Pastor’s Desk – Month of March 2022
A Message from Father Peter
– March 27th 2022 – Coffee House Engagements & Weddings
Sometimes God’s richest blessings are the ones you least expect! When we established our young adult Starfish Coffee House, little did we know that this humble ministry would be a seedbed for several wonderful engagements that now have blossomed into weddings. The most beautiful thing is that the young people themselves credit the coffee house and their “Gang” and environment for growing in love for the Lord and his church. They saw the inner workings of God’s group before I did. There are still more weddings to come! At the last Coffee House Wedding, the gang – 50 of them, mostly young ladies to give credit where credit is due – cooked, setup, and cleaned up after the banquet. They even baked several great cakes to complete the event. Even without knowing it, they constituted a small but very real, lively Christian Community at work.
Thank you for your continued support. Close to $7,000 was collected in the church offertory for the young adult pilgrimage to Medjugorje. With this, we expect to make six half-grants, worth $1,350 each. The participants will have to raise or earn the remainder, demonstrating real determination and willingness to work hard in order to go on the trip. Many young people have had experiences at Medjugorje that changed their lives forever. Please pray it will be that way for us.
– March 20th 2022 – Upcoming Synod
These have been busy days. Lent has begun with all the extra little details and happily, bigger crowds. People are returning to church physically after a long “sabbatical.” It’s good to see them here regardless of how helpful Zoom and live streaming have been for the last 2-3 years! We worked a wonderful Parish Mission into the mix with Fr. Lou Cerrulli returning after 3 years! Those who committed themselves were not disappointed. Father is a humble and faith filled man with a truly compassionate spirit. He quickly won the hearts of all who came.
You may have heard in the secular or Catholic press reports of the upcoming Synod. Lay people even at the parish level are being called to participate and relate how the phases of this initiative have already begun. Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski is coordinating the effort at the diocesan level. All involved ask your prayers; with God’s help, much good will come from this effort to improve and update many things in our Church.
Physical work has finally started on our long-standing project to re-purpose our 3-car garage into a counseling center. We will continue to update you with periodic progress reports.
– March 13th 2022 – Helping Those During Troubling Times – Ukraine
As we look out onto our world, we see that we have been deprived of an opportunity to celebrate the relaxing of most pandemic mandates by the nightly news of this ugly war in the Ukraine.
These events of this particularly unjustifiable war bring home to us how frequently in our common unredeemed humanity we underestimate our capacity for evil – particularly how small evils can quickly expand into murderous wars and other atrocities. We therefore underestimate our need for a savior; we forget the extravagance of God’s Love for us even when we are trapped in sin. Lent couldn’t have come soon enough this year! A time of repentance, generosity, and self-reflection.
Last week we took up a collection for Humanitarian relief for food, clothing, and medicine. We will announce results next week; you may still contribute to this collection by sending a check to St. Francis, marked “for Ukraine.”
This week at all Masses Rosie Nelan from our Young Adult Coffee House Ministry will speak about her participation in the Youth Conference in Medjugorje in July August. Rosie was deeply touched by her pilgrimage there last year. Mary’s messages focus on living in peace in a wounded and sinful world. There will be a second collection to assist young adults who need support to go. Rosie will host an information night on Saturday evening at 5:30pm, and again on Sunday at 3:00pm in the Coffee House, and be available after all Masses to share more about it.
Special Thanks to Fr. Lou Cerrulli who shared with us so warmly the fruit of God’s work in his own soul – the turnout was encouraging! His message of peace and healing in Jesus was particularly pertinent at this time!
– March 6th 2022 – Fr. Lou & Starfish Coffee House
St. Francis News
Fr Lou Cerulli returns to St. Francis this weekend to invite you to “Make the Mission” he is offering to us next weekend. Fr. Lou comes to us once again with a “Heart for God” and a hunger to share his Christ-centered journey with us. He was very well received here a few years ago! The theme for the retreat is “Moving Forward in the Season of Grace.” The dates are this Monday through Thursday, March 7, 8, 9, and 10th, 7:30pm in the Church. We’re getting back to normal. See you at the Mission!
Coffee House News
Giovanna Maielo celebrated her wedding last weekend in Connecticut. Giovanna was our first young adult core group leader at the Starfish Coffee House, and her commitment won the affection of everyone. Please keep the new couple in your prayers. Next week Rosie Nelan, who grew up locally in nearby Dix Hills, will speak at all Masses about our upcoming young adult pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Her story is very special, and she will share much of it with us.
We want to feel that our country is on the right track and that our church is serving God’s people as well.
On Pentecost Sunday at the 12 Noon Mass, Fr. Peter, assisted by Deacon Jim, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to two sisters – Emilia and Federica Paiva.