Blessed Be His Name!

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

How does it feel to be 101 years old? Pretty good I think, echoing Bishop Bernard’s message at our celebratory Holy Mass of Thanksgiving this past October.

Indeed, another year is dawning as we will hear in our recessional hymn. That hymn reminds us of all we must do as we enter our second centenary. We can repeat with the hymn our very heartfelt request to the Father, that the year and century ahead will be a time of working and waiting with God. A time of learning, trusting, mercies, faithfulness, graces, gladness, progress, praise, service, and training all while leaning on our Father’s breast as we anew prove His presence right here in our community.

It is a special grace that we begin our new century with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus which fell on the first Sunday of this new year, 2022.

Anew – that is a word we will focus on in a very particular way for years to come. We together have spent the last decade in a lot of hard work building up this parish, strengthening it, readying it. Now is the time for the next great step.

We are indeed strong and ready to undertake a great mission – making the Holy Name of Jesus known once again by our evangelistic efforts.

I can recount some of what I used to encounter growing up. The Name of Jesus was well known and was respected. In fact, we understood each other often in relationship to the church or other place of worship we attended. 

For example, walking into a Synagogue, I knew what to do. The last time I walked into one and asked for a Kippah/Yarmulka, the Rabbi was surprised, perhaps not expecting that sign of respect. In my church, people who came for special events like weddings and funerals, even if they were not Catholic, knew to stand, sit, and kneel at appropriate times. That does not happen much anymore. The Name Jesus does not elicit respect, not out of disrespect or meanness, but rather out of a lack of knowledge. So, we have work to do.

We are called to the work of the first apostles and disciples. We are asked to bring the light of Jesus’ Holy Name into every corner of our world. We are to offer hope by our witness to the Holy Name of Jesus. It really is not difficult. We have the grace of God with us; that gives us confidence. Speak of and spread Jesus’ Holy Name as a personal mission. Welcome people to experience Jesus in simple discussions. Try this key: Ask people what matters to them, then discuss how God fits into that in our lives. If we do this, we will bless His Name.

Will we live

Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd playing Jake and Elwood Blues had just been released from prison. They went back to visit the orphanage in which they were raised. They find out that creditors are about to foreclose on the orphanage. Suddenly, the understood the big thing they had to do. They were going to pay off the debt. Their oft repeated statement of purpose was: “We’re on a mission from God.”

Paul was certainly on a mission from God. Yet, he says something very odd – especially on point for us in this day and age – give no offense. Many people tend to think (by our failure to live like Jesus) that giving offense is what the Church is all about!

Paul was focusing on the difference between insignificant matters, small ‘t’ traditions and practices and the essentials of faith. Don’t quibble, don’t focus on the small things, don’t create offense for anyone over small things. Rather, come together in unity on the big things, the essentials. In doing that, show off Jesus. Set an example of humility. Shine forth like Jesus – be like Him. Open the door to all in need of the big healing, big peace, big confidence, and big security only Jesus can give.

Think of what Jesus taught about the things that are key. Two things only. Two commandments. Love God, love each other. Any minor issues there, anything insignificant? Not at all.

Paul’s experience helped him to really understand what Jesus taught. Paul often focused on the greatness of the mercy that was shown to him. Paul saw and experienced, in a flash of blinding light, what Jesus focused on. It was never the small. Paul had been focused, in his pharisaical ways, on minutia. It his encounter with Jesus, Paul saw where he fell short in understanding. He finally got God’s big mercy. What counts is that God wipes out our small and the big mess of sins – our failure to love God and to share in that love as an act of love – so we can start anew.

If barriers are raised to our neighbors, by arrogance, being bound to the small and insignificant, then the path to Jesus’ big mercy is blocked.

As we begin our Pre-Lenten preparation, let us consider how we may remove any block on the way to Jesus. Are we opening the path to mercy? How will we live? What mission from God are we on? Who will we be imitators of?

Jesus healed the leper, and he couldn’t stand not to tell of the big mercy he received. …he went out and began to talk freely about [Jesus] and the people came to Him from every quarter.

The latest issue of God’s Field is now available online. This edition features reports on our Year of Regeneration, a Biblical Financial Planning Workshop with Dr. Jim Ploskonka (live and on-line), the history of our Church’s martyr, Bishop Joseph Padewski, and of course the National United Choirs Music Scholarship program. Information on other upcoming programs including the national Mission & Evangelism Workshop are also included.

Articles for the February issue are being accepted now through February 1, 2015. You may E-mail items and photos or send them to:

God’s Field
Polish National Catholic Church
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505

Consecration of Bishop Elect Flemstead of the Nordic Catholic Church Announced

We have a rather momentous occasion to take place on the last Monday of July, July 25, 2011 the Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle.

Through the ministry of Bishop Thaddeus Peplowski (Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese), a number of churches in the Nordic countries have accepted the practice and norms of the Polish National Catholic Church and have developed into the Nordic Catholic Church, coming under the umbrella of the Union of Scranton.

At the synod held in Oslo, Norway late last year, a priest of the Church, the Rev. Roald Nikolai Flemestad, was elected as a candidate for bishop. This in one way will bolster the churches looking for stability and focus as it looks to serve its people in the future.

Father Flemstad’s consecration to the episcopal office will take place on the Feast of Saint James the Greater at Saint Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr cathedral in Scranton. What a joyous occasion it will be!

Father Flemstad addressed our Holy Synod in October 2010. He so looked forward to visiting the American church, and now will serve as the leader of the Nordic congregations.

Members of the churches in Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Italy will travel to Scranton to take part in the service. The readings and liturgy will be celebrated in both languages. The bishops of our Church will serve as co-consecrators, with, Most Rev. Anthony Mikovsky, our Prime Bishop serving a principal consecrator.

A Word From Father Stan About Last Weekend …

I tried all week to come up with some words on how the resuIt of our hosting the Ninth Annual Mission & Evangelism Workshop had been expressed to both participant and guest; I couldn’t come up with any that truly expressed the success of all of our efforts had provided.

  • First of all, was all the prep time put in to the hall and the needed cleaning and getting ready there
  • The preparation of the gift bags and all that went into that effort
  • The bringing of the cushions for our guests to be able to learn and stay focused on the speakers’ presentation
  • The banners produced by the SOCL class and Deborah which provided our guests with an insight into what we do here as a church
  • The donations of the pens, cups, soda, water, cookies that again were a blessing
  • The precision with which the pick-up and delivery schedules allowed a safe and timely passage for those guests in need of transportation
  • The wonderful breakfast provided for and served by our parishioners
  • The spirit of hospitality and greeting for those who had come from far and wide to share in the afternoon
  • The very positive and comfortable image that our Prime Bishop and our Diocesan Bishop have now of the congregation here in Schenectady
  • The time of clean up on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon
  • The group of parishioners who attended the opening Mass on Friday giving our Prime Bishop and Diocesan Bishop a good sense of our parochial involvement
  • Our regular Sunday congregation who mingled their voices of praise and prayer with the attendees
  • A sense of real accomplishment that we had served our Lord well by serving our Church and our fellow sisters and brothers of the Faith in their desire to learn more on how to do mission and evangelism. For all of you, may God truly bless you for your sacrifice!