Pastor's Message - May 8, 2016
“I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord. I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.” ~John 10
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you to all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers and special women in our lives who have shared their love and care for us. May God bless them on this special day!
We are happy for our First Communion candidates (our second group) who received the Holy Eucharist for the first time this past Saturday morning. I wish to thank Anita Wagner, director of our children's faith formation program and the assisting parent volunteers for making this celebration a joyful and less stressed event for our children.
Last Sunday I spoke to the parish for the first time about the New St. Rita Roof Campaign and described some of the needs we are facing for repairing our buildings. In case you may have been away last weekend, please note that we are sending an information envelope with extensive details and pledge card by postal mail which you should be receiving this week. The total request for these repairs is $350,000. So far we have received $54,000 in pledges. We hope to collect enough funds in the next month so that we can begin the first phase of our roof project this summer.
It was 22 years ago that we last had a major capital campaign to build the parish center, gym, kitchen, church gathering area and meeting rooms. The time has come to make repairs that will carry us forward for the next 22 or more years.
Our goal is large as will be the expenses. So thank you for any gift you can make!
May God bless you!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - May 1, 2016
The Sixth Sunday of Easter - May 1, 2016
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
||"Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you"
DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED OR AFRAID -
Our Gospel reading for this Sunday(John 14:23-29) is packed with meaning and food for meditation. In it, Jesus prepared his disciples for his leaving and told them the Father would send an Advocate - the Holy Spirit; then he gave them His Peace - the same Peace we hear in the prayer just before Communion during every Mass.
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. 'I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, 'I am going away and I will come back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.'"
In our first reading (Acts of the Apostles 15:1-2,22-29), we hear of a struggle in the very early Church between the forces of traditionalism and inclusion. It was settled by the Council of Jerusalem about 50 AD. The decision by the Holy Spirit and the whole church was that Christ's Church was to be open to all (universal / catholic) and the Gentiles did not have to adhere to Mosaic law.
"Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.' Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them:
"' . . . Greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: 'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.'''
Our second reading (Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23) was written in the midst of the persecutions of the latter 1st century, after the destruction of Jerusalem, to Christians who sorely needed reassurance that God would prevail. John's vision was of the end times when a "new Jerusalem" would descend from heaven and God would indeed prevail.
"The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites . . . . The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
"I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb."
Just as John had reassured the early Christians during a time of great distress, Jesus reassured his disciples in the time of their impending distress. That message of reassurance has lost none of its meaning today. In our times of distress, whatever they may be, we have only to look to the reassurance of Jesus himself - "Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid
" - "My Peace I give you
" - "The Father will send you an Advocate
". And, we have only to trust and believe it to be.
- Click Here to read, reflect and pray on the full Sunday readings for May 1, 2016
St. Rita Society
57th Annual Evening with Mary
Tuesday, May 17
Mass at 6:00 pm
Dinner at 7:00 pm at Shadow Lake
1850 Five Mile Line Rd., Penfield
Choose from the following dinner options: Chicken French, Haddock, Eggplant Parmesan, or Pork Chop
Men and Women are welcome to attend!
Tickets ($20 for members; $23 for non-members) will be available after Masses the weekends of April 30/May 1 and May 7/8, as well as at the Parish Office.
Reservations must be made by Monday, May 9.
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO
A SENIORS TEA PARTY!
Thursday, May 26
10:30am – 12:00pm
in St. Rita Parish Center
Please join the students of St. Rita School for tea,
cookies, entertainment and fun! R.S.V.P. by Monday,
May 16 to the school at 671-3132 or by e-mail to Julie
Cohn at [email protected] All are welcome!!
Get your body and spirit in shape this summer! All families are invited to join us for a week of activities aimed at keeping faith strong through physical and spiritual exercises. Get more information and sign up here! Teen and adult volunteers needed.
Bring any 2½ to 4 year old (accompanied by parent or caregiver) to our Pre K Book Nook & Music Hour.
Join us on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm in the PreK classroom for a fun filled afternoon of books, crafts and songs.
May 19 - How My Garden Grows
May 26 - Goin' on a Picnic
June 2 - Frogs, Fables & Turtle Tales
June 9 - Sea, Sun & Sand
Please register (for one or all of the weeks) by calling the school office at 671-3132. Space is limited - first come, first served. There is no fee to attend. You do not need to be a parishioner to attend so invite your neighbors, friends, and family. All are welcome!
Enrollment for Faith Formation classes for the 2016-2017 school year is underway. Students in Grades K-7, who do not attend a Catholic school, are strongly encouraged to be enrolled in the Faith Formation Program.
You may enroll in and pay for Faith Formation on-line here.
Enrollment Forms for new students are also available in the Greeting Area.
A choice of two sessions will be offered weekly:
Session 1: Mondays: 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm (Grades K-6)
Session 2: Mondays: 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm (Grades 1-7)
Parents of Returning Students - Enrollment Forms were mailed home. Don’t forget to return your enrollment forms, or enroll on-line by July 13, 2016.