Dear Friends: “Faith illumines life and society” - Pope Francis: Through your support of the Catholic Ministries Appeal we are able to pass on the treasures of Faith to a new generation of Jesus’ disciples. Teaching religion and sharing the Faith with young people – this is Jesus’ message – to proclaim the word of God. We do that by living the message every day. There is something so rich in spreading our Faith – you want to go out and share it with other people. That’s the Apostolic message.” Please consider donating to the Appeal and making a difference in the lives of our young people. Thank you! Maggie Martin, Director of Religious Education. St. John of God, Central Islip. Pledges to date - $97,230. Donors to date - 299
Our Fund-a-Foot campaign is underway. These funds help cover the gap between what is covered by insurance and what we can do to improve our church building. You can donate right here and now by using our Paypal store below.
Dear Parish Family:
Today, we celebrate Pentecost. With this feast, the season of Easter draws to a close and, I hope like the disciples in the locked room, we start to move out even further to bring the power of the Spirit to all we meet. One of the reading options for today’s liturgy is St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. If you need a little checklist to see how “Holy Spirit filled” you might be in these days, see what St. Paul says: “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The truth? As I pray with this week’s readings, I’m not as a spirit filled as I know the Lord is calling. I could be more fruitful in my presence and practice, in my mission and ministry. From the Acts of the Apostles, we know the early disciples weren’t perfect when they left on that first Pentecost. Same for me. Maybe the same for you. Consider those signs that St. Paul gives us to consider. Maybe it’s all too much to take on. Perhaps one stands out that is most in need of work. It might be one way to see the graces and blessings of Easter all year long.
Another way to continue these graces and blessings is to make use of FORMED. This past April, the priests of the diocese were invited by Bishop Barres to consider using FORMED in our parishes. For the first year, a grant has been provided to absorb a large part of the cost of the program. Even before this meeting some parishioners had spoken of FORMED and last Fall, Fr. Michael also brought it up as something to consider. I hope you will consider using FORMED. A multitude of Catholic resources is now at your fingertips and mine! Maybe there is an area of theology or ministry you wanted to learn about but never had the time? Perhaps you’re not sure what the Church is teaching on this issue or that one? This would be a good place to turn. Let’s give it a shot as a parish and see if one sign of the fruit of the Spirit might be you and I getting FORMED in the year ahead. (Look on page 2 of this week’s bulletin and for more information in the weeks ahead!)
One sign of the many graces and blessings of the Spirit at work at St. John’s has been the generosity of so many over the past year through the 2017 Summer Appeal, the Catholic Ministries Appeal and most especially through the Fund a Foot Campaign. We would be in pretty dire straights with the church building if it had not been because of your generosity and faithfulness to the Fund a Foot campaign. Because of all the funded feet we have been able to improve our lighting system, add stained glass marking this time and beautify our church building, install a new state of the art sound system, repair our piano, increase lighting outside of the church building, make some needed parking lot repairs, repair the damage to the cupola from recent storms, examine ways to increase the number of security cameras and more (and more to come!). Without your generosity, this would never have been possible. We would likely have to deplete our savings and would find ourselves in a perilous situation with the reconstruction work of the church building.
I can find myself so often filled with fear related to many aspects of this building project — when will this get done or this product arrive or this person respond, etc. Fortunately, because of your generosity with those funded feet, that lack of fear has allowed good fruit to prosper. If I’m honest, like the early disciples, the fear related to certain aspects of ministry can leave me pretty frozen and not just when it comes to finances. Your generosity and gentleness, your kindness and love make a great difference in so many ways. Great signs of the Spirit at work. Thank you!
Please pray for me.
Dear Parish Family:
I hope you are as excited as I am about the rededication of the Church building on June 23 at the 5 p.m. mass. The announcement itself is a bit of a “turning point” for us. We’re starting to move in a different direction with a new focus. I have formed a Steering Committee to help lead us through these days. When I first met with them last week, I divided our work into three areas: a) remembering, b) transitioning and c) celebrating.
As I reflect on these three areas, I cannot help but think of the apostles in these days during Ascension and Pentecost. I often imagine them “all in one place together” (Acts 2:1) with Mary, Queen of the Apostles (Acts 1:14) perhaps talking about what had happened from Jesus’ death and resurrection to ascension, wondering how they would change and be those witnessing (Acts 1:8) and celebrating the power of the Spirit on Pentecost.
I hope we can begin to unite our own story to the story of the early Church. That story is not only about the rededication of the church building and not only about our journey as a community. I hope it will be good ground for reflection about our journey of faith.
Remembering. Throughout the next weeks, we’ll be called to remember. I hope you can pray with us this Friday at the Mass of Remembrance and Healing. And in the weeks ahead, I’m sure we’ll remember so many who have been part of our parish’s story not just throughout this year but throughout the history of the parish. I think of the prayer cards of those who passed away who are on the inside of the church building. I hope we, too, can remember. We should be good at it! It’s what we do each time we gather for the Eucharist. Let’s try to take some time in these days and weeks to consider the many ways God’s consolation has touched each of our lives in the past year and far beyond.
Transitioning. The weeks ahead will see some times of change and transition for our parish community. We are in the process of preparing for a Novena of Prayer in the days leading to the rededication (beginning June 14th) helping us to transition well. Like the disciples, we need the help of the Spirit. So look for more information about the church building and activities bringing us together in these days. Let’s take some time, too, to make some space for the Spirit to dwell in our own hearts. If you haven't been praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit, let’s go! Pick up a book at the doors of the Auditorium or outside Seton Chapel.
Celebrating. I look forward to our prayer and coming together on June 23rd and I know you do too! The disciples leave the “one place” touched by the Spirt. What do they do? They celebrate. They celebrated by preaching, teaching, serving, building, loving, challenging. I know we’re going to have a great day on June 23rd! I’m even more excited about what June 24th and beyond will bring for our parish family. I hope you are too!
So in these “in between” days, let’s pray that as a community and as individual believers, we can remember, transition and celebrate well!
Come Holy Spirit! Our Lady Queen of Apostles, pray for us!
You might remember a few months ago — before Easter — we had the first part of our Saint Survey and hundred of parishioners participated. If you were one of them, thank you! I apologize for the delay in this second round of voting. Between Easter and some of the other things happening here this part of the restoration project did not get the attention it deserved. I want to share two updates about the potential new saints in the reredos of the Church. Both relate to an article from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. This is, if you will, the guidebook as to how to celebrate Mass and to address issues related to the Mass, including church buildings. In Article #318, the General Instruction states: Thus, in sacred buildings images of the Lord, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saints, in accordance with most ancient tradition of the Church, should be displayed for veneration by the faithful and should be so arranged so as to lead the faithful toward the mysteries of faith celebrated there. Care should, therefore, be taken that their number not be increased indiscriminately, and moreover that they be arranged in proper order so as not to draw the attention of the faithful to themselves and away from the celebration itself. There should usually be only one image of any given Saint. Generally speaking, in the ornamentation and arrangement of a church, as far as images are concerned, provision should be made for the devotion of the entire community as well as for the beauty and dignity of the images. One thing I should I have included in the original survey was the information underlined in the article above.
There really should only be one image of any given saint in the Church. Some of the saints selected were saints we already have in the Church (i.e. St. John the Evangelist, St. Joseph, St. Therese). So those were not included in the survey below. Second, I originally proposed adding three new statues for the reredos which would include moving the image of the Blessed Mother that was in the reredos to the Rectory Office area. Members of the Legion of Mary presented another idea which I think is awesome! They suggested perhaps incorporating an image of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles into the reredos. This will be a nice connection to the regional school and another image of the Blessed Mother for us to venerate. We’re in the process of trying to find a statue of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles. More to come! So below are the top six saints from our recent Saint Survey. I would ask now that you pick out your top “TWO” saints and return your survey no later than May 12, 2018.