and entombment, to His glorious resurrection.

We have received direction from our bishops related to certain adjustments to the rubrics (the way we do things) for Holy Week and Easter. These adjustments will allow you to participate more fully while at home. We are to be mindful of the fact that the celebrations of the Passion of our Lord and His triumph over death in the Resurrection are not canceled but rather they must be celebrated by each of us separately in our homes, joined in prayer while the celebrations occur within our parish churches.

We have posted our schedule for Holy Week and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord below.

  • April 5: Palm Sunday. Holy Mass with Blessing of Palms broadcast at 9:30am. Palms will be stored at church and you may pick them up once the current crisis is over.
  • April 9: Maundy Thursday. Holy Mass with Reposition and Stripping of the Altars broadcast at 7pm.
  • April 10: Good Friday broadcasts. Reflection on the Seven Last Words at 12pm. Liturgy of the Presanctified and Opening of the Tomb at 3pm. Bitter Lamentations, 7pm.
  • April 11: Holy Saturday, Liturgy of New Fire, Renewal of Baptismal Promises, broadcast at 4pm.
  • April 12: Solemnity of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (Easter). Proclamation of the Resurrection and Holy Mass broadcast at 9:30am.

Please know that this message is so difficult for me, as your pastor, to write. It represents a painful separation from you that I feel very deeply, and that I offer up to Jesus.  I could not be missing you, my family, more.  For now, we cannot safely join in the worship of our great God and in the celebration of the suffering, death and resurrection from the dead of his Son our Lord Jesus Christ.  But rest assured family of God, brothers and sisters all, one day soon – we will.

Fr. Jim

  • April 14: Palm Sunday, Holy Mass at 9:30 and 11:30am.
  • April 15: Holy Monday. Holy Mass for Healing at 6:15pm. Parish Committee Meeting.
  • April 16: Holy Tuesday. Clergy Conference. Holy Mass of Chrism (Cathedral in Scranton).
  • April 18: Maundy Thursday, Holy Mass, Procession, Stripping of the Altars, 7pm.
  • April 19: Good Friday, Cross Walk at 11:30am, Bitter Lamentations at 3pm, Liturgy of the Presanctified and Opening of the Tomb at 7pm.
  • April 20: Holy Saturday, Liturgy of New Fire, Renewal of Baptismal Promises, Blessing of Easter Baskets, 4pm.
  • April 21: Solemnity of the Resurrection/Easter, Procession and Solemn High Holy Mass at 8am and Holy Mass at 10am. Easter repast after each Holy Mass.

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.

They came, so sad, with faces stained;
Behind them the rays of a new dawn flamed.
All about them heaven with glory began to open…

The partial stanza above is from the poem The Resurrection by Fr. Walter Hyszko. This and other poems by Fr. Hyszko can be found in his book, Ode to Great Men and Great Things in Poetry and Prose.

This poem is so appropriate to us. It reflects on the early morning walkMary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women took to the tomb. They were deeply saddened, faces tear stained from prolonged crying. Their hearts were broken.

In their sadness, they set out to commit a final act of love toward Jesus, to anoint His dead body with spices. He was dead.

Fr. Hyszko paints a picture in words. They reflect what we may be experiencing Easter Sunday morning if we have walked with

Jesus throughout Lent, if we actually spent time in church from Maundy Thursday through Holy Saturday. The weight of Jesus betrayal, arrest, torture, death, and the ensuing silence after burial weighs heavy on us. Our sinfulness, our failures, our unwillingness to be there for Jesus, presses on us. We feel death’s press and we miss it.

As Fr. Hyszko points out, the Marys, Joanna, and the other women missed it too: Rays of a new day flamed / heaven with glory began to open. All those things that weigh on us, all the tears and regrets in our lives have been covered in the redeeming blood of Jesus. We have been washed and made new. That day burned forth as new – a new era – rebirth into a time where heaven is open. The doors have been unbarred. Death has been crushed by death. He lives!

The last line of the poem’s first stanza says: Yet the thrall of grief remained unbroken. Do not let your grief remain unbroken this Easter for we are made new. Rejoice!!!

Join us this April for the conclusion of our Lenten and Passiontide journey. Join us in our Lenten retreat on April 6th. Join in directed giving. Palm Sunday is April 14th, then Holy Week – a full schedule of events taking us on a journey through every emotion – by which we grow so close to Jesus. In the end, grief will not win.

Read more in our April 2019 Newsletter.

Please join us and walk with Jesus throughout Holy Week, particularly during the Sacred Triduum (the three days between the Last Supper and Jesus’ Resurrection). Then join us as we celebrate our Easter joy. Our schedule as follows:

  • Maundy Thursday, March 29th – Reception of Oils, Holy Mass, Procession to the Altar of Repose, Stripping of the Altars at 7pm.
  • Good Friday, March 30th – Cross walk at 11:30am, Bitter Lamentations at 3pm, Liturgy of the Presanctified and Opening of the tomb at 7pm.
  • Holy Saturday, March 31st – Liturgy of New Fire. Renew Your Baptismal Vow. Blessing of Easter Baskets, 4pm.
  • Solemnity of the Resurrection/Easter, April 1 – Procession and Solemn High Holy Mass at 8am and Holy Mass at 10am. Easter repast after each Holy Mass.

Please remember the Church’s requirements for Lent Holy week requires fasting and abstaining from meats from Wednesday, March 28th through Saturday, March 31st.

Why so
long?

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.

Father, why is he gospel so long?

Jesus was sent to earth as a man. As the Gospel of St. John tells us, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word dwelt among us. The Word lives with us. Jesus, who is God’s Word came to preach the Gospel, the Good News.

God had news for us. It is Good News and was delivered by Jesus as the prophets foretold: Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God (see Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Luke 4:43; Luke 8:1); or the “good news of God” (see Mark 1:14-15). Jesus was going all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom. The whole point of Jesus’ saving mission is in His words of life.

Today we read of the accomplishment, the completion of the Father’s work. The Good News of Jesus is that the barrier is broken. The curtain is torn. The graves have been opened. Curse and separation have ended. Reconciliation is here. What is in heaven is for us on earth. We have full access to the kingdom of God. Thanks be to God we have these words in all their fullness.

Today, we pause to hear the Good News in full. No shortcuts. Nothing – no concerns or worries about our time – getting in the way of God’s time. Like John, the faithful disciple, and the women, we walk through all the words, from Bethany to the cross and to the tomb.

We don’t look for a shortcut – like Judas did, trying to bring on the kingdom through treachery and betrayal. We stand unafraid before God’s word and accept it and Him in full. We do not walk away, denying Him like Peter did.

In my years of ministry and proclaiming the word, I have immersed myself in the Gospel. This is the good news, given for us who are weary. I, and I know you; have said, even in our weariness, this is the word that rouses us.

Again, Father, why is the gospel so long?

It is so we may wallow in it, swim in it, live in it. We are here to live in the moment. From the spectacle of Palm Sunday to the mystery of the Eucharist, to the foot of the cross, to the tomb; every nuance, every emotion, every tear is ours to own.

We are people of the word who center our lives on Jesus, the Word. There can be no compromise in that. We don’t want the watered down version. So today we stood, stood with Jesus, loyal to His word. Roused, energized, ready, we live faithful to His command: to proclaim the kingdom of God, and they went out and traveled from place to place, proclaiming the good news.