Sunday, July 24, 2016

Psalm 138

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.

Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

Our psalm today asks us to develop an attitude. It encourages us to be thankful.

They say the number one happiness habit is being appreciative. Fostering an attitude of gratitude. Not just feeling but expressing thankfulness.

Writing a thank-you notes. Counting your blessings and literally listing them until your haves overwhelm your have-nots. Being courteous.

“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” 

Don’t make your acts random and senseless. Make them planned, intentional and habitual. Attach them to people around you so you can infect them with happiness also.

When it’s truly expressed to God and others, it both changes us and means that we have been changed already.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Sunday Word

The hottest part of the summer seems to be upon us in the North East. The intensity of the sun and the humidity that accompanies the summer months is here once again.

It does not take too long to prepare for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time by perusing the readings for this week even in the heat and humidity. Saint Paul offer us some pointed words on what Christ has done for us. He instructs us that in baptism we are "buried with him" and also "raised with him." 

Now we who were once "dead in trespasses," God made us "alive together with him when he forgave us all our trespasses."  

The record of sin that has been erased, nailed to the cross of Jesus. We are not dealing with a philosophy here, nor are we relying on memes or emails or instant messages from multiple sources to guide and direct our lives. Rather, we rely on the One who triumphed over all in his sacrificial death and resurrection on our behalf. 

To put it another way, Jesus is not only the light by which we can view the world, he is the source of light itself, "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."  Paul points us to an even greater light and an even greater source of new life.

Friday, July 22, 2016

St. John Paul II: Founder and Architect of World Youth Days

At the canonization mass for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis spoke of the latter with these words: “In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family.
We are now in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is a journey which, from his place in heaven, John Paul II guides and sustains.”

Karol Wojtyla, marked at an early age by suffering and loss in his own family, would grow up to be a priest, Bishop of Krakow, the Bishop of Rome, a hero and saint for the ages. Throughout his pastoral ministry, he taught the world about the dignity, beauty and sacredness of marriage and family life.

St. John Paul II is one of the patron saints of the 2016 World Youth Day being held in Krakow, Poland. There over 100 of our Marianist pilgrims will participate emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

World Youth Day Bound

World Youth
Day Bound

Student Peter Korchak of Chaminade High School in Mineola gathers wristbands used for trading with other pilgrims following a commissioning Mass July 17 for World Youth Day pilgrims at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale. The Marianists of the Province of Meribah are taking 121 seniors and 14 moderators from their community's high schools, Chaminade and Kellenberg Memorial, on pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day, July 25-31. Visit for more photos. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

‘Paradigm’ for women

New feast touts Mary Magdalene as ‘paradigm’ for women
ROME- At Pope Francis’s request, the annual observance on the Catholic calendar of St. Mary Magdalene, referred by some as the “repentant sinner” or “the prostitute,” and also the one who first witnessed and proclaimed Jesus’ resurrection, has been made a major feast marking women as the first evangelizers.

Liturgically speaking, the decision puts Mary Magdalene on par with the celebrations of the male apostles.

On the modern Church calendar, saints are remembered with a “memorial”, a “feast”, or a “solemnity”. On July 22, already designated a feast of Mary Magdalene, there are another 11 saints similarly honored, but now with the decree released on Friday, hers takes precedence.

Published in Latin, the decree was issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, headed by Cardinal Robert Sarah. It says that this woman, “recognized as one who loved Christ and who was very dear to him,” can be considered by the faithful as “a paradigm of the ministry of women in the Church.”

In a letter released along with the announcement, the Secretary of the Congregation, Archbishop Arthur Roche, argued that the decision speaks to the current moment facing the Church, which calls for “a deeper reflection on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.”

Roche drew attention to the fact Mary Magdalene was the first witness to Jesus’ resurrection, and also the one tasked with sharing the news with the apostles.

“Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,” he writes.

The British archbishop also says that Francis took this decision in the context of the Holy Year of Mercy to “signify the importance of this woman, who showed a great love for Christ and was much loved by Christ.”

Roche also notes that St. Thomas Aquinas, considered a Doctor of the Church, referred to St. Mary Magdalene as “Apostle of the Apostles,” because she was the one who announced Jesus’ resurrection to them and the world.

“Therefore it is right that the liturgical celebration of this woman has the same grade of feast given to the celebration of the apostles in the General Roman Calendar, and shines a light on the special mission of this woman, who is an example and model for every woman in the Church,” Roche wrote.

Although the popular imagination - think Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code - is sometimes tempted to fantasize about Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ wife or lover, in Western Christianity she’s traditionally been identified with three figures in the New Testament: Mary of Magdala (Lk. 8:2); the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet and washed them with her tears (Lk. 7:36-50); and Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha of Bethany (Lk. 10:38-42, Jn. 11).

Roche spoke about this tradition, adding that there’s certainty in the fact that “Mary Magdalene was part of the group of disciples of Jesus, she followed him to the foot of the cross and to the garden where his tomb was.”

In the rank of Church celebrations, feasts are the second category, marking some saints, like the apostles, and other important events in Christian history such as the Baptism of the Lord, the Conversion of St. Paul, the Transfiguration.

A solemnity holds the highest rank among Church celebrations, and there are 24 in the annual liturgical calendar, including Christmas, Easter, Pentecost or Corpus Christi. Memorials most often honor and focus us on the life of a saint.

Many observers celebrated the announcement. Jesuit Father James Martin, for instance, called it “a recognition, long overdue,” for the woman “who first announced the Resurrection to the apostles.”

“It reminds us of the supreme importance of women in Jesus’s ministry, and in the Church’s ministry today,” he told Crux. “In fact, between the time she encountered Christ at the tomb and when she proclaimed his Resurrection to them, Mary Magdalene was the Church on earth because only she understood the full meaning of Jesus’s ministry.”

“Any discussion of women in the Church must proceed from that,” he said.

Monsignor James Moroney, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops on liturgical matters, said it’s “a wonderful gift” that Francis “raised the celebration of the first witness to the resurrection to the rank of feast.”

Now the rector of Boston’s St. John’s Seminary, Moroney told Crux that to his knowledge, “Saint Mary Magdalene is the first woman other than the Blessed Virgin whose liturgical celebration has been raised to the rank of a feast.”

Moroney said the move reminds him of Pope Benedict XVI’s reflection on Mary Magdalene in 2006: “A disciple of Christ is one who, in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him and has set out following closely after him, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love that is stronger than sin and death,” the emeritus pope wrote.

Inés San Martín
June 10, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday Tunes

Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin just released the single "Jesus" from his forthcoming studio album, which he wrote to provide comfort to people facing challenges in their lives.

"I hope you're encouraged no matter where you find yourself when you hear this song," Tomlin said. "Know that Jesus is with you, He is for you and He loves you."

The lyrics of the song go: "There is a truth/ Older than the ages/ There is a promise/ Of things yet to come/ There is one/ Born for our salvation/ Jesus."

Tomlin earlier asked his fans to be part of the music video for "Jesus" by submitting personal photos and videos of their praises and prayers for God. "We've been receiving so many stories from all over the country and all over the world about people who are going through the hardest times or going through the best times and how Jesus has been right there," Tomlin shared. "They're reaching out to Jesus in the low days and the high days as well."

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Marianist Novices

It's hard to say what's most exciting about the young men making promises of the Novitiate.
Is it seeing them in their habit for the first time or just hearing their own enthusiasm following their call to religious life. 

On Saturday, July 16th we added Bro Patrick Cahill, Brother Peter Sennert and Brother Andrew Santoriello to the Marianist Community.

The novitiate year is given primarily to prayer and study, which may not sound as exciting as Novitiate Promises unless one has a taste of how exciting the encounter with the Lord and our own need for conversion can be!