August 6, 2017 - The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Today we celebrate the wondrous Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This event from the life of Our Lord, when his three disciples, Peter, James and John, beheld His glory on the height of Mount Tabor, is the fourth luminous mystery of the Holy Rosary. We rejoice in this Feast today and pray that we too may come to know the grace of the Redemption and look upon Our Lord’s Holy and Glorious Face.
Shrine of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary: Many may have noticed the beautiful new shrine of Our Lady which stands before the Church. The beautiful statue of Our Lady together with the lovely landscaping is a gift to us all by a very generous and more importantly, faith filled family. They wish that their names not be known, but their secret will be out when the bronze plaque is placed there.
As many know a very lovely statue (much in the style of the late ‘60’s when the Church was built) stood there for 50 years. That older statue of copper was a gift of our beloved Marian Guild (some of the members at the time are still active members of the Guild today). Naturally, the statue had become weather worn over the years and was in need of repair. That statue will be moved to another place on the property. It will stand at the walkway to our new Food Pantry so that those in need will see the uplifting face of Our Lady.
The new statue was designed and executed in Italy and Our Lady stands with arms outstretched in welcome to all who enter the Church. The statue is of exquisite beauty with features that are very refined and delicate. This statue is done in a classic and timeless style that will be ever ancient and ever new. She stands to greet and welcome us all and invites us to place our confidence and trust in her. She stands in the middle of a garden. We all know how the garden has been such a prominent part of our faith. When God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, he placed them in a garden. There was our race ruined because of the Original Sin. But Our Lord Jesus Christ repaired the ruin of our race by his own death in the garden of Calvary (preceded by his Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane) and he rose from the dead in a garden where his tomb had been located. In the words of T.S. Eliot, it is the Garden "where all love ends." So go to the Garden and there ask Our Lady for your needs. There will be a special blessing of Our Lady immediately after the 4.00PM Mass on Saturday, September 9th, the day of our Parish Picnic. (Please ask St. Joseph for favorable weather that day).
It is most fitting that this new shrine has been built in this Year of Grace 2017, the centenary of the Apparitions of the Holy Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917.
Celebrant and Deacon Chairs: Many have remarked about the beauty of the new celebrant and deacon chairs in our sanctuary. They, too, are a gift to our parish from a very generous and faith filled family, the Campanella Family. (William, Patti, Will, Victoria, Michael, Olivia).
The chairs are of exquisite quality. They are hand carved from walnut, one of the most precious of woods. Their noble appearance will beautify our Church for generations to come for, again, they, too, are of a timeless and classical style. What is classical is always in style. As King David wrote, Lord I love the beauty of Thy House, and the place where Thy Glory dwells. The chairs are given in loving and eternal memory of three individuals. It is a very interesting connection.
The celebrant’s chair is given in loving memory of Mr. William Wayne Potter. Mr. Potter, the father of Mrs. Patti Campanella (one of our catechists and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) went home to God on November 2nd, 2013. He was buried from our Church and I knew him very well. Just two months before his death he was present at my installation as your pastor. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was also a carpenter and built homes, playgrounds, buildings (even helping to design the well-known Danforth Inn in Port Jefferson). When he passed away his family wanted to give the parish something in his memory. Because of his intimate work and association with wood, they wished that it be something of wood. And thus that magnificent chair will stand in his memory after we too have been called home to God.
The two deacon chairs are given in eternal and loving memory of Salvatore and Gloria Campanella. This loving couple who went home to God July 2, 1995 and December 24, 2014 respectively, were dear friends of mine. They are the parents of our parishioner Mr. William Campanella, a friend of over 32 years. I celebrated both Sal and Gloria’s Funeral Masses at St. William the Abbot in Seaford. (I married Bill and Patti and baptized three of their four children). I will ever remember Sal’s presence at Mass almost every day and his devotion to his children and grandchildren.
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I will ever remember how once over thirty years ago I was bringing Holy Communion to homebound parishioners in Seaford named Irene and Anthony. After leaving their home I met Gloria who lived directly across the street. It was early spring and she was cutting lilacs. She gave me a bouquet and asked me to place them before the statue of the Virgin at St. William the Abbot. I will never forget that day. May she look upon the Holy Virgin’s face forever.
May these three be in eternal and blessed memory and may God reward the family for gifting us with these chairs. And may God bless and reward all of our parishioners.
SAVE THE DATES: It is never too early to begin to save the dates especially in parish life. In addition to the Centerstage dates mentioned in the bulletin, please remember our Parish Picnic which will be on Saturday Evening September 9th. Please remember that the Saturday Evening Mass for that Saturday only will be at 4.00PM, not at 5.00PM. I am grateful that Mrs. Louise Shannon and Mrs. Adriana Milana will be the co-chairs of the picnic this year. Since my arrival in June 2013, I am grateful to Mr. James Black who served as chair in 2013 and Mr. Jesse Cromer who served as chair in 2014 and 2015.
On Sunday October 15, 2017, at 4.00PM, we will once again welcome the world renowned Glenn Mohr Chorale who will present a beautiful musical pageant based on the life of Our Blessed Mother. It is entitled Memorare: Mary Remembers. Please join us for an inspiring and uplifting afternoon of music as we celebrate the month of October, the month of the Most Holy Rosary. October 13th will mark the 100th anniversary of the last of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima at which occurred the Miracle of the Sun (October 13, 1917).
Our annual Golf and Tennis Outing and Awards Dinner will be on Monday, May 7, 2018. I am grateful to all our parishioners who make these wondrous events possible.
St. Paul Centerstage: Our parish Centerstage Production of Willy Wonka will be performed on August 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th. Many parishioners have been working very hard to provide this musical play for us. Please see the bulletin for the dates of performance and be sure to attend.
Gala Casino Night: We are now in the midst of planning for our annual parish Gala Dinner Dance. As always, I am most grateful to Mrs. Paula Maturo and her dedicated committee who plan this wonderful event. This event is the major fundraiser for our parish. Please see the bulletin for details. The parish gala will be on Thursday October 26th. It will be a Dinner and Casino Night at the Milleridge Inn Cottage and it will be the official welcome of Deacon Raymond P. D’Alessio to St. Paul the Apostle. Our friends the M&M Twins (Marco and Michael Posillico, whom I have known for 25 years) will present a wonderful evening of entertainment. St. Paul’s depends on this fundraiser. It is my fond hope that many parishioners will come together for this fundraiser so that we may continue to exist as a viable and vibrant parish.
Capital Campaign: Three weeks ago I spoke at all the Masses to announce the beginning of our Capital Campaign. I went into great detail (too much perhaps) in explaining our need to upgrade our building and grounds. The projects for which the capital campaign is being conducted will be completed in three phases. First, we will address the needed repairs to the rectory and the replacement of all the windows in Monsignor Costa hall. (This has already begin). The second phase will be the restoration of the interior of the Church. The third phase will be the repaving, restriping of the parking lot and the upgrading of our landscaping. This is an exciting time as we remember-restore and renew our buildings and grounds for the future generations.
The so called quiet phase of the campaign began shortly after Easter and I am happy to report that we are off to a great start in raising the 2.8 million dollars that will be needed for these capital projects. During the quiet phase I met with individuals and small groups to discuss our great project. I was so pleased with the enthusiastic response of so many. After our parish Picnic in September every parishioner will be invited to meetings at which I will explain in further detail what our plans are, with particular emphasis on the Church. Many may recall that I wrote over 15 articles in 2016 about the Church building and its importance and meaning as the gate of Heaven and the Vestibule of Eternity.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda
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