Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen! We continue to glory in Our Lord’s Holy Resurrection as we stand in the shadow of the Easter candle. The Holy and Glorious season of Easter will reach its culmination and wondrous conclusion on the Solemnity of Pentecost – May 24th. And Easter is made more joyous as we celebrate the liturgical commemoration of St. George which was kept on April 23rd.
St. George is one of the most important saints in the life of the Church. He is the patron of England, of Russia, of Greece, and of Turkey. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He is the patron of the Spanish province of Aragon and to this day it is the custom for children to make First Holy Communion on his Feastday in that province. The Cross of St. George is a red cross on a white field and it is the flag of England. We see it in the Union Jack. There are more Churches named for St. George than for any other saint. He is the patron of the Order of the Garter and of the Constantinian Order of St. George. He is the patron of all soldiers and all scouts.
George was a soldier of the Imperial Roman Army and was martyred at the beginning of the fourth century. This was the period right before the conversion of the Emperor Constantine and, ironically, was the time of fiercest persecution of the Church.
George is always pictured riding a white horse and slaying a dragon while a maiden is in the corner whom he rescues. Actually, this is a symbolic depiction of our great martyr. Through his martyrdom he slays the dragon who is, of course, satan, the ancient enemy of our race. The Empress Theodosia was so impressed with George’s courage that she herself sought baptism. She is the maiden in the picture.
You fought the good fight with faith,
O Martyr of Christ, George.
You exposed the perversion of the persecutors
And offered an acceptable sacrifice to God.
Therefore you also received a crown of victory
And through your prayers O Holy One,
Obtained the forgiveness of sins for all.
-from the Byzantine Liturgy
Golf and Tennis Outing and Awards Dinner: Tomorrow May 1st will be our first ever Golf and Tennis Outing and Awards Dinner at the Nassau Club. I am particularly grateful to the Knights of Columbus who first proposed such an endeavor for our parish and to the Committee which has worked so diligently and selflessly to bring this wonderful event to fruition. Our Committee members are Don Cavanaugh (chair), Anne Maione, James and Jill Galante, Tom Principe, Chris Hein, Joe and Linda Curro and Paula Maturo. This dedicated group of parishioners has been working and planning for this day for well over a year.
On behalf of the whole parish may I extend sincere best wishes and congratulations to our honorees this year. The Monsignor Mario C. Costa Award will be given to Tom and Marlene Fitzsimmons who have been so dedicated in their service to our parish for so many decades. Their example of Catholic family life and devotion has been an inspiration. The Sister Regina Kraft Award will be given to Jack (posthumously) and Louise Shannon. This award is given particularly to those whose dedication to our parish has been expressed in serving the youth of the parish. As everyone knows Jack (may he rest in peace) and Louise have done that in a heroic way.
First Holy Communion: We congratulate the 18 children who made their First Holy Communion yesterday. May they always be as close to God as they are now. On May 14th they will be enrolled in the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal and the Cross of St. Benedict at the 9.30 Mass. Afterward they will crown the beautiful statue of Our Lady.
Marian Guild Communion Breakfast: I would encourage everyone to come to the annual Marian Guild Communion Breakfast which is open to the whole parish. Our guest this year will be Monsignor James M. McDonald, the Pastor of St. Aidan in Williston Park and former Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. Some may recall that Monsignor McDonald was one of the presenting priests at my installation as Pastor of St. Paul four years ago. Monsignor will celebrate the 9.30 Mass and then he will speak at the Communion Breakfast in Monsignor Costa hall after the Mass. Please make every effort to attend.
Confirmation: Bishop Brennan will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in our parish on Ascension Thursday, May 25th at 4.00PM. Please pray for our young people who will be confirmed this year.
Nos cum prole pia,
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda