September 3, 2017
Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Dear Parishioners of Our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! This week I wish to write about several of the feasts of Our Blessed Mother that are kept in September and about other items concerning our parish.
On Friday September 8th we keep the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nine months to the day after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The birth of Our Lady was the dawn of our salvation, for St. Ann gave birth to that One who would be the Mother of God. On Tuesday September 12th we keep the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary is an historical feast, i.e., it celebrates an historical event in the life of the Church. On September 12, 1683, the Turks were poised to invade Vienna, the very heart of Christian Europe, and to impose Islam on the Holy Roman Empire. The faithful of the City prayed for the protection of the Holy Virgin and at the great battle of Vienna, the Christian forces were victorious over the Turks. This was due in large part to the intervention of the Polish King John Sublieski, the maternal grandfather of the martyred King Louis XVI of France. In celebration of the victory the Viennese bakers baked the bread the next day in the shape of the crescent moon, the symbol of Islam, to show that the Turks were broken as bread is broken. The French name for crescent is croissant, and thus was born the famous breakfast bread eaten in Catholic nations. The Turks fled so quickly that they left bags of Arabica coffee beans in their camps. The coffee was discovered by the Viennese and thus began the great custom in Vienna of drinking coffee (sometimes with the wonderful chocolate cake called the sachretort!)
On September 15th we keep the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows as we recall Our Lady’s standing at the Cross of Our Lord and on September 24th we keep the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom or Our Lady of Mercy. Our Blessed Mother is that Inexhaustible Cup which satisfies every desire of the human heart. Go to Her on Her Feastdays and seek her never-failing protection.
Parish Picnic: Please be sure to attend the parish Picnic this year. It is on Saturday September 9th. The Mass that afternoon will be at 4.00PM (instead of the usual 5.00PM). The Mass will be celebrated by our beloved Bishop Andrzej. Father Lee Descoteaux, our ever faithful and devoted weekend assistant and I will concelebrate with His Excellency. Because that day is the first day of the diaconal formation, our other weekend assistant, Father Walter Kedjierski, cannot be with us. He asked me to convey his best wishes and prayers for all the people of St. Paul’s. Father Kedjierski always refers to St. Paul as a beautiful parish.
The picnic is a family celebration where we may all gather together. Please bring a dessert to the picnic as a gift for all our parishioners. I have every confidence it will be good weather that day because it is the same day that the Little Sisters of the Poor will have their Garden Party in Queens Village. I am most grateful to Louise Shannon and Adrianna Milana for serving as co-chairs of the picnic this year. We all remember Mr. Jack Shannon who served so faithfully at the picnic each year. In our mind’s eye we see him standing at the grill cooking delicious beans. He looks at us now from eternity. Jack, along with Louise, received the Sr. Regina Kraft Award, at our First Annual Golf Outing last September 1st.
Gala: 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, along with the Golf Outing, is a 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’s. 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.
A Blessed Labor Day to All and we pray for our nation and all who have died on September 11, 2001, and the wars which followed it.
Please join St. Paul’s Parish Social Ministry and our St. Vincent De Paul Society for the blessing and dedication of the new Food Pantry to take place immediately following the 11:00AM Mass on Sunday September 24th
All are invited to attend.
SAVE THE DATES: It is never too early to begin to save the dates especially in parish life. 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. His Excellency Bishop Andrzej will be the celebrant of the Mass that evening and he will bless and dedicate the new shrine of Our Blessed Mother immediately after the Mass. 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. The new shrine of Our Lady will be blessed immediately after the mas that evening.
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.
Capital Campaign: In July 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 begun). 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.
As the summer ends let us keep in mind the beautiful words of my favorite saint. St. Philip Neri,
The hour is finished – we may say the same of the year; but the time to do good is not finished yet.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda