Pastor’s Desk – Month of April 2021
A Message from Father Peter
– April 25th 2021 – Fourth Sundayof Easter
Confirmation Day is coming up!
Our 8th Graders just made their “Retreat” – really a double lesson/activity session under the guidance of Tony Bellizzi. Tony is a unique “phenomenon!“ We have been inviting Tony, “the tough city kid,” to our confirmation classes for about 30 years! Tony still has new things to say and holds the young people’s attention very well! Please offer a prayer for our to-be-confirmed kids that they welcome the Holy Spirit into their hearts!
The First Communion for one of the children can be a “change of course” for the entire family. Modern life often pulls people away from God. First Holy Communion is such a wonderful event; it touches almost everyone in the family. Everyone wants to talk about their own Communion Day (some over 50 years ago!) It is a natural time for families to consider getting back to Sunday Mass if it has dropped from the agenda. In fact, this does happen to several families every year! God speaks to children through their parents and siblings and to parents and others through the children, in this case those making their First Holy Communion!
– April 18th 2021 – Third Sundayof Easter
A very special thanks to our Organist and music Coordinator, Peter Schubart for all the necessary work involved in organizing the magnificent instrumental ensemble for Easter. It was a greatly needed morale boost for everyone.
Attendance was very good at almost all our Easter Masses. Over 1000 people were present on that day! Our community is coming back; with the vaccines now available, the weather improving and the number of new cases generally down, we are moving closer to “normal”. We have so much to be grateful for! Encourage family and friends to get vaccinated and consider physically returning to church. For many it will now be relatively safe. We continue to wear masks and sanitize hands and pews. Also, we will continue streaming the Masses via our website.
April 27th Healing Mass
We will be celebrating a Healing Mass here at St. Francis on Tuesday April 27th. Mark your calendars especially if you have an ill family member or friend (April 27th,2021 7:30 Prayer and Praise; 8:00 Mass. Music will be offered by Phil Mandato and team. There will be testimony and witnessing together with “Pray-overs” in a suitable way. Every Mass is certainly a healing Mass but when we have an especially designated one, we can focus on the needs of our beloved sick! In this way our personal faith in God’s healing love grows by leaps and bounds!
– April 11th 2021 – Mercy Sunday
The devotion to Divine Mercy, especially on Mercy Sunday itself, has grown in popularity with our Catholic people ever since Pope St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and rescued her writings and revelations from oblivion! How appropriate is the devotion to the spiritual needs of people of all categories and backgrounds! Mercy Sunday is the Sunday after Easter (or the Octave Day of Easter) formerly called Low Sunday. With all the extra activity surrounding this new devotion, there is no longer anything “Low “about it! 3:00 is the Hour of Mercy (confessions will be heard from 2pm on) Experience the depths of God’s mercy and renew your faith and love of the Lord!
Coffee House Pilgrimage
Special thanks to Prof. Alan Hartman of Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry) who organized a wonderful car caravan pilgrimage last week. Eleven of our young adults from Starfish Coffee House joined the trip! The Coffee House program has given rise to many friendships; it was only natural that after the pandemic they would go to a shrine such as that of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville NY, near Albany and then the Shrine of St. Kateri, Tekakwitha. Their second full day was spent in Massachusetts at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, another very worthwhile destination and the epicenter of devotion to the image of the Divine Mercy and the revelations of St. Faustina here in the U.S.A. The response was enthusiastic, and Prof. Hartman is planning another trip for this fall season. Stay in touch; it will be open to a wider number of people.
– April 4th 2021 – The Power of Resurrection
I quote a very fine statement about the power of the resurrection that appears in Living With Christ, a popular liturgical aid. I liked the phrase at the very end: the risk of the resurrection.
We must not grow weary of life; boredom and procrastination must be foreign to us. After all, God plans a lot more living for us once we die! Rediscover the joy of helping others. Our author’s theme was: – Joy is an Easter gift from God to those who struggled with their crosses but did not cave in. Now for them comes not only Easter (the prelude) but Christ’s welcome into eternal living and eternal joy!
Apostle of the Impossible Tour of the Relics of Saint Jude the Apostle: All are invited to visit and venerate the relics.
The Knights of Columbus Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest is underway!
We wish to send a heartfelt thank you to Joan Lobasso who has once again brought her time, talent, and treasure to St. Francis and has given our church this beautiful autumn display.