Thursday, October 31, 2013

From Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 30 October 2013 -


Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Today I would like to speak about a very beautiful reality of our faith, namely, the "communion of saints". The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that two realities are meant by this expression: communion 'in holy things' and 'among holy persons' (n. 948). I wish to pause on the second meaning: this is one of the most consoling truths of our faith, since it reminds us that we are not alone but that there is a communion of life among all those who belong to Christ. It is a communion that is born of faith; indeed, the term "saints" refers to those who believe in the Lord Jesus and are incorporated by him into the Church through Baptism. That is why the first Christians were also called "saints" (cf. Acts 9:13,32,41; Rm 8:27; 1 Cor 6:1).
  1. John's Gospel states that, before his Passion, Jesus prayed to the Father for communion among his disciples, with these words: "that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (17:21). The Church, in her most profound truth, is communion with God, intimacy with God, a communion of love with Christ and with the Father in the Holy Spirit, which extends to brotherly communion. This relationship between Jesus and the Father is the "matrix" of the bond between us Christians: if we are intimately part of this "matrix", this fiery furnace of love, then we can truly become of one single heart and one single soul among us. For God's love burns away our selfishness, our prejudices, our interior and exterior divisions. The love of God even burns away our sins.
  2. If we are rooted in the source of Love, which is God, then a reciprocal movement also occurs: from brothers to God. The experience of fraternal communion leads me to communion with God. Union among us leads to union with God, it leads us to this bond with God who is our Father. This is the second aspect of the communion of saints that I would like to underline: our faith needs the support of others, especially in difficult moments. If we are united our faith becomes stronger. How beautiful it is to support each other in the wonderful adventure of faith! I say this because the tendency to be closed and private has influenced the religious sphere as well, so much so that it often becomes difficult to ask for spiritual help from those would share this Christian life with us. Who among us has not experienced insecurity, confusion and even doubt on our journey of faith? We have all experienced this, myself as well. It is part of the journey of faith, it is part of our life. None of this should surprise us, because we are humans beings, marked by fragility and limitations. We are all frail, we all have limitations. Nevertheless, in these difficult moments it is necessary to trust in God's help, through child-like prayer, and, at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to open up to others, to ask for help, to ask for a helping hand. How often have we done this and then succeeded in emerging from our difficulty and finding God again! In this communion — communion means common-union — we form a great family, where every member is helped and sustained by the others.
  3. And we come to another aspect: the communion of saints goes beyond earthly life, beyond death and endures for ever. This union among us goes beyond and continues in the next life; it is a spiritual communion born in Baptism and not broken by death, but, thanks to the Risen Christ, is destined to find its fullness in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world — us — and those who have crossed the threshold of death and entered eternity. All baptized persons here on earth, the souls in Purgatory and all the blessed who are already in Paradise make one great Family. This communion between earth and heaven is realized especially in intercessory prayer.
Dear friends, we have this beauty! This is our reality, all of ours, that makes us brothers and sisters, that accompanies us on the journey of life and lets us find another face above in heaven. Let us go forward on this journey with trust, with joy. A Christian must be joyful, with the joy of having so many baptized brothers and sisters to journey with him; sustained by the help of brothers and sisters who are taking the same path toward heaven; and also by the help of brothers and sisters who are in heaven and are praying to Jesus for us. Go forward on this path with joy!

To special groups

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, including those from England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United States. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!

Lastly, I greet the sick, newlyweds and young people, with a special thought to students from universities in Italy. This Friday we will celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. May their witness of faith strengthen in each of you, dear young people, the certainty that God is with you on the journey of life; may it sustain you, dear sick people, by alleviating your daily suffering; and may it be of help to you, dear newlyweds, in building your family on faith in God.


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Special Mass of Remembrance - November 2, 2013

On Saturday, November 2nd at the 5:00 pm Mass, we will pray in a special way for those parishioners who have died in the past year.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

WELCOME

Fr. Chrisanth Mugasha, A.J., is the member of a missionary Order of the Apostles of Jesus and currently working as chaplain at New York University Medical Center.

Fr. Christ, as you can call him, comes from Tanzania in the township of Bukoba which is on the West side of Victoria and at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Bururdi.

"On behalf of the congregation, I will ever be grateful to St. Columba for the accommodation as I work at NYU Hospital. My only surviving brother and I, attribute our faith and especially my vocation to our parents (of happy memory)."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Are You Tech Savvy? We Need Your Help!

We are in the process of setting up a Media Ministry Club for those parishioners interested in helping us take advantage of this new media age. People with computer skills, graphic skills, film and photography and videography experience are urged to contact Msgr. Walter Niebrzydowski, 212 807-8876, ext. 15. 

Also those who would be willing to share photos from the history of St. Columba’s - e.g. school events, sacramental ceremonies are encouraged to let Monsignor know.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

From Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 23 October 2013 -


Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Church, we now look to the Virgin Mary who, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, is "the model of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ" (Lumen Gentium, 63). As a daughter of Israel, Mary responded in faith to God's call and became the Mother of his Son. She teaches us to live a life of faith by her obedience to God's will and by her unfailing devotion to Jesus and his work. Mary also models the Church's charity, born of faith, which brings the joy and peace of Christ's presence to others and to our world. Finally, Mary models the Church's union with Christ through her constant prayer and participation in the mysteries of his life, death and resurrection. As Mother of the Church, may Mary, by her prayers, bring us ever closer to the Lord, open our hearts to share his transforming and redeeming love, and inspire us to put our firm faith in God's word, trusting in his goodness and his gracious plan for us and for our world.

Holy Father:

Saluto tutti i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Irlanda, Danimarca, Norvegia, Paesi Bassi, India, Giappone, Filippine, Thailandia, Guam, Canada e Stati Uniti. Rivolgo un caloroso benvenuto al Gruppo Inter-Parlamentare del Regno Unito sulla Santa Sede, con un augurio cordiale per gli incontri di questi giorni. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore!

Speaker:

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, including those from England, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, India, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Guam, Canada and the United States. In a particular way I welcome the United Kingdom's All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, with cordial good wishes for their meetings in these days. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Monday, October 21, 2013

Atlantic City Trip - Thursday, November 21st

The next trip to Atlantic City is Thursday, November 21st. The bus will leave at 9:30 am sharp and will return after six hours at the casino. The cost of the trip is $30, payable two weeks in advance. Please make check payable to St. Columba. Payments can be dropped off at the rectory during office hours or can be put through the slot at the convent door. Because of the need to pay for the bus in advance, anyone deciding to go on the trip on the day it occurs will be charged $35 

Please spread the word to all you think may be interested. See you on the bus!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Spirit in Action Group

“Living God’s Plan” -- Spirit in Action is a group sponsored by the church of St. John the Baptist. It is a club for mature (over 50) single Catholics who are interested in getting together for spiritual service and social activities. Members receive newsletters concerning upcoming events. If you are interested in joining, please call our Hotline: 212-560-2366. 

Tentative Upcoming Events:
  • Tour of Old Westbury Gardens
  • Tour of Roosevelt Historic sites –Hyde Park, NY
  • Tour Grand Central Station
  • St. Bart’s Church
Tour of the United Nations, and more...

Sunday, October 20th is World Mission Sunday

United with the Catholics of the world at the Table of the Lord, we recommit ourselves to our vocation, through Baptism, to be missionaries. Through our financial gifts, offered in next week’s collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, we become partners with missionaries who proclaim the Gospel and offer help and hope to the poor in mission countries.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer will take place  7-9:15 PM this Friday, October 18th,  in the Chapel.

What is Centering prayer? Centering prayer is a popular method of contemplative prayer or Christian meditation that places a strong emphasis on interior silence. Some well known proponents of Centering Prayer are the Trappist monks Abbot Thomas Keating and Fr. M. Basil Pennington. Basil Pennington shares these guidelines for centering prayer: 

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and quiet yourself. Be in love and faith to God.
Choose a sacred word that best supports your sincere intention to be in the Lord's presence and open to His divine action within you (i.e. "Jesus”, “Lord,” "God," "Savior," "Abba," "Divine," "Shalom," "Spirit," "Love," etc.).
Let that word be gently present as your symbol of your sincere intention to be in the Lord's presence and open to His divine action within you.
Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.), simply return to your sacred word, your anchor.
When no longer engaged in thoughts, one is attentive to God alone and delights in the presence of God. 

If you’d like to try this type of prayer, please come join us tomorrow in the Chapel.

Increased Giving Program

We continue with our campaign to increase our weekly collections.We need everyone to increase their donation, your participation is essential to our parish.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breaking Open the Word

Your fellow parishioners read and discuss the upcoming weekend readings each Thursday evening at 7:00 pm in the rectory meeting room. You are most welcome to join in this uplifting discussion. 

From Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 16 October 2013 -


 Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we profess in faith that the Church is "apostolic". We can understand this in three ways. First, the Church is apostolic because Jesus founded her upon the Apostles whom he chose and sent forth to continue his work; thus Saint Paul compares the Church to a temple which has the Apostles as its foundation and Christ as its cornerstone (Eph 2:19-20). The Church is also apostolic because she preserves and hands down the fullness of Christ's teaching and the means of salvation which he instituted. Finally the Church is apostolic because she accomplishes in history the mission which Christ entrusted to the Apostles: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them his commands (cf. Mt 28:19-20). May we come to appreciate and love the Church as the place where we encounter the Risen Lord, who sends us forth as his missionaries, inviting all whom we meet to know the truth of the Gospel, the joy of faith and the promise of eternal life proclaimed by the Apostles.

The Holy Father:

Rivolgo un saluto cordiale a tutti i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente a quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Scozia, Danimarca, Norvegia, Israele, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, Cina, Giappone, Corea, Trinidad e Tobago, Canada e Stati Uniti. Saluto in modo particolare la delegazione della NATO Defense College e i pellegrini venuti dalla Norvegia. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore!

Speaker:

I cordially greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Israel, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College and the pilgrims from Norway. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 9 October 2013 -


Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we profess that the Church is "catholic"; in other words, she is universal. We can understand this catholicity in three ways. First, the Church is catholic because she proclaims the apostolic faith in its entirety; she is the place where we meet Christ in his sacraments and receive the spiritual gifts needed to grow in holiness together with our brothers and sisters. The Church is also catholic because her communion embraces the whole human race, and she is sent to bring to the entire world the joy of salvation and the truth of the Gospel. Finally, the Church is catholic because she reconciles the wonderful diversity of God's gifts to build up his People in unity and harmony. Let us ask the Lord to make us more catholic – to enable us, like a great family, to grow together in faith and love, to draw others to Jesus in the communion of the Church, and to welcome the gifts and contributions of everyone, in order to create a joyful symphony of praise to God for his goodness, his grace, and his redemptive love.

The Holy Father:

Rivolgo un saluto cordiale a tutti i pellegrini presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente a quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Scozia, Irlanda, Danimarca, Svezia, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, Indonesia, Filippine, Canada e Stati Uniti. Saluto in modo particolare i nuovi studenti del Pontificio Collegio Beda. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie, invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore!

Speaker:

I cordially greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Ghana, Nigeria, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the new students of the Pontifical Beda College. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 2 October 2013 -


Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we confess our faith that the Church is "holy". But how can we say that the Church is holy when she is all too evidently made up of sinners? Saint Paul helps us to see things aright when he tells us that "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy" (Eph 5:25-26). The Church is inseparably one with Christ, and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. It is not ourselves, or our merits, which make the Church holy, but God himself, through the infinite merits of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. God calls all of us, as sinners, to be redeemed, renewed and made holy in the communion of the Church. So the Church constantly welcomes everyone, even the greatest sinners, to trust in God's offer of loving mercy, and to encounter Christ in the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Let us not be afraid to respond to Christ's call, to trust in the working of the Holy Spirit and to pray and strive for that holiness which brings true joy to our lives.

The Holy Father:

Rivolgo un saluto cordiale alla delegazione del Centro Internazionale per il Dialogo Interreligioso e Interculturale. Il mio saluto accogliente va anche ai vari gruppi Buddisti provenienti dal Giappone, inclusa la delegazione della scuola Tendai e il gruppo dal Centro Nakano Dharma del Rissho Kosei-kai. Su tutti i pellegrini presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Scozia, Benin, Australia, India, Giappone, Canada e Stati Uniti, invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore!

Speaker:

I cordially greet the members of the delegation from the International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna. I also welcome the Buddhist visitors from Japan, including the delegations from the Tendai denomination and the Nakano Dharma Center of Rissho Kosei-kai. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today's Audience, including those from Scotland, Benin, Australia, India, Japan, Canada and the United States I invoke God's blessings of joy and peace!


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana