St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr., Webster, NY 14580

Pastor's Message

August 17, 2014

"Thus says the LORD:  Observe what is right, do what is just;

for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. " Isaiah 56

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Hopefully you were able to read the recent Catholic Courier article concerning the life and history of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  Most people remember his legacy from his television series.  But the Archbishop was also a brilliant author who had the gift of discerning the Christian calling in an increasingly secular world.  His message, though written in a time of great transition and change a number of years ago, still has the ability to help us discern the challenges to our own faith in our own time.  Here are a few quotes you may enjoy!


  • Patience is power.  Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way. 


  • Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.


  • The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.


  • America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.


  • Science is not wisdom. 


  • If the bringing of children into the world is today an economic burden, it is because the social system is inadequate; and not because God’s law is wrong. Therefore the State should remove the causes of that burden. The human must not be limited and controlled to fit the economic, but the economic must be expanded to fit the human.


  • Because God is full of life, I imagine each morning Almighty God says to the sun, "Do it again"; and every evening to the moon and the stars, "Do it again"; and every springtime to the daisies, "Do it again"; and every time a child is born into the world asking for curtain call, that the heart of the God might once more ring out in the heart of the babe.


  • Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, begins with catastrophe and defeat. Sunshine religions and psychological inspirations collapse in calamity and wither in adversity. But the Life of the Founder of Christianity, having begun with the Cross, ends with the empty tomb and victory.


  • Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well. He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: 'I am Who am.' The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: 'I am who am not.' Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.


  • Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.


  • If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.


  • You must remember to love people and use things, rather than to love things and use people.


  • There are two ways of waking up in the morning. One is to say, 'Good morning, God,' and the other is to say, 'Good God, morning'!



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The month of August is moving along as are our own preparations for the new school year.


Our Gym floor was sanded and refinished.  And, this past week, members of our Boy Scout Troop 163, under the leadership of Eagle Scout candidate Peter Swovick, were busy installing beautiful walnut colored composite flooring in both the pre-kindergarten and sixth grade classroom.  The result is spectacular!  Thank you Peter and troop members!                                                                       

May God bless you this week,

     Fr. Gonyo

An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings

Sunday, August 17, 2014

great faithThe Canaanite Woman's Faith (MT 22:19-23)All three readings this Sunday highlight the same truth - the universality of God's mercy and call to salvation.  God chose Abraham and called him from the land of "Ur of the Chaldeans", an ancient Sumeran city in Mesopotamia. And from Abraham came Isaac and then Jacob (renamed Israel) and his twelve sons (the twelve tribes of Israel).  It is true that the Israelites were God's first 'chosen people', but God's call was by no means exclusive to them.
    In our first reading (Isaiah 56:1,6-7), we hear, "The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord . . .them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer." "for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
    In our second reading (Romans 11:13-15,29-32), Saint Paul, the "apostle to the Gentiles", laments the rejection of Jesus by his fellow Jews. "Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them."  Paul is heartbroken that many of his fellow Jews have rejected Jesus, yet he rejoices in his ministry to non-Jews, thus heeding Jesus' call to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19).
    Our Gospel reading this Sunday (Matthew 22:19-23) is the story of the Canaanite woman (a foreigner, to say the least) who approaches Jesus and cries out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But Jesus ignores her and tests her faith three times, even saying, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." But her persistence and resourcefulness impresses Jesus when she replies, 'Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters'. Then Jesus said in reply, 'O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.'"
    The word catholic comes from the Greek word meaning "universal". We, as Gentiles / foreigners ourselves, have the same invitation to believe in Christ and follow him. As we glory in that invitation, may we also realize that this universal call to salvation not only comes to us through Christ, it also comes through us as we minister to and invite others to salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • Click Here to read and reflect on the Sunday readings for August 17, 2014.

Activities and Events

Summer Mission Appeal

This weekend, we welcomed Fr. Gerald Zienaah, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Tamale in Ghana for our Summer Mission Appeal. If you were not able to make a donation this weekend, you may send a check to the parish office (made out to St. Rita Church – “Missionary”) and know that your contributions will help support Fr. Gerald Zienaah, the Archdiocese of Tamale, and the programs it offers for the good of the people. Thank you so much for your hospitality and generosity!


Annual Women's Retreat

retreatCome away for a weekend with the Lord at the Notre Dame Retreat House overlooking Canandaigua Lake.  The theme this year is "Gifts Beyond Compare". Let Him restore and renew your spirit and create in you strength and courage. We carpool from the St. Rita parking lot on Friday, September 12 at 5:30 pm and return Sunday around noon. The suggested donation for the weekend is $130 for a private room with a shared bath, $100 per person for a double room with a private bath, and $195 for a private room with a private bath. All meals are included. Don't let the price keep you away - the Retreat House believes money should never keep anyone away from a beautiful experience of faith! For reservations or more information, call Darlene Piersall at 787-0983 or Jane Murray at 787-1573.  

Men's Retreat Weekend is October 31-November 2.  Watch for more details!

School News

St. Rita School...Where Faith and Knowledge Meet!

It’s not too late to register for the 2014-2015 school year!  We are accepting registrations for PreK 3 & 4 years olds and Grades K-6.  After School Care is available for all of our students, PreK-Grade 6 until 6:00 pm.  Please don’t hesitate to call us at 671-3132 with any questions and/or to schedule a tour.

Our Students are Full of Heart!

In last weekend's Democrat and Chronicle St. Rita School was given a "Thumbs Up" for "students and staff at St. Rita School raising $5,825 during this year's “Jump Rope for Heart”, sponsored by the American Heart Association".  They didn't mention that this was just the first year that our school participated in this fundraiser!

Building Updates

The pre-kindergarten and sixth grade classrooms are getting new, beautiful laminate flooring. Our school computer lab has been upgraded to new software and hardware. New books are ready to be added to the school library. The staff has been hard at work cleaning the school and preparing for a new school year!