Eat and

“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

Elijah is both literally and spiritually in the wilderness in today’s first reading. He is so despondent that he asks the Lord to take his life.

Elijah had engaged with the worldly prophets of Baal and Asherah, the false gods that the people of Israel had come to adore. With God’s power he destroyed those prophets and any hope their false gods could deliver. We would think that he would have had a new found confidence, obviously, look at what the One and true God had done. But something is wrong. Elijah experiences a sense of failure, some kind of downer emotion that is not at all obvious to anyone. It is inside him, a nagging evil that leaves him deflated, despondent, depressed, and ready to die. He sits under the Broom tree; the end has to be now.

Most of us have experienced hard situations like Elijah did. We may feel down even though all around us seems great. There may be true miracles in our lives, but we take a different message from them. We grow sad or even despondent.

This story is repeated many times in scripture. Hagar lays Ishmael under a bush and waits to die. Jonah sits under the Castor Bean tree and is angry and despondent.

Some people calls these times ‘bumps in the road,’ but they are more than that to us when we are in the middle. Previously, Elijah was seen as assured and triumphant. He seemed to have no problem finding his way, yet now we see a very different Elijah, an Elijah sharing more in common with Hagar and Jonah. All were, at one time, seen as the blessed of God. Yet they came to ask: ‘Where is the blessing?’

The answer and blessing, as always, comes from God. While we meet a very different Elijah, we meet the same Lord who ministered to Hagar and Jonah. We meet the true God who feeds us, provides drink, gives strength, and shows the way. Elijah’s story, that of Jonah and Hagar, invite us to get up, to eat and continue moving forward. Just as God stays close to Elijah in order to help him overcome his travails, we must have the same confidence that God is present and will be present in our lives; He stays close to us. It is always down to Jesus’ promise: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever”

Our ever growing, super fun, and free parish and community picnic is scheduled for Sunday, August 19th. There will be one Holy Mass that day at 10:30am and the picnic will immediately follow on the parish grounds. The tent, tables, and chairs have been ordered. We look forward to seeing everyone there along with your family and friends. The picnic is open to everyone. The parish will be providing hot dogs and hamburgers – and many are bringing a dish to share. Come join in!

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. — Genesis 2:15

In celebration of Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd, Holy Name of Jesus is hosting a community clean-up of the Mont Pleasant neighborhood. Please join us in caring for our community and cleaning up the streets.

Share with your friends or get a group together to join us. Even one hour of your time can do a lot! All supplies will be provided. Wear green if you feel festive!

A free adult only event for parents/guardians of Schenectady City School District middle school students on Wednesday, April 12th from 8:45am to 3pm at the Glen Sanders Mansion, Scotia, NY. Transportation is available.

The event includes breakfast, interactive workshops, lunch, community resources, and great raffle prizes. Visit the World Café, an opportunity for conversations among parents, decision makers, and community leaders about ways our schools and community resources can better support our youth. See the day’s agenda here.

Register now. A completed registration form is required by April 10th. You can return the registration form to your child’s school Guidance Office or E-mail them to Laura LaFontaine. Laura can also be reached at: 518-669-3286.

Orchard Park Summer Program Kick-Off

Free Cook-Out and Co-Ed Basketball Sign-Ups for all Schenectady K-8 Kids & Families on Saturday, July 5th 11 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. at Orchard Park. For more information, please contact Oron Tucker, President, Schenectady Basketball Club, Inc. at 518-878-6177

Coaches will be available for the Basketball Clinic & Scrimmage (First game night: Monday, July 9th at 4 p.m.)

Directions to Orchard Park: Crane St. to Third Ave., right on Orchard St., take first right down driveway across from the Fire Station #3 parking lot.

“2BA” Orchard Park volunteer: Contact Sharron-Linn Schmidt, Pres., Mont Pleasant Neighborhood Association, 518-393-2116 or by E-mail.


Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014


Jesus is our
hope and way of life

If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God.

This past Friday, at 1am, police were called to our neighborhood. 28-year old Angel Carrion was dead. Killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.

If you read the various news stories you will see different views of what happened. Time Warner News talks about loud parties at the residence, all night partying, mysterious middle-aged figures in black cars, children in the midst of adults doing adult things. Police there all the time. They paint a picture of broken families, broken lives.

WTEN shows a different side of the story. Angel was a father of three, a friend, someone who was brother to those who weren’t even his family. Angel’s childhood friend Jorge said, “He was a good friend. He was a good father. He helped out the community. Nobody is perfect in this world, but he didn’t deserve this.” Other neighbors noted their worry for the children who live here. One neighbor said: “For the kids, it’s going to be scary for them, too, knowing there’s a shooting right up the road.”

We began this year dedicating it to the theme of family. In my annual report I said: “…we do not just come to church to have our needs met. No family exists just to serve one or a few members. The same for the Church – our family of faith is about all its members and our relationship with the head of the family – Jesus. We belong to His family. Our family of faith does not exist to just meet individual needs. We exist to meet the needs of our fellow family members and a world that badly needs to know Jesus.”

Angel and his family, this neighborhood, its children are part of that world that needs to know Jesus. They know Him through us. In us they should see faith in Jesus’ saving power. In us they should see the joy that comes from a life that takes all the good we, and men like Angel do, to the next level through unity with Jesus. Jesus died for all. To free all from sin. As Angel’s friend Jorge said, “Nobody is perfect in this world.” In all of our imperfection the world has to know that Jesus is there for us, to save us, to raise us up. He is in this neighborhood, calling us to reject sin and grab His promises – life without end even in tragedy.

In Jesus we are bound together – parishioners, Angel, his family, this neighborhood – a bond so strong that no sin, even murder, even tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword can harm us. In this bond, in the life we have in Jesus, let us offer hope to our neighborhood and all who so need Him Who is our hope and new way of life.

Join us and other Mont Pleasant Churches for a Good Friday Cross-walk

Cross_Walk_GreenThe Churches of Mont Pleasant in Schenectady are holding a Good Friday Cross-walk on Friday, April 18th starting at 10am. There will be a brief (approx. 15 minute) message or prayer at each church, with a theatrical performance by “The Living Gospel Experience” and refreshments at the conclusion of the Cross-walk.

  1. 10am Begin at Holy Name of Jesus National Catholic Church, 1040 Pearl St., Deacon Jim Konicki;
  2. 10:35am New Creation in Christ Ministry, 1073 Howard St., Rev. Eloy Binnon;
  3. 10:55am Global Prophetic Worship and Healing Ministries, 859 Crane St., Rev. Paul Mangroo;
  4. 11:25am St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church, 550 Lansing St., Deacon Joe Cechnicki;
  5. 12pm (Noon), The Bridge Christian Church, 735 Crane St., Rev. James H. Bookhout.

April 2014 Newsletter – Holy Week, Easter, and more

It is April and our newsletter has arrived. It is filled with information on so many holy and exciting events. We start by looking at Low Sunday and what fellowship really means. We invite you to take part in this wonderful and holy season, to connect and enter into fellowship with Jesus and us right here in Schenectady. Lots of other news too including new movies, our Basket Social, and legends. You may view and download a copy right here — April 2014 Newsletter.


February 2014 Newsletter is here

This month we leave the Christmas season and begin our walk toward Lent, yet this is not a time to be somber because as the family of faith we attain a glimpse of heaven. Check out the latest parish newsletter to see how you can get that glimpse of heaven. Plus, our newsletter is chock full of announcements, good reading, community events, the Souper Bowl, and other worthy information. You may view and download a copy right here — February 2014 Newsletter.

glimpse of heaven