“So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops.”

In our Holy Church, we dedicate the month of June to prayer for Sacred Vocations. This prayer, commanded by Jesus in Matthew 9:38, is a necessary part of every Christian’s routine of prayer and I call on you to act, to take up this cause in your personal prayer life. In this cause of prayer, there are two requests. This first request is for the general gift of vocations, that many will be called. The second request is for responsiveness on the part of those called. The Church has always been in need of men to step up and into the role of Deacon and Ministerial Priest. It is no secret that the Holy Spirit has inspired many to accept these roles, yet few respond. As the Church’s National Vocations Director, I see the depth of our need for men to be called and for those called to listen, step forward, and take up the role God wants them in. We could engage in a ton of calculating as to why the called do not respond. I have heard all the alleged causes: economic and sociological. It is odd that the two greatest reasons are never really discussed: a lack of prayer and lack of faith. Being a Christian requires faith in Jesus in the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity. We believe those things by faith. So this is a test, will those called live fully faithfully? Will we proceed in faith-filled prayer as Jesus asked? Will those called respond in faith as the Holy Spirit asks? Will we trust God? The Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11 puts it very well in its first verse: “If people believe God, then they know they have the things they hope to get. It is the proof of things we do not see.” God does answer. Let us then buoy up our faith. Believe in God and pray each day this month and the rest of the year for vocations. See what happens.

We enter the month of June with concerted effort at prayer for vocations, and renew our call for those called to step forward in faith. We look forward to the many great events occurring during these warmer months, the Men’s Spiritual Retreat (sign-up now), the annual Kurs Youth Encampment (sign-up now). Both events are fully paid for by the parish, so do not pay when you sign up. The National United Choirs Convention and Music Workshop, the annual Golf Outing, and our wonderful community picnic on the parish grounds (stay tuned). Great Centennial Raffle tickets are available, get yours quickly. We celebrate, pray for, and encourage those who received the Sacraments of Baptism as well as two Marriages that occurred in May. We honor dads, reflect on the discipleship example of Ruth and Naomi, and learn about the the work of the parish in the post-World War II period.

All that and more in our June 2021 Newsletter.

Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Abide is a great word. It is a word with depth to it. We might think of similar words like remain or stay, but abide, that’s deeper. St. John writes about the meaning of abide in that deeper sense. It is not about just hanging out. Having invited folks to come over we might even invite them to stay or remain, but rarely do we ask people to abide with us – to stay forever. You see, stay and remain are time constrained words. Abide implies permanence, to persist, continue, and last. In abiding we go on without ending. To abide means we are in a stable and fixed state of relationship. In the phrase “abide in Me,” (John 15:4) which is May 2nd’s gospel, Jesus asks us, His followers, to stay constant in our relationship with Him, to live with Him in His gospel way forever. To abide, to stay forever in relationship with Jesus, is at the heart of the Christian journey. Our abiding with Him means we are incorporated into His Body and that we have accepted the responsibility of living out the gospel walk. We have received the gospel, God’s very word. Receipt of the gospel means more than just having a bible on the shelf, for if we have come to Christ by faith and have given Him our lives, then He has invited us to abide – in all that word means and implies. In this month of May, as Spring blooms about us, it is opportune to ask ourselves – where do I abide? Do I walk in Christ’s gospel way? Those who abide are changed outwardly and inwardly. The daily cares of the world continue, but impact us far less. In the Church of Hebrews and in Acts, people lost everything, homes, possessions, freedom – yet they counted it as nothing because they did not abide in the world. They knew where their home was, where the promise was. So they lived as citizens of heaven and as people freed from anything that might have constrained them, particularly the cares of the world. Let us who abide in Jesus then walk His way, free in His promise forever.

May and our Easter journey abiding in the True Vine continues. We also honor our Blessed Mother Mary, relying on her intercession for us as we continue moving forward.

This month’s newsletter is jammed packed with information. Summer activities, including the Annual Men’s Retreat and the Kurs Encampment are on. Learn about and get in on Great Centennial Raffle. We reflect on all the joys we experienced in April as we continue in Easter joy. We honor Mary in a special way this month as we also honor all our moms. We celebrate on Ascension Thursday as we look forward in hope to our risen life in the eternal kingdom. We have special gifts for you from the Annual Mission and Evangelism Workshop, “Discovering the PNCC.” We reflect on the discipleship example of Bl. Joseph Padewski. And… we look forward to the renovation of our church interior. That and so much more…

Check out all this and more here in our May 2021 Newsletter.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This Easter Season is marked by the particular joy of being together in-person in church once again. The beauty of each of your faces, your smiling eyes, the thanksgiving, the song, the praise reverberate with that joy. One year ago we could not gather in-person. We did not know what might happen. Would the parish survive? Would we ever gather again? How will I shop? How will I obtain my most essential needs? Most of us had never faced a challenge of the magnitude brought about by COVID-19. We deeply felt the loss of normalcy. The questions and the fears were natural. Tears were natural. Yet, in spite of those rightly placed feelings and fears, the parish persisted. Prayer and supplication were made for each of you, our entire Church, the nation, and the world. Holy Masses were offered. God’s mercy was called upon in Jesus’ Holy Name. Prayers of intercession were offered to the Blessed Virgin. Yes, throughout it all, the parish bore on, carrying out its witness before the world. Your discipleship fought against despair. The greatest testimony of the time was the gift of perseverance all of you, the parishioners, friends, and members of Holy Name of Jesus were graced with. You did not throw in the towel, nor would you even think of allowing for defeat. By God’s grace the parish not only survived, but grew and was strengthened. Your hearts were uplifted, but not only. The hearts and minds of countless others known and unknown encountered our witness to our risen Lord and Savior. We bore witness in ways seen and unseen, by prayer, outreach, charity, kindness, and sacrifice. Because of what we did together, witnessing to the might of Jesus’ Holy Name, grace continues to abound. The Lord Almighty is the creator of the times and the seasons. He chastises, but also lifts up. He tests and rewards those who bear up. You, my brothers and sisters, have borne up mightily in witness to the power of the Risen One in our lives.

April brings us again to Easter joy. Celebrating Easter in our 100th year as a parish recalls past joys and resurrects our hope for the future. Abundant blessings are being received as we continue moving forward.

This month we focus on Mother Teresa as a faithful disciple of our Lord who lived her life in a beautiful way showing unconditional love. We celebrate the return of two Holy Masses on Sundays and the regular reception of Holy Communion. We remind ourselves of our Sunday obligation which, first and foremost, requires our presence in church each Sunday. We learn various ways of giving the Easter greeting in many languages. Check out information on our Music Scholarship program. We look forward to this summer’s national activities, the Men’s Retreat and the Kurs Encampment for children and youth. Read our special thank you for great work and a beautiful donation. And, we also share more of our 100 years of memories.

Check out all this and more here in our April 2021 Newsletter.

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now

In this, our centennial year, we are taking opportunities to look back with thankfulness and ahead with determination. It seems that along with the blessings of this year we have experienced the blessing of an ever more active parish. Things are going full steam ahead and are only going to increase. Just consider our Lenten journey. It is not only Holy Mass on Sundays, but also Stations on Fridays, Bitter Lamentations every other Wednesday, as well as ongoing Together in Faith and Love Zoom meetings every Thursday, time spent at the parish working on our centennial plans, and undertaking projects that need doing. We have an exceptionally rich heritage of prayer, music, and service before the Lord and we have been blessed more than abundantly. We share that abundance both in the parish building and virtually on Facebook and YouTube. The scripture quote above comes from Romans 13:11. It falls under the scriptural category of heritage. This passage reminds us that heritage is not a stagnant looking back, but rather a light guiding our preparation for the future, looking forward, constantly growing. In this Season of Lent and this centennial year let us resolve to press ever onward, eyes forward, to the salvation promises made to us on Easter: Freedom from every evil; Full possession of all that is good and glorious; Growth and increase in the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit; Being brought nearer to the saints; and Greater enjoyment of God’s marvelous love than we had when we first believed.

March and we are living out our Lenten journey. Lent in our 100th year as a parish allows us to use our past and heritage as a light guiding our preparation for the future. Abundant blessings are being received as we move forward.

This month we focus on Blessed Francis Hodur and making Christ’s principles and teachings more effective and evident in our discipleship journey. We hold our annual budget meeting, a tradition and obligation instituted by those who organized our parish – honoring each person’s voice and vote in the governance of the parish and the management of its funds. Our Valentine’s Raffle winners are announced. In our centennial article we focus on special items we have inherited. We will celebrate our next centennial event on the Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19th) at 7pm. Information is provided on our national virtual Lenten retreat (March 23rd). And… you can donate to purchase a Blessed Polish Easter Basket.

Check out all this and more here in our March 2021 Newsletter.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

December 2011, a stage jam packed with artifacts, boxes, materials, technology, bric-a-brac, and everything else. A counting room, two sacristies, choir loft, closet, and an odd side room off the parish hall similarly situated. It took months, but much of it was reorganized, labeled, filed, sent to the diocesan and general Church archives, and some simply recycled or discarded. But some of it… it ended up in that odd side room off the parish hall awaiting a decision. Here we are in February 2021, nearly ten years later and the time is now. That, my brothers and sisters is what Pre-Lent and our walk through Lent is all about. It is about assessing what we have, the stuff in our lives that stands as clutter between us and God. The amazing thing about our Lord and God is that He has no clutter, no obstacle – He is ever available to us. We, on the other hand tend to have stuff that gets in our way to Him. Over years of Pre-Lenten and Lenten seasons we have worked to remove those obstacles. Yet we still have those set aside rooms where there are lasting issues, stuff remaining between now and paradise. It is time to diligently set to cleaning out those things that stand between where we are and where we must be as Jesus’ disciples. Once we identify the clutter, let us take steps to clean it out and discard what gets in the way. Those things in us await a decision. They nag at us, will you cling to me, the clutter and mess, or will you give me up? Now is the time to clear out.

February is here and we are celebrating the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima and preparing ourselves for the beginning of the Great Lent. 

Lent in our 100th year as a parish gives us amply opportunity of reflect on what we must clean out so there is room for what Jesus has prepared for us.

We have an incredibly busy month ahead.

This month we focus on Jeremiah the Prophet and the Spiritual Works of Mercy in our discipleship journey. We hold our annual meeting, a tradition and obligation instituted by those who organized our parish – honoring each person’s voice and vote in the governance of the parish and the management of its funds. We hold our annual month long Valentine’s Raffle event. We celebrate Scout Sunday and also encourage you to apply for music scholarships, and share a reflection on “Being a Light in a Dark World.” Don’t forget about our weekly “Together in Faith and Love” Zoom get-togethers.

Check out all this and more here in our February 2021 Newsletter.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Here we are, eight days into the forty day celebration of Christmas, and one day into 2021 and the celebration of our one-hundredth anniversary as a parish. Celebration is what it is all about. Some people might find that trite. With so much suffering and evil in the world, how can you talk about celebrating? Do you remember that line from the beginning of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, the businessman saying, “How can they talk about Christmas when there is so much unhappiness in the world?” We could certainly focus on the bad and let that be our motivating force, but why, when we have so much to celebrate? Why, when we hold the greatest gift of all time? Our celebration is founded on the most important event in history – the incarnation of God as man in Jesus. God has come among us, to dwell with us and to remain with us. God gave His all as sacrifice and atonement for our sins, to free us. God remains among us to lead and inspire us, and to build up His Holy Church, His beacon of light in the world and right here in Schenectady. We therefore have every right and duty to celebrate. You see, it is not that we ignore the bad, the suffering, and the pain around us, but that we have the answer and antidote to it – Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have the hands, minds, and hearts to address it. It is why we were organized one hundred years ago and why we continue to work today, as church right here in Schenectady. So, brothers and sisters, celebrate this day and every day, give thanks to God for His gifts, and be His light into the future.

Welcome to the new year and our new newsletter.

We start by kicking-off the celebration of our 100th Anniversary as a parish, here in Schenectady. Read some of the history. We also start another year focused on Discipleship. Join us for an upcoming virtual discipleship retreat. We take this opportunity to express thanks to so many for their hard work and awesome generosity over the past year. See our new Writer’s Corner featuring a poem by Francine Farina published for the first time. Want to share something? Send it our way.

Check out all this and more including our schedule for the remaining days of the forty day Christmas season. All here in our January 2021 Newsletter.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

December, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. That’s our secular calendar for December. Whether we get our calendar at the bank, the local liquor store, or online – we can find all those things. But if we happen to have picked up a Home Liturgical Calendar (there’s still a few available), we find a bridge, the start of a new Church Year with the season of Advent. Advent is about hope and expectation of a brighter future. In Advent we at once commemorate the waiting of the Jewish people for the promised Messiah and connect with our urgent expectation of His return. We are first and foremost called to look forward with hope. Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz, the Nobel prize winning author, wrote his “Trilogy” of historical novels – set in the 17th-century Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – in the late 19th century. In this series of books (and I recommend you get the translation by W. S. Kuniczak) he points to people looking to the sky in the midst of Poland’s wars and sufferings, and declaring ’It must be the end.’ Certainly they did. Yet the world did not end in the 17th or 19th centuries. Any among the people of that time expecting the end lost the opportunity to hope forward. For us as Christians, the call is not to sit around contemplating the end, biting our nails and hoping we get to heaven, but to offer hope today, and thus to be heaven, the breaking open of the Kingdom of God, for our brothers and sisters. We all long, that cannot be helped. We have all been challenged, and especially in this year. For us, Advent longing and the challenges of the time must not be met with dour, sad, and forlorn attitudes but rather with hope filled and bright faith looking forward. Each Advent, let us look forward, not in a delusional way, but with ready faith. Let us look forward expectantly, with active faith. Let us never lose the opportunity to live and share hope. Grasp it so we may meet Jesus, the Hope of humanity.

December is here and so is our newsletter. This month we focus on looking forward with hope as we walk through the Advent Season into the new dawn of Christmas.

Read about our Advent charity programs and Pastor Jim’s Christmas greetings as well as his thankfulness on the 6th anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Join us for weekly Zoom calls so we can face these days Together in Faith and Love. Stop by Wednesday mornings for a Rorate Holy Mass (Holy Mass by candlelight only). Offer a Memory Cross for our Christmas trees. Get your Christmas wafers/opłatki. See our Christmas season schedule of Holy Masses. We continue planning for our 100th Anniversary, observed in 2021. There is a great reflection On Holy Communion. Want to be on the Parish Committee? Time to get your name into running.

Read about it in our December 2020 Newsletter.

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Revelation 14:12

We start the month of November, as always, with a Solemnity honoring all the saints. Revelation 14:12 challenges the saints to endurance in keeping the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. If there was ever a year in which we have been called to endurance it was this one. What is this saying to us and what can we learn from this? Younger people might say: “I’m gonna hang tough for Jesus, suck it up and stick it out,” but that glorifies our abilities outside of Jesus, saying I can do it on my own. That is not our call, the call to those who would be saints. Rather, we are called to trust fully in Jesus. ‘Here is a call’ is an announcement pointing to the faith of Jesus. It’s the faith of Jesus that must live within us and be our power to face life’s trials. If we focus on ourselves instead of our Savior we set ourselves up for failure. We pose as hardened spiritual Rambos. That promotes self-trust and pretending. Human perseverance is a strength for sure, and God can use it, but that is not enough. God can’t do anything with us when we’re trusting in our own strength or leaning on our own understanding. Paul got it and told the Corinthians to rejoice in weaknesses. For when I am weak, then I am strong. The key to enduring the unendurable is to lift our eyes off present circumstances and ourselves, and to focus on what the Lord will bring about even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us. These challenges and hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us who are called to be saints. What Revelation is saying and what we can learn is this: That Jesus living within us is our true strength, the center of our lives. He calls us to rely on Him and to endure in that truth so that His light shines out of us. Jesus is the treasure within us, called to be saints, with a hope beyond hope and a blessed future.

Welcome to November’s newsletter. This month we focus on the saints and pray for our loved ones in their journey to heaven. There are plenty of thanks to offer as we approach Thanksgiving — so much good has been accomplished by our endurance. We begin planning for our 100th Anniversary, observed in 2021. We invite you to participate in planning, There is a great reflection on what happens on November 4th; what is the Christian to do post election? Also stay tuned for Valentine’s Raffle tickets and our planning for Advent which begins November 29th.

Read about all it in our November 2020 Newsletter.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This month, along with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Christian Family, we also celebrate Heritage Sunday (October 18th). Why? Reading through the documents created in the Church’s organizing years we see so many references to humanity, established in nations, to be bearers and sharers of the gifts God has given them. In the Tenant and Aims Document it is recorded: “The most important objective of the Church… is to maintain, enrich and develop the life of God in the soul of man…” Likewise, the Confession of Faith, our Creedal Document. Familiarize yourself with these statements, for they are a call to us and to the world. We are to recognize the dignity and value of each person and nation in their contribution toward helping us know God. These documents from the early 1900’s a sure cure to the inequality we still face today. We are not called to division, but to celebrate each other in unity and equality. We celebrate heritage because God has given us gifts, attributes, and experiences that when shared adds to our collective knowledge of God. A paraphrase of the Preamble to our Constitution sums this up: “Religion is the source of life and regeneration. Religion [that] possess the character of a nation [transmits innate] moral principles from which we achieve real freedom and stature.” As we celebrate let us each experience God more fully in each other and in what we share of ourselves.

October, our next jam packed month of events and opportunities. We bless pets on Sunday, October 4th. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Christian Family, a feast unique to our Church as well as Heritage Sunday. We will pray the Rosary every Wednesday evening in church and virtually. And … Fr. Jim is in the kitchen cooking up a yummy take-out/take-away American Goulash Dinner for Sunday, October 25th. Your efforts at discipleship and evangelism are drawing people to church – keep up the good work in the ministries you each have. There are some great prayers for family and our nation and a wonderful reflection on Certainty in God.

Read about all it in our October 2020 Newsletter.

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

This month we celebrate that Solemnity unique to our Holy Church, the Solemnity of Brotherly Love. I personally love being part of a Church that pays special attention to the idea of mutual love and care. This Solemnity didn’t just show up, nor was it established just to pay lip service to the concept of brotherly love. The Solemnity comes out of the real life experiences of our earliest founders. In 1906 a Special Holy Synod needed to be convened because events would call us to action. What to do in the face of words of hate, physical attacks, and widespread discrimination? The Holy Synod chose to do what was holy, what Jesus called us to do. The Holy Synod did not result in declarations of war, counter-plots, counter- attacks, or calls for discrimination and hatred toward attackers. The Holy Synod rather made a declaration of love. They resolved to love even in the face of hate, to love in the face of what we might disagree with, to love in the face of attack. We were not only to turn the other cheek, but to love and pray for our attackers. A man wanted to justify what he was doing, the way he chose to live, the words he chose to speak, (today, the postings he chose to make), so he asked Jesus: ‘Who is my neighbor?’ Jesus gave him a choice. We have choices to make just like that man did. Let us listen to Jesus and chose to love above all, to hold our words, and to act and speak in love no matter what is hurled at us.

So Much Happening. September is jam packed with events and opportunities. A special Holy Mass on Labor Day offered for the intention of all workers, organized labor, and worker justice. A prayer service in commemoration of the 19th Anniversary of 9/11/2001. The Solemnity of Brotherly Love. Back to Church Sunday where we take the time to invite and to recognize we are stronger together.

September’s Newsletter also covers the achievements of our youth in Music Scholarships and at the Kurs Camp. There is a reflection on the use of words – which have power to build up and to destroy, and a reflection on voting with an informed conscience. There is even a to-do list and … what if you were asked to spend 80 minutes?

Read about all it in our September 2020 Newsletter.