This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - September 6, 2019


This Week – September 6, 2019

Dear All:

Christ’s Peace!

I look forward to seeing you at the Parish Picnic on Sunday afternoon. The weather promises to be just about ideal for the picnic. (Do the weather angels think they owe us because of last year?) The tents are already in place and the grills are all scrubbed up. The Parish Hall is about 97% finished – but will not be perfect until next week. In addition to the usual delights, we will be supplementing the Mike DeLucia music with . . . let’s just say, “a special guest star with a West Indies flair.”

Within 24 hours of the Parish Picnic, our parish will be hosting the one-woman play “Irena Gut: Only a Girl.” Performed by Janet Rodgers, it is the story of a truly inspired Catholic woman from Poland who, at great risk to her own life, managed to keep 12 Jewish neighbors from the Nazis. The play will be performed on Monday at 12:30 pm and then again on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. Admission is free.


  • BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS – Once again, we have had to consult the Roman Rota and the Society for the Defense of Birthday Celebrations – but the verdict came out in our favor! Birthday blessings are to be offered on the weekend of the first Saturday of the month. When the first of a month occurs on a Sunday (as with this month), the birthday blessings are to be offered the following weekend, when the entire weekend occurs in that month. To play it differently would be to bless the 4:45 September babies during August. That would really tarnish our reputation. September blessings are THIS weekend! (And we all know that September is a superb month in which to be born.)

  • WOMEN’S RETREAT – Step right up ladies of the parish. The retreat is Thursday, September 19 and tickets will be on sale this weekend (9/7-8) and next (9/14-15). It promises to be an outstanding night of inspiration and time together. Check out the poster in the Gathering Space for more information.

  • WALKING WITH PURPOSE (WWP) – Sorry about the confusion that arose from last weekend’s erroneous, specious and otherwise misguided announcement about WWP. The mightily successful bible study for women did not start this week. It starts on September 23 and 24. Signups will be thisweekend and next (9/7-8 and 9/14-15) at the bright pink tablecloth in the Gathering Space.

  • ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS OF EVERY AGE – BLESSINGS OF BRAINS AND ASPIRATIONS – Truly – this is not about age – at all. If you are in school, you need to do four things. First, decide on your biggest aspiration for the year, and pick a symbol of it. Hoping to have a killer year in math? Maybe dig up your mother’s abacus or your father’s slide rule. Want this to be your year in the 100M butterfly? Grab your goggles. Second, take a picture of you holding the object. Third, attach the photo to the form you can access HERE– or in the gathering space and fill in the rest of the form. Be sure NOT to include your last name. Repeat, do NOT include your last name. Then insert that form with your picture attached, in the Communications Box. We will be displaying all the artifact photos and forms in the Gathering Space. Finally, bring that artifact to Mass on the weekend of October 12/13. There will be blessings of your brains and aspirations at every Mass that weekend EXCEPT the 7:15. Thanks in advance for cooperating with this emerging and wonderful tradition!

  • PRAYERS FOR YOUR DECEASED LOVED ONES – We will be compiling all new lists of our deceased loved ones to post on the church walls for the month of November. Even if you submitted names in the past, you need to do so again, as we are switching over to an entirely new system. Keep in mind that there are two ways to honor your deceased loved ones. For your absolute nearest and dearest, have their names put on the list. This will be your deceased parents, spouses, children, in-laws and BFFs. To access the form, click HERE. You can also fill out a form from the Moses Table and insert it in the Communications Box. For all others, please fill out one of the green cards and put it in the Communications Box. The cards will be gathered and put near the altar for the month of November.

    Thanks for your willingness to help us re-boot the program. The former system was terrific, but we have outgrown it — thanks to your inspired devotion to your deceased loved ones. Good for you.

  • FALL ADULT ED – The 2019-20 scripture studies for adults will occur in three rounds of four weeks each, always on Monday nights. The hope is that everyone who attends the first round will also participate in the second and third rounds. The first round runs from October 21 through November 18. The second goes from January 27 to February 17. The last starts on April 27 and ends on May 18. Yes, the Fall Bible Study occurs on the same night as Walking With Purpose.

Sunday’s Homily

September 1, 2019 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Inspired Curiosity, Part One: Using It for God’s Glory
To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.
To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.


There is so much to tell you, but with all of the great stuff above we'll save it for next time!


  • NEW PARISHIONERS – Welcome to our newest parishioners! May our time together be a source of great blessing for the newest, the most long-standing, and everyone in between! Please pray for and extend an extra welcome to:

    • Nneka Agbakoba and children Kamsiyochukwo, Emmanuel and Victor

    • Connor and Laura Chapkowski and children Lucy and Thomas

    • Gene Grosso and Marianne Gennaro

    • Michelle Go and children Ethan and Isabelle

    • Joe and Margaret Luzi

    • Larry and Maryanne Mulcahy and

    • Brian and Kelly Tribuna and daughter Charlotte

  • ST. JOE’S DAY AT THE BALLPARK – Tickets for St. Joe’s day at the ballpark will be available for sale in the Gathering Space for the next two weekends. Join the fun on September 21st. Gates open at 6pm.

  • SAGES – The fun and health and fellowship continue at an even greater rate!

    • Monday Funday September 9 – 11:30 lunch and the 12:30 live performance of “Only a Girl.”

    • Chair Exercise – Thursday at 11 am – one more week in the Gathering Space then back to normal

    • “Writing Our Stories” – Classes start Tuesday, September 17th, from 10:30 – 12:00

All best blessings
Fr Hank

September 1, 2019 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Inspired Curiosity, Part One: Using It for God’s Glory

Picture Moses. Just before the bush ignites. There he is. Leaning against his best boulder as the sheep safely graze. Looking about, he sees the fire and the unburned bush. Now imagine a different version of the story. Imagine he does not utter the words in Exodus 3:3: “I must turn aside to look at this remarkable sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” Imagine instead that he mutters to himself, with a major valley-boy/valley-girl intonation, “Whatever.” Imagine he feels no curiosity. Imagine that he simply turns away and returns to his 16th century BC version of a computer game. Where would we be if Moses had not been curious?

Try the same thought experiment with John’s version of the call of Saint Peter (John 1: 41). Imagine that after meeting Jesus, Saint Andrew ran to his brother, Saint Peter, reported “We have found the Messiah,” and Peter said, “Whatever.” Where would we be if Saint Peter had not been curious?

And the stories go on and on – of people cooperating with God by indulging their curiosities. Webster defines curiosity as “a desire to know, understand, or learn something.” We call it “inspired” if the pursuit glorifies God and leads other people to peace. Pursuit of inspired curiosities renews the face of the earth.

Sunday’s first reading reminds us that some curiosities are not inspired. They turn us away from God and others. Sirach urges us to use caution when pursuing our curiosities: “What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not” (Sirach 3). Some pursuits are simply out of bounds. Our personal histories and our world’s history remind us of that. Who among us has not indulged a curiosity and then regretted doing so? Experimentations of various sorts have a way of hurting us and others. The Nazis indulged demonic curiosities. The Tuskegee experiments arose from uninspired curiosities. Some curiosities are uninspired. They have nothing to do with God and should be ignored.

Other curiosities, perhaps most of them, glow with inspiration. Sunday’s gospel (Luke 14: 7-14) calls us to be humble. It also calls us to be curious about other people. Not nosy. But curious about other people who themselves can be great channels of grace and revelation. The guests who want only to sit near the big cheese at the party, like the host who wants only to invite status-symbol guests, are missing the boat. By focusing obsessively on the rock stars in their midst, they bypass the revelation and inspiration they would receive if they were curious about the less elite and eager to hear their stories.
What about you? What about you students? As you return to school this season, which subjects fire you up? Which activate your curiosity and make you want to learn? Your desires to learn in these subjects is surely an inspired curiosity God wants you to use well. And what about those other subjects? What about the disciplines that make you roll your eyes a little? Which subjects do not spontaneously rev you up? Can you trust that even these less-favorite subjects have something to offer that might activate your curiosity? Of course, you cannot love all subjects equally, but you can give them the benefit of the doubt, right? You can keep finding that point of contact that activates your curiosity and converts the subject from a chore to an adventure. Which subjects require a bit of help from the almighty? Not so that you can do well without studying, but that you might become curious and use the lessons to be a great apostle?

And what about those who are not going back to school? Can you recall a conversion moment – when you went from having no curiosity about a certain person or topic to having loads of it – and it led you to peace? If you were to share a story of going from (a) no curiosity and no results to (b) great curiosity and deeper peace, what story would you share with some of our returning students?

The gift of inspired curiosity, when used properly, opens doors, connects humans, sparks great adventures, and gets us to cooperate with Jesus. What is your story of growing in inspired curiosity?