35 Dartmouth Street, Garden City, New York 11530 - (516) 352-5904
How Do I?

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.

 

 

 

 

January 21, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

Next week, along with all the parishes of our diocese, we will celebrate Catholic Schools Week.  We begin our celebration next Sunday at the 11:45AM Mass.  I am delighted to share with you that our Bishop John Barres will celebrate the 11:45 Mass next Sunday.  Bishop Barres’ presence will bring even more excitement to our school children as he will walk the school halls and visit classrooms after Mass.  All parishioners are invited to the 11:45 Mass next week and share in Bishop Barres’ first pastoral visit to our parish.

Bishop Barres’ second visit will soon follow in the spring.  I am also delighted to share with you that our Confirmation celebration will be on Tuesday, April 24th with two Masses at 1:00 and 4:00.  Bishop Barres is scheduled to be the confirming bishop.  The announcement of Confirmation allows us to identify our most significant celebrations for the coming spring.  April 1 is Easter; April 24 is Confirmation; May 5, 12, 19 are First Communion Saturdays; May 20 is Pentecost.  We have 172 Confirmation candidates, 160 First Communion students and 8 adults anticipating the completion of their Christian Initiation this Easter Season.  All these celebrations are a sign of the vitality of our parish.

                                                    MEETING AND MINISTRY SPACE

This weekend, we are presenting to you all the preparation work that we have completed for our proposed new building which will give us much needed additional space for the many meetings and ministries that occur at St. Anne’s.  After the Masses this weekend except for Sunday 5:30, a presentation will be offered in the cafeteria or gym regarding this new building.  Information is available for review and questions will be answered.  Please feel invited to come downstairs to review plans for this exciting proposal for our parish. 

Our graphic from last week stirred interest and parishioners began to offer responses.  An important part of the planning phrase of this project is a clear presentation of our need for additional space.  I think that our committee’s presentation makes clear the need.  Just this past week, three examples of our need for more space became obvious.  First, the cherished members of our Senior Scene expressed their delight that in the future, they might meet in a space that is fully accessible to people with special physical needs, meet at a ground level space with no need for stairs nor an elevator, and have access to fully accessible bathrooms, designed for people with wheelchairs and other needs.  Right now, Senior Scene meets in the school cafeteria during the school day.  They are “sandwiched” no pun intended between the school lunch periods and the after school program.

The Men’s Bible Study is often moved around.  This past week these men had to meet in the school chapel.  To accommodate them, chapel furniture is re-arranged and the seats there are purposely designed for children.  Although the men’s group is grateful that they can have a space, the chapel is not meant for this kind of purpose.  Our new building will allow the Men’s Bible Study to have a regular space.

I have a meeting for the purposes of continued planning and presenting for this new building.  The three meeting spaces of the rectory (RCIA), the cafeteria (Professional Networking), and the gym (CYO) are all occupied.  I have been assigned the school library, a space not most appropriate for the purpose of the meeting.  Mind you, these space conflicts all arose in one day, last Wednesday.

Anyone who has sought the use of space at St. Anne’s knows it is not always easy to “get booked” in the space you want nor in an appropriate space. (As I write this column, all rectory offices are in use.  Two families are here planning funerals for loved ones.  One family had to go downstairs to the basement.)  The presentations after Mass and in the coming week better articulate our need for space that I can do in this column.  Please be encouraged to come downstairs after Mass and you will probably better understand our need for increased space so that our 60 different ministries, activities, and organizations can all find suitable accommodations for their activities. 

                                                             TODAYS READINGS

I find the readings for today most interesting.  The first reading comes from the prophet Jonah whose recurring theme is repentance.  The reading concludes, “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.”  God repented!!!  We usually only associate repentance with us sinners.  But God repented!, meaning God changed his plan, his mind.  That requires of me a different way of thinking about God. 

Before we get to those celebrations of spring that I wrote about earlier, we will experience Lent 2018 that will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 14.  Today’s first reading might encourage us to reflect on our own need for repentance so that when Lent begins in just 3 weeks, we will have an awareness of our need for repentance, our need for change.

The second reading from St. Paul begins, “I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.”  Simply stated, Paul reminds us of what so many experience, time passes so quickly, time is short.

The gospel continues the theme of last week’s gospel, the call of the first disciples.  That includes the call of James and John, brothers and sons of Zebedee.  We might reflect on Zebedee’s experience of his sons’ calls and what it meant for him as their dad.  “So they left their father Zebedee in the boat…”  As I reflected on this story during the week, I thought how Jesus can change the dynamic of family life when we welcome him.

Have a peace-filled 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.