Friday, December 18, 2015
At St. Anthony's we have installed a new rack for rosaries. The rosaries that are there are for anyone to use. Also, if you would like to have your own rosary, please take one to keep. We can easily replace the rosaries with new ones. In your prayer, please pray that more men and women will respond to God's invitation to dedicate their lives to ministry in the church.
Thank you to Pat Fontana who made this rack. As you enter the church, the rack is to your left, under the memorial to our donors.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
The Risen - February 19, 2016
I am not really endorsing this movie since I do not know yet too much about it, but I think that it is worthy of mentioning until I find out something different.
God's Not Dead 2
I saw the original God's Not Dead and found it very thought provoking and interesting. In fact, I recommend it. Hopefully, God's Not Dead 2 will be as worthwhile.
Friday, December 4, 2015
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The people of St. Anthony's have the custom of bringing food each first Sunday of the Month. Beginning with December, instead of putting the food by the Mary shrine, I am asking that the food be placed in the area of the baptismal font. Placing the food there will make it easier to transport later to Urban Mission.
Another great preparation would be to go to the news section of our parish website (sawatn.org or spwatn.org) and click on the link labeled Advent Reflections. These reflections are written by Bishop Robert Barron and are guaranteed to put us into the right spirit of the season.
Our celebration of Advent, indeed our preparation for Christmas, will be as good as we make it. Come, Let Us Adore Him!
Both St. Patrick's and St. Anthony's are now experiencing new hymnals. At St. Patrick's we have switched from The Heritage Missal to Breaking Bread. The format is very much the same. So, the transition is not as dramatic as it is for St. Anthony's. At St. Anthony's, we have also switched from two books (Missalette and Music Issue) to Breaking Bread. Something had to change at St. Anthony's because the printing company was no longer going to produce the smaller print Missalette and Music Issue. All of their publications would be the easier to read larger print. Also, Breaking Bread was chosen because it would contain everything that we needed and would need to be changed only once a year. However, the racks in the pews were not the right size. Also, some of the plastic racks had begun to break. So, we have removed them. The new ones should be here before Christmas, and we hope to have them installed in time for Christmas. The new ones will be wood. When they come, we may need some volunteers to help install them. Stay tuned!
Friday, November 6, 2015
- I have displayed the revenue for the past five years.
- Envelope income is the money that people have contributed to the parishes in an envelope or electronically or in some way that we are able to recognize the amount and the donor (e.g. a person writes their envelope number on the check).
- Plate income is money placed in the basket on Sunday without an envelope or any way of knowing the source of the income.
- The total column represents envelope and plate added together.
- A parish’s disposable income is basically envelope and plate, the money that can be counted upon each week to operate the parish. Parishes like homes and families must budget and plan based on knowing how much income is available.
- Extraordinary donations are always appreciated and often now fund what should be paid for from envelope and plate. However, just as no family or business will budget based on unexpected income, so too a parish can budget responsibly only based on envelope and plate.
- It is clear that income to both parishes has diminished over the past five years. Some of the decrease can certainly be attributed to the passing away of generous parishioners or due to others who have moved. I have no scientific method of determining the other causes for the decrease.
- The downward trend must stop and be replaced with an increase in income.
- If the downward trend is not reversed, then changes in the operation of the parishes will be required. What would be affected if there is not an increase in income? Here is what your donations currently fund:
- Pastoral salaries
- Catechetical programs
- Subsidies to Immaculate Heart Central
- Pastoral care
- Reduction in energy use e.g. air conditioning and heating
- Who knows what else
- What must happen:
- Envelope and electronic donors must look at their current giving and prayerfully determine whether a greater gift can be given weekly to the parish. A simple question: When was the last time your income increased? When was the last time you increased your giving to the parish?
- Envelope users should commit to making up their weekly donations when they are away and attend Mass at another parish.
- Those currently not using envelopes should use envelopes. There are two major reasons to use envelopes. First, envelope use is a visible commitment to support the parish. Second, envelope use prompts donors to give more.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
On December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of hte Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis will begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. More information will be in future blogs and bulletin articles.
Through a special arrangement with Amazon.com, the parish can earn 4% commission on all your sales made at Amazon.com. That’s right 4%. The process is simple:
go to either http://sawatn.org or http://spwatn.org
On the page you will see the Amazon logo. Just click on it. Your familiar Amazon website will appear. Shop as much as you want. Because you have entered through our website, 4% of your purchase price will be deposited with the parish. You do not have to do anything for this to happen. All promotions, coupons, gift cards, and/or Prime are still in effect just as if you had entered Amazon without going through the parish website.
So, shop for yourself, shop for your friends and family, and, at the same time, give to the parish.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Sunday, October 4, 2015
We continue to make progress in achieving our goals for the 2015 Bishop’s Fund Appeal. Here are the results as of October 9, 2015:
Dollar Goal: $36,341
Participation Goal: 165
Amount Received or Pledged: $26,122 (72%)
Number of Participants: 84
Dollar Goal: $21,800
Participation Goal: 190
Amount Received or Pledged: $12,121 (56%)
Number of Participants: 98
Monday, September 21, 2015
Our diocesan priority is meant to help create this understanding that our vocation in life is our way of living God's gift of life.
The bishop has called for a Vocation Committee is every parish or group of parishes. A parish vocation committee raises the awareness that every baptized person is called to live our his or her vocation in life. Using resources provided by the diocese, the committee will be empowered to encourage parishioners to listen, ray and seek the signs which reveal God's will and purpose in each of their lives. If interested, please contact Msgr. Aucoin, Deacon Kevin or Sr. Jackie.
There will be training for people throughout the area who are volunteering to work on their Vocation Committee. Thus, those who wish to participate on this committee will be well trained to promote vocations within their parishes.
The training will be at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse on October 13 at 6:30 pm.
This link has more information.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Death is so special that we mark the event with ceremonies. After birth, we celebrate entrance into life with Christ and His Church through Baptism. A baptism is a moment for great celebration both humanly and spiritually.
The other great celebration is a Catholic funeral. Various rites such as the wake, the funeral, and the burial all have specified rituals that magnificently mark the person's life and the person's relationship with Christ. For a Catholic, none of these rituals should be bypassed or neglected. The Christian dignity of the human person must be recognized until the end and even after.
Unfortunately, I see so often that the children of good Catholic parents are neglecting funeral arrangements for their parents for the sake of convenience or expediency even to the point of no funeral, no wake, burials with no one present or lack of proper disposal of ashes.
We should always make clear our funeral wishes through pre-arrangement with a funeral director and/or written directives given to the funeral director and a trusted family member.
To assist with those arrangements, I will be offering a session on how to prepare your Catholic funeral. The same program will be given twice: once at St. Anthony's and once at St. Patrick's. This presentation will highlight the elements of a Catholic funeral and give you the tools and details that you need to prepare your funeral in its entirety. Don't leave this important event for someone else to arrange. This program is open to all. So, please feel free to invite others to come with you.
The sessions will be:
Tuesday, October 13, St. Patrick's Chapel at 4 pm
Tuesday, October 27, Msgr. Secchi Hall at 6:30 pm
Friday, September 4, 2015
Already, we have dedicated parishioners who regularly bring Holy Communion to Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home, the Summit, and Angels' Inn. We, along with you, are most grateful for this precious ministry that they exercise on behalf of the parish.
Many more are at home. We know that some are visited by Eucharistic ministers, but we do not necessarily know who they are. It is very important that there be some kind of central listing of who the homebound are and who is now bringing them Holy Communion. Likewise, we want to reach out to those homebound who are not being visited for the Sacraments. We are grateful to the individual Eucharistic Ministers who are taking care of the homebound, but we need to know who they are so that they can continue to be seen if you go on vacation or are away for any extended period of time.
Father Christy is taking charge of this ministry. If you are now bringing holy communion to someone, please let him know. If you know a homebound person who is not being visited, please let him know. Again, we want to make sure that no one is forgotten!
Some people are willing to make a commitment to spend an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We need to have more volunteers willing to make that commitment. There should always be at least two people in church during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Please consider volunteering your time. Carol Dulmage is the contact person for this prayer ministry. As the picture says: "The best time you will spend on earth."
An issue discussed at both parishes was the ability of people to hear in the church. There are some very good systems available that will allow people with hearing difficulties to hear better in church. The item is basically a headset that a user would pick up coming into church and would put on just like any other headset. For those who already have a hearing aid there is a simple loop that would go around the neck and interact with the existing hearing aid. The advantage for the user would be the ability to hear directly everything that flows through the sound system without echo or other extraneous noise. Some people may not like to admit that hearing is difficult. However, admitting to the reality would allow the person to participate more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Let me know what you think about getting such a system. The cost would be about $1,200 per church. If you would like to donate to provide a system, that would be greatly appreciated.
The Liturgy Committees from both parishes met during this past week. The members of both committees are very enthusiastic and want to make sure that our liturgies and prayer experiences in our parishes can be faith-filled moments for all at St. Patrick's and St. Anthony's. I look forward to working with both committees.
Over the next few weeks, before we meet in October, I will be reviewing what needs to be done for the year and work with individual committee members to accomplish all that needs to happen.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Each year we have the opportunity to appreciate and to understand the ministry that is done at the diocesan level for the benefit of all parishes. Sometimes, as a parish, we think that we can do everything ourselves. However, the ministries supported by the Bishop’s Fund at the diocesan level really support and provide assistance to what is accomplished at the parish level. As the graphic below says: we are “United in One Family."
Each year, each parish has two goals: a financial goal and a participation goal.
- Financial Goal - $36,341
- Participation Goal - 165 donors
- Financial Goal - $21,811
- Participation Goal - 190 donors
Thursday, August 6, 2015
We never like speaking about money, but we, likewise, know that money is needed in life to make things happen. Parish life is no different. We have included on the webpage our latest financial reports for 2014-2015 for St. Patrick’s, St. Anthony’s, and Glenwood Cemetery. I thank you for your generosity in supporting your parishes and ministries. A close look at the financial reports will show the reality that our ordinary income is not meeting our ordinary expenses. I will report more on that in the future when I have had a chance to review carefully our financial status. In the meantime, I thank your for your ongoing financial support of the parishes.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Well, I am not exactly a “new pastor,” but I am new at St. Patrick’s and St. Anthony’s. Well, on second thought, I am more recycled than new. Whatever my classification, I am glad to be back with you here in Jefferson County.
When I went to Potsdam five years ago, I thought that I would be retiring there when I reached age 75. It seems that the Holy Spirit and his associates had other plans. Since my last posting in Jefferson County (Alexandria Bay which I left in 2006), the area has continued to change. What one can see with the naked eye has undergone many transformations.
What has not changed in our constant need to evangelize. The numbers of practising Catholics has continued to dwindle. There are probably as many reasons or excuses as there are people. We cannot cure the reason or excuse that people may have. What we can do is continue to promote, live, publicize, invigorate the message of Jesus and his Church, a message that brings life and eternal life. Looking for the meaning of life in any other program or place is a total waste of time. Why would anyone look for life apart from the author of human and divine life.
We are losing our sons, our daughters, and their children. We, all of us without exceptions need to reach out to them. Start with your own family, your friends. Being firm in our faith may not be politically correct for some. However, being firm in our faith is both spiritually and humanly essential.