August 7, 2016
Dear Parishioners of our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! Once again, may I express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your extraordinary kindness both to St. Paul the Apostle parish and to me. May God reward each and every one of you for your goodness in giving of your time, treasure and talent. I am very humbled to serve as the pastor of such a wonderful parish.
This week we turn our thoughts to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the All-Holy and Immaculate Mother of God, whose Assumption we will celebrate on Monday, August 15th.
Because the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary falls on a Monday this year it is not a Holyday of Obligation. The Holy Mass will be on Monday morning the 15th at 8:00AM in the Chapel.
The Assumption of Our Lady is both the most ancient and the principle Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It celebrates the wondrous mystery that at the end of her earthly life Our Lady was taken Body and Soul into Heaven.
Many of our parishioners have visited the tombs of the saints. Here in our beloved country we may visit the tomb of Mother Cabrini in upper Manhattan. We may visit the tomb of St John Neumann at the Church of St. Peter at the corner 5th Street and Gerard Street in Philadelphia; we may visit the tomb of St. Elizabeth Anne Seton in Emmitsburg, Maryland. But no matter how many times we may circle the globe we will never find the tomb of the Virgin Mary. We, who are believers, know why that is the case. It is because there is no tomb nor has there ever been a place that has claimed to have her body! She was taken body and soul to heaven. There is no tomb.
Make every effort to attend Holy Mass and to offer a special gift of love to Our Lady. In many places there is the custom to fast from August 1st until August 15th. This is called Our Lady’s Lent. May God bless you.
ST. PAUL’S CENTERSTAGE PRODUCTION OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Please see the bulletin announcement for all the information about the St. Paul’s Centerstage Production of Beauty and the Beast. Many parishioners have been working very hard to provide this musical play for us. Please see the bulletin for the dates of performance and join us for a wonderful evening or afternoon of entertainment. It will be well worth while. I am very grateful to the cast and staff of Centerstage for their efforts and very diligent work. This weekend will be the last performances and I will be there this afternoon.
PARISH GALA DINNER/DANCE AND CASINO NIGHT: Please save the date of Friday October 28th. That will be our annual Parish Gala Dinner/Dance and Casino Night. Once again we will have the casino night provided by the M&M Twins (my good friends, Marco and Michael Posillico). This proved to be so enjoyable last year and was a great success. May I ask and invite all parishioners to attend this wonderful evening at the newly refurbished Cottage of the Milleridge Inn. Mr. Butch Yamali, the new owner of the Milleridge Inn, recently invited me to go there to bless this new endeavor. I was accompanied by the Chair of the Gala Mrs. Paula Maturo and by committee member Mrs. Anne Maione. I entered every room of the Inn to bless it and sprinkle the Holy Water, in all the shops, and the cottage and carriage house. It is remarkable how this historic inn is being restored to its original splendor. Mr. Yamali is a good friend to us at St. Paul’s and I would encourage everyone to come that night and to see the refurbished Inn.
It is our major fundraiser through the course of the year. You may have noticed that this year I have completed 35 years as a priest. I am very honored that on that evening we will also celebrate these years of priesthood. We do not honor the priest individually, for every priest’s prayer is that of St. John the Baptist, he must increase, but I must decrease. But rather we give thanks to God for the gift of the priesthood which is love at the heart of the Church. I am most grateful to Mrs. Paula Maturo and her committee for all they have done for the success of this wonderful evening.
PEWS: Please take a look at the last pew in the “pie” section near Our Lady’s altar. It has recently been restored by the Keck Group. The Keck Group is the premiere company in the United States for pew restoration. They recently renovated all the pews at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York. They also just completed the pew renovation at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. The company is located in nearby Middletown New York. Bob Keck, the owner of the company, and his son Terry have visited St. Paul’s twice.
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The pews of the Church are made of exceptional quality oak. Sadly in modern furniture making it is the custom to cut the trees while they are young, so as to turn a quick profit. This does not allow the trees to mature and thus show the fine grain that we associate with good quality wood of which the pews in our Church are made. Our pews are made of old wood, with beautiful grain and of exceptionally good quality. Such pews would be irreplaceable today. That is why we are restoring them to their natural beauty.
Over the years there has naturally been wear and tear on the pews and kneelers. Because of deferred maintenance in some places the material of the pews cannot even be recognized as wood. As can be seen in the restored pew, the wood now shows its natural beauty. It is smooth to the touch and very beautiful. The kneelers are covered in cloth, since, as we know, vinyl rips and wears very easily.
Please notice the pew and then it will be obvious how much more beautiful the Church will look when all the pews are restored to their natural beauty.
AIR CONDITIONING: Two weeks ago we had our Air Conditioning collection. You may recall that at the time I mentioned that our beloved parish had been hit with quite a sizeable bill because the compressors both in the barn and the Daily Mass Chapel had completely stopped working. They were both installed 15 years ago (long before I was here) and at the time, Monsignor Clerkin had been told that they would probably last 15 years. Exactly 15 years later (like clockwork) they each stopped working within three weeks of one another. Repairing them was not an option because the repairs could not be guaranteed. They had to be replaced and, even after a kind discount, the price came to a great deal of money. I had been praying to St. Joseph that we would finish our fiscal year (which ends on August 31, 2016) in the black, and, as always, St. Joseph heard my prayer. One of our parishioners who wishes to remain anonymous approached me after mass along with his children to tell me he would pay for both of them. This parishioner, who insisted that his name not be mentioned, is the owner of Mid Island Collision in Rockville Centre, 20 Lakeville Ave., Rockville Centre, New York 11570, 516.766.0101. Ironically I had known this gentleman long before coming to St. Paul’s. His company repaired my little Toyota Corolla after I had been in a terrible car accident on the LIE between exits 61 and 62 (I will never forget it). My guardian angel preserved me from physical harm. Mid Island Collision made my car like new. And I had also very often seen and spoken with this anonymous gentleman when I used to say the 5:00PM Mass at St. Patrick’s in Glen Cove every Sunday evening. Some people think a pastor may be disappointed that his parishioners go to other churches for Holy Mass. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every priest is happy that his parishioners go to Mass on Sunday. And I am very well aware that a small parish like our own which is served by only one priest cannot provide the schedule of Masses that is provided in parishes where there may be three, four or even five parish priests. The wonderful thing about our area is that there are so many parishes and thus one may always get to Holy Mass. I will be forever grateful that St. Joseph used this fine Catholic gentleman to provide for us all. Although I pray everyone will always be safe from accidents, should such a tragedy befall any of our parishioners I would highly recommend Mid Island Collision in Rockville Centre. Believe it or not it is from this shop that a wonderful outreach is organized by this same gentleman to feed the poor and help those less fortunate. May God bless and reward Mr. X. and may St. Joseph’s most powerful intercession be praised and blessed.
FR. LEE DESCOTEAUX: During the month of August we will be blessed to have the assistance of Fr. Lee Descoteaux. Fr. Descoteaux is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and former Administrator of the Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Deer Park. Fr. Descoteaux has just completed three years of studying Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) in Rome. Father received the J.C.L. (licentiate in Canon Law) with great distinction in June. Just last week he took the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith as he was installed as Adjutant (Assistant) Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. As such, Father Descoteaux is the primary assistant to the Judicial Vicar in the administration of justice in the Diocesan Courts. (As you know, I serve as the Judicial Vicar). It is a joy for us all to welcome Father Descoteaux who will assist us at St, Paul’s. We are so blessed to have his assistance here at St. Paul’s and his assistance to me in my other responsibility as Judicial Vicar in the Tribunal is invaluable. We welcome Father Descoteaux in the charity of Christ.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda