Fr. Tom’s Letters


Each week Fr. Tom writes a letter to parishioners in our bulletin.  Every letter is comprehensive, including current information about the Parish, an explanation of Scripture for that Sunday, and an invitation to become more engaged in the faith life of our Parish.





February 26, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

We have enjoyed a fairly mild winter this year and hopefully the benefit of these above average temperatures will be reflected in all our heating bills.  Still, we had a significant snowstorm two weeks ago. Our maintenance staff did a tremendous job in clearing the snow.  By nightfall all our lots and sidewalks were clean.  Soon after the snow started falling and before daylight our team was out with plows, blowers and shovels.  They did a tremendous job in creating clear access to both the school and the church.  It took twelve hours of hard work among 7 men to clear the snow but they did a great job.  Many thanks to them on behalf of all the parish.

One problem is the parking lot behind the church.  Some neighbors choose to park their cars in that lot overnight.  It is a convenience that the parish allows.  But neighbors who park their cars there must move those cars in advance of a predicted snowstorm.  Most neighbors do so and we are able to clean the lot.  Unfortunately a couple of cars are usually left there, making snow removal inadequate, creating dangerous ice conditions.  Please be a cooperative neighbor and remove those cars in advance of snow.  We are good neighbors in allowing you to park there.  Be a good neighbor and remove your car.


I have made reference several times in the bulletin to our need for increased ministry and meeting space and our looking at possibilities of using the former convent property to address this need.  Nights like last Wednesday make that need for more space most evident.  After a busy day from 6:00am to 6:00pm with more than 700 students using the school building for classes and faith formation, our evening activities began at 7:00.  There were six different groups meeting in various rooms and spaces.  Between 450 and 500 people were using the church, auditorium, cafeteria, school chapel, and two meeting rooms, and the upstairs classroom.  This included the 200 member Confirmation class and parents, seventh grade faith formation students and their catechists, the Professional Networking Group, Men’s Bible Study, Respect Life, and Pre-Cana.  A lot was going on.  We need more space.


Catholics all over Long Island are getting a chance to meet our new bishop.  Bishop Barres is traveling to meet and pray with parishioners from the Nassau County line to Montauk Point.  This coming Friday parishes from our area will have the chance to meet and pray with Bishop Barres at a specially arranged Mass at our neighboring parish Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park.  That is Friday, February 24th at 5:30pm.  OLV is the home parish of our local dean, Father Thomas Fusco, pastor of OLV.  Deans host events that are shared by parishes as they are geographically organized throughout Long Island.  The diocese has 14 deaneries.  We are members of Deanery #4, named the Belmont Deanery.

We are all invited to this Mass so that we might have the chance to greet and pray with our new leader.  Fr. Rudy and I will concelebrate the Mass and hope to see many parishioners there.  Later this afternoon (Thursday) I will have an opportunity to meet and pray with Bishop Barres at a meeting for priests.  With you, I look forward to meeting him.


In a short ten days we will begin Lent with the traditional observance of Ash Wednesday.  Please note in the bulletin our schedule of Masses for Ash Wednesday.  Note the change in schedule with includes the afternoon Mass at 4:15 and the evening Mass at 7:15pm.  Ashes will be distributed after the homily at each Mass.  Note as well that the 10:00am School Mass is open to all parishioners.  We also have our usual 7:30 and 9:00 Masses.

Lent will be here quickly.  Now is the time to think how you wish to observe this Lent in a meaningful way.  Bishop Barres asks that we make this a Lent during which we make a special effort to encourage others to participate in Sunday Mass.  He offered this initiative in his opening homily at his installation Mass and again offers this invitation in his 2017 Lent letter to us.  Please give some thought, reflection, and prayer to his request that we become inviters to family, friends, and neighbors in terms of Sunday Mass participation.


A long time tradition of parish life during Lent is the offering of a Parish Mission.  We are fortunate that we will be able to have such a mission here at St. Anne’s.  We will begin with the First Sunday of Lent on March 4-5 and continue the parish mission on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of that week.

Our mission preacher is Paulist Father John Hurley who is a priest of vast experience in terms of parish life.  He has served on committees for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and he has presented in more than 100 dioceses throughout the country.  Fr. Hurley grew up in Huntington and has been a priest for 40 years.  I very much look forward to his visit and expect that his preaching will be very interesting and uplifting for us all – a great beginning to Lent.  Fr. Hurley will offer you his own invitation to participate in the Parish Mission when he preaches at all the Masses the weekend of March 4-5.  Please try your best to share in what will be a special time for the parish.


Most schools are closed this week beginning with the Monday Presidents’ Day holiday.  Enjoy these days and travel safely.  Later today Sunday, I will celebrate the Wedding Mass for my nephew Matthew and his spouse Emily.  What incredible weather for a February wedding!  Later in the week, I hope to be visiting with my three nieces at college.  A few years ago, I started the tradition with them of a “winter outing.”  This year we are making it an excursion!

Enjoy the week!

Fr. Tom


























































































































The letters are available in PDF and require Adobe Reader to view.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it for FREE by clicking the graphic to the right.