All posts by Stephanie Nolet

Dec. 4: Bereavement Support Group at 2pm

A Bereavement Support Group is offered in the parish.  Sessions are the first Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM in the conference room of the parish center. This group provides emotional and spiritual support for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one through death.  Sometimes it helps and comforts to just talk with others who have undergone similar experiences.  We  offer a friendly, informal setting in which we can gain insight into the grieving process through dialogue and personal stories, drawing strength and understanding from others.  Sessions are facilitated by Mary Rose DeMarco and Jeanne Gracon.

If you are interested in participating in this group or if you have any questions, please call Jeanne Gracon, Pastoral Care Associate, at 371-9632 ext. 11.

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE! 

What a story we hear in our first reading today from the Book of Maccabees!

It seems incredible that a mother would encourage here seven sons to die rather than taste pork.  But of course there is something greater here, the refusal to eat pork expressed a fearless proclamation of faith in the God of life!

The Maccabee Family accepted death rather than renounce their faith, their religion…

The Maccabee reading today, besides being a saga about heroes, also gives us a glimpse of how the people of Israel developed their ideas about eternal life based on their understanding of God’s goodness and justice.

Sometimes to make a point, we take the extreme and the Maccabees story does this!  The Maccabees sacrificed their lives to proclaim that faithfulness to God and integrity are more important than life itself.

Today’s scriptures, invite us to reflect on the great and small things that might threaten our integrity as people of faith, for we too face challenges daily in living our faith!

For instance, does our living of our faith compare to what God asks of us?  Starting with the Commandments, The Beatitudes, The Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy…  When the living of our faith asks for sacrifice, how do we respond?  Do we rationalize why it is OK for me, when the living of our faith does not fit my schedule, my thoughts, my way.

It is so easy to walk away…  How about letting God into our lives…  How about staying and persevering with the grace of God.

Does the life we live daily at home, work, or school, out and about, in word and action say to others that we are people of faith, that God is the center of my life?

Do we talk about our faith, our church, our conviction with others during the week in ways to foster faith, in ways that encourage others to put their faith in God and in ways that proclaim my faith, our faith, in a God who loves us and cares for us now and eternally?

Maybe today and every day we can ask for the prayers of the Maccabees as we try to imitate their conviction and courage each day, as person, family and Parish…

Look around you for the people of faith who remind you and encourage you to let God be your guide in living life and pray that others will see in YOU, in US, people of faith who are convinced that God is our guide always, everywhere & eternally.

Nov. 13 – Respect and Relationships Class

The “Respect & Relationships” Class for our 9th Graders will be held Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the St. Mary’s Parish Center. All 9th graders are expected to attend this class as a part of Confirmation Preparation.  If your 9th grader is unable to make it, please contact the Faith Formation Office immediately at 518-371-9521 or via email at smcff@nycap.rr.com.

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!

Years ago, there was a communion song we sung in church entitled, “Look Beyond” with the refrain: “Look beyond the bread you eat see your Savior and your Lord; look beyond the cup you drink see His love poured out as blood.”

“Look Beyond” just might be the title for today’s homily.

And “Look Beyond” is exactly what Jesus does in today’s Gospel when He looks up and there in the tree is that short guy, that tax collector that nobody liked, that guy named Zacchaeus.

And of all the people along the road that Jesus could have chosen to call out by name and then have dinner at his home, of all the people… really, Zacchaeus.  That’s what many people were thinking!  Because they knew the man, at least so they thought they did, they did not like the man, and besides he was a tax collector.

But Jesus look’s beyond all this and why we might ask???

Maybe part of the answer is in our first reading today from The Book of Wisdom:

  • The Lord… has mercy on ALL.
  • The Lord… loathes nothing he has created.
  • The Lord… loves us ALL.

Jesus knew the past of Zacchaeus, just as he knows our past.  What Jesus saw in Zacchaeus, was more than what people said about him; Jesus saw his willingness to change his life for the better, to be fair and honest, today and tomorrow.

Zacchaeus says, “I shall give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have extorted anyone I shall repay them 4 times over.”

And today, some 2000 years later, what is it that Jesus asks of us, as people of Faith? What is it that Jesus “Looks Beyond” in each of our lives and in doing so encourages us to be willing to make the effort to be and become better a person of faith, that person of integrity, of caring, of sharing, of life and love and so much more.

Oh, and maybe in the Spirit of Jesus we too might “Look Beyond” what we think we know about another or others, just like Jesus does.  Jesus who has mercy toward ALL and Jesus who loves ALL.

Most certainly something that all people of our world need to know and experience every day: unconditional mercy and love!