During the late 1990s and early 2000s, I met and assisted many new African families arriving as refugees to the USA from many parts of Africa including war torn Sudan. As my acquaintance with these family increased I was amazed to hear stories coming from the schools which their children attended. Stories concerning how these new students would hoard food from their school lunch, oftentimes not eating the lunch but saving it to carry home. Only upon further investigation did I discover that most of these refugee families shared only one meal a day. The whole day at home or in the refugee camp was spent foraging for food that the family would then share in the evening hours. Here in their new home in the USA the children would dutifully make a contribution to their family’s dinner needs. We in the developed world have little sensitivity to such an experience of need due to the plentiful availability of food. In this weekend’s Biblical lessons God provides food for the great prophet Elijah. The prophet is running to save his life and finds himself in the aridity of the desert wilderness with no food, no water. In order to strengthen him for the future journey ahead to Mt. Horeb (Sinai), a divine messenger appears twice with both food and drink. As we continue to listen in on the dialogue between the people and Jesus from the Gospel of John chapter 6 the people are challenged again and again to not let their familiarity with Jesus’ family prevent them from receiving the gift of faith and accept that He is the “Bread that comes down from heaven.” In our own walk of faith in Jesus, God oftentimes calls us to follow him in ways that we too may feel unprepared or inadequate. However there is a principle we need to accept: “God doesn’t always call the equipped but God does equip the called.” Let us then be confident as we answer God’s call to us in our lives. Sometimes we may feel that we’re foraging in areas we know little about. But God will provide us with the opportunities we need to grow in the gifts needed to complete the tasks that He requires of us. In faith we receive strength by our participation in Jesus the Bread of Life.
CLERGY STAFF UPDATE As per this writing, Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun has successfully concluded his interview at the American Embassy in Nigeria and is awaiting the processing of his R-1 Religious Worker Visa that will allow him back into the USA soon to begin his work as Associate Pastor of St. Lawrence, St. Martin de Porres, and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are still awaiting our second Associate Pastor approval and appointment. Until then, our newly retired clergy staff will continue to assist our parishes in their Sacramental needs. Our appointed clergy team will assume full time ministry by September 1st and onward. Please remember to pray for us as we begin this amazing work of God’s Spirit among our three communities of faith.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES ANNUAL POT LUCK CHURCH FAMILY PICNIC will begin with a 12Noon Mass on Sunday, August 16th at the Gazebo Shelter in the center of Como Park. All St. Lawrence parishioners are invited. Prayer in the Park, good shared food, music and dancing along with activities for the children will make our time together, one of celebration. You are most welcome……..
ANNUAL MEN’S RETREAT Mark your calendars now…. September 11th – 13th at the Columban Center in Derby, NY. The theme is “Divine Mercy and Reconciliation.” Deacon Thaddeus Pijacki will be the leader. This is open to all men of the parish. The reatreat begins with registration at 4pm on Friday and ends with Mass and Brunch on Sunday, September 13th. For more information or reservations, contact Rev. Paul Sabo at 716-604-4948 or the Holy Name Office at 716-847-2201. Reservations are limited to fifty five men.
KINGDOM BUILDING – Back to School/City-Wide Youth Summit is being sponsored by St. Martin de Porres Youth and Young Adult Ministry, from Friday, August 21st to Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 at the Church located at 555 Northampton Street, Buffalo, NY. Special workshop musical guest: Mr. David Frazier, composer of “I Need You To Survive." These are spirited musical rehearsals on Friday and Saturday with a concluding service of prayer and praise on Sunday Evening. Friday evening runs from 6pm to 9am; Saturday, from 9am to 2:30pm and Sunday’s Ecumenical Prayer and Praise Worship Service begins a 5pm. The attire for Youth attending on Sunday evening: Denim bottoms and “#IAMVALUABLE” T-Shirt available at www.iamvaluablemoment.org. Come and meet the Lord as the Young Church gathers for prayer and praise. All youth, of all Catholic and Christian Churches are invited to come and share our enthusiastic worship of our One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.