Church Enhancement Project Details and Pledge Goal

If you click here you will see the plan layout for the Church Enhancement Project.  This is in PDF form and printable.

St. Joseph Church Enhancement Pledge form.  Click here.  You may download, print and fill out.  This form can be dropped off at the Parish Office,  mailed back or you may fill out, sign and email back to the following email:  parishoffice@stjosephamherst.com.   Thank you.  

 

 

Fr. Tim’s Homily for June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday-C

June 9, 2019

Readings for Sunday

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13

John 20:19-23 or John 14: 15-16, 23b-26

 

Today is the Feast of Pentecost and we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles – their Confirmation. It is also the birthday of the Church, and the close of the Easter season.   

Pentecost is a Greek word that means “the fiftieth day.” Fifty days ago today was Easter Sunday. And so now a little bit about Pentecost Sunday.

         The English language is a difficult one. It is very inconsistent. I wonder what it is like for someone who is learning to speak English.

We have words that are spelled alike but are pronounced differently and mean differently, like s-o-w: to sow the seed, or a sow – the mother of the three little piggies.

We have words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean differently: t-o, t-o-o and t-w-o.

We have words that look very much alike but are pronounced very differently: through, though and tough.

Even in talking, you can speak a sentence using a very flat voice: “I didn’t say that about you.” But you can change the meaning of that sentence by the emphasis you use in your speaking voice:

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

         I didn’t say that about you.

English is a tricky language. And we need help sometimes in understanding it correctly.

         Communication is something that you and I work on all the time so that the message that is delivered is the same as the message that is received. Otherwise, misunderstanding occurs.

You remember the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. It says that at that time all the people of the world spoke the same language. And they decided to build a large tower in their large city. However, they had forgotten about God and had become self-reliant.

And so God gave them a clear warning. Each of the groups in Babel developed its own language and the townspeople lost the ability to communicate with one another. And then the Tower of Babel project came to a screeching halt: they could no longer function as a unified team because they no longer spoke the same language.

And we have the expression in English today: “to babble” – to chatter on without being understood. It comes from that failed building project, the Tower of Babel.

         Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit enabling us to hear and understand the Word of God. The account from the Acts of the Apostles is in direct contrast to the Tower of Babel story.

There were devout Jews in Jerusalem who were speaking every language known to humanity, and not understanding each other. And then the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles in that upper room. They heard the sound of rushing wind and saw tongues of fire over their heads on that Pentecost Sunday.

Then the Apostles went out into the city of Jerusalem, preaching about Jesus risen from the dead. And each person heard the message in their own language. The many languages came to one understanding. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s message that was delivered was God’s message that was received.

Jesus kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide us, His Church, in all truth and to be our Advocate.

You and I are so bombarded with countless messages in our world that run contrary to God’s message. We can grow deaf to the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us in the Scriptures and through His Church and in our prayer. We need the Holy Spirit’s help so that God’s message delivered is always God’s message received and lived by.

And we ask the Holy Spirit to enable us: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And enkindle in us the fire of your love. Amen.”

 

Fr. Tim’s Homily for June 2, 2019

Feast of the Ascension of the Lord-C

June 2, 2019

Readings for Sunday

Acts of the Apostles 1: 1-11

Ephesians 1: 17-23 or Hebrews 9: 24-28; 10: 19-23

Luke 24: 46-53

 

         Sometimes we can wonder, “Do I really make a difference? After all, I am only one person.”

A relay race helps us to see how important everyone’s efforts are. The baton is passed from one person to another. What is essential is that each person takes hold of that baton and does their very best. The victory that the team wins is a victory shared by all the participants.

         That is a bit like today’s Feast of the Ascension. Jesus gives His last instructions to His apostles and disciples. He tells them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” [Acts 1: 8]. Then He ascends into heaven to be seated at His Father’s right hand.

Jesus passed the baton on to them as He passes that baton of opportunity on to us. Our participation makes a difference, for we are members of the Lord’s team – His family, the Church. We already share in His victory. And we are His messengers to this world.

         Who are messengers of Jesus Christ that you know? I have a number of names on my list. Today I thought I would tell you about three.

         The first is a lady named Carm, who is now with God. In Carm’s younger days she had planned to get married, but then her widowed sister died and left several young children. So Carm stepped in, as the children’s single aunt, and she became a mother to them.

Carm never did marry. But she wouldn’t have changed a thing. She was loved by those children not only as Aunt Carm, but also as their mother. She took hold of the baton of opportunity when it was passed to her, and she carried it well. She was a messenger of Jesus Christ.

         The second person is a Bahamian priest-friend of mine in the Archdiocese of Nassau, Msgr. Preston Moss. People that know him have told me that they believe that, when he was a much younger priest, he had been asked to be their bishop.  But in his humility he turned down that invitation because he believed that he could serve Jesus Christ more effectively as a parish priest than he could as a diocesan administrator. And Msgr. Moss has done so faithfully and will celebrate the 54th anniversary of his ordination as a priest on 4 June. He is still a messenger of Jesus Christ.

         The third person is someone that we all know, Mother Angelica, the foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network [EWTN]. Some years ago she gave a Lenten lecture at Saint John’s Cathedral where I was living, and I was her chauffeur for the day. Now I can tell you this about Mother Angelica: what you see on the screen is what you got off the set. She was the same person.

Mother Angelica had been invited to have lunch with us at the cathedral rectory. Bishop Issenmann, who was the retired bishop of Cleveland, was there at the table.

Bishop Isennmann did not mince words. He said to Mother Angelica: “Mother, you belong in your Poor Clare monastery, not in a television studio. Right now you should be in the chapel of your convent praying for us.”

Mother Angelica did not mince words either. She replied, looking him square in the eyes: “Bishop Issenmann, if you bishops in the United States were doing what you should to be doing, carrying the message of Jesus Christ to the world on the airwaves, I wouldn’t have to. And then I could be praying right now in our chapel before the Blessed Sacrament for the likes of you!”

She took hold of the baton of opportunity when it was passed to her, and she carried it well. She was a messenger of Jesus Christ – feisty and all!  

         “You will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”

         We are presented with this opportunity every time we celebrate Sunday Mass. You will notice that at the very beginning of Mass the reader [the lector] carries that big Book of the Gospels up the aisle and places it reverently on the altar. During the singing of the Alleluias, the priest [namely me] picks up the Gospel Book, carries it to the ambo [the pulpit] and proclaims the Gospel for everyone to hear.

Notice, though, that the Gospel Book is carried in at the beginning of Mass, but is not carried out at the end of Mass. Why not?

Because at the very end of Mass, the last sentence spoken is a command, such as: “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” Or, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” And we answer with energy: “Thanks be to God.” Now, having been nourished by His Word and by His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, we are to carry Jesus Christ, whom we have received, and His message to the world.

On this Feast of the Ascension, Jesus hands us the baton as He is seated at the right hand of His Heavenly Father. “You will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” [Acts 1: 8].

And as His messengers, as members of His team, we really can and should make a difference.