September 16, 2018
Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
SISTER REGINA KRAFT, O.P.
On Wednesday September 5, 2018, Sister Regina Kraft, O.P., was called home to God. As many remember so well, Sister Regina gave over 30 years of her religious life in service to the Parish of St. Paul the Apostle. She served St. Paul’s in a most dedicated way, always giving of herself. She has received the reward of the just and is beloved by all who knew her. Each year it is our custom to award the Sr. Regina Kraft Award to a couple or individual who has carried on her work of love, compassion, gentleness and mercy toward our young people. The first recipients of the award in 2017 were Mr. Jack Shannon (posthumously) and Mrs. Louise Shannon who is the very heart of St. Paul. In 2018 the award was given to Brother Joseph Bellizzi of the Marianist Congregation and who presently holds the position here of Director of Religious Education. It is our custom to announce the recipients of the Monsignor Mario C. Costa Award and the Sister Regina Kraft Award for 2019 at our 2018 Gala Casino Night which will be on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Cottage of the Milleridge Inn.
Sr. Regina served as the Director of Religious Education here at St. Paul’s and worked tirelessly to instill our holy faith and its uplifting truths into the hearts of our children. That same work is continued by Mrs. Louise Shannon, Brother Joseph Bellizzi, S.M., and all our dear catechists and aides. Sr. Regina’s wake and Funeral Mass were held at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville last week.
Because Sister Regina was such an integral part of our parish for so many years there will be a Memorial Mass for her on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at 9.00AM in the Church. It is my fond hope that many of our parishioners will come to honor her memory and to pray for her eternal repose.
Today is Catechetical Sunday. It is a day when we give thanks to God for the Mission of Faith Formation in the Church. Our catechists, who impart the truths of faith to our children, will be blessed at the 9.30 Mass today. We are most grateful to all our catechists and aides for all they do for our holy faith and for the parish. We are all in need of good example. Even the priests need to see good example. I constantly see the good example of our parishioners on occasions when a couple is blessed on their 55th Wedding Anniversary, when fathers work far into the night to provide for their families. But the best example I have seen is the selfless dedication of our catechists. They give of themselves completely for love of our children. But we all make an act of Thanksgiving to God for the beautiful example of Mrs. Louise Shannon. She has served as secretary to Sr. Regina and then as Faith Formation Administrator. She is beloved by all our children, and as I have said before, the very heart of St. Paul. The pastors may come and go, but one thing is constant here, our dear Louise. Deacon Ray and I also serve as catechists. Deacon Ray and I teach 6th grade. In my 37 years as a priest I have never seen such wonderful children as I have seen here. May God bless you, their parents.
SAVE THE DATES
Our Gala Casino Night will be at the Milleridge Inn on Thursday, October 25th. This is always a fun filled event and a major fund raiser for our parish. The theme for this year’s Gala Casino night will be in observance of the 50th anniversary of the construction and dedication of our beautiful Church building (Dedicated May 26, 1968). Many may recall that in 2012 there was a Gala at the Fox Hollow to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the parish. The parish was established by a Decree of His Excellency Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg dated June 27, 1962 (the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help). That is why in 2012 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the parish’s establishment. However, as is the case in every parish, and as many still with us will remember, the establishment of a parish does not mean one may simply walk into a beautiful Church. Churches must be built by the hard work of parishioners after a new parish has been established. In fact, in 1962 no one, including the Bishop, was aware where the parish Church, priests’ residence and offices would be built. The only thing known was that the parish was named St. Paul the Apostle. That is why the early documents refer to St. Paul the Apostle, Muttontown. Finally, a tract of land was donated by the Froelich family and after six years, the new and noble Church was built. It was dedicated by the same Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg (the first Bishop of Rockville Centre) on May 26, 1968 (the Feast of St. Philip Neri). That is why our Gala Casino Night does not commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the parish which was in 2012, but rather the 50th anniversary of the building, completion, and dedication of the Church building itself. Please pardon a personal reference. I hope it has become obvious to you after my being here for 5 years that I have always had an intense devotion to Our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I have always had an intense devotion to my favorite saint, St. Philip Neri. How frequently would I pray before his mortal remains in the Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella) in Rome. Immediately upon my arrival here in 2013 I hung in the Daily Mass Chapel a beautiful image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help, and a woodcut image of St. Philip Neri with his relic encased. At the time I was unaware of these two significant dates in our parish’s history. But God did and always does. He knows all things and can neither deceive nor be deceived.
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PRESCHOOL
It is that time of year when all begin to think of the return to school. On Monday of last week (September 10th) our Preschool opened with parents visiting day. Although I had a Funeral Mass and could not spend much time with the children, there were many smiles and laughter as the parents brought the children to Preschool. Although they may arrive with tears in their eyes to leave home for the first time, soon there are smiles and laughter as they join in the wonderful spirit of St. Paul’s PreSchool. That beautiful spirit is made possible by our dedicated faculty and staff. Mrs. Gayle Crimarco, our dedicated Director, begins her 18th year at the school this year. She is assisted in every way by Mrs. Debbie Oliva, long time parishioner who has served with dedication and distinction for so many years as Administrative Assistant. Gayle and Debbie are joined by a very dedicated staff who love the children and impart to them the wisdom of mind, body and soul. No wonder why the children sing with such gusto, Why I love St. Paul’s Preschool. I always make a point of trying to greet the children and their parents (and grandparents) each day as they arrive for school at 9.15. When our beautiful Church bells sound the quarter hour in the Westminster time, I tell our little ones that it is now time to go in. They learn to tell time first by hearing. Although I taught at the St. John’s University Law School in the past, I know my own weakness. I am not good at teaching 2, 3, and 4-year old children, so I allow them to teach me as they tell me all about their toys and everything in their family life.
SOLEMN MASS OF THANKSGIVING ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESTORATION OF THE DIACONAL ORDER:
On Thursday September 27th Bishop Barres will come to St. Paul’s for the Diocesan Celebration to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the Holy Order of Deacons in the Church. Although this is a diocesan celebration and many priests and deacons will be joining the Bishop, I hope many of our own parishioners will come to the Mass to welcome Bishop Barres once again to St. Paul’s (ours was the first parish he visited in February 2017). The Solemn Mass will begin at 5.00PM on Thursday September 27, 2018, the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul and the 40th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul I, Papa Luciani. He was the last Pope elected who was Italian by birth. I have a great devotion to him. He was from the north of Italy and his favorite meal (and one of my own favorites) was the dish so typical of that region, Fegata alla Veneziana. (Liver Venetian style). Papa Luciani was Pope for only 33 days before his death (the very same amount of years in Our Lord’s earthly life and the same number of acres upon which our beautiful parish was built). At the time of his election on August 26, 1978, he was criticized because he had never once been out of Italy and spoke no other language except Italian (and a little French). Many said he was unsuited to be Pope in the modern age. But Papa Luciani charmingly answered that if one were to live in Italy, why would one ever wish to go anywhere else? He was the smiling Pope. May his infectious joy be with us all!
PGK LEO J. BENJAMIN:
On Friday September 7, 2018, our parishioner Leo J. Benjamin was called home to God. Leo had been a Past Grand Knight of our St. Paul’s Knights of Columbus and a Trustee of the Council. He was the head usher at the 11.00AM Mass. It was a grace to have known him and in his years of suffering before being called home to God, I had occasion to visit him, anoint him, and administer the Blessed Eucharist to him. His Funeral Mass was celebrated here on Wednesday of last week. He provided a beautiful example for us all. May God bless his dear daughter Emily wo cared for him so beautifully and his dear grandson Patrick. The best thing the gentlemen of our parish could do in dear Leo’s memory would be to become Knights of Columbus as our parishioner Kevin Fernandez recently did (take the 3rd degree). I am a proud member of the K of C. I took my first degree in Virginia in November 1976, 2nd degree in Virginia in 1977, 3rd degree in Lindenhurst in 1978 and 4th degree in Hauppauge in 1982. How proud I am of our Knights and what a joy it was for me to hold the sword in 2016 at the bestowal of the 4th degree upon two of our former squires, Daniel and Stephen Esposito.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda