Pastor's Message - June 24, 2018
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you”. ~Jeremiah 1
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
This past Tuesday our St. Rita School hosted their annual end of the year "Blue and Gold” field day celebration. Teachers, staff, and many volunteer parents provided assistance with outdoor games, grilled hot dogs, bagged fruit, potato chips, cookies and frozen ice treats. Visits from our local first responders during the event added to the excitement. It ended with the traditional "Tug of War" games between classes and even between former graduates of St. Rita School who came back to participate. Thank you to all the parents, the wonderful St. Rita school staff and our own students for another happy and successful academic year. Summer vacation time now begins!
This weekend we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. While we often focus on the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary and the subsequent birth of Christ as described in the Gospel of Luke, we also have many details about John the Baptist. In the very first chapter of the Gospel of Luke we read, "In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly." Both Elizabeth and Zechariah longed for a child but they were still childless and getting "along in years."
When Zechariah was chosen by lot to perform special duties at the temple, he suddenly sees an angel of the Lord standing at the altar and is fearful. "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard" said the angel. "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. John will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn their hearts toward their children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”
Because of his stunned disbelief at what was said by the angel, Zechariah emerges from the temple unable to speak a single word until the day his son is born and he is named John.
Mary also heard that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, so she traveled "in haste" to the country of Judah to assist. Upon Mary’s arrival, Elizabeth felt the infant stir in her womb leaping for joy. So even from his mother's womb, John recognized Christ.
Years later, at the river Jordan, John would be baptizing speaking of repentance and pointing the way toward Jesus. Jesus would also come to the river to be baptized by John. A voice from heaven would proclaim, "This is my beloved son, listen to him!" Luke 9:35
From that moment forward, Jesus would begin his ministry and command his disciples to also baptized, preach and proclaim the Word of the Lord. We continue that same mission today.
May God bless you and have a happy summer!
An Introduction to Sunday's Scripture Readings - June 17, 2018
The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
||The Parable of the Mustard Seed
". . . . AND THROUGH IT ALL THE SEED WOULD SPROUT AND GROW, HE KNOWS NOT HOW."
Our Scripture readings this Sunday focus our attention on the small seed (or small shoot) that, with the grace of God, will grow into a mighty tree with room for all the birds of the sky (people of all nations).
In our first reading (Ezekiel 17:22-24)
, we hear the beautiful allegory representing God's restoration of Israel. So great will this majestic cedar be that "birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it." In the Christological sense, the small branch represents the Christ, plucked from the majestic tree of David.
Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.
In our Gospel reading (Mark 4:26-34), Jesus relates two parables about seeds that teach us that God is the source of all growth and that even the smallest of beginnings, nourished by God, can change the world for good. It is God who commands the seed to rise, though the farmer is unaware.
Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come."
He said, "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
In our Epistle reading (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)
, St. Paul teaches us that our life here on earth is temporary. Our bodies are a "home away from home", until we rest in the Lord. At death, we will receive the merits of our life here on earth.
Brothers and sisters: We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
We sometimes have two roles. At times, we are the fertile ground in which God plants his seed and with God's grace, produces much fruit. At other times, we are the sowers of the seeds God gives us to plant. We, in our aspirations of grandeur, sometimes look for the largest of seeds to plant, when in reality, it is often the smallest of seeds, the smallest of deeds, that bear the most fruit. It is not for us to know what becomes of the seed. "Of its own accord, the land yields fruit". We, grateful for the opportunity to sow the seeds, must trust in God's wisdom.
God often works through the small, the weak and the forgotten. Often, it is the smallest of deeds that, with the prompting of God, will grow into the mightiest of trees. Think of St. Therese of Calcutta at her beginnings, one small woman among the poorest of the poor, simply ministering to one person at a time. And so many others, who only by the grace of God, changed the world. It is not for us to know the good that we do.
- Click HERE to read and reflect on the full scripture readings for Sunday, June 17
The winning team has 4 letters, starts with a consonant and has the letter L in it.
To find the answer, click on "Read More"
Some of the our alumni came back to visit us. It was great to see all who came!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF OUR PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Women: Diane Cocilova and Jane Murray
Men: James Elliott and Paul Dangler
Youth: Maria Conti and Hannah Tette
They join our continuing members of the Council:
Anna Conti, Bob Ehmann (Vice-Chair), Princess Fame, Joe Kuby, Catherine Lesio, Giulio Bosco, Roseann Lesio (Secretary), Ryan Scherer (Chair).
We pray that these women, men and youth who serve on our Parish Pastoral Council find unity and strength in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Special thanks to our outgoing members of Council for giving so generously of their time over these past 3 years: Thanks to Chair Ray Recchia, Secretary Karen DiSalvo, Frank DiBiase and Sheila Korol and our Youth who served a one-year term: Taylor Loiacono, Christina Aldridge and Spencer Kohrt.
Enrollment has begun for Faith Formation classes for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Students in Kindergarten – Grade 7, who do not attend a Catholic school, are strongly encouraged to be enrolled in our parish Faith Formation Program.
You may enroll and pay for Faith Formation and Sacraments here.
A choice of either session is offered weekly:
Session 1: Mondays: 4:30 - 5:45 pm (Grades K- 6)
Session 2: Mondays: 6:15 - 7:30 pm (Grades 1-7)
Catechists (Teachers & helpers) are needed!
If you are interested in sharing your faith, or would like more information about Faith Formation, please contact Anita Wagner at 671-2079 or by email.
Register now for "Shipwrecked" VBS!
This summer's program is August 6-10 from 9 am - noon for students ages 4-10.
There is a $25 per student fee, with a family max of $60. All families will receive a music CD.
Click here to sign up students.
Click here to sign up volunteers, ages 11+ (entering 6th grade or above).
Prospective new families can either stop in the office for a packet or follow the link to Admissions---Registration for the packet.
If you have any questions about registration, please contact the School Office (585-671-3132).
Get ready for school!
Sale is August 10th in the hallway by the library. Donations can be accepted until August 3rd.
All items are $2.00
What is ChristLife? ChristLife™ has been conducted in many parishes throughout the Rochester diocese and is a proven method for rediscovering and sharing our faith with others. In the first series, Discovering Christ, people are helped to enter into or renew a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, experience the love of God the Father, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live as God's children. We invite you to experience Discovering Christ starting on Sunday September 23rd, at St. Rita Church. Considering inviting a friend or loved one who you think might benefit from this experience. There will be an opportunity to sign-up after the Masses on the weekend of September 8th & 9th, online here, or by calling Julie Cohn at the Parish Office (585) 671-1100 x 13.
If your youth is in 8th Grade or above and has received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation, he or she will be ready to start preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. This is a two year program. It will start in mid-September. Please register online here by September 1. If you have any questions, please email Marie Marton or call 671-1100 x 17.