This Week in Prayer, Service & Community

Dear All:
Christ’s peace. 
This week in prayer:
  • The year our parish was founded, 1865, was also the year President Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address, the speech in which he urged all Americans to proceed with “malice toward none and charity for all.” 

    It is as if the disciples were acting on Lincoln’s advice in Sunday’s first reading. After much energetic back-and-forth, they chose to make membership in the church as easy as possible for Gentiles. They put aside the malice they might have invoked and expressed the charity the Holy Spirit urged. In doing all that, they satisfied Mr. Lincoln’s request.

    Far more importantly, the disciples’ actions align with Jesus’. In Sunday’s gospel, Jesus reminds us “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” The peace Jesus offers is far superior to anything the world can offer. And the way He gives is unlike the world’s standard way of giving. He gives His peace as He gives all things, with malice toward none and charity for all. (All this requires clarification of “the world” but that will wait for another time.)

    Where are you getting it right? What inspired habits of yours wouldn’t be in place if you harbored malice, spite or resentment? What kindnesses do you regularly extend, on good days, that wouldn’t be extended if you weren’t committed to charity for all (including the people who, according to the world, don’t deserve your charity)?

    That long loving look at your life is sure to reveal ways in which you satisfy Lincoln’s appeal, imitate the disciples and, most importantly, give peace and other blessings in ways that resemble Christ’s way of giving. And do you recognize His gratitude?
     
  • Congratulations First Communicants and families! You are superb!
  • 95% of the participants in “Walking With Purpose,” the women’s bible study our parish conducted this year, reported that the program enriched their relationship with Christ. Amazing stuff. Ladies stay tuned for more details about next year’s offerings.
  • Tending the Garden,” our prayer group for adult men and women who want to pray for their children and other young people, is off to a terrific start. Upcoming meetings will be announced at Mass this weekend.
This week in service:
  • The parish winter clothing drive produced 52 very heavy bags of winter clothing. Several more bags of non-winter clothing were also collected and have already been distributed to worthy agencies. Huge thanks to Elisa and Jeremy Goldstone for collecting, sorting, folding and bagging the donations. And thanks to every parishioner who made the drive a success.
  • Our “door-boxes,” the containers formerly known as “poor boxes,” will be devoted to a changing list of causes. This week and next the proceeds will go to the “JQ Project” – a parish initiative to assist a young man who was rendered quadriplegic in a tragic accident.More details to follow soon.
  • The Youth Group’s 30 Hour Famine was a success on all levels! 38 teens planted a community garden, painted the youth room and cooked meals for SHIP all while not eating for 30 hours. Happy to report that everyone survived - and they surpassed their goal - raising $11,500 to fight world hunger!
     
This week in community:
  • A great welcome to the newest member of our extended community,Bishop James Checchio who, as of Tuesday is our new bishop.
  • Great thanks and best blessings for another member of our extended community, Bishop Paul Bootkoski, a great friend to us for many years.
  • Thanks to all who answered the cookbook question. We had one in 1990.
  • Mark your calendars for the Hoedown on May 20. Dancers and clods of all ages are encouraged to attend and sure to enjoy it.
  • Meanwhile – the BIG news – Godspell will be performed here at church May 13, 14 and 15. It will be an unforgettably fine experience.
  • Remember, May 14 is Godspell & Subs. The Colombiettes will be serving subs in the parish hall from 5:00 to 7:15 on Saturday night. Be there – Mass at 4:45, Subs after Mass, Godspell at 7:30. $5.00 per head for the subs. Please let us know if you plan to attend so we can get enough subs. Signup online or in the gathering space.
Best blessings

Fr. Hank