March 22, 2015 Page Two March 22, 2015 From the Pastor’s Desk — The Lenten Challenge According to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), it is those who have begun to walk the path of discipleship, in the midst of the community of believers, who are to celebrate the sacraments of faith. Unfortunately, our present pastoral practice has it backwards: we invite individuals to celebrate the sacraments of faith, hope they will stay in the community of believers, and then assume they have become disciples. Might something be askew? (There’s that elephant in the room again.) The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that liturgy and sacraments “must be preceded by evangelization, faith and conversion” (CCC, 1072). Pope Paul VI in his groundbreaking Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization reminds us “there is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed” (EN, 23). No five-month, twoweek, or twenty-six session, one hour per week program can accomplish this. If we are to make disciples, we need to develop models that will move away from sacraments as an age-based reward system to being moments of celebration of authentic faith in the heart of the Christian community. It will require a willingness to correct several theological biases and misconceptions that are deeply rooted in Catholic culture and consciousness. This will require a stripping away of incorrect notions about grace, God’s presence, and the often cited non-theological argument, “We’ve always done it that way.” (There’s much that can be said here, but space does not allow. The Thursday discussions will be a far better place for us to process this.) The cost of inaction will be quite high: more than declining church membership, the lack of ordained ministers or the closing of parishes. The greatest consequence for not acknowledging the elephant in the room will be the toll taken by continuing to settle for external appearances that have little or no connection to the internal reality. Until both the external and the internal align more fully, how can we hope to fulfill God’s plan which invites all to experience his Spirit-filled life here and now? Don’t forget to join me this Thursday to spend an hour discussing our Lenten challenge. We’ll meet in the church basement beginning at 9:30 A.M. and repeating the session at 7:30 P.M. There will be a brief presentation, discussion, reflection time, etc. Sessions should last around ninety minutes, including refreshments! Communal Penance Service, March 27th The sacrament of Penance is the way we as Catholics celebrate the reality of God’s mercy. It is important because it helps us remain honest in terms of identifying areas which needed strengthening in our relationship with God. For me the most beautiful and powerful way to receive this sacrament is at a communal Penance Service. Our parish family will be offering that opportunity on Friday, March 27th, at 7:30 P.M. The beauty and the power of a communal Penance Service unfold as they place the sacrament of Reconciliation in its proper perspective, namely, in the context of the community gathered for prayer. The format of the service is simple. We sing, we pray, we listen, and we pray some more as the theme unfolds through ritual and prayerful meditation. During this time, individual confession is offered. The entire service takes approximately one hour. Those who have attended similar services comment how edifying and encouraging it is to know that fellow parishioners are offering prayers to the Lord as their brothers and sisters are seeking God’s mercy. Our individual offering of an hour’s prayer time, therefore, becomes a grace for all those involved. I invite everyone, therefore, to put aside Friday, March 27th, so we can experience and celebrate God’s presence and mercy together. Communal Penance Service “I am the Potter, you are the clay” Friday, March 27th at 7:30 P.M. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Page Three Mass Intentions for the Week Sunday, March 22nd 8:00 A.M. — Matt Lewis (M/M J. Randall) 9:30 A.M. — Edward Bayard (Angus & Joan) 11:30 A.M. — People of the Parish Monday, March 23rd 7:30 A.M. — 9:00 A.M. — John McDermott (Sokolowski Family) Tuesday, March 24th 7:30 A.M. — Helen Curley 9:00 A.M. — Bernadette Burke (M/M C. Fairben) Wednesday, March 25th 7:30 A.M. — 9:00 A.M. — Frederick C. Lingen, Jr. (Family) Thursday, March 26th 7:30 A.M. — 9:00 A.M. — Daniel Campagna (Jody, Ayva, Elliana & Jack) Friday, March 27th 7:30 A.M. — 9:00 A.M. — Pasquale Iacono (Maria Pia Aiello) Saturday, March 28th 8:30 A.M. — Joseph Hallinan 5:30 P.M. — Eduardo Angel Vieyra (Vieyra Family) Sunday, March 29th 8:00 A.M. — Paul & Anne Lunetta (Family) 9:30 A.M. — Angelina Lisi (Sperduti Family) 11:30 A.M. — People of the Parish Time, Talent & Treasure Fostering Stewardship as a Way of Life Parish Sacrificial Giving Summary Middle School Ministry Program We invite all sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to participate in our parish’s MSM — Middle School Ministry. We’ll meet every Thursday, from 7:00— 8:30 P.M. Come as you are and enjoy the fun! Assumption Youth Ministry (AYM) AYM welcomes all high school teens grades 9-12 to “Come & See.” When: Wednesday Nights, 7:30-9 P.M. Where: Parish Center. Why: To inspire you, ignite your experience of God within your heart, and illuminate your mind to God’s plans for you! How: Details on the parish webpage and AYM Facebook. Save the Date—VBS Our parish’s Vacation Bible School will be the week of July 20th. Plan your summer with this date in mind. The kids love it and it’s a lot less money than Disney World! New parishioner? Moving out of the parish? Kindly fill out the form below and drop it in the collection basket or mail it to the rectory. (Regular Sunday Offering) Name ___________________________ Last Week’s Collection $10,757 (includes Faith Direct) Address _________________________ Last Year’s Collection $10,265 Thank You! Town/Zip ________________________ Telephone _______________________ New Parishioner ______ Moving ____ Page Four Fifth Sunday of Lent Golden Wedding Liturgy This spring, couples that have been married fifty years or more will be honored at liturgies on Sunday, April 19th at the Church of St. Lawrence the Martyr in Sayville and on Sunday, April 26th at the Church of Maria Regina in Seaford. Both liturgies will begin at 2:30 P.M. Couples may register for ONE liturgy. Registration forms and complete instructions can be obtained at the rectory. Registration must be received by the Office of Worship by April 6th for the April 19th liturgy and by April 13th for the April 26th liturgy. There will be additional celebrations in the fall for those who may find that more convenient. If you have any questions you may call 516-678-5800 x207. Pre-Cana News The following couples have completed their PreCana session. We congratulate them and wish them happiness in their marriage: Ryan Johnston & Melissa Lemanski, Michael Kocherkevich & Kerriann Ohlinger, Matthew Lessler & Kelly O’Toole, Timothy Lynam & Carina Christopher, Joseph Macario & Kimberly Cardaci, Dan Marino & Kristin Mazurkiewicz, Michael O’Reilly & Brittany Kaczetow, Vincent Stile & Michelle Reis, Dan Zadwarny & Ashley Rocco. The Journey, Cross & Crucifixion A live dramatic presentation of the Stations of the Cross. Join us as we experience the trial of Jesus, His journey through the streets of Jerusalem, and His final moments on the cross. April 3rd at 8:00 P.M. There will be a free will offering A lectionarybased, electronically delivered resource for individuals, families and parish groups. Readings for Sunday and the week following are listed, as well as helpful articles, faith-filled family reflection activities, and various prayers. Offered as a resource to help our parish family grow in faith, BHTW is on our parish website www.abvmcentereach.com, Check it out and tell us what you think. Parish Anniversary Don’t forget to mark down the date — Saturday, August 15th. At that time our parish will celebrate its Sixtieth Anniversary with mass, a barbeque, games, fellowship. Our goal will be to have this event accessible to our entire parish family. Our committee is working hard to keep the cost to a minimum so that no family would be excluded because of finances. To accomplish this we’ll be seeking corporate sponsorship in the months ahead. In the meantime, mark the date on your calendar and make sure you don’t accept any wedding invitations, vacation invites or schedule other activities. We want everyone to be there for our anniversary celebration!
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