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 life of the parish.

 

 

 

 

January 26, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I am grateful for the opportunity to have enjoyed some retreat time away last week and happy to have returned home here to Anne’s.  Again the retreat at Eastern Point Retreat House in Gloucester, Massachusetts provides a beautiful and quiet setting for prayer and rest and lots of walking. It’s amazing when you put these three things together how great you can feel. God’s presence becomes most clear. I encourage anyone with interest in this kind of experience to go to Eastern Point Retreat House (EPRH) on your computer. Dates and application process is provided there. You might consider a 3 or 4 day retreat before signing up for the full 30 day retreat spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius!!!

SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

Pope Francis has designated today as a special day for us to give attention to the power of the Word of God. I believe we give wonderful respect to the Word of God in our parish. We have strong lectors at weekday and Sunday Masses. Not only are they well prepared to proclaim clearly God’s Word at Mass, they make personal adjustments in their busy schedules to meet their responsibilities as volunteer lectors. We also have a men’s and women’s Bible Study group. Since the beginning of Advent, parishioners whose e-mail addresses we have receive a daily reflection on the liturgy of the day, usually a reflection on the gospel. Our deacons and priests always prepare their homilies, for the priests often more than one a day when there is a funeral.

The Word of God is dynamic, instructive, encouraging and inspiring, sometimes corrective. Not at all static, the Word of God is full of Grace and God’s presence. It is not man’s word, but God’s word. It is sacred and holy and a gift from the Lord. The Word of God requires our prayerful attention and consideration. The Word of God has the power to change a person’s life.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

Today and this week we celebrate one of our largest parish ministries, our parish Catholic elementary school. Our Catholic school is a collaborative and cooperative effort that makes our parish school among the strongest in the diocese. Our enrollment of 484 students remains among the largest of Catholic parish school enrollments in our diocese and our state. Families from surrounding parishes find our school very attractive for their kids. Our principal, staff, and faculty work together every day to offer a safe, welcoming, Catholic, academic, and friendly school culture which promotes learning and Catholic virtues. A class from the school attends daily Mass each day and service to others is part of the school curriculum that interacts with our Parish Social Ministry. Our graduates attend the very best of the Catholic High Schools throughout Long Island and the Metropolitan area. Our acceptance rate to applied schools is close to 100% and we can guarantee that we will find a seat for every one of our graduates.

Our school parent community is very strong. Volunteer opportunities abound. Parents have formed a Home School Association which is indispensable in providing assistance for the daily operation of the school and all of the special activities of the school. Our School Board offers a voice for the parents when issues need to be addressed by the principal and the pastor.

Truly a collaborative effort, the elementary school receives considerable financial and pastoral support from the parish. Our parish school subsidy which comes from the Sunday Mass collections helps us to keep tuition affordable and our school well-maintained. Our parish school building is supported by all the parishioners in its maintenance and utility costs and is used for many of the additional parish ministries that occur during the weekday evenings and weekends. Yes, St. Anne’s Parish School is thriving. Our recipe for success is that we understand our school as a ministry of the whole parish. Thank you all as we celebrate this important ministry of St. Anne’s Parish.

SUNDAY’S MIDDLE READING

One of the homilies that I heard during retreat focused on God’s glory. The Jesuit homilist reflected on an expression of God’s glory as community, where all divisions are healed and people live as one. In today’s middle reading, St. Paul urges, “that there be no divisions among you….” How we yearn for that experience in our families, communities, parish, church, and nation. On many fronts, the experience of unity escapes us. Neither our Church nor our nation is experiencing the unity of former times. Politically, our nation is divided. Our Church suffers from the wounds of abuse and past sins in this regard and we have a long way to go for real healing to occur.

Perhaps in the smaller communities of our families, our parish, our neighborhoods, we sense a greater unity. In these relationships, we treasure our unity; we work to preserve and strengthen. St. Anne’s Parish has a wonderful sense of community. People may not always agree. We do not. But persons here are very much aware of the needs of their neighbors and the importance of responding where is a call for generosity and assistance. The sense of community is one of the strongest elements of our parish for which so many are grateful.

Have a peace-filled week!

Sincerely in Christ,

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.