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.

 

 

 

 

April 22, 2018

Dear Parishioners,

As our 210 Confirmation candidates are presented to Bishop Coyle this Wednesday for the Sacrament of Confirmation, I have reflected as a pastor on how I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in their young lives.  I share them with all the parish and some of my prayers for these boys and girls.

  1. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in your families.  The love of your parents for you and sacrifices they do for you make clear the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes, it’s hard to know and express the deep love within your homes.  I pray that where there is hurt, struggle, and division, there may be healing.
  2. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in those of you who hear the call to worship and are faithful to Sunday Mass.  I love your presence there and hope we will see you all through high school.  I pray for those of you and those families distant from Sunday Mass, that the grace and power of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation may help you to return to Sunday Mass.
  3. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in your volunteer and service work.  Many of you participate generously and enthusiastically in parish activities such as Loaves & Fishes, Share-a-Meal, and Thanksgiving and Christmas activities to support families in need.  I pray that the service of others and assisting those in need will always be part of your life and that St. Anne’s and the Church can count on your service through your high school years; and that just as some of your parents and grandparents are truly the backbone of service in the Church, so you will be when it is your time to serve in Jesus’ name.
  4. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in the friendships that you share.  Some of your friends today will be friends through your lifetime.  Treasure friendship.  I pray that you will be generous in sharing your friendship.  At times, some of us struggle to find friends and keep friends.  Be a good friend to those who seek your friendship.
  5. I see the Holy Spirit in your teamwork.  You have excelled in sports, arts, and shared projects.  Our CYO Swim team just won its championship.  Our school play won acclaim.  We have seen students come together to tell one another how we need to grow and improve.  We reject bullying.  We reject gun violence.  I pray that you will continue to enjoy the accomplishments and achievements of teamwork.  I pray that you will grow into Catholics who are aware of the call to social justice based on gospel and church teaching.  Our Catholic Church has a long history of activism that promotes peace and justice.
  6. I see the Holy Spirit in how you have grown through the years.  Yours is the first second grade class with whom I celebrated First Holy Communion.  We have spent two years preparing together for Confirmation.  I have seen you grow and mature.  You have become more responsive and many have grown serious about their faith.  I pray that your high school years will continue to be ones of growth.  You will face challenges, difficulties, and problems.  You will experience achievements, find solutions, and learn new ways of behaving well.  I pray that you continue to grow because you will choose well.
  7.  I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in how you accompany and encourage the little kids in school.  At St. Anne’s School you eighth graders accompany the first graders to our school Masses.  You walk with them, pray             with them, and assist them if they need help.  You encourage them and at times even have to remind them to            give      their attention to Mass.  I am confident that our eighth graders in our various middle schools have opportunities      to assist the younger students in the public schools.  Your care for younger students is important.  I pray that as     you continue to grow and mature that you will have always a concern for the younger and the weaker among     you.     Place an emphasis on kindness, helpfulness, and inclusion of others.                                     
  8. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit when I see you with your grandparents.  These are great people in your lives.  You look up to them and admire them.  Many of them are great people of faith.  Some are choosing a grandparent’s name as your Confirmation name.  Others have a grandparent as their sponsor.  Some grandparents are in heaven and they too smile upon you at this time as they are so proud of you along with your living grandparents.  I pray for you that whatever path of life you live, whatever vocation is yours, someday young people will look up to you, love you, and respect you for all that you mean to them.
  9. I see the presence of the Holy Spirit in the names you have chosen for Confirmation.  You have chosen some great saints.  I will listen closely on Confirmation Day as Bishop Coyle will address you by your Confirmation name.  Some have chosen martyrs.  May they help you be strong in your faith.  Some have chosen saints that reflect your heritage.  May they help you share your faith.  Some have chosen apostles, evangelists, and priests.  Be open to the church vocations as the Church needs priests, deacons, and religious, and God still calls.  Many have chosen holy women, many important women in the life of Jesus.  Listen closely as the Church learns more and more about what Pope Francis calls the “genius of woman.”  Earlier this Easter Season, Pope Francis reminded us all of the call to holiness and to be saints.  I pray that we all hear his call.
  10. I see the Holy Spirit in the sponsors who accompany you today.  Your grandparents, godparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, family friends and relatives are so happy and proud to be chosen to accompany you to Confirmation.  Treasure their guidance, support, and love.  I am a Confirmation sponsor for my only godson.  I share with you sponsors the happiness of this day.  With you, I pray for them that they will always treasure you.  Perhaps someday you will have the honor of being a Confirmation sponsor.

These are just ten ways I see the Holy Spirit today.  There are many others.  Be on the lookout for other signs of the Holy Spirit.  Let me know if you see those signs. (tharold@drvc.org)

Peace and Blessings on your Confirmation Day!                                                                                                                         

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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.