For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

The text above from the First Letter of St. Peter was aimed at new Christians. Peter is saying that Christianity is not easy. Christianity demands a lot from us. Some will not understand why we endure what we endure. Others will pile on those who have entered the kingdom of God. Suffering is part of the Christian life. Our Pre-Lent and Lenten journey are specifically designed to call us to self-sacrifice, to connect with and undertake some suffering for the sake of Christ and His Church (the Body of Christ – all of us together), and to walk the difficult road Jesus traveled to the Cross. Self-sacrifice and suffering go hand in hand.

We all know what it is like to give something up. Whether it is the fasting we do on Wednesdays and Fridays, or some deeper abstinence from certain behaviors that have become sinful in our lives. Being honest, we know it will hurt to do those things. Yet we must. What that suffering comes down to then is how we meet it. We might meet it with fear, trepidation, and a propensity to dwell on the negative or we could turn our thoughts to the joyful outcomes and experiences we will derive from what we undertake. The result is that our current suffering for Christ’s body will return to us as blessings and miracles.

Similarly, walking with Jesus, particularly through acts of devotion and prayer (Stations, Bitter Lamentations, a Lenten Retreat) keep us connected to what He suffered for us. We come to clearly see God giving His whole self for us, accepting the worst pain and punishment of all – physical and psychological – because God sees us as worth His Son’s suffering. The result is that we do not underestimate our value in God’s eyes. We see His love full on.

God calls us to live in the pattern Jesus laid out for us in sacrifice, suffering, and in walking with Him. He is alongside us as our Guide as we put our feet in His footprints. We then should follow His steps with every effort now so to do so forever.


Welcome to our February 2024 Newsletter. We have already entered into our Pre-Lenten journey and we reflect both on this time of preparation and how we will meet Lent head-on this Ash Wednesday, February 14th. We cover the various disciplines of Lent, our upcoming Lenten retreat, and offer suggestions for directed giving. Our various parish meetings are upcoming, part of our celebration of a tradition that goes back to the early Church, shared decision making. We once again support Super Bowl Sunday in giving to local food charities. There are prayers for Pre-Lent and for Valentine’s Day. Is there a parish ministry in your future? And… are you incensed? All that and more in our February 2024 Newsletter.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

A number one hit with the oldest lyrics? That is Pete Seeger’s song Turn, Turn Turn covered by the Byrds in 1965. The lyrics from Ecclesiastes ca. 300 BC

The first eight verses of Chapter 3 tells us that everything is suitable for its time. God is in control, indeed sovereign, and that gives us reassurance and a sense of sobriety. We cannot necessarily fathom the mystery of God, but we can say that we are ok with the mystery He offers if we have faith in His goodness – the goodness of God Who gave His Son Jesus so that we might be saved. We just celebrated that beginning by allowing Jesus to be reborn into our lives.

I remember my mom talking about songs like Turn, Turn Turn with some sense of amazement – ‘they’re singing about the Bible,’ or words to that affect. Truthfully, it wouldn’t take too much effort in going through the pop and rock songs of the 1960’s and 1970’s and even beyond to see the influence of faith, the Church, and scripture in a good number of those hits. I suppose my memory of my mother’s talking about scripture in pop and rock music attuned my ear, gave me an awareness of God permeating every time and season, every method of expression.

It is a positive practice for us, as Christians, to remain aware, to listen and look, for God is continually making Himself known through ordinary means and in each time and season. We will find Him in music, literature, the beauty of nature, and in each other. Speaking of times and season, we just experienced a very short Advent which kicked-off the new Church year. Now we will experience a somewhat shorter Christmas season because Pre-Lent begins January 28th. Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent is just around the corner – February 14th. As we wend our way through God’s seasons and times, as we keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to the revelation of His mystery and His timeless grace, let us meet each season in this new year both reassured and open to Him.


Happy New Year and welcome to our January 2024 Newsletter. The Newsletter covers the good we are doing and will be doing as God’s people in our corner of the world. Need your house blessed? It is Epiphany / Kolędy House Blessing season so make your appointments with Fr. Jim. The annual parish meeting and elections are upcoming, please plan to attend. Why not run for office… We are once again holding our Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle to support our youth ministry. Get your tickets now. We give thanks for the many blessings in our lives and look forward to the events of 2024, Lent which is just around the corner, and our Basket Social! Also, check out the poetry of Rev. Walter Andrew Hyszko for the New Year. Check it all out in our January 2024 Newsletter.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

I was listening to religious radio the other Sunday, just after Thanksgiving, and the commentator mentioned that we are now in the Christmas Season. Now, I am not a Negative Nelly, correcting everyone for such mistakes. I am happy that they recognize the need to celebrate the season. The better question, Why the rush?

If you are old enough you might remember the days when the decorations were put up on Christmas Eve or in the week before Christmas. Folks prepared for Christmas by living with a sense of anticipation. Anticipation – the old ketchup commercials where they sang Anticipation while the ketchup slowly trickled out of the bottle. Anticipation like in the heart of a child awaiting Christmas morning, a bride her wedding, parents the birth of a child. Those and many other occasions we each know very well.

We Catholics know something of anticipation. In every Holy Mass we await the living presence of the Lord Jesus and our receiving Him in Holy Communion. We live seasonally anticipating the celebration of the key moments in our Lord’s life which encompass our salvation history. It does not all happen right away. Advent calls us to a spirit of anticipation. The Holy Church guides us through this season focusing on our Lord’s coming and echoing Psalm 130: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Let us imagine our keeping of this time of anticipation. What awaits us? A grand celebration of forty days beginning Christmas Day and lasting until February 2nd. We will together celebrate those moments of salvation history that focus on family, the impoverished that first met Jesus, and His revelation to the nations. On the other hand we can meet Christmas exhausted, throw out the tree the next day, and miss all Jesus revealed to us. So, let us celebrate by keeping this time of anticipation for if we do the peace of Christ will indeed reign in our hearts.


Think December is busy? You’ll be right. Our schedule is jam packed with activities that help us anticipate Christmas and the Christmas Season. Advent begins a new Church year. We have our Charity Organ Concert on December 3rd at 4pm to support Blessed virgin Mary’s fire recovery fund. Come share in our annual Vigil / Wigilia Dinner on December 10th. Rorate Masses (Holy Mass by candlelight only celebrated Wednesdays at 7:30am) throughout Advent help us prepare. Come help us decorate the church in our Greening of the Church. Read a portion of St. Ephraim the Syrian’s Stanzas on the Nativity and engage in charitable giving of food and clothing for those in need. Too much to mention here, so check it all out in our December 2023 Newsletter.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

In our Sunday Holy Mass for November 5th we heard a beautiful psalm (Ps. 131:2) in which King David quiets and stills himself with God. David likens the experience to a babe in its mother’s arms. There is David with his soul at peace and rest.

As we know, November is the Month of All Souls. Contemplating death and the seeming unknown is cause for no small amount of distress in our lives. Yet, the phrases of comfort and care found throughout scripture, especially in the work of Jesus, eliminates the unknown. Jesus told us what would happen and that gives comfort, assurance, and dispels distress. I look to the example of Dismas, the ‘good thief.’ He certainly did not live the best life. Yet, his faith led Jesus to proclaim: “today you will be with Me in paradise.”That is a confidence booster. The raising of the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus adds to that confidence. The joy the disciples experienced on Easter and afterward puts a fine point on the fulfilled promises of God – we have forever life in Jesus in paradise.

As the weather gets colder I have been contemplating old comfortable slippers and sweaters. Those things that wrap around us and make us feel safe and well cared for. So our faith in Jesus. When we contemplate His love and care for us, His holding us in the palm of His hand, and His eternal promise of life we too should feel like David – quiet and still. We should feel God’s warmth that removes all cold. We should proclaim With St. Paul: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us. Paul then says that as we are comforted by God, so must we comfort, reassure, and wrap others in that same care. Paul says God comforts us so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.

Let us in our endeavors, our charity, and in all things both experience and share the comfort God provides. Let us show the reality of God’s care that drives out the cold.


November is here and we approach the end of the current Church year and ready for Advent. This month is dedicated to remeberance of and prayers for our dearly departed loved ones. 

On December 3rd at 4pm we will host our Prime Bishop for the blessing of our new organ and then enjoy an organ concert coupled with a fundraiser for our sister parish, Blessed Virgin Mary, to assist in their recovery from the arson fire which damaged their facilities and church.

Our winter clothing drive is underway as is the collection of foodstuffs for those in our local community. Please remember our Christmas Vigil Raffle – time is growing short. Check out our Thanksgiving prayer and the thanks we offer for for all the good around us.

Interested in pet pics with St. Nick? Online Cathechism class? Need a place to go for Thanksgiving? Check that and more out in our November 2023 Newsletter.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

Welcome to October! We see a wonderful theme for this month carried on from our celebration of Brotherly Love in September. It is this, a theme of deep focus on sacrificial love. Peter reminds us of our Christian duty to sacrificial love in 1 Peter 1:22 as quoted above: love one another earnestly. How do we grow in love?

October is the month of the Holy Rosary. We must ensure, of course, that we keep the rosary in perspective as a methodology for concentrated prayer and not as some sort of magical mystery thing. The rosary takes us on a tour of the glorious, joyful, and sorrowful moments (called mysteries in the rosary) in the life of Jesus. What we see in each moment of His life and that of Mary is their living out the sacrificial love that marks the gospel way of life. They give of themselves totally to do as God the Father asks. By their example and our focusing on that example, we discover new ways to share our love. We pause to recollect how we might imitate Jesus and follow His call to love as the Father asks.

Also in October we celebrate the Christian Family in a special way. The family, as designed by God, is the seed bed for developing a life that conforms to St. Peter’s guidance – foremost by obedience to the truth. The family relationship, the smaller model for the wider Church, is the place we learn true self-sacrifice, whether it is giving up our time or treasure to serve another member or in giving up our dreams to bring the aspirations of the other to fruition. Further, the truth of God and our obedience to it is also self-sacrifice founded in love. No, we must not meander through life just doing whatever we please if we call ourselves Christian. We set aside our urges to do as we please in order to follow Jesus’ way of life and the Father’s call to us.

To love one another earnestly means we place our whole selves in the service of love. We privy ourselves by obedience to God’s truth and with sincerity follow Jesus, imitate Mary, love on our families, and take a back seat to the other.


Fall is here and we are busy. The blessing of pets will occur at Holy Masses on Sunday, October 1st. We celebrate the month of the Holy Rosary with regular prayer on Fridays at 3pm and we honor the Christian Family with a special Solemnity on October 8th. We cover the unfortunate occurrences (debacle) in the Polish Catholic Church in the Republic of Poland. Read up on the PNUA transition to the PNA.

We look forward to the months ahead replete with activities including our Seniorate Thanksgiving celebration. Fr. Jim will offer online catechism classes starting October 11th. That and so much more to read up on.

Check it out in our October 2023 Newsletter.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

At this year’s Central Diocesan Clergy Retreat we were drawn into a deep discussion on living holy and consecrated lives as bishops, priests, and deacons and our obligation to call our people to holy lives. Our retreat master reminded us that our baptism into the Body of Christ, our regeneration, was not a one- and-done event but rather entry into an ongoing process of relationship to Jesus and His Body, the Church. As Christians we need to be constantly becoming.

An important question to ponder over, to reflect on for a holy life, is whether or not we have really united ourselves with Christ Jesus. Is Jesus our center and our all-in-all or does He take a back seat to other priorities? Worse yet, do we put Jesus in the trunk and only fish Him out when we feel we might need Him. I know He’s back there somewhere… maybe under the blankets…? If we are united with Jesus we work daily at our becoming. Jesus is part of our day, minute-by-minute. If that is so:

  • We pray in all things, before we step out the door, cook, drive, go to work and go home, and eat, and we end all tasks with a prayer of thanksgiving. Moreover, we do not hide that fact. We do not make a show of it of course, but neither do we hide our intentionality. Note – it is especially important for our families to see and participate in this prayer.
  • We worship regularly – at a minimum each Sunday.
  • We commit to the work of the Church and our parish by active participation, for the family of God is the best hangout possible.

Jesus has great expectations of us. If we reflect and find ourselves falling short we can start with this question: Can I invite Jesus to come along with me? If I cannot, I need to discover why and then fix that issue. If I can invite Him, why might I not be doing that in each thing.

Mr. Eddie Gibbs wrote a book, In Name Only: Tackling the Problem of Nominal Christianity. Our call is to be more than a person labeled Christian, but to be so in every way.


Welcome to our September 2023 Newsletter. September opens a whole new season in the life of our parish. There are so many great things coming up..

We reflect on this summer’s activities, prepare for Back-To-Church Sunday, honor all workers on Labor Day at Good Shepherd Cemetery, Remember 9-11-01, and continue to look ahead with eager expectation (who knows – you might be a winner in this year’s Vigil Dinner raffle).

Please join us for the Solemnity of Brotherly Love on September 10th — we are the only Church that has a special day set aside to reflect on and reinforce our obligation to love — and remember to invite and bring someone new to church on September 17th.

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

And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me

Balaam’s ass is one of two animals in the Bible that can speak. She is also one of two who are a blessing to their human companions. I encourage you to read the whole story found in Numbers, Chapters 22 through 24. This story has much to tell us about our walk of faith.

Baalam was a soothsayer or magician. The King of the Moabites had called on Balaam to curse Israel who were coming out of Egypt into his land. At first Balaam would not go, listening to God, but later relented under much pressure. All along God tells Balaam not to go, but he later chooses to go, agreeing to say only what God tells him. Along the journey Balaam’s ass bows humbly and will go no further. Balaam beats the animal three times. Finally the ass speaks and asks Balaam why he has hit her. He gets angrier and tells her he would kill her. Then God opens Balaam’s eyes and he sees the Angel of the Lord with sword drawn standing in the road. The angel tells Balaam: Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.

This is a story of faithfulness and of weakened faith. The Angel (of course) and the ass are absolutely faithful to God, and in terms of the ass, to Balaam. This loyalty failed in Balaam. He chose to neglect God’s command, preferring to try making a deal with God so he could please the King of the Moabites. He also chose to hit his animal. Balaam’s disloyalty causes God to show that He is the One in charge. He can send angels and cause animals to speak. Balaam (and we) are reminded that we must follow God’s instruction. We cannot double-deal. We cannot bargain out of doing as God asks without consequences.

Our walk of faith is to be a life of loyalty to God’s command, His Word Who is Jesus, the Holy Spirit’s work in the Church. Let us not veer!


Welcome to our July/August 2023 Newsletter. We are enjoying the hot summer days and are engaging in many wonderful activities that grow our faith, serve our community, and foster our fellowship as the family of God in Schenectady.

Read a report from the Men’s Spiritual Retreat. Join in the great activities offered for our youth, musicians, and parish. We have replaced our organ – take a look. Our Food Bank partnership is underway and CarePortal is serving those most in need (23 requests met, 67 children served, and an economic impact of over $32,800).

Please join us for our parish/community picnic on the church grounds on Sunday, August 20th after the 10am Holy Mass.

BTW – we still need help in getting our funeral candlesticks refinished. Let Fr. Jim know if you have the skillset to help. 

Check out all that and more in our July/August 2023 Newsletter.

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.

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one

The short excerpt above is from John 17:22, part of the Last Supper narrative between Jesus and His disciples, near the end of it. Whereas in the other three gospels Jesus actually eats a passover meal before He dies, in John’s gospel He doesn’t. The Last Supper is actually eaten before the beginning of Passover. So, the sequence of events leading up to the actual crucifixion are very different in John’s gospel. John’s gospel account records Jesus’ extended teaching (see John 13– 17). Although John does not retell Jesus giving the bread and the cup and instituting the New Covenant in His blood, the symbols and words used in the Lord’s Supper are abundant in John’s Gospel. While Jesus does not mention the new covenant in His blood in John, He does give the new commandment centered in that covenant (John 13:34), “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Jesus’ teaching in this narrative are instructive to us as we move through our lives. As on Palm Sunday for Jesus, we experience times of glory and triumph. As on Maundy Thursday evening, we experience times of fellowship and bonding. As on that night and Good Friday we experience times of great sorrow and seeming defeat. Because Jesus fully understood and experienced our human condition, our joys, fellowship, pain and sadness, He wanted us to know what we have in Him.

Easter reminds us of the glory Jesus’ Father gave Him which He has now given us. This not just for the sake of having God’s glory, but so we may be one in that glory.

Easter reminds us of our new life in Jesus. It reminds us as our status as family to God and each other. We have an opportunity each day to live in this new life, so we see even our sufferings and trials in a much different way. They are not permanent. God’s love and life and our fellowship in Him overcomes even death forever. Happy Easter!


Welcome to our April 2023 Newsletter. We begin April in Holy Week and arrive quivckly at the Easter Season, reveling in the joy of Jesus’ resurrection which is also the promise of our resurrection. 

Join us throughout Holy Week and walk with Jesus through His passion, death, and burial so to arrive at His resurrection. One set of events cannot be understood without the other.

Our newsletter contains our full calendar of events, reminders of upcoming events, including the ever popular Basket Social on April 30th.

We look forward to seeing you.

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

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. 

The text above is from Hebrews 11:7, wherein the writer is reminding people who knew the Hebrew Scriptures, of Noah’s faithfulness to God’s instruction and the fact that by being faithful he became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 

This year, the Pre-Lenten season begins right on the first Sunday in February, and by the time this two-and-a-half week season passes on we are in Lent. It will go by quickly. This year, let us liken ourselves to Noah. We all know the account found in Genesis Chapter 5 – 9.

Scripture says that Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation and that he walked with God. While this was true of Noah, and because of Noah was also true in his family, the rest of the world was corrupt, violent, and filled with continuous evil (sound familiar?). The question to ask – Am I faithful like Noah, and how will my faithfulness affect this age? Noah certainly did not know what to do with the corruption of his time. While he acted properly, was righteous and blameless, he made no impact on those around him. God had to intervene to change the situation. For us, we live in the light of God’s greatest intervention. Not the flood, but the sending of His Son Jesus. That means we now know what to do and we have the power to do it (no flood needed).

Jesus showed us the way to go. He  gave us the gospel that is life. He enjoined on us the Beatitudes as a way of life along with all the other instruction from the Sermon on the Mount. If we do as Jesus taught, we will deeply impact our time, culture, and the people around us. As with the early Christians, people will be amazed and enter the kingdom. Like Noah, let us use this time to prepare, to grow in faithfulness, to build a way of life consistent with the gospel. Where we have succeeded, let us build further.  Where we have fallen short, let us prepare to fix it now, and fix it this Lent.


Welcome to our February 2023 Newsletter. With the start of February we enter the Pre-Lenten Season of Septuagesima. We engage in preparation for our Lenten journey because by the end of February we will be in Lent. This month and next we engage in the ministry of administration with our annual parish and financial meetings. Our Valentine’s Raffle is underway. SouperBowl Sunday is February 12th – let us give generously to feed those in need locally. We also celebrate Scout Sunday, review the great scholarships we have available, and list some fantastic Youth events/opportunities upcoming. There is a pizza/game night around the corner and the Basket Social is not that far away.

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