There are no requirements and no prerequisites to participate in this study group. Just come and participate! Ages 18+ Any further questions please contact Erin Ingold at email@example.com
In the early 1960’s the then reining pontiff, Pope John XXIII, held a private audience with a delegation of Jewish leaders. For centuries, relations between the two faiths were, to say the least, strained. The Pope’s words of welcome broke the ice. He spoke warmly of his profound respect for the Jewish people: “I am Joseph, your brother”. You may recall that the biblical figure of Joseph was the youngest of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob. His warm greeting marked a new beginning for the two great monotheistic faiths. A quarter of a century later, his successor, Pope John Paul II became the first pope since the earliest years of the Church to visit a synagogue. In his prepared remarks, he said to the members of the Jewish congregation, “You are our beloved brothers, and in a certain way, our older brothers”.
In the justly celebrated parable of the prodigal son, two brothers are featured. For the early Church fathers, the elder brother is a symbol of the Jewish faith. He is the one who has remained with the father. Said the elder son in the parable, “For years now I have slaved for you. I never disobeyed one of your orders” (Lk.15:29). The father reassures him: “You are with me always” (Lk.15:31). The younger son is a representative of all those who are not of the chosen people. Among them are the gentiles, pagans, and heathens. They are most in need of the father’s mercy and forgiveness.
In his reflections on this parable, the noted spiritual writer, Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, writes. “What emerges as the primary concern of the Father is the reconciliation of the two sons, to bring them together in love. His chief concern is not justice but mercy. The heavenly father seeks the unity of the family, the removal of divisions and barriers.” Bear in mind also that one of the keys to interpreting this parable can be found in the opening sentences of the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel. The Pharisees and Scribes are deeply offended by Our Lord’s table companions. The tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around Jesus to hear him, at which the Pharisees and the Scribes murmured, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them” (Lk.15:1). The Jewish leaders are invited to find themselves represented in the parable as the older son. Will they accept as members of the family those whom God accepts? When one has no father, he has no brothers!
I must offer you my confession as your pastor. For years I have divided my parish into two groups, the practicing Catholic and the non-practicing Catholic, the devout and the indifferent, the people I know and the anonymous. The gospel reminds me that I am the spiritual father of all who claim Sacred Heart Church as their home, regardless if I know them or not, regardless if they are practicing members of my congregation or not!
A few years ago, a funeral director in Albany told me of the number of priests who refuse to officiate at funerals of those who are not registered members of their parish. In such cases, the funeral director turned to one priest of the diocese for help, Fr. Anthony Gulley. He never failed him. Fr. Gulley would say, “What time is the funeral? I’ll be there”. Fr. Gulley made no distinctions. As “Father”, he welcomed all who desired his services!
It is surely worthy of note that the parable of the Prodigal Son ends with a meal. It is a reminder of Jesus’s table fellowship with the despised and rejected. It is a powerful testimony of the Divine Mercy.
In our first reading we find the prophet Amos railing against a willingness to engage in dishonesty to satisfy a greed for material wealth. (A modern day parallel might be those who “go through the motions” of worshiping God, but can’t wait for services to be over so that they can get back to the ball game, or to making a buck!)
In today’s Gospel Jesus shows that He is well aware of how the spirit of this world works, i.e. it can be incredibly shrewd in pursuit of its own ends. In fact, at first His words are startling. “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (LK 16:9) He seems to be praising this world’s shrewdness and initiative. But finally He clarifies. “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?” (LK 16 10:11)
The limited rewards this world has to offer are all those folks are going to get (for all eternity!). So we need to carefully look at ourselves in the light of Jesus’ clarification: “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (LK 16:13) Let’s not kid ourselves!
Grades 1-8: Opening day for our Faith Formation Program for grades 1-8 will be held Sunday, September 25 from 10:00-10:50am in Sacred Heart School. Class lists will be posted outside each classroom door. Religion books and calendars for the 2016-2017 school year will be handed out the first day of class. There is still time to register your child/children. Forms are in the back of church or the rectory. Our program is growing and next year will include Kindergarten!
Confirmation Preparation: Registration forms are available on the bulletin board in the back of the Church. The Registration Forms are due. Please send forms and payment to the Rectory at Sacred Heart Church, 310 Spring Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 ATTN: Erin Ingold. The Confirmation class is a two year program, students can start as early as 9th grade. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Ingold at firstname.lastname@example.org
First Class is Sunday, September 25 from 6-7:30pm. and will include a parents orientation meeting (the first 30 minutes of class.) Next class will be on Sunday, October 16 from 6-7:30pm.
Welcome back to another school year! Several new faces have been added to our school family: Mr. Devon Camenga (our former sixth grade teacher) has been appointed as our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Katherine LaRosa is the new sixth grade teacher, and Ms. Jean Yetto and Miss Tricia Kussler are new Pre K Teacher Aides.
Facility Upgrades: Several notable changes have been made to our facility over the summer months including;
- Rearrangement of school office and installation of an updated surveillance system.
- Completion of Phase 1 of the Cafeteria Project involved the complete renovation of cafeteria bathrooms.
- Relocation of the Art Room from its previous basement location to the third floor level.
- And conversion of the previous Art Room space into the “Honeycomb Hideout”, a multi-use space for parish and school community use!
Bon Appetite: Upcoming school fundraising events.
- Sacred Heart’s Annual Applebee’s Flapjack Breakfast has been scheduled for Saturday, October 1 from 8:00 to 10:00 am. Tickets are on sale in the school office for $6.00 each. Pancakes, bacon, coffee/tea/orange juice-YUM! There are a limited number of tickets to sell so be sure to buy yours today!
- Sacred Heart Pasta Night at THE FRANKLIN PLAZA BALLROOM Downtown Troy on Wednesday, October 12 from 4:00-7:00 pm. Bar Service-cash, Open soda-Buffet: Salad, rolls & Butter, Penne Marinara, Alfredo and Michael’s Meatballs, Dessert Cake with Coffee-Tea-Decaf. Tickets are $10.00 per Adult and $5.00 per Child (12 years and under). There is ample parking for all!
Sacred Heart’s response to the 2016 Bishop’s appeal has been very encouraging! We are still receiving gifts and getting closer to our goal. As of this date, we have 240 gifts for a total of $71,912.80 which places us within $4,581 of reaching our goal!
Please continue to send your pledge/gift to the rectory, or go online at www.thebishopsappeal.org Thank you again for those parishioners who have contributed so generously.