“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

November brings together several liturgical events that lead us on a journey. We spend the first couple of days of November celebrating all the saints and then remember all those who have gone before us, our dearly departed family members, friends, co-workers, and all those we loved. We start in our faith history. By the sixth of the month we are reading about the end times, the last things, from Luke’s gospel. We study eschatology — death, judgment, the coming final destiny of our souls and of the souls of all humanity. We focus on our ultimate destination. On November twentieth we conclude in the celebration of our one and only King – Jesus Christ Who will rule and reign over us forever in the Eternal Kingdom of God. Shortly thereafter the Church year ends and we start anew in Advent, the new Church year, expectantly awaiting the return of Jesus.

What we must be careful of in considering this time of the liturgical year is avoiding the temptation of seeing it as just repeating over and over. Here we go again, ending one cycle, beginning another, it will happen again in November 2023, 2024, 2025… and so on. Rather, we are to use this time as a reminder of the fact that we are moving along a linear timeline from our start in God to our ultimate end in God, and what we are to do in-between. Just as Scripture begins in God’s creation and ends in Jesus’ return, speaking along the way of God’s love for us, so must we live in a constant journey toward God, a closer likeness to His love in our everyday environments, and our ultimate end where we stand before the Son of Man. Jesus asks us to be the difference, the Kingdom builders along the journey. Let us then do as Jesus asks, staying awake – and that means being engaged – getting to work building the Kingdom, walking the gospel path, and praying in worship, as families, and alone.


Welcome to November and all the opportunities God offers for discipleship, charity, thsanksgiving, and Kingdom building.

In November we celebrate All Souls and All Saints day, recall our beloved family, friends, and all those we loved who have gone on before us. There is a brief report on our XXVI Holy Synod, an invitation to a VERY IMPORTANT Seniorate and youth gathering on December 3rd, as well as our Pizza and Game Night on November 12th. Of course we give thanks. Note that we still have tickets available for our for our $2,500 Christmas Vigil Raffle. Get them soon.

Have you ever felt alone and abandoned? See what God does through His people in the story of Little Larry and see how you can help out too.

Check that and more in our November 2022 Newsletter.

in receiving the Word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the Word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.

You know how it is. Someone tells you something. Then you get that sort of instantaneous feeling and thought – What am I supposed to do with that? You can create some great giphy memes with “Now what am I supposed to do…”

Hand Johnny Bravo a surfboard and you’ll get: “What am I supposed to do with this?” 

Typically, someone shows up – a friend, relative, or even someone you just casually know, and they are dropping all their drama on you. The queen or king of drama has arrived. We are left saying… what do I do with this?

So, the age-old question, What do I do with this?

Here we are, the best and the brightest of our Holy Church, the committed, gathered for a week of training, a week of study, a week of fellowship and fun, for a purpose. What this is all about is giving you the answer to: “What am I supposed to do with this?”

One man who figured out the answer was St. Paul.

The people of Thessalonica came to believe in Jesus and bound themselves together in His Church because of St. Paul’s preaching and teaching; because of Paul’s work. Yet, as it is, people bearing strong witness sometimes attract enemies. Paul got enemies. Those enemies tried to discredit Paul while he was away, especially because of his hurried departure from Thessalonica. Paul’s enemies said he left town quickly because he was a self-serving coward. Paul certainly must have had a moment of “What am I supposed to do with this?” Here’s how he solved it.

The scripture we read today, from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, was Paul proving himself by pointing back to his own behavior – how he lived and worked, how he bore witness to Jesus. The people knew him, saw him, worked at his side, learned from him. He is reminding them of the fact they are witnesses of his integrity of his character, they are witnesses to the image of Jesus in Paul. The enemies are lying, and you know it.

What Paul did was so impressive. Paul freely appealed to his own life as an example. Paul didn’t have to say, “Please don’t look at my life. Look to Jesus.” Paul did not hide or fade away when enemies rose up. Paul always wanted people to look to Jesus, but he could also tell them to look at his life, because the power of Jesus was real in his life. It was obvious. He lived it. He was the image of Jesus. He carried the likeness of Jesus wherever he went – he wore the face of Jesus.

Now here’s the harder part. When we face the “What am I supposed to do with this?” moment we are given a choice of who we are to be. Do I just stay me, stay wondering, hide, fade away, be a poser, or maybe just laugh or do I grow in my likeness to Jesus? Can we say: Look at my life with the confidence of Paul? Look at my life and see Jesus and His help clearly. See how I overcame who I was and what I worried about because I am confident that Jesus has me. He has me now and forever.

Factually, that is what God constantly charges us with doing. It is our homework, our assignment, career, and lifelong goal – become more like Jesus, bear His likeness, His face before the world, and be confident in Him. We are to solve the problems we and others face, not with philosophies or politics or reaction, but with the very face of Jesus alive in us. The more and more like Jesus we are the less perplexed we will be with the “What am I supposed to do with this?” moment. The parts of us that wanted to avoid: “What am I supposed to do with this?” no longer desire avoidance, but rather to bear the image of Jesus into the problem. When we face anything, do a self-check. Am I the image of Jesus right now?

Confronted by the drama king or queen, we are to be the face of Jesus to them. Help them to see in us, in our lives, the solution to the drama. Confronted by anything in life, let us be as impressive as Paul as we appeal to our own lives as an example. We should never have to say, “Please don’t look at my life. Look to Jesus.” Of course, we want people to look to Jesus, but we must also be able to confidently tell them to look at our lives because we have made the power of Jesus real in us.

Paul leaves us with a clear statement on how we are to become that image of Jesus. We are to be like the Thessalonians who received the word of God, who welcomed God’s word not as just some advice from some guy, but as the very word of God in all its glory and truth. They not only received and welcomed the word they let it effectively work in them. It changed them.

Paul’s confidence in the word of God wasn’t a matter of wishful thinking or blind faith. He could see that it effectively works in those who believe. God’s Word works, it doesn’t only bring information or produce feelings. There is power in the word of God to change lives; to change us into the very image and likeness of Jesus. So let it change us into the image of the One Who gave us the Word.

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.

As this newsletter is being written we are preparing for summer youth events throughout our Church. Our church has always had a focus on the success of our children. Scripture tells us to take the time and to make the effort to instruct our children in the knowledge of the Lord such that our work in building the kingdom might continue to its success. In Psalm 144 we find David writing after his taking the throne. Even though victorious, it did not mean problems were over. In this psalm, David acknowledges triumph and thankfulness brought about by the great goodness of God. We must acknowledge that we have no victory apart from Him. David then prays for God’s help against current enemies. We must be ever watchful and turn to God for His constant protection. David then rejoices because he acknowledges God’s assurance of victory. We must not be people of fear, but rather of trust in victory. David then prays for the prosperity of his own kingdom and celebrates in the youth coming up in faith. So we must work for the future of the Kingdom and for our children’s faith. God’s blessings works wonders for us. So too for our children if we take the time and raise them in the Church. David prays as we should; that our sons be like strong, well rooted, young trees, which promise leadership toward great things. David prays that daughters be as corner stones, polished as a palace. Daughters unite us as corner stones join walls together. They do the work of knitting us together in our actions for God, in being leaders toward the kingdom of God. When we develop young men and women in holiness we will have joy in them and winners for God. Supported in their knowledge of the Lord we can be assured our children will achieve victory for the kingdom.

Welcome to our Summer 2021 Newsletter. We have tons of events going on this summer for youth and adults, for the sports minded and the musically inclined. These include the annual Kurs Youth Encampment, the National United Choirs Convention and Workshop, our Annual Parish Community Picnic (August 22nd on the parish grounds), and the YMSofR Golf Outing. We are engaged in prayer prior to this November’s Diocesan Synod as well as prayer for our country and for our youth. We have an update on our painting and refurbishment project (we are done – and your help in underwriting the costs would be really appreciated), our Centennial Raffle is in full swing (get your tickets soon), and we reflect on the danger of faithless shepherds and pray for clergy who have gone astray.

All that and more in our July/August 2021 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.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

The month of November is dedicated to remembering our dearly departed. As I reflect on this month, I cannot help but pause to consider what will happen to me. I do not do this to be morbid or to dwell on dark things, in fact I try to focus on those I will leave behind. I guess that’s one of those habits of a part time genealogist. I also like to annoy my family by telling them the songs I would like played at the post funeral repast. The one song I would love to have played is “Knocking On Heaven’s Door.” Any version is fine: Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, or Eric Clapton. I particularly like Warren Zevon’s version or the Polish version by Babsztyl – “Pukając do nieba bram.” We often feel we are standing just outside heaven’s door. We stand there knocking. This takes two forms. One form of knocking is the kind we do every day – looking for reasons, seeking help, trying to get to an answer. The other form of knocking is the one we anticipate doing. What it will be like when I get there. Will I be left on the porch, at the gate, knocking and waiting? The hardest thing to get in our walk of faith is the sort of confidence that tells us ‘the door will be open.’ Yet, that is what Jesus promises us. The words above, taken from Matthew, Chapter 7, are the start of His promise. Jesus goes on to say: “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” He goes on to describe how our Heavenly Father will provide good to those who ask. He didn’t say these things so we would wonder or be fearful. In the Polish version, the singer cries out: Błagam Panie otwórz mi Zanim mrok pochłonie mnie. [I beg You, Lord, open the door Before darkness consumes me.] As we face this month of memory, and perhaps some self-reflection, let us take time to ask Jesus to reinforce our confidence. Let us realize we are never outside the door. We don’t have to knock, He has already opened the door for us.

Our newsletter discusses the month of November, the remembrance of our dearly departed, and includes a memorial for our former Pastor, Rt. Rev. śp. Stanley Bilinski, who entered his eternal rest just as the month began. Taking a simultaneously somber and hopeful approach, our newsletter covers events throughout the month. We prepare for the mailing of our Valentine’s Raffle tickets, the events of Advent, and two beautiful reflections on sharing our faith – plus one positive missionary step each of us can take. We also wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. Consider using the prayer included in the Newsletter.

Check out all this and more in our November 2018 Newsletter.

In
dialogue.

And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Today’s reading and gospel ask us to realize the power of dialogue with Jesus. The dictionary tells us that dialogue, used as a noun, is a conversation between two or more people, especially one directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem. It goes on to point out all the synonyms for dialogue: conversation, talk, discussion, interchange, discourse, debate, or consultation. As a verb, dialogue means to take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem.

Looking at these definitions, we see relationship is essential to dialogue. One must enter into dialogue with another, be part of it rather than just a subject of it – i.e., being talked at. Dialogue has an aim, it is not just entertainment – i.e., listening and speaking for the sake of words alone. Dialogue is about going deeper in learning and toward resolution of questions or problems.

Jesus enters into dialogue with the Scribe. The Scribe asks a question and he and Jesus have a back and forth exchange of ideas that leads to understanding. At the end, the Scribe gained understanding and both the Scribe and Jesus speak with joy.

The previous encounters between Jesus and the religious and political leaders were never a dialogue. Those were meant to entrap Jesus by stealth. Jesus silenced them. The one person who breaks the pattern is the Scribe. He enters genuine dialogue – he is close to the kingdom because he used the chance of dialogue to get closer to real understanding.

We have heard Jesus’ teachings. Now we too must break through and go deeper to real understanding of what it means to bring about the kingdom – the truth of God’s Law of love.

Bishop Stan entered dialog with Jesus. He went deeper with Jesus to understand the kingdom. He had questions answered. He met with Jesus, spoke regularly with Him, and came to understand the work Jesus was calling him to do to grow His kingdom. He worked diligently, taking those ongoing dialogues with Jesus and bringing them into his dialogue with us, with our Church’s youth, with our community. Let us take this time to honor him by taking his example to heart and living in dialogue toward the kingdom.

He stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

We have been through a lot. The stresses and strains in our country, the sins in a particular Church, the judgyness of some church people, upcoming elections, old and upcoming investigations, and even family drama. It is all terrible. It all seems inconsistent with our ideals, with everything we have learned is right and good. As a pastor, I have been asked all kinds of issue questions, anything that would seem to press a reverend’s hot-button and provoke an extremist reaction. Let’s see if Jesus’ representatives blow a fuse over this or that. Jesus’ words to the crowd ready to stone the prostitute tell us two things. The first thing is that sin is real. Let him who is without… Jesus knows our reality. He Himself had to fight against it in the dessert after fasting for forty days. The second thing is the possibility of forgiveness and a road out – to salvation that Jesus conveyed to the prostitute. Both parties had a choice to make. The crowd could have rejected Jesus’ truth and could have thrown the stones. The prostitute could have also walked away and could have gone back to her ‘profession.’ One of the Church’s earliest thinkers, St. John Climacus, in his writing used the example of a ladder. He noted that when we chose Jesus, when we enter the life of the Church, we get on the first step of the ladder to heaven. The key to all of this is not Jesus’ tolerance, nor the rightness of the Church’s teaching. Jesus is indeed tolerant and the Church, by the light of the Holy Spirit, teaches the truth. Rather, the key is the light we need to see, the right we need to do. In the end, it is about our tolerance. None of us should have a ‘hot button’ that sets us off to judge, and if we do, we must get it in check. As followers of Jesus, we are called to the ultimate in tolerance. We are to see the person next to us, the person with the ‘hot button’ issue, and support them on their climb on the ladder to heaven.

Our October newsletter goes along side the season of change – and calls us to remember unchangeable things – love of family, acceptance and tolerance, lending a hand up the ladder. We celebrate family and heritage. We have a full calendar of events, Holy Synod, a rummage sale, and so much more. Check out all the activities coming up in November too. Find out why it is better to climb…

Check out all this and more in our October 2018 Newsletter.

Lift up
family.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”

At the Third Holy Synod of the Polish National Catholic Church, held in Chicago in December 1914 the Synod delegates resolved that the Second Sunday of October be dedicated as the Solemnity of the Christian Family. This Solemnity was meant as an opportunity for the Church to pray for the consolidation and strengthening of families. On this day we pray for all families; that they be strengthened and blessed.

It is great to have an idea, but as is said, we have to get the rubber to hit the road. So, how do we get there; how do we get families strengthened, blessed, and consolidated.

If you looked at our parish sign on the way in, you’d have noticed it now says “Rise Up With Jesus & Lift Others Here.”

This is how we get the rubber to hit the road.

We start by not ignoring our motivation. God’s entire creative effort was spurred by a desire to expand and build relationship. Since God had and has this desire for relationship within Himself, and since He made us in His relational image (Let us…), so we too desire relationship. We are motivated by relationship.

Relationship, of course, cannot be realized in motivation alone. That’s just frustrating and unproductive. So we take steps. We build friendships; we enter into relationships at many levels. Some are very close, some are more casual, but none are unimportant.

So we are motivated and so we try. But, being human as we are, we occasionally loose sight of what we must do to take relationship to the next level.

To get to the next level we must stay on message, we must build deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Of course the best proving ground for living our motivation, staying true to God’s relational life, is in our families. That is where we most intently and proactively rise with Jesus and lift each other up. In the microcosm of family relationship we motivate, comfort, provide love that is beyond reason, discipline, and sacrifice.

Now, from that microcosm, we are to expand the best of what we learn and do, rising with Jesus, raising up others, right here: consolidating, strengthening, blessing.

Called to
greatness.

I urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call

Our Christian lives, as we have reflected on over the past few weeks, are not about the past. We can certainty take lessons from the past, but we cannot live there.

St. Paul clearly calls Christians out on living in the past. He writes: live in a manner worthy of the call you have received. That is important to us, to live and move forward.

The feeding of the multitude happens about right in the middle of Jesus’ thirty-second year. It is in fact, the pinnacle of His popularity with the crowd. He had been teaching them “many things” when He saw they were “sheep without a shepherd.

What He had been teaching them was the truth of His Father’s Kingdom plan. It was a new way of thinking, living, being, and acting. It was forward thinking – for today and tomorrow. It was in complete uniformity with all the prophets had been trying to get at – and as with the prophets, the people would not listen. The people could only look backward. They missed Jesus’ point. They missed tomorrow because they were stuck in yesterday.

Shortly after the multiplication of loaves the people would turn away, the majority left Jesus. He wouldn’t do today what He did yesterday – We see that they were stuck back there. They wanted a repeat performance.

For this past week the youth of the Church gathered new tools and new skills. They have set out on a mission to make the choice – to pray, plan, organize, gather people, and set to work to rebuild our Holy Church, our parishes, and our communities. So must it be with us.

We are called to greatness, but not to live in yesterday’s greatness. Our call is to a new greatness, a magnificent greatness. This greatness comes from carrying out the Father’s Kingdom plan as laid out for us by Jesus. So we must get into action.

Here’s the part where everyone says – well what do I do? The first step is pick up the Holy Bible and check out the kingdom blueprint. Then pray, ‘Lord, what would You have me do?’ Then listen. He will point out those we should invite. He will show us how to live and do in a manner worthy of our call.