5 Jul
2015

Always!

SHFF-150503-175Homily for Kate & Kevin’s Marriage – July 4, 2015
Early in the twentieth century, two giants of the literary world, George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright and G. K. Chesterton, the English journalist and writer of detective fiction, entered into a spirited debate on the institution of marriage. The two men were the best of friends. Mr. Shaw had a rather harsh view of marriage, considering the venerable institution to be enslaving. By marrying, a couple sacrificed their freedom in exchange for a life of boredom and drudgery. Why be chained to another person, Shaw argued, when you are given the opportunity to enjoy unlimited freedom, no strings attached. An early advocate of “free love”, the Irishman would undoubtedly be on board with those who, today, support “friends with benefits”, “hooking up” and “dating apps”.

Now Mr. Chesterton took exception to his friend’s radical view. In his opinion marriage is “the wildest of adventures and an extraordinary bequest by the Author of life.” He zeroed in on the marital vow as a key in understanding the daily drama of married life. The sheer thrill of marriage consists in the keeping or the breaking of a sacred bond and the real struggle to live out God’s plan for the mystery of human love, one that is patterned on God’s unfailing love for us. Chesterton asks: “Will the bride and groom be faithful to their promises? Will they be true to their word? Will their loyalty to each other and their commitment deeply embedded in their Christian faith stand the test of time? Will they, in the course of time, come to appreciate the beauty of selfless, sacrificial love?”
Chesterton was the master of paradox. To be free, according to this wisest of writers, is to be bound, and the more we are bound to another, as in marriage, the more we will come to understand and delight in the true freedom we enjoy as disciples of Christ. Chesterton would certainly be in agreement with St. Paul’s musing on the mystery of love: “Love bears all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1Cor.13:7-8).

In the New Testament, Christ is more than once referred to as the bridegroom (Mk.2:19).
On the day before he died, Jesus prepared the disciples for his departure. In John’s gospel, we learn the meaning of true love, and not the counterfeit love, which is so commonplace today. In the thirteenth chapter, we read, “Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass in this world to the Father, having loved those who were in the world, loved them to the end” (Jn.13:1). Jesus never threw in the towel. Nor did he raise the white flag of surrender. He loved us “to the end”.

Kevin and Kate, you are faced with a daunting challenge. Just consider the words you’ll speak to each other; “I promise to be true to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will love you and honor you all the days of my life”. In accepting this challenge, you must take up your swords and prepare to do battle with a culture that as David Brooks of the New York Times has recently written, is ‘post Christian’. You are called to be faithful witnesses. You have been commissioned by Christ to be his ambassadors and a light to the community in which you live. And please keep in mind, that like the disciples of Emmaus, you’ll never walk alone. Jesus said: “I will be with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt.28:20).

In 1925, the songwriter Irving Berlin composed a song as a wedding gift for his bride. Perhaps some of you in this lovely chapel may recall the popular song “Always” The words of the song are heartfelt and unforgettable:

When the things you’ve planned need a helping hand I will understand Always.
Days may not be fair, always… that’s when I’ll be there, Always.
Not just for an hour, not just for a day, not just for a year, but Always.

Kevin and Kate, it is my wish that your marriage brings you joy, fulfillment and peace. And my prayer for you is that you love each other, Always!

5 Jul
2015

His Grace is All We Require

SCPS-150402-013All three Scripture readings appear to be on the same wavelength this week. And on first sight, they certainly appear to be somber. “A prophet is not without honor, except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Perhaps not an exact parallel, but the axiom “familiarity breeds contempt” is an apt modern day comparison! How often do parents observe that their teenage children will take counsel from almost anyone but them!

We all recognize this quirk in human nature. But what is God trying to tell us in today’s readings? That He works in mysterious ways? That we should not be so quick to let our pride get in the way and close our ears just because the messenger is familiar to us? That we should be alert to human nature’s tendency to write off the familiar? To remember, at all times, that the pattern set by Christ for a successful vocation is new life through suffering and death of our ego absorbed self?

We all must recognize and live with our weaknesses just as St. Paul reminds in today’s second reading… but these weaknesses should not stop us from striving for sanctity! With St. Paul, let us listen to God saying to us: “My grace is sufficient for you.”

5 Jul
2015

2015 Bishop’s Appeal Update

2015 SHC BA 86 Percent of GoalWe are still making progress towards our goal for the 2015 Bishop’s Appeal but we do need help from everyone to meet it. We still owe the Diocese for the past years, so it is my wish that this year we could meet our assessment. The work that just Catholic Charities does in our area is one very large reason to give. When you make a pledge, you can pay it over several months. You can also go online to: www.thebishopsappeal.org or place your pledge/gift in the collection basket or mail it in.

Please consider a gift this year, no amount is too small when given from the heart. There are extra envelopes in the rear of the Church. Again, thank you to everyone who has pledged to date:

  • Assessment:                  $74, 993.00
  • Pledged gifts to date:            220
  • Total pledged:              $64,642.00
4 Jul
2015

Food Pantry for Roarke Center

We would like to expand our regular food pantry collection for the Roarke Center to include personal care items. Any items for the Roarke Center (food and toiletries) will continue to be collected in the sacristy and delivered weekly. Sister Marion from the Roarke Center and the clients are continually grateful for our donations.

 

4 Jul
2015

Happy Independence Day!

We celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776). It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775). And it wasn’t the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn’t happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776? The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

As a result, July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.)

To learn more about the Fourth of July and American Independence click on the link below:

http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fourth-of-july/

4 Jul
2015

Eddy Health Alert

Summer is here! Let’s make sure you and your loved ones are protected home and away from home. Eddy Health Alert can provide you with an emergency medical alert that works in your home and away from home…take it on vacation with you! Because accidents do happen, please consider calling for more information at 518-833-1040. Let’s not have an accident turn into a tragedy.

4 Jul
2015

New to Sacred Heart Parish?

We are happy to have you in our community and hope that you will enjoy a truly Christian experience with us. Click on the link below to obtain a PDF copy of our parish registration form.  Completed forms may be brought, or mailed to the parish rectory.  Sacred Heart Church Parish Registration Form  Alternatively you may pick up a copy of the form on the bulletin board in the rear of church). Registering helps us better serve your needs for sacraments, sick calls or any other assistance you may require. Thank you!

28 Jun
2015

Scripture Reflection

AKKMC-0001In today’s first reading we find the Holy Spirit reminding us through the instrumentality of the Old Testament Wisdom literature what we previously learned in the creation story in Genesis.  That is… all that God has created is good: “the creatures of the world are wholesome.” In today’s Gospel we find Christ performing not one, but two miraculous cures. Please take careful note of the details… In the first, the woman must have faith and must touch Jesus’ garment. In the second, the girl’s parents must have faith, and Jesus takes the girl by the hand.

Each time, two elements are involved… the requirement of faith and some sort of physical contact. Doesn’t this remind you of the Catholic Church’s sacramental system? To receive any of the sacraments, one certainly must have faith, but also some created material “stuff” is included as part of the sacramental ritual.

The new dispensation re-affirms that God’s creation is good, and therefore is employed for our sanctification. How many no longer  recognize this truth and do not make contact with Christ through His sacraments? Do we remind them of what they are missing? Do we pray for them?

28 Jun
2015

Parish Office

4th of July GraphicThe parish office will be closed on Friday, July 3 in observance of INDEPENDENCE DAY. We will reopen on Monday, July 6 at 9am.

Please make a note of it!

27 Jun
2015

Spring Avenue Entry News

The Spring Avenue Entry to Sacred Heart Church will be closing soon for renovations.  When completed, later this year, the updated entry provide an accessible route into our church facility.  Additionally it will also create a clearly identifiable, functional, well lit and landscaped entrance that will be both an aesthetically pleasing and proper entry to our worship space!  (Renderings courtesy of Lammon Architects, LLP)

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Bishop Scharfenberger's Column

CATHOLIC COMMUNITY OF SACRED HEART – MISSION STATEMENT

The Catholic Community of Sacred Heart welcomes all people to join in our celebration of Gods love. Through prayer, education, and caring for others, we strive to serve the needs of Gods people, thereby gaining a richer understanding of the gospel message.

Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil 4:00pm Sunday 8:45am & 11:15am Weekday 9:00am

Confessions

Saturday: 3:00pm or by appointment (Call 274-1363)

Baptism

Please call the Rectory (274-1363) weekdays for information and scheduled dates.

Marriage

Please call the Rectory (274-1363) weekdays for an appointment at least six months in advance of wedding.

Hospital Visits

If you, or a loved one is admitted to the hospital, it is important that you identify yourself to the hospital as a member of Sacred Heart Parish or contact the Rectory (274-1363) to inform us of your hospitalization.