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Side by Side…
Sep 23rd, 2012 by Father Chris

We just completed the 10:30 Family Mass and the Bible Presentation to our 6th grade students.  It was GREAT!  I thank all of the students and families who were present.  More than 400 people filled the church and a wonderful Spirit was evident.

As we presented the Bibles to each student their name was called and they came forward to receive their Bible.  They then returned to their seats.  Following the presentation I spoke to each of the students and all assembled in a brief, but appropriate homily.

I began with a poem called Side by Side.  The poem shows how so often we can let other things get in the way of our reading and studying God’s Word.  Often worldly attractions distract us from concentrating on the way God calls us to live.  Yet, it is in the Bible that we find the true way of living a good and fulfilling life.  I offer the poem to you here.  The author is not known.  I hope you enjoy it and learn from it.

Side by Side

They lie on the table side by side, The Holy Bible and the TV guide.  One is well worn and cherished with pride, No not the Bible, the TV guide.

One is used daily to help folks decide, No, not the Bible, the TV guide.

As the pages are turned, what shall they see, oh what does it matter, turn on the TV.

Then confusion reigns, they can’t all agree, On what they should watch on the old TV.  So they open the book in which they confide, No not the Bible…but the TV guide.

The Word of God is seldom read, Maybe a verse as they fall into bed.

Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be, Not from reading the Bible…from watching TV.

So then back to the table side by side, Lie the Holy Bible and the TV guide.  No time for prayer, no time for the Word, The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.

But forgiveness of sin and Life, so full and so free, is found in the Bible…NOT on TV!

I also recalled what one of our professors who taught scripture in the seminary use to tell us…”ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of God.”  That always stuck with me and it really is true.  God has revealed to us the way we are to live and How we are to know and follow Him.  It is all contained in His Holy Word – the Bible.  All we must do is take it seriously, read it and live it. 

I ended my presentation with the instruction that was given to me and my classmates on the day we were ordained Deacons in September 2002, nine months before we became priests.  Bishop Timothy McDonnell (who was then an Auxiliary Bishop of New York and now is the Bishop of Springfield, Massachuesetts) presented each of us with a Book of the Gospels with these words: “Receive the Book of the Gospels whose herald you now are.  Meditate on the Word of God.  Believe what you read.  Teach what you believe.  And, put into practice what you teach.”

That instruction is good, in my opinion, not just for deacons or priests, but for all Christians who want to live a life close to God.  It is my hope and prayer that all of our 6th graders and all parishioners will grow daily in their love for God’s Word believing it, teaching it and then putting it into practice.  If we do this we can transform for the better our parish, our community, our country and our world.     

Bible Presentation
Sep 20th, 2012 by Father Chris

This Sunday at the 10:30am Family Mass our 6th grade students will receive their Bibles.  Each year we make this presentation to them because this year they will study very intensely the Word of God.  It is my prayer and hope that as they receive their Bibles this weekend that reading God’s Word will become a daily exercise and that through that Word they will live truly good and holy Christian lives.

Following Mass a reception will be held in the lobby of the church.  All parishioners are invited and encouraged to attend. 

Propagation of the Faith – Welcome Father Hanlon
Sep 15th, 2012 by Father Chris

This weekend we are happy to welcome to Saint Anthony of Padua Parish Father Kevin Hanlon.  Father Hanlon is a Maryknoll Priest who will be speaking at all Masses about the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. 

This Society aides in building up the Church and spreading the Catholic faith in the farthest, poorest and most needy places on earth. 

Next weekend the special annual collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith will be taken at all Masses.  Please be generous in the special collection which will help bring the Gospel to the farthest reaches of the globe.

September 11, 2012 – We will never forget!
Sep 12th, 2012 by Father Chris

Yesterday was an emotional day as we have celebrated the 11th Anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001.  Last evening we celebrated a beautiful Memorial Mass.  Photos can be seen by clicking on the link on our homepage. 

Below I have included a few photos of some of the activites of yesterday.  Perhaps fewer words are best and the photos with simple explanations help to try to put the magnitude of that day and what happened into perspective. 

These last eleven years I have given great thought to how to respond, in my own life atleast, to what happened on September 11th.  And after much of the sorrow and anger and bitterness subsides it has finally come to me: In the face of evil, I will spend my life being a blessing in a world filled with curses, I will be a light shining in the darkness and I will be hope and peace in a world consumed with division and hatred. 

I invite you all to join me in this personal crusade.  In doing so, we help change the world into a better, more peace filled, loving place to be.

 The name of Marisa DiNardo, one of our own parishioners, is etched at the World Trade Center Memorial.

The fountain “footprints” of the World Trade Center towers are a beautiful and striking memorial.

The Freedom Tower is rising.

Above, the monument in memory of Marisa DiNardo which stands by of the flag pole in front of the church.  Marisa died on September 11th on the upper floors of One World Trade Center.  Her body was never found.  This monument and the World Trade Center memorial are all we have to remember her by. We will never forget her or any of the innocent men and women who died that day.

   Marisa’s name as it appreared on the television yesterday when her name was mentioned during the Memorial Ceremony.

Marisa DiNardo’s mother Esther, left, was at the World Trade Center Memorial yesterday and read some of the names as part of the ceremony.  The ceremony was carried live in its entirety on almost every major television network in the New York City area.

Inspiring Presentation
Sep 12th, 2012 by Father Chris

On Monday evening Father Pete gave a very informative and inspiring presentation to the members of the Ave Maria Guild and other parishioners who attended. 

Father Pete spoke about the following topics: India, Christianity in India, his vocation and how it was fostered, his memories of 9/11 (having been a first-responder there for many months afterward) and his ministry back in India.

Father Pete ended the evening by playing his guitar and singing a few hymns, a couple of which he had composed himself in his native language – Tamil. 

Father Pete’s presentation helped us know him better and also helped us to understand the extraordinary poverty many people face in other parts of the world including India.  Father Pete’s ministry helps to alleviate in some way the suffering of people in his part of the world. 

We are so grateful for Father Pete’s presence with us here at Saint Anthony’s and we treasure the friendship we have with him.  The spirit God has given him continues to enrich each one of us and makes our parish a better place.  We are so grateful. 

Thank you Father Pete!

September 11th Memorial Mass – Let us NEVER FORGET.
Sep 10th, 2012 by Father Chris

Above, a beautiful picture of one of the Memorial Pools of the footprints of the World Trade Center Towers at the National September 11th Memorial in Lower Manhattan.

I invite all parishioners, family members and friends to join us for a Memorial Mass in memory of all who died on September 11th, 2001.  On this 11th anniversary we once again offer the Mass for Marissa DiNardo, one of our own parishioners who died that day.  We will never forget her or any of those who perished on that day. 

At the Mass tomorrow evening our choir will be present and Father Pete Philominraj will be the homilist.  Father Pete was a first responder on September 11th and the months following.  He will share with us his insights, feeling and reflections on the events of September 11th. 

Please join us for this special Mass and continue to pray for those who died, and their family members and friends who still mourn their passing.  Let us also pray for true and lasting peace in our nation and around the world that the world will turn to the only One who can bring peace – Jesus Christ who is forever the Prince of Peace. 

And away we go!
Sep 10th, 2012 by Father Chris

Well it has been a couple of weeks since my last post and since then most of us have completed our vacations, the “official” end of Summer has come and gone and we have hopefully spent the last week or so catching up as things get started for a new year here at Saint Anthony’s.

This weekend was an exciting time as our STARS Religious Education Classes began yesterday.  Tonight and tomorrow night are first classes as well for various grades 1st through 8th.  On Monday evenings this year we have two sessions rather than one.  The first session begins at 5pm and ends at 6:30pm and the second session begins at 6:30pm and ends at 8pm.  This year the demand was so high for space that it became necessary to add addtional classes.   

Yesterday at the 10:30am Mass we celebrated a “Welcome Back” Family Mass and it was exciting to see so many families and children back filling the church!  Next weekend, also at the 10:30am Mass we will celebrate Catechetical Sunday and officially recognize all of our Catechists, Aides and helpers who make our Religious Education Program the success that it is.  Refreshments will be served after Mass in the gathering lobby. 

Also yesterday at the 10:30am Mass we welcomed back our Choir who provided spectacular music for our liturgy.  It was great to hear the voices of the members of the choir and we are so grateful for the true gift that each one of you is to our parish.  Laurence Broderick, our Director of Music, once again led the choir and, himself, provided magnificent music which uplifted all in attendence.  We are so grateful and we look forward to another beautiful year of sacred music at Saint Anthony’s!

This week our parish societies such as the Ave Maria Guild and the Holy Rosary Society begin the year with their first meetings and in the next few weeks the Parish Council and Finance Committees will also meet once again.

These are just a few of the happenings that are going on at the moment here in the parish and there are alot of other things too.  But, we are off to a great start and we are looking forward to another exciting year here at Saint Anthony’s. 

So…away we go!

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