The Precious Blood – Price of Our Salvation
Dear Parishioners of Our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother! The month of July in Catholic devotion is the month of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of the twelve months of the year is dedicated to a certain mystery of our faith or to one of the saints. For example, March is the month of St. Joseph, October, that of the Holy Rosary, November, that of the Souls in Purgatory, etc. The Most Precious Blood is the price of our salvation. We may truly say that without Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood we would not be here today.
I am sure that we have all had experiences in life of how things have profoundly influenced our whole future. We would never be in our present situation in life had some event not occurred, like the encouragement of a teacher to attend a specific school or going to a social event where we met our future spouse.
Just as we may say that these events are the cause of many other things in life, so we may say that without Our Lord’s Precious Blood, shed upon the Cross for us, we would have no hope of the forgiveness of our sins and the hope of going to heaven. Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood washes us clean in the Sacrament of Penance.
Certainly no Catholic will let a single month pass without going to confession.
The late Pope St. John XXIII had a great devotion to the Most Precious Blood. It is he who added the invocation in italics below to the Divine Praises. It is he who elevated the Feast of the Most Precious Blood and it is he who made the Litany of the Most Precious Blood an official litany of the Church.
Blessed Be His Most Precious Blood!
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL:
On Saturday of this week we celebrate the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Mary,the valiant Woman, is stronger than any Army in battle array on the verge of attack. She is powerful! She is your Mother! Mary is the one to run to…the One to trust…the One Who understands…the One Who will not fail you. Our Lady rallies to your cause. She stretches to give All She has to you. She is mighty and yet gentle. Her strength and most of all Her tender Love is all for you. Life has battles, many wounds and many waves that come pounding down upon us and tossing us overboard into a sea of difficulties. Mary can rescue you. She holds out to you much more than a plank onto which to grasp. Mary gives you Herself. She wants to
save you, your family and those you love. A great battle is going on right now in our midst, a tremendous struggle between good and evil. Don’t lose your foothold of faith. Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared at
Fatima clothed in the Brown Habit and Scapular. She meant what she said: In the end My Immaculate Heart
will triumph. Are your children wounded by sin? Mary holds out to you and to them the Garment of Salvation
– Her Holy Brown Scapular. This is your armor, your shield. Nothing compares to the security of being held
in Mary’s protective arms. Nothing is impossible for Mary. If she leads you, you cannot go wrong. If she
touches your heart, all will be well. In the words of the great war time pope, Pope Pius XII: …when we
experience the rage of the storm before our eyes and we see the sea fiercely tossed, threatening to destroy our
ship, we raise our gaze, serene and confident, to the Virgin of Carmel – Look to the Star, call upon Mary –
and we beg her not to abandon us. And even if hell does not cease its assaults and its violence, and the daring
and the forces of evil constantly increase, while we count on Her mighty protection, we never have doubt of
the final Victory.
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I am very pleased that all the children in our Religious Education Program have been enrolled in the Brown Scapular and I would ask our parents to see that the children wear the scapular faithfully. It is their sure protection against all evil.
We have new material in the kiosk in the narthex of the Church which is filled with good Catholic CD’s and books. I cannot recommend this more highly so that we may all grow in faith. Now with the summer driving season upon us why not listen to a good Catholic CD while making your road trip.
It is now one year since we have instituted having the second collection each week at St. Paul’s. I am most grateful to you for your generosity in cooperating with our second collections. As you know, there are twelve Sundays throughout the year when we are designated by the Diocese to take up a second collection. (These are Church in Need, Peter’s Pence, Catholic University, Religious Retirement, etc.). When these collections are taken all of the proceeds go to the designated purpose. The parish receives nothing. During the course of the year there are 17 second collections to be taken up for our parish needs (snow removal, landscaping, fuel, maintenance, etc.) These are very great expenses, as they are for you. For example in the winter of the last Fiscal Year, our snow removal expenses came to $24,163.00. Our snow removal collection offerings were $2,692.00. This is an indication of how our expenses far outweigh our income. Obviously, we cannot control the snow, just as we could not control the very serious mold problem that was in all our buildings.
Since there were 29 designated second collections per year (diocesan and parish) we simply have a second collection on the remaining Sundays to help defray all of our expenses.
When I arrived here three years ago it was evident that the plant was in need of great maintenance. There was a great deal of maintenance that had been deferred. The greatest difficulty was the need for mold remediation, a problem only exacerbated by being ignored.
Some but not all of the projects accomplished were: the installation of new doors on the Church, the installation of a new sanctuary carpet, the painting of the sacristies, stairwells of the Church as well as the installation of new flooring in the sacristies, the chapel, the parish office and the cleaning of all the church windows. Also accomplished was the complete repainting and mold remediation of Msgr. Costa Hall, as well as the refurbishing of the kitchen and refinishing of the floor. The barn has been power washed and its interior completely repainted. The parking lot has had new lighting installed with low energy lamps that are controlled by the daylight. The many trees on the property have been trimmed and some removed. We have converted from oil to natural gas energy for all the buildings and removed all the oil tanks. The rectory has had three rooms completely gutted due to dangerous mold levels. And there has been complete mold remediation. Only one room has been restored and thus we have two unusable rooms, but they are now in the process of being restored. Central air conditioning was installed in the Rectory to alleviate the severe mold problem. The drains have been cleaned of sand to prevent flooding and extensive work has been done on the parking lot and lamp fixtures. The Rectory (both residence area and offices) have been repainted and the house and garage have been power washed, as well as the plaza in front of the chapel. A state of the art sound system was installed in the Church as well as a security system, which, I understand, many of our parishioners have in their own homes.
In addition to these projects, many of our parishioners have donated in memory of loved ones, candlesticks, crucifixes, vestments, new candle racks, paintings, statues and liturgical ornaments for our church and chapel. These have all reflected the beauty of holiness, to which we are all called.
New ministries have begun: St. Vincent de Paul, Parish Outreach, choir, Pre-Cana, scouts (Troops of St. George), Youth Group, Catholic Fellowship and a Mothers’ Program for Pre-School mothers. The hours of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament have been extended and we have added twice yearly retreats and days of recollection given by visiting priests as well as occasional celebrations of Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite.
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I am pleased that all of this has been accomplished without touching any of our parish reserves. However, after consulting the Finance Council, we used funds from our parish reserves to install our new security system. It was most necessary because of the criminal activity, vandalism, and loitering on our grounds. This will particularly guarantee the safety and security of our children.
And so, perhaps now it may be somewhat more understandable why we have a second collection. I will continue to write on these serious matters and rely on your generosity in keeping St. Paul’s as a viable and living parish.
FATHER WALTER KEDJIERSKI:
As many of you know, the Marianist Fathers who have provided weekend assistance at St. Paul’s for over 17 years are no longer able to come to assist at Sunday Masses. Because of ill health and their own needs, their last Sunday here was February 14, 2016. Since then I have been actively looking for a priest who may assist us. Naturally, priests who help in parishes on Sundays are usually in non-parish ministry. The parish priests must be in their own parishes on Sundays. We are fortunate that Father Walter Kedjierski, the Vice-Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, will assist us from time to time on Sundays. (It will not be weekly but will be several times a month). Father Kedjierski is the Vice Rector of the Seminary and the Director of the Office of Diaconal Formation. He has been a professor at St. John’s University in Jamaica. In spite of his very impressive academic background Father Kedjierski has been a parish priest. He has served as parochial vicar (assistant pastor) at St. Catherine of Sienna (they spell it with two n’s) in Franklin Square and Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park. He was pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Center Moriches until June 29, 2016, at which time he was appointed Vice Rector of the Seminary. We welcome Father Kedjierski in the charity of Christ and I am grateful for his priestly assistance. I am sure we will all come to appreciate father’s presence among us.
Here are some maxims for our meditation this week:
St. Philip Neri: One of the best ways of obtaining humility is sincere and frequent confession.
St. Josémaria Escrivá: It is not that the Mass is long; it is that your love for God is short.
Pope Francis: One who approaches Jesus without Mary does so as an orphan.