Than to dwell in the tents of the wicked
-King David - The Psalms
We continue today with our consideration of the narthex and the placement of the music ministry. As I wrote in my article of two weeks ago, the entrance area of the Church is not called a vestibule or lobby, but a Narthex. It is a sacred space which brings the presence of the Lord to the threshold of the Church and beyond. It is the meeting place with the world whereas the altar rail is the meeting place of God with the worshipping community. The Narthex is a place where the worshipping assembly greets one another, whereas we greet Our Lord in the Church. It is our fond hope to enlarge the narthex and make it more luminous and bright. That will enable the beautiful stained glass window of Christ the King to be appreciated and admired by the congregation in the Church. It will appear as though Christ Our Lord were stepping into the Church and standing among us. This magnificent window should not only be seen by those who drive pass the Church in the evening but also by us who stand in the Church itself. No wonder why King David slept on the portico of the temple and wrote the words printed above. Even the threshold of God’s House is greater than the dwelling places of the powerful of this world.
The music ministry will be moved to an appropriate place where they will support the singing of the congregation as we avoid all sense of theatricality in the House of God. No wonder St. Pius X never permitted applause in Church. He used to say One does not clap for the servant in the House of the Master.
CENTERSTAGE: This year marked the 35th anniversary of the St. Paul’s Centerstage. This is a ministry of our parish made up of parishioners and non-parishioners who work together for many weeks of the summer to present a (usually musical) play for us. The work that goes into a production cannot be fathomed, for when we see it, everything looks so smooth and perfect. But the major work is not only the countless hours of rehearsing the action and words of the play itself. It is the building and painting of the sets from scratch. It is the rehearsal with piano and then moving to full orchestra. It is the making of the costumes and their proper fitting. It is the moving of the sets to the venue of presentation. The details are too enormous to enumerate. And yet this happens every summer through the loving dedication of the cast, crew, directors, producers, musicians, and so many others.
This year’s production was Beauty and the Beast. As the eponymous song from the play tells us: It is a tale as old as time…And yet it is a tale that, in a certain sense, began before ever there was time. For it is none other than the story of the ancient curse placed upon our race because of original sin, and how the curse which was the ruin of our race, was lifted by One whose love brought Life from Death. I am so happy that so many of our parishioners enjoyed the show and had the opportunity to see it. Although I could go on for many more pages, I will single out only one individual while all the others understand my gratitude and admiration. That one person is Mr. James Black, Esq., who has produced over 20 of the 35 productions and has been involved in every one of them. May God reward your efforts and dedication, Jim. You have worked like our patron, St. Paul, in season and out of season. Now you see the fruits of your hard work and selflessness. May God bless and reward you.
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.
PILGRIMAGE TO THE BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION IN WASHINGTON, DC: Please see the bulletin for information about our Diocesan Pilgrimage to the National Shrine in Washington. This magnificent Church is our nation’s gift to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Our lady has promised many blessings to all those who will invoke her intercession at this magnificent shrine. I am very grateful to Mrs. Gina Cinelli for all her hard work and effort. May God bless and reward you, Gina!
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 (long before I came to St. Paul’s) on the LIE between exits 61 and 62 (I will never forget it). The guardian angels preserved me and the other driver 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.
AN EMAIL RECEIVED FROM WALTER KEDJIERSKI: Today (August 8th) I received an email from Father Walter Kedjierski informing me of the happy news of his successful doctoral defense at Oxford University. He wishes to extend sincere gratitude to all the parishioners of St. Paul who, although they have met him merely a few weeks ago, nevertheless were praying for his success and a good outcome. Congratulations Father Kedjierski, D. Onon., Ph.D.
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION: This year the Solemnity of the Assumption falls on a Monday (August 15th) and therefore the obligation to attend Holy Mass is dispensed this year. Nonetheless, it is my fond hope that many of our people will come to holy Mass that day to honor Our Lady on her principal Feast. The one Mass that day will be at 8.00AM in the Chapel. I would encourage all of you to fast and pray from August 1st until the 15th. This is a very ancient tradition and is often referred to as Our Lady’s Lent.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda