June 23, 2019

posted Jun 21, 2019, 6:50 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY  this weekend we celebrate the SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI. The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist. "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.  The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."  "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."  Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration, we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist, in turn, confirms our way of thinking." (From the Catholic Catechism). May we never take for granted this most beautiful and wonderful gift given by the Father. One of the key lines that has been repeated multiple times in Rome in the past few weeks is Pope Francis’ celebrated maxim that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

 

After one of the Masses 2 weeks ago, I was greeting people as they left the church. I noticed one lady waiting to talk to me.  After greeting parishioners and guests, the lady came up to me and began to talk about our SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS CAPITAL CAMPAIGN. She looked at our chart in the baptistery area and said how impressed she was in what our parish was doing and how successful it was up to that point. Then she wanted to know if she could contribute to the campaign!  She was not a parishioner; her father is. But even though she did not worship here since she was from out of town, she still wanted to help.  I responded that yes she could and I wanted her to know how grateful I am that she would consider helping out with this project.  Her story is not unique.  I have had others who do not belong to this parish come up to me and express the same sentiment.  I am grateful to all those who have helped us reach the total we have now, both parishioner and non-parishioner.  We are so very close to our goal and I am confident that we will meet the amount needed (1200 pledge cards still outstanding) and provide our children with a safe and efficient school which will benefit many more children to come, long after we are gone from the parish.  Thanks to all who helped.

 

There will be a SECOND COLLECTION this weekend for the mission appeal to solicit your prayers and financial support to help the struggling church in Zaria where Christ still weeps.  Fr. Patrick was here last weekend asking for our assistance and our second collection will be sent to him to continue his work in Nigeria.

 

FATHER ANTONY will be absent from our parish over the next 5 weeks.  Father left to return to his family and Diocese for his vacation.  Please keep Father in your prayers as he returns to his home for rest and relaxation.  He will return mid-July.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - Here’s how several elementary school students answered the following questions about moms:

Why did God make mothers?

-  She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch tape is.

-  Mostly to clean the house.

How did God make mothers?

-  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

-  Magic, plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

-  God made my mom just the same as he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

-  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world...and one dab of mean.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

-  We’re related.

-  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s moms like me.

 

June 16, 2019

posted Jun 14, 2019, 6:13 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  this Sunday we celebrate FATHER’S DAY.  I found this story about a dad that speaks of a father’s love for his children.  “My dad delivered bread for a living. We enjoyed each other’s company, so he’d drive home at lunchtime and I’d go with him. One day, we delivered to a large grocery store. When we pulled in back, the manager saw me and said, “I heard it’s your birthday, so go pick out anything in our toy aisle free.” I excitedly grabbed some paper dolls, but the big surprise was still ahead. Dad, the store manager, and the employees stood with a huge lit cake, singing me “Happy Birthday.” I’d turned seven, and this was my first-ever birthday party. Thanks, Dad!”  Today we remember and thank all those fathers who give of themselves, without notice, to make the lives of their children enriched and loving.  Thanks, dads for being there for us and leading us in the way of the Father's love.

 

This Sunday we welcome a missionary from the Catholic Diocese of Zaria, Nigeria. We are            participating in the MISSIONARY COOPERATIVE PROGRAM in which every parish participates. I  received a letter from Father and I would like to share it with you this weekend. 

 

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Victory Church,

The Diocese of Zaria is situated in Kaduna State, in Northern Nigeria. It was created on the 5th of December 2000 and erected on 3rd March 2001 with Bishop George J. Dodo installed as the first bishop. It has a population of about 70,000 Catholics, mostly peasants who live on subsistence farming. Since the creation of the diocese, we have struggled to sow the seed of the faith in an area that is the stronghold of the Islamic religion, which has a long history of Hausa/Fulani hegemony. As a result of religious persecutions, Christians have often been the target of orchestrated attacks, intimidation, harassment, and burning of places of worship at no provocation. The attacks on Christian places of worship and other civilian targets have continued unabated by the extremist Islamic sect, Boko Haram. The situation is worse because the state does not provide adequate protection for those persecuted. This has caused a mass exodus of Christians from the diocese.

Despite our precarious situation, we are making giant strides in strengthening the faith among our vulnerable population. Thanks be to God our Catholics are tenacious in the practice of the faith. However, more work needs to be done in the areas of faith formation, rebuilding of churches and rectories. With the insecurity in the country, many families have lost their means of livelihood and thus unable to provide for themselves basic necessities of life, let alone make any meaningful financial contribution to the church.

The mission appeal in your parish is to solicit for your prayers and financial support to the                 struggling church in Zaria where Christ still weeps. We ask for your support in rebuilding the churches and rectories destroyed, and in the training of priests and catechists for grassroots evangelization. We look  forward to your kind and generous support. May the Lord reward your generosity, bless your families, and all you do for the kingdom of God.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Jonathan Yabiliyok

Catholic Diocese of Zaria, Nigeria.

 

We will take up a SECOND COLLECTION next weekend to help the Catholic Diocese of Zaria.  Missionary Co-op envelopes will be found at the entrances of the church and in the baptistery area.

 

This weekend we WELCOME FR. RALPH back to our parish.  After being away from us for a year, it is a pleasure to welcome him back to his second home.  He will be with us for about 6 weeks, resting and  giving us a helping hand.  Also at some time during his stay, he will bring us up to date on the work that is continuing through the help of OLV.  Welcome back Fr. Ralph!!!

  

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A small boy was at the zoo with his father.  They were looking at the tigers, and his father was telling him how ferocious they were. “Daddy, if the tigers got out and ate you up…” “Yes, son?” the father asked, ready to console him. “…Which bus would I take home?”

 

June 9, 2019

posted Jun 7, 2019, 6:07 AM by Diane Lapinski

Another reminder that next Sunday, June 16, our nation REMEMBERS OUR FATHERS, on FATHER’S DAY.  We need to stop and thank our Dads (if they are living) for all the things they have done for us.  We need to say “thanks” before the time comes when we will not be able to say it to them while on this earth.  As we always have done in the past, our fathers will be remembered on their day at the altar during the Masses.  If you would like your father remembered, whether living on earth or with God, please return the envelopes found at the entrances of the church.  They will be placed in the sanctuary for the remaining weeks of June.

 

This Tuesday, June 11, we will celebrate the SACRAMENT OF THE SICK at Our Lady of Victory Church  beginning at 6:00 PM.  “My dear friends, we are gathered here in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who is present among us. As the gospels relate, the sick came to him for healing; moreover, he loves us so much that he died for our sake.  Through the apostle James, he has commanded us: “Are there any who are sick among you?  Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.” Let us, therefore, commend our sick brother/sister N. to the grace and power of Christ, that he may save him/her and raise him/her up.”  These words are from the prayers found in the Rite of Anointing of the Sick.  Therefore, I invite those who are elderly or suffering from sicknesses and who wish to be anointed to please plan to be with us this Tuesday.

 

I want to take this time to THANK all those parishioners who heeded my call for more financial help for OUR CAPITAL CAMPAIGN for the school safety/improvements project.  Because we have had many parishioners who understood the reasons for the needed increase by pledging new financial assistance cards or through upping their original pledges, we are almost near the goal of $1,630,000.00.  Once that goal is reached, all projects will be underway, including the air-conditioning of the gym.  I am so very grateful to all who contributed and who will contribute yet to this most needed project.  As your pastor, I can only take all of you to God, asking for His blessings upon each and every one of you. I am humbled with such a response to my plea.  And remember, it is for the kids and their safety.

 

As we closed out another SCHOOL YEAR at Our Lady of Victory, I want to thank Samantha and Dawn, all the teachers, aides, staff and volunteers who made this year a wonderful year.  As we all know to work at a Catholic School has to be a labor of love, a labor that sees working at a school as an act of MINISTRY.  Due to a lack of funds from the government, as public schools receive, salaries are based more on what a parish can afford.  Since I have been here, our teachers have had raises that place them above all other teachers in the Diocese.  But it is not enough in my estimation for the work and love they bring to their students.  But I have to work with what I have.  I am so very grateful for their generosity in seeing their position as part of God's call to participate in His ministry to His children.  I hope and pray that God will bless them for their sacrifices.  Also, I want to thank all parents who chose a Catholic Education for their child/children.  I know the sacrifices you are making to ensure that your child receives a wonderful Catholic education.  Being faithful to your tuition agreement, participating in our only fundraiser – the walk-a-thon- and supporting the various projects throughout the New Year gives our school that specialness not found in other schools.  Again, I hope and pray that God will bless you for your many sacrifices made for His children.  Now, let’s enjoy the summer.

 

If you are vacationing, please remember, we do not take a VACATION FROM GOD. Please check out www.masstimes.org for a list of churches in the areas you are visiting and their Mass times.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – FOR OUR GOLFERS - Top Six Caddy Comments

· Golfer: "I think I'm going to drown myself in the lake." Caddy: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"

· Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course." Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."

· Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?" Caddy: "Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now."

· Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"   Caddy: "Eventually."

· Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world." Caddy: "I don't think so sir. That would be too much of a  coincidence."

· Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction." Caddy: "It's not a watch -- it's a compass."

 

June 2, 2019

posted May 31, 2019, 5:30 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,   this Friday evening, June 7 at 7:00 we will     celebrate a MASS OF BLESSING for our 8th-grade students leaving Our Lady of Victory School.  At this mass, we will ask God’s blessing upon our students leaving us for their high school experience,  wherever that leads them.  It is my hope that a spiritual foundation was built within their hearts that will strengthen them and give them the wisdom to always choose the path that God has planned for them.  As we always hear at times like these, this ceremony is not an end, but a new beginning.  May God bless them as they leave the friendly confines of Our Lady of Victory School and embark on a new chapter in their lives.  Parishioners of OLV are invited to come and pray with us.

It is not too late to participate in the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS BABY BOTTLES FOR A CHANGE for the Gabriel project.  The bottles are found at the entrances of the church and can be brought back by Father’s Day.  Please do not place the bottles in the collection baskets; rather place them in the baskets provided at the doors of the church.  This is a wonderful project and the financial results will go a long way in helping mothers with young babies.

Another reminder that Sunday, June 16, our nation REMEMBERS OUR FATHERS, on FATHER’S DAY.  We need to stop and thank our Dads (if they are living) for all the things they have done for us.  We need to say “thanks” before the time comes when we will not be able to say it to them while on this earth.  As we always have done in the past, our fathers will be remembered on their day at the altar during the masses.  If you would like your father remembered, whether living on earth or with God, please return the envelopes found at the entrances of the church.  They will be placed in the sanctuary for the remaining weeks of June.

A look ahead – on June 11, we will celebrate the SACRAMENT OF THE SICK at Our Lady of Victory Church beginning at 6:00 PM.  By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests, the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ. Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited his people" and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand.  Jesus has the power not only to heal but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul, and body; he is the physician the sick have need of.  His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross, Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the "sin of the world, “of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion   (Reflections From the Catholic Catechism).  For those who are elderly or suffering from sicknesses and who wish to be anointed, please mark this date on your calendar and plan to be with us.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - Some Signs Your Guy Hates Shopping

1. You catch him staring into the store's security cameras, waving his arms in the air and       mouthing:   "Help me!"

2. In the last year of hitting the mall together, he's gained 20 pounds trying to self-medicate on cheese  fries from the food court.

3. He sleeps like a baby …on the bench by the fountain.

4. The store's lounge area has turned into a therapy circle for men, with your Guy acting as moderator.    You catch him shooting the breeze about baseball and trying to place an eighth-inning bet . . . with  a mannequin.

 

May 26,2019

posted May 24, 2019, 5:39 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  this Monday our nation celebrates MEMORIAL DAY. The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day—or Decoration Day, as it was first known—is unclear.  In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.  After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who died in all American wars.  No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.  The RECTORY WILL BE CLOSED for Memorial Day           weekend and reopen on Tuesday, May 28 at 9:00 AM.  There will also be only ONE MASS ON          MEMORIAL DAY celebrated at 9:00 AM.

 

I am reading a book right now entitled, BARKING TO THE CHOIR by Fr. Gregory Boyle. It does give food for thought for anyone who is serious about their spiritual growth.  Fr. Boyle quotes Oscar Romero, "A church that doesn't provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn't unsettle, a word of God that doesn't get  under anyone's skin, a word that doesn't touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is that?”  I think so often we can have a false sense of security in remaining in the status quo.  We fulfill all our spiritual obligations and feel that everything is just fine.  Prayers said, Mass  attended, novenas fulfilled, etc.  Yet, could the gospel be calling us to be radically different?  Could the gospel be calling us to understand God and others in a different way?  Does the gospel pull us out of  ourselves and allow God out of our own preconceived ideas of who He is?  Fr. Boyle continues in his own words, "Yet the Gospel Kinship always exposes the game, jostles the status quo in constant need of  conversion, because the STATUS QUO is only interested in incessant judging, comparisons, measuring, scapegoating and competition.  And we, the Choir, are stuck in complacency."  May we allow the Gospel to move us out of ourselves and see the bigger picture…the picture God wants us to see.

 

This Thursday is ASCENSION THURSDAY, A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. Now that the Lord’s work is done on earth, it is time for the disciples to continue spreading the Word through their preaching and through their lives.  Masses will be celebrated on Wednesday at 6:00 PM, Thursday at 7:00AM, 9:00 AM (School Mass) and 12:05 PM.   Adoration ends at 5:30pm on Wednesday.

 

Sunday, June 16, the nation REMEMBERS OUR FATHERS, on FATHER’S DAY. We need to stop and thank our Dads (if they are living) for all the things they have done for us.  We need to say “thanks” before the time comes when we will not be able to say it to them while on this earth.  As we always have done in the past, our fathers will be remembered on their day at the altar during the masses.  If you would like your father remembered, whether living on earth or with God, please return the envelopes found at the  entrances of the church.  They will be placed in the sanctuary the remaining weeks of June.

 

This announcement is a bit early, but I wanted all parishioners to have a chance to go to the PITTSBURGH PIRATES – ST. LOUIS CARDINAL BASEBALL GAME on July 25 at PNC Park.  The cost is $70.00 which includes ticket and bus transportation.  The seats are great seats and under roof, just in case of rain.  We will stop in Ebensburg at a McDonalds for a quick breakfast stop.  This trip usually sells out fast so please call now if you have any intention of going.  Remember it is easier to cancel than to wait on the waiting list.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - Two elderly sisters donated $5 to a charity and, to their surprise, won tickets to a football game. Since they had never seen a live football game before, Madge thought the free tickets would provide an excellent opportunity for doing so. "I think so, too," said Mabel. "Let's go!" They soon found themselves high in a noisy stadium overlooking a large, grassy expanse. They watched the kickoff and the seemingly endless back-and-forth struggles that comprised the scoreless first half. They enjoyed the band music and cheerleader performance that followed. Then came the second half. When the teams lined up for the second-half kickoff, Madge nudged her sister. "I guess we can go home now, Mabel," she said. "This is where we came in."

 

May 19, 2019

posted May 17, 2019, 7:01 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  over the past few weeks I have been asked if we are going to go back to the 9:00 PM Benediction Time on Wednesday evenings now that the weather is much      better.  I have talked this over with the priests and we have concluded that we will KEEP THE 7:00 PM closing hour.  The keeping of the 7:00 PM closing hour will help your priests to better serve the parish with all the duties and responsibilities that we must undertake as well as some possible changes that might occur with OLV.  For those who might be disgruntled with the keeping of the 7:00 PM hour, please note that we do not prohibit one from coming into the church to pray on off hours and on other days.  Keeping adoration for 12 hours, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM, seems to us to be ample time for parishioners to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  And remember, theologically, there is no distinction between God’s grace being bestowed while the Blessed Sacrament is exposed or reposed in the tabernacle.  And by the way, we are one of the few churches in the Diocese that has adoration every week for half the day!

 

FOR PARISH INFORMATION - OUTDOOR SUMMER MASSES: ​  Father John D. Byrnes, Rector, and the Parish Family of Saint Michael the Archangel Basilica, Loretto, invite the faithful to join us each Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. for the outdoor Sunday Mass at the beautiful  garden Shrine of Our Lady of the Alleghenies in Loretto. The first Mass of the season will be celebrated on Sunday, May 26, 2019, and will continue through Labor Day Weekend, September 1, 2019. Please bring a lawn chair. In the event of inclement weather, the Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel.

 

I would like to bring the parishioners up to date on our two FINANCIAL APPEALS that we are now undertaking.

1. The CATHOLIC MINISTRIES DRIVE – to date, the amount pledged and promised is $170,262.00 on 404 pledges/payments towards our goal of $147,956.00. We have reached our goal in pledges and if all pledges are fulfilled we will have $22,306.00 returned to us which will be placed against our school security/improvements campaign. The figure of $170,262.00 will be increased when the diocese informs us of how much money was pledged and sent to them directly. I want to thank all those who contributed to help the 14 ministries the diocese supports. Now all monies pledged to the diocesan drive will be returned in full to OLV for our appeal. There is still time to donate.

2. Our SCHOOL SECURITY AND IMPROVEMENTS CAMPAIGN – to date, the amount pledged and promised is $1,538,645.01 on 504 pledges. We are so very close to having the finances (if all pledges are fulfilled) to   getting the school classrooms air-conditioned. We are still a little short on getting the gym air conditioned, but I still have high hopes. It is my dream to have the total amount pledged by the end of May. I want to take this time to thank all the support I have received from parishioners when I made the second appeal after all          Masses a few weeks ago. 99.9 % of parishioners are very understanding. I have heard people say to me, “We understand the rising of costs.” “We know that when working with contractors, prices can go up depending on what they found while working.” “Anyone who has had work done in and around their house knows what can happen when the final product is determined.” I am grateful to all of you for your understanding and support as we enter the home stretch with our campaign. Thanks to those who upped their pledge and those who made a first-time pledge. May God bless all of you for your prayers, words of encouragement and support during this time.

 

And overall, I want to THANK ALL PARISHIONERS for being very supportive over the years I have been here with you.  We have done so much for the parish and I am very grateful for your support and constant                  encouragement.  I am so very proud of all of you and please know that none of this could have been done           without your backing.  God bless.

 

REASONS TO BUY A NEW CAR –

1. Your passenger seat is on the National Register of Historic Places.

2. Instead of an airbag, there's a whoopee cushion taped to your steering wheel.

3. You lose the stop-light challenge to a 14-year old on a moped.

4. 15-Minute Jiffy Lube lasts for only 3 days.

5. Thieves repeatedly break into your car just to take "The Club."

6. When you gas up, the attendant asks "Can I re-duct-tape that windshield for you?"

7. While waiting at a stop light, people run up asking if anyone was hurt.

8. For the last five years, you've had to settle for making "vroom vroom" noises while sitting in the driveway.

9. You keep losing dates on left turns.

10. Your gas gauge measures in cubits.

11. Traffic reporters are starting to refer to you by name when discussing morning tie-ups.

12.  It hasn't been the same since Henry Ford borrowed it.

 

May 12, 2019

posted May 9, 2019, 10:36 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people. One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia. When rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name.   Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Cichan, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.  Nothing could separate that child from her parent’s love—neither tragedy nor disaster, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, neither height nor depth, neither life nor death.  This weekend we honor all those MOTHERS who gave us our life and supported us throughout our lives.  May God bless all our Moms both living and deceased.  They will all be remembered at the Masses this weekend.

 

I would like to take this space to THANK Jim Hoy and all those VOLUNTEER   RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TEACHERS AND AIDES who gave of themselves this past school year.  I know that many times it seems to be a thankless ministry.  Probably this side of heaven, they will never see the fruit of their efforts.  And for most of us, that is the way it is to be.  All we can do is plant the seed of God’s word and life into the hearts of His children and we need to let Him do the rest.  Thank you all so much for a job well done and for now enjoy the free Sundays you will have during the summer.  God bless.

 

The month of May is DEDICATED to Mary, the Mother of God.  In most churches, May Crowning is a tradition that still exists.  This weekend at the 9:30 Mass, the children will crown Mary once again.  Since we are under the protection of Our Lady, may her prayers protect us and continue to encourage us to walk the path of faith that she had to walk.  Mary, Mother of God, pray for us         sinners now and at the hour of death….Amen.

 

This coming Saturday, ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC ACADEMY will graduate their senior class.  I want to congratulate all graduates, but especially the graduates from OLV for reaching this milestone in their life and to ensure them of our prayers as they continue their  studies.  Congratulations and God bless.

 

For your information, one of the projects for the spring/summer is to replace and renovate the SIDEWALK OF THE CHURCH THAT LEADS INTO THE BAPTISTERY AREA. As you can see, the sidewalk is crumbling in many areas and parishioners and guests have to be very careful when walking on it.  I have received numerous emails asking that something be done.  I talked to Mark and Ron and they will undertake the project to reconfigure the walk, replace the cement and remake it into a very beautiful entrance to the church.  I do ask parishioners to please be careful if the construction of the walk is taking place while you are attending church services.  I am so very sure that you will be pleased with the work that will be accomplished as you have been with the rest of the improvements you have seen around the total property.

 

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A young man called his mother and excitedly announced that he had just met the woman of his dreams.  His mother said, “Why don’t you send her flowers and invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?”  The day after the big date, his mother called to see how things had gone. "Mom, the evening was a complete disaster," he replied. "It was horrible!" "Why, didn't she come over?" his mother asked. "Yes, she came over. But she refused to cook!"

 

May 5, 2019

posted May 3, 2019, 7:42 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  unless one has just moved into the area from another town, I am sure all parishioners know that we are undergoing a MAJOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT CAPITAL CAMPAIGN. Since July of 2018, we have been soliciting donations from families to help us improve school  security, renovate the kitchen/cafeteria and install air conditioning in every classroom.  Also since July, I have kept the parish informed as to how the campaign is going through bulletin updates and the chart found in the baptistery.  Now, I would like to give you a realistic picture of where we are.  As you can see, we are  approximately $125,000.00 short of our goal to accomplish all the items mentioned above.  Construction on the kitchen/cafeteria phase is now in progress and will reach full speed when school lets out in June.  The same will be with the new security renovations at the main entrance of the school.  However, and this is huge, the full air conditioning of the school might not occur due to the lack of funds. This need not happen!  The 1.4 million was raised on the donations of only 500 families or so.  That means there are approximately 1800 families who have decided not to contribute for whatever reason.  And some of these are families have children in our school who will directly be affected by the new safety procedures and air-conditioned classrooms.  I know that we are going through the Diocesan Appeal again this year.  I have no control over that; it is a Diocesan requirement.  However, I am boldly asking that those who have not contributed to the school campaign to please consider doing so.  In my ideal world, if 1800 families would contribute a minimum of $600.00 (just $50.00 per month for one year) we would have the additional monies to fully complete the project giving our children a safe and enjoyable environment to learn for many generations to come.  I know that finances are tight for most people; I myself had to extend my pledge over a period of 3 years.  It seems like everyone is asking for financial help.  Our Lady of Victory has always been the most generous parish in the Diocese.  I truly believe that.  I would like it also to be the best parish with the best school as well.  We can do it!  Therefore, I am asking once again for the financial help to complete the entire project.  What a wonderful legacy for families to leave.  What a wonderful gift to give to our children for future generations to come.  I trust in God that He will see this to completion with the assistance of many good and generous families.  Thank you so very much to those who have already given so generously.  And I ask those who have not to please help us to achieve our goal!

 

THANK YOU!!! We have reached out CATHOLIC MINISTRIES DRIVE AND HAVE GONE OVER! To date we have received 386 pledges promising $162,867.00.  We are over our goal by $14,911.00.  Now all monies pledged will be returned to help in the school safety/improvements campaign.  I am so very grateful to all who helped us reach this goal once again this year.  It takes a lot off of my mind.  So now, all monies pledged from this time forth will be benefiting OLV.  Can I count on the rest of parishioners to help us?

 

If you have not noticed, the CATHOLIC REGISTER, OUR DIOCESAN PAPER, is no longer being delivered to your homes.  It is being delivered to each parish and can be picked up in the baptistery area.

 

Next Sunday, May 12, the nation REMEMBERS OUR MOTHERS, on this day, MOTHER’S DAY. We all should stop and thank our moms (if they are living) for the very life that they gave us and for all the things they have done for us.  We need to say "thanks" before the time comes when we will not be able to say it to them while on this earth.  As we always have done, our mothers will be remembered on their day at the altar during the Masses.  If you would like your mother remembered, whether living or with God, please return the  envelopes found at the entrances of the church.  They will be placed in the sanctuary for the remaining weeks of May after Mother's Day.

 

This Sunday afternoon, we welcome Bishop Mark who will be celebrating the SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION for our 11th grade students. The liturgy will begin at 3:00 PM and it does satisfy the Sunday obligatory Mass. Therefore parishioners are invited to be with us as we celebrate this major  spiritual milestone for our 11thgraders.  I also extend my congratulations to our students and ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct them throughout their adult lives.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - A married couple had a quarrel and ended up giving each other the silent treatment. Two days into their mute argument, the man realized he needed his wife’s help. In order to catch a flight to Chicago for a business meeting, he had to get up at 5 a.m.  Not wanting to be the first to break the  silence, he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5 a.m.”  The next morning the man woke up only to discover his wife was already out of bed, it was 9 a.m., and his flight had long since departed. He was about to find his wife and demand an answer for her failings when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. He read, “It’s 5 a.m. Wake up.”

 

April 28, 2019

posted Apr 26, 2019, 7:41 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  the Sunday after Easter was designated by St. Pope John Paul II as DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us – all of us. And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.  The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC: 

 

A - Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking

    Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend

    love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C - Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our

    trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

 

This message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.  The message and devotional practices proposed in the Diary of Saint Faustina are completely in accordance with the teachings of Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Properly understood and implemented, they will help us grow as genuine followers of Christ.  Spend time to learn more about the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus, and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.  The Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed after the 9:30 Mass this Sunday.

 

May 12, the nation REMEMBERS OUR MOTHERS, on this day, MOTHER’S DAY. We all should stop and thank our moms (if they are living) for the very life that they gave us and for all the things they have done for us.  We need to say "thanks" before the time comes when we will not be able to say it to them while on this earth.  As we always have done, our mothers will be remembered on their day at the altar during the Masses.  If you would like your mother remembered, whether living or with God, please return the envelopes found at the entrances of the church.  They will be placed in the sanctuary for the remaining weeks of May after Mother’s Day.

 

I would like to THANK all those who made our Holy Week and Easter celebrations so spiritually uplifting for the parish.  I thank Joe, Mary and the choirs for their musical support and beautiful assistance in our prayer.  Thanks are extended to all those who exercised their ministries in our church – cantors, ushers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers, altar servers and greeters.  My thanks are given to those who decorated the church and to those who arranged the reception in the Activities Center after the Easter Vigil Mass.  Big thanks to those who contributed to the priest's reception after our Penance Service.  If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me.  As your pastor, I am so very grateful that we have such an active and alive parish with many who are willing to give of themselves for the good of all.  God bless.

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE – I want to THANK all parishioners and friends who extend to me, Fr. Antony and Fr. Jonathan their Easter Blessings through cards and goodies that came into the rectory.  I cannot tell you how good iced cookies and chocolate tasted after not having them for 40 days.  As always, it is heartwarming to know how much parishioners do care about their priests.  May God bless you all.

 

SO CLOSE….YET, NOT THERE! The totals for the CATHOLIC MINISTRIES DRIVE are as follows:  we have 370 pledges with $138,152.00 in pledged money.  We are $ 9,804.00 away from our goal with about 1900 pledge cards still outstanding.  I thank you for your generosity and ask those who have not contributed to please consider doing so.  Remember, all monies over the goal will be going to complete the school safety/improvements project.  I am very humbled by the response so far.  May God continue to bless us as we reach out to help His children.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – One day, a house worked-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt.  Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”  “It depends,” she replied.  “What does it say on your shirt?”  He yelled back, “We Are…Penn State.”

 

April 14, 2019

posted Apr 12, 2019, 7:07 AM by Diane Lapinski

FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY,  this week we begin our journey through the HOLIEST WEEK OF THE YEAR. It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death, and    resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages, and recommit to living as his           disciples in the world today.  The final week of Lent, Holy Week, begins with Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord and concludes with the Triduum.  "Triduum" comes from two Latin words - tres and dies - that means "a space of three days," But since we have four days with special names - Holy Thursday, Good      Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday - the "three" may be confusing to some. They are, however, one liturgical celebration. The confusion is cleared up when we understand how the days are reckoned. On all high festival days, the Church counts a day in the same way as Jews count days and festivals: that is, from sundown to sundown. Thus the Triduum consists of three twenty-four periods that stretch over four calendar days.  Therefore, the Easter Triduum begins at sundown on Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, continues with Good Friday and concludes with Easter evening prayer at sundown on Easter Sunday: its high point is the celebration of the Easter Vigil.  During the Triduum we celebrate the core mystery of our Christian faith: we ritualize Jesus' transition from life to death to risen life and our own participation in that timeless mystery.  It is so easy this time of year to celebrate these days as a historical commemoration. But we are doing far more than recalling historical facts. What Jesus did for us has  consequences for all people at all times. His life, death, and resurrection happened to him, but they also happen to all of us who claim to be his followers.  These days, then, are a reminder and celebration of who we ourselves are and what our own lives are about.  As we celebrate the mystery of Jesus' passing, we actually celebrate the same passing over in our own lives. Jesus' self-sacrifice opened the way for us to share in new life. But this does require our own cooperation in God's divine plan of salvation. We must pass over our lives into God's hands and imitate the self-giving of God's Son. This is the way to life. "It is the  Passover of the Lord". 

 

A reminder to all that OUR PENANCE SERVICE IS THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON at 2:00 PM. We will have the assistance of at least 10 priests so waiting should not be long.  Please take this opportunity to be reconciled with your Father as we journey together through the passion and death of Jesus so as to rise with Him on Easter.

 

The RECTORY WILL CLOSE this Wednesday at 12:00 and remain closed through the rest of the week.  This will allow your Priests and Deacon to prepare themselves mentally and spiritually to celebrate the sacred rites with you over the next few days, We will reopen on Monday, April 22 at 9:00am. Please limit all calls to emergency only.

 

Please take note of the SCHEDULE FOR HOLY WEEK/EASTER LITURGIES:

· Palm Sunday - Masses will be celebrated at the usual weekend times. The procession will take place at  the 9:30 AM Mass. OLV Penance Service at 2:00 PM.

· Monday of Holy Week – Masses at 7:00 and 9:00 AM. Please remember the priests of the Diocese who will celebrate the Chrism Mass at 11:00 AM with Bishop Mark.

· Tuesday of Holy Week – Masses at 7:00 and 9:00 AM.

· Wednesday of Holy Week – Masses at 7:00 and 9:00 AM. The celebration of Tenebrae at 7:00 PM. There will be no adoration that day. It is my hope that parishioners will come to adore the Lord on Holy Thursday evening.

· Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 PM followed by private adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 10:00 PM. There will be no morning Masses; however, Morning Prayer will be recited at 9:00 AM.

· Good Friday – Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 12:00 Noon and 7:00 PM. Remembrance of the Lord’s Passion will be prayed at 1:00 PM. Morning Prayer will be prayed at 9:00 AM.

· Holy Saturday – The Blessing of Easter Food will take place at 11:30 in the baptistery. The Easter Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 8:30. There will be no 4:00 PM Mass. Morning Prayer will be prayed at 9:00 AM.

· Easter Sunday – Usual Sunday Mass times: 7:30, 9:30 and 12:00 Noon.

 

HUMOR FOR THE WEEK -  I think everyone can emphasize with the desperate and doomed prayer of a schoolboy emerging from a school exam: “Dear God, please make Paris the capital of Turkey.”

 

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