When we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation a passage from the Eleventh Chapter of the Book of Isaiah which describes the attributes of the Messiah is woven into the Confirmation prayer. The passage reads: The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD” Isaiah 11:2-3. From our Confirmation Catechesis we recognize this passage as the one that articulates the “Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” which we’ve come to refer to as: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel and Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Awe or Fear of the Lord. One of the gifts most in need today is Fortitude which may be defined as “Courage” or as in the quote above “Strength.” Followers of Jesus are called upon to be strong in their faith in both private and public ways. Society tries to relegate “faith” to one’s personal life and is threatened when one’s personal faith is expressed and lived in public ways. The prophet Jeremiah was often times threatened by others because of his rather public role and prophetic critique of the society at his time. He experienced personal conflict as well; discerning that it would be much easier to just “go along with the crowd” than to speak up and share his inmost thoughts and God’s revelation. Yet he had confidence in God who bestowed his vocation upon him. In our short Gospel passage from Matthew chapter ten, Jesus tells us three times: “Do not be afraid.” We are encouraged. Jesus proclaims that God knows us through and through. Even the hairs on our heads are counted. Jesus assures us “Do not be afraid.” We are encouraged to publicly acknowledge God our heavenly Father before all whom we meet. How proud are you of your faith and the faith of our church? Can people recognize you as a follower and believer? “Do not be afraid!”
ST. LAWRENCE PARISH COMMUNITY is finally in the throes of “Roof Replacement.” Fundraising brought in about 50% of the total cost and a bank loan provided the immediate funding so the project could get underway. Thank You to all who purchased a “Shingle” as well as in many other ways have supported this endeavor. May the Lord grant us success in securing the remaining funding necessary to complete this project.
MEMBERS OF OUR SISTER COMMUNITY OF ST. MARTIN DE PORRES thank and praise our Lord for the fantastic weekend of celebration to commemorate the “burning of the mortgage” at St. Martin de Porres. The weekend was full of activity as a good number attended Friday evening prayer accompanied by the Holy Name Society Annual Andrew Mills Awards Presentation. A wine, cheese, and Jazz reception followed. Saturday afternoon brought many together for a Basket Auction Luncheon at Hamlin House on Buffalo’s West Side. On Sunday, May 23rd we welcomed Bishop Malone as our main celebrant for Mass and who was joined by Mayor Byron Brown and other Civil Officials to witness this milestone on Buffalo’s East Side. Many thanks for the prayers, best wishes, and support of our sister communities of faith.
THE BELLS AT NATIVITY have been made possible as a gift to the parish in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the apparition of our Lady of Fatima by the “Hearts Afire” Retreat Group. They were installed and began to sound on the 100th Anniversary date of May 13, 2017. Since then we have enjoyed the Westminster Clock Chime which has been providing a time keeping service to the community from 8am to 8pm every day. In addition to the many positive comments we have received e-mails and calls from some neighbors disturbed about this addition to public witness. Our parish council has discussed the issue and has made recommendations to Fr. Ron by means of a compromise that may assist us remaining “good neighbors” as well as enjoying the richness of the technology provided. More updates will forthcoming.