Blog & Pastor Letters

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-30-2023Weekly ReflectionDeacon John Cantirino

Real estate, if chosen correctly, can be, over time, a fruitful investment. But the more desirable the land that is available, the more it costs to acquire it. Those who understand the potential for profitability, for growth, and for a way to make their future more secure will go to great lengths, make herculean efforts sometimes, to ensure that the valuable land becomes theirs. The basic point is that a person must first discern the inherent value, then commit to acquiring it through effort, and follow the right way to properly make it theirs to reap the benefits. There are no shortcuts.


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-23-2023Weekly ReflectionDeacon John Cantirino

“Remember the day of your death. But keep the day of resurrection and of presentation to God in remembrance also. Imagine the fearful and terrible judgment period.” Evagrius, desert father, monk, deacon, companion of St. Gregory of Nazianzen

We live in perplexing and complicated times. There are so many mixed, and contradictory, messages being promulgated on everything — the understanding of family, roles in society, moral and ethical issues, et cetera. But one of the controversial issues that is often denied, while at the same time advocated for, is that of death.


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-16-2023Weekly ReflectionDeacon John Cantirino

Anyone who has a yard or garden knows the challenges that come with having it look well-kept and being full of the type of plants or flowers that are visually appealing. It takes more work, attention, and perseverance to keep certain growths out than it does to nourish those flowers and plants that one desires to have. When there is a lack of attention to nurturing, then all sorts of weeds, crabgrass, and other undesired plants start to appear. It takes real, consistent effort to have a beautiful, flourishing yard or garden. The gardener must always supply the right conditions, and correct the harmful conditions, for the planted seeds to develop and flourish. The seeds are the seeds; the surrounding conditions make all the difference for the end results. But this example is not limited to a physical garden or yard.


Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-09-2023Weekly ReflectionDeacon John Cantirino

Much of the population in the United States and other developed countries now live in an urban environment, a city, as opposed to rural areas. Living in an urban area brings with it an experience far different from that of living in a rural setting. Most of the population is now removed from experiences and situations that once were well understood by most people when rural living was common. Our Lord, however, often used words and experiences that for many centuries were clearly understood by the people, because he drew upon the practicalities of living in a rural environment. We see this in the Gospel of today when he focuses on the yoke as a metaphor for what he offers and what a life lived in Christ entails.


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-02-2023Weekly ReflectionDeacon John Cantirino

Everywhere in the news today we hear and read about the rise of AI, artificial intelligence. It seems that the development and advancement of AI technology has made huge leaps in a short period of time. Artificial Intelligence, while offering several advantages to society, also has a downside to it. The fact is that AI can be so powerful that it can manipulate images, create realistic-looking people and events that are indistinguishable from reality, and generate academic papers with very little input from a human being.


Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 25, 2023

06-25-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. Ryan Muldoon

We live in an increasingly anonymous world. In this highly technological and post-pandemic age, fewer and fewer are the opportunities to meet people, to really meet people — to get to know someone intimately and to let oneself be known. A renewal of Catholic parish life is needed as so many anonymous Catholics slip into the pews and out again without anyone ever knowing their story, perhaps not even their name. Then again, we see so many who have stopped coming to church altogether, many of whom claim to be “spiritual, but not religious” — who connect with God, but without wanting the constraints of a religious community and the associated traditions.


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

06-18-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. Ryan Muldoon

In the shadow of Friday’s Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today’s Gospel opens with the description that Jesus’ heart was “moved with pity” for the crowds, “because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” Like the crowds, without the presence of Christ in our lives, we are aimless, disoriented, without belonging. However, our readings today are filled with reminders that, in Christ, we belong to the Father. We are “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation,” our First Reading from Exodus tells us; we are “his people, the flock he tends,” we heard in today’s Responsorial Psalm. God has made us a kingdom, a nation, his people, his flock; we belong, and, in him, our lives find a definitive new direction.


Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

06-11-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. Ryan Muldoon

On December 4, 1912, shortly after four o’clock in the morning, a fire broke out in the basement of St. Philip Neri Church in the Bronx, New York. In very little time, the entire church building was engulfed in flames. Thankfully, a passerby noticed what was happening and summoned the priests and the fire department. The two parish priests — Fr. Daniel Burke and Fr. Joseph Congedo — arrived on the scene, and one can only imagine what it was like for them to see their beloved church engulfed in flames.


Join in the Dance

06-04-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Mark Suslenko

Soren Kierkegaard reminds us that life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced. The same can be said about God. God, who is the Mystery of mysteries, may be beyond our intellectual comprehension but not beyond our experience. Were our human minds really capable of knowing the true essence and depth of God, we would then be “equal” to God and as superior as He is. Just because we cannot fully comprehend or master and control God, it does not mean that His presence is diminished or that he is completely out of our grasp. What it does require is a change of focus. Experiencing the incomprehensible mystery of God requires more “soul work” and less “brain work.” It is only in our souls and not in our brains that a Divine encounter can occur.


The Holy Spirit’s Fire Transforms Us Forever

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionDouglas Sousa, S.T.L.

Once the Holy Spirit transforms us, we are free to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection of Jesus.

One of the most powerful symbols used to describe the Holy Spirit is fire. It is the reason why we wear red on Pentecost. By depicting the Holy Spirit as fire, the Scriptures teach us about the effects that he has on the lives of believers. Like fire, the Holy Spirit transforms us, purifies us, and sets us aflame with love of God.


Be My Witnesses

05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionAllison Gingras

For my 40th birthday, I wished only for a fancy pedicure — a real indulgent one complete with a massage where I could relax and escape the stress of life. On my way to the appointment, I stopped for a coffee and, while in line, this nudge to be open to sharing my faith if the opportunity arose stirred in my heart. Only moments into my birthday treat pedicure — reclined, eyes closed and prepared for an hour of quiet, I hear, "Oh, you wear a crucifix, you must be Catholic. I left for a church that follows the Bible." Opening one eye and peering toward heaven, I smirked with a wry acknowledgment of recognizing the day's earlier prompting to be open to being a witness of faith. While I wouldn't say I liked the timing, I obediently sat up and offered my attention to engaging in a friendly dialog about my faith.


Conversations with Jesus

05-14-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

How familiar are we with God’s Presence in our lives … I mean, really?!?! We say that we are because that’s the right answer to the question.

Recently, I came across a story of an old man dying of cancer.

"The old man’s daughter had asked the local priest to come and pray with her father. When the priest arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed. The priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. ‘I guess you were expecting me,’ he said. ‘No, who are you?’ ‘I’m the new associate at your parish,’ the priest replied. ‘When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up.’ ‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden man. ‘Would you mind closing the door?’ Puzzled, the priest shut the door.


5th Sunday of Easter

05-07-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. John P. Cush, STD

Let’s look at the recent history of our Church: On a chilly winter day, January 25, 1959, Angelo Roncalli, guiding the Barque of Peter known as John XXIII, stood at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and gathered members of the Roman Curia, and called for a Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The church historians Giuseppe Alberigo and Joseph Komonchak describe the reactions of most as “stunned silence.” And, on October 11, 1962, the first session of Vatican II began, a work which John XXIII did not live to see completed, but a work that has profoundly influenced not only the Catholic Church, both Western and Eastern, but the Orthodox Church, most of the Protestant ecclesial communions, and indeed, the course of history. This is an act of the Holy Spirit.