Great Picnic!

Dear Parishioners,

Last Sunday was the Parish Picnic here at St. Joseph Church. Many of you came out to enjoy good food and to spend time as a parish community.

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the picnic; those who organized it, prepared for it, assisted, did the cooking, and those who helped clean up. I would also like to thank all of you who attended so we could enjoy a beautiful day together.

The day was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to socialize. It was an enjoyable event, and there will be many more to come.

With the summer ending, there are many activities we look forward to in the upcoming year. This will give us more opportunity to come together and grow as a parish family.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Forgiveness

Dear Parishioners,

It is pointless to number the amount of times we should forgive one another. Jesus points out to us in today’s gospel what is important – that we each forgive from our “heart.” Where sin and offense show a lack of respect for our neighbor and for God, forgiveness and reconciliation restore what was lost.

With forgiveness, it is within the power of those who have been offended to reconcile and to heal. The offender can ask for forgiveness and the offended can grant it, but both must be sincere for them to be truly reconciled. Jesus teaches us that when we forgive from the heart, we are reconciled with ourselves, with one another and with God.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Groups and His Presence

Dear Parishioners,

George Anderson was a chaplain at New York’s Riker’s Island prison. One night he was praying with a small group of prisoners over the story of the Good Samaritan.

One of the prisoners, whose name was Richard, was present for the first time. The room was cold and Richard was wrapped in two blankets. The prisoner opposite him was shivering. At one point while the group was praying in silence, Richard suddenly got up, went over to the shivering man and put a blanket around him.

Richard’s silent action witnessed not only to Jesus’s words about loving others, but also to Jesus’s presence among us when we gather in His name.

Can I recall a time when I felt moved by Jesus’s words or His presence in a group?

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

God's Blessings and Care

Dear Parishioners,

It’s already Labor Day! The summer has flown by! We’ve enjoyed the summer in many different ways. Students were on vacation from school. Many of us use this time of year to take a vacation and enjoy some free time.

Some of us may have traveled during the summer, gone to the shore or enjoyed a swimming pool. Summer always gives us the opportunity to take a break from routine and enjoy time with family and friends.

Now it’s time to go back to school or work. The vacation season is coming to an end. Hopefully we go back feeling refreshed.

As always, we want to thank God for His Blessings, for watching over us as we enjoyed our summer. We also want to ask God to continue to watch over us as we move along into the upcoming year.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Building and Teaching

Dear Parishioners,

When we come to church, we thank God for His many gifts as we listen to His Word. When we leave church, we want to take God’s Word with us. This is how we help build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

By our prayer life, we help build God’s Church. By our faithfulness to the liturgy and by following the Lord’s message of love, we’re helping to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

We can also pass on the Lord’s teaching. When we follow the Lord’s message of love, we’re passing His Word on to one another. When our faith is represented by the way we live our lives, we’re spreading the gospel message.

God calls each of us to be His disciples. As we grow in our relationship with God and stay true to following His Message, we, too, can pass on the Lord’s teachings and build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

 

Mary's Love

Dear Parishioners,

This past Tuesday, August 15, was the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrated how the sinless Virgin Mary was taken body and soul to be with God our Father in Heaven.

Mary was a true example for all of us of faith in God and obedience to following God's Will. The faith-filled Virgin Mary was chosen by God to bring Jesus our Savior into the world, without losing her virginity. Because Mary said “yes” to God, we can receive the gift of eternal life.

The Lord asks us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. By practicing our faith, in our love for God and one another, we’re following Mary’s example of faith in God and obedience to following God’s Will.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

 

Asking for Help

Dear Parishioners,

I hope everyone is enjoying your summer. Vacations are always enjoyable, and it’s nice to get away for a while. Since time moves along very quickly, we want to make the most of our time off.

When we’re away from our usual routine, let’s remember that God is always with us. As we enjoy time with family and friends, we can see how God is present. It’s also important to remember that God is with us when we face any challenge, so we can ask for His help.

In today’s gospel, the disciples saw Jesus walking to them on the water. Peter appeared to have such strong faith that when Jesus called him, Peter began walking to Him on the water. But very quickly Peter was frightened by the winds and began to sink, not having faith in Jesus who was right there with him.

How often when we face a struggle do we feel we have to settle it all by ourselves? Like Peter, do we forget that Jesus is there with us? Let’s remember that wherever we are, Jesus is right there with us. Then we can recognize Him in our good experiences and ask for His help whenever we need Him.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Moments of Grace

Dear Parishioners,

How easy is it that we get caught up in our day-to- day activities. Whether it’s work, caring for the family, studying or even enjoying free time, we tend to think only about what’s happening today: today’s events, today’s problems and today’s needs. We may often get completely focused on the here and now, with hardly a thought about anything else.

Spiritual writers sometimes speak of a “moment of grace.” This is a moment when the border between heaven and earth appears to fade for a brief second. This is a moment during our day-to-day activities when God’s presence touches our life deeply. This is a moment when, for a split-second of time, we are blessed with God’s loving presence and activity in our lives.

In today’s gospel, Peter, James and John experienced a moment of grace. They went up the mountain with Jesus to pray and saw Him in His glory. Elijah, the great prophet from the Old Testament, and Moses, the law giver from the Old Testament, each appeared with Jesus.

This moment of grace moved Peter so deeply it appeared he didn’t want it to end, having to return to his daily activities. But Peter, along with James and John, walked away with a new understanding of the Lord’s presence in his life.

Do we ever stop to think about the Lord’s presence in our lives? Each of us can ask ourselves the question, “Can I recall a moment of grace in my life?” When we experience the birth of a child, the return of a loved one or special time with family or friends, we’re experiencing God. Whenever we pray, we’re in conversation with God. When we attend mass, we come to worship God. If we think back on times such as these and so many like them, we can each recall our own “moment of grace.”

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick