St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
585-671-1100
Masses: Sat 5:00 pm
Sun 7:30; 9:00 (children's liturgy); 10:30 am
Weekdays 8:15 am
Reconciliation: Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 pm
Office Hours: M-Th 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Fri 9:00 to 12:00 pm

Pastor's Message - July 23, 2017

"You, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity.
Turn toward me, and have pity on me; give your strength to your servant." ~Psalm 86

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying these summer days! Now while school is out, no matter what our age, we can never really put our thinking caps away. Learning something new should always be a priority, and one that includes deepening our scriptural knowledge because it enriches our Catholic faith. So here are a few summer-time scriptural tidbits to ponder. . .

Both the Sunday's Gospel account from last weekend and this weekend comes from Matthew chapter 13. This is one of the most unusual chapters in Matthew because we read a series of parables from Jesus that all begin with the same words, "The kingdom of heaven is like..."

Can we remember what Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like? If we were asked that same question and had to describe what the "kingdom of heaven" is like, what would we say?

We know that Matthew was writing primarily for a Jewish audience, one that was probably quite familiar with the literature we Christians now call the "Old Testament." Jesus himself would have studied and understood these same ancient scrolls of scripture and even preached on them in his own hometown synagogue. While the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife, the Pharisees did. So when Jesus begins to describe what the kingdom of heaven is like, his listeners would have been quite interested. In today's Gospel Jesus tells three distinct parables or "stories" that all relate to one another. He begins by saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well." This would be a crisis. So what did the man do? Now I hope you don't expect me to spoil the story by telling you the conclusion without first reading Matthew 13! I will say that what makes this parable so unusual is that Jesus himself is asked to explain and clarify this first parable of the weeds and the wheat after the next two parables are told.

In the second parable we read... "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the “birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches." This parable is also interesting because when we speak of heaven, we imagine it big, really big! We certainly would not be thinking small, especially not in terms of a tiny mustard seed.

In the third parable we read... “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” This is a parable that everyone, especially a baker could understand. In relation to the mustard seed parable, we begin to understand that something that seems tiny or insignificant can, in fact, have a big impact.

When we reflect on all three of these parables we begin to understand that the kingdom of heaven is being built and constructed now, in our own lifetime. In other words, what we do in this life makes a difference, whether we want it to or not. A little kind deed, (or for comparison, a little evil deed) can go a long way and have a bigger impact than we might expect. And the good we do, or likewise, fail to do, in this life, will have an impact on tomorrow. Jesus is clear, especially in the parable of the weeds and the wheat that we will all, one day, have to give an accounting of ourselves about how we have lived.

Let us ask the Good Shepherd to lead us on the right path and rely, not on ourselves alone to do the work that must be done, but the mercy of God and the grace of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, both intimate ways we encounter Jesus, to be our path forward. Jesus is our true light who will never disappoint us.

May God bless you this week!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - July 16, 2017

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see
but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." -Matthew 13

Dear Parishioners and Friends;

Hopefully everyone is finding some opportunity to enjoy these beautiful summer days! Because this is the "Year of the Eucharist" we continue in the bulletin with the sequential publication of a pastoral letter from Bishop Matano concerning the Holy Eucharist.

 Registration is underway for our annual Vacation Bible School to be held August 7-11. All Are Welcome! Adult and teen volunteers are needed to help.
 We are in need of more Altar Servers! If you are in 3rd Grade or higher we welcome you to be an important part of our liturgies!
 Details are in the bulletin regarding the 3rd annual Rochester Catholic Men’s Conference. A wonderful day to focus on your relationship with God and your community, hear keynote speakers and share in the Eucharist.
 Be sure to register for our Fall St. Rita Faith Formation and Sacramental programs. Parents have a special obligation to ensure that their children attend weekend Mass, participate in Faith Formation classes, and receive the Sacraments needed for their grade level.

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - July 9, 2017

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” ~Matthew 11

Dear Parishioners and Friends;

Welcome to visiting family and friends from nearby and far away. Summer is a great time to reconnect with people we may not have seen for some time.

In Matthew chapter 11 we hear once again the words of our Good Shepherd Jesus who reminds us to turn to him with our troubles and sorrows. In this Year of the Eucharist we can better appreciate the tremendous gift and opportunity we have to receive Jesus’ Body and Blood into our own bodies and into our own hearts. Let us come to Jesus and find true rest!

This past Wednesday we gathered for our annual Anointing of the Sick. This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this great Sacrament of Healing. Afterwards we moved to the gym and enjoyed our delicious Strawberry Social. Thanks to the work of our many volunteers with preparation and setup, we shared the joy of a great summer treat.

Don't forget to register your child for Vacation Bible School which begins the week of August 7th. We are still in need of parent volunteers. Lots of fun events are planned!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - July 2, 2017

"Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him." ~Romans 8

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Summer days are upon us! Hopefully all of us can take some time to enjoy the July 4th holiday with family and friends. Though it may be summer, many parish and school projects and improvements are underway.

Be sure to sign your children up for our annual St. Rita Vacation Bible School to be held August 7-11. Register here - Adult and teen volunteers are needed to help! Please contact Elizabeth by email or at 671-1100 x 14 – remember All Are Welcome!

Registration is also underway for our St. Rita Faith Formation and Sacramental Programs. You can find all of our programs and online registrations on our site here.

A continuation of Bishop Matano's Pastoral Letter declaring this year The Holy Year of the Eucharist is included in the bulletin. It will be run in segments over the next several weeks. The full version of his letter may be found online at www.dor.org.

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo