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Allie Wing

Gospel Reflection June 7 – Deacon Paul

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Sunday, June 7

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

John 3: 16 – 18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Gospel Reflection:
In today’s Gospel, we heard perhaps the most widely recognized verse in the New Testament. John 3:16! Go to most sporting events these days, or at least prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and you will see someone displaying a sign that reads John 3:16 on it.

For the Gospel writer, John, this famous verse has two meanings. It refers first to the giving of the Son by the Father through the incarnation, but it also refers to the giving of the Son to die, to rise, and ascend in glory. God’s love for the human race, for you and me, is most fully expressed in God’s act of sending His Son. We can be assured of God’s love for us because of Christ’s presence among us.

Friends, God’s saving love is available for everyone. No one is given a greater share of God’s love than someone else. It is freely offered to all of us. However, a response is required from us. His love must be either accepted or rejected. John tells us that the rejection of God’s love is the same as preferring darkness over the light. What could be more horrible than to accept the darkness when one knows what it means to live in the light? And so, when you recite the prayer of Spiritual Communion this weekend at the virtual Mass, please remember John 3:16: “For God gave us his only Son so we might have eternal life.”

-Deacon Paul Zemanek

Prayer for Peace in the Midst of Chaos – Join us Wednesday evening

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As a nation we mourn the death of more than 100,000 people from coronavirus. The images of George Floyd being murdered and hearing the desperation of his final words, “I can’t breathe, man” will haunt us for a very long time. We have many pandemics spreading across our country. The coronavirus pandemic, the pandemic of economic loss, the pandemic of racism, the pandemic of violence. Please join Katherine Florian and Sister Teresa in praying for peace in times of chaos. Let’s turn as a faith community of St. Brigid of Kildare to God in prayer. This Wednesday evening, June 3rd at 7:00 PM we will gather via Zoom to pray together. If you could have a candle we will light the candle during the prayer.  There will be quiet prayer, common prayer and music and last about 30-45 minutes.
Topic: Prayer for Peace in the Midst of Chaos
Time: Jun 3, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting with this link:
Meeting ID: 816 4148 6739
Password: 792942

Gospel Reflection May 31 – Deacon Don

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Sunday, May 31

Pentecost Sunday

John 20: 19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Gospel Reflection:
Last week, we celebrated Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. This week, Jesus forms His Church (the Pentecost — the birth of His Church) and empowers the Apostles to lead it. From his heavenly home, Jesus originates the now popular Working From Home (WFH) method in getting things done. He has done this ever since through His Church. Today, being breathed on by another person would be inappropriate and even considered unhealthy. Yet this is precisely what Jesus does and by doing so, He breathes the Holy Spirit on us. But instead of spreading a deadly illness, He spreads life, peace, and hope. He breathes on us still in this time of uncertainty. Peace is much more than simply the absence of war. It is the strong desire and ability to cope and maintain balance during a time when the world around us seems to be falling apart.

I would mention just a word about the 1st and 2nd readings for this week’s Feast Day. In the 1st reading today (Acts Chapter 2) we have the apostles speaking Aramaic, their native language, but being heard and understood by Jews from around the world. It brings to full circle the first 11 chapters of Genesis in which the world was introduced to sin ending in Chapter 11 with the tower of Babel. The last sin introduced into the world was our inability to communicate with each other. By changing the language of those working on the tower, it divided and discouraged working together. We have lived that divide ever since. This passage in Acts expands the gift of language to the Apostles — through their teachings and living the life of Jesus Christ imprinted on them.

In our 2nd reading today (1 Corinthians Chapter 12), Paul describes the Church as the Body of Christ of which we are all a part. Each of us brings unique and essential skills to be part of that body. Our challenge is to discover what part of the body we provide — taking our skills and prayer to a new discovery. That discovery gives us meaning in our own life. Once we acknowledge and embrace our role, we serve the Body of Christ in the way we are gifted and in harmony with ourselves.

This time of isolation and separation is a time for reflection and resolve. With the discovery of who we are in relationship to the Body of Christ’s Church, we will be gifted with the language to preach it to others. We too can reverse the failure of Babel and rebuild the world in a common language using the breath of Jesus Christ and His Church to restore all back into harmony.

-Deacon Don Poirier

Church Reopening Updates & Survey Results

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Click here to watch Monsignor Hendrick’s video message about this announcement.

Thank you to the over 800 families who took our survey last week. Below we are sharing the results of the survey. In addition, your many comments are all being considered and are greatly helpful as we work to plan the safest policies for reopening.

Today we have a few announcements in regards to reopening plans. Please also watch the video above from Monsignor Hendricks detailing these plans. Below is a summary:

The church will open for private prayer beginning Monday, June 1. The church will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8-9 AM. If you come to church for private prayer, please follow these guidelines:

  • If you are considered “high risk” by the CDC, due to age or medical condition, please refrain from coming to the church.
  • Please enter using the double doors on the west side of the church, or the glass doors on the southwest or southeast side. These doors will be propped open.
  • There will be hand sanitizer pumps on the walls inside each of the entrances. Please make use of these as you enter the church.
  • Please bring your own mask or cloth face covering and wear them the entire time you are in the church. Masks will be available for those who do not have one.
  • Private prayer will take place in the main church only. The chapel and cry room are not available due to social distancing and spacing requirements.
  • There will be greeters in the gathering area who can assist in answering any questions you may have, as well as direct you to available pews.
  • Pews will be visibly marked to indicate where individuals can sit, ensuring a social distance of at least 6 feet.
  • As we move forward, we hope to extend the period of private prayer; at the current time, we ask you to respect the one-hour time frame.
  • The church will be professionally cleaned and sanitized after each private prayer session.

The parish office will open with limited staff on June 1 as well. Office hours will be Monday-Thursdays 9 AM – 2 PM and Fridays 9 AM – Noon. As our parish office staff has been able to continue checking mail, voicemails and emails daily during the quarantine, having limited staff in the office will allow us to serve you in our more traditional way.

We have created thorough guidelines and policies regarding celebrating funerals, weddings, and baptisms at St. Brigid of Kildare. Please click here to read those policies if this may impact you.

We expect that we will begin public weekday/weekend Masses in mid-June with a limited number of attendees. This date is contingent on the arrival of permanent pieces of technology, which include cables and cameras, so that we can have public Mass while still continuing live-streaming for those not comfortable or not able to come to church. We are working on preparing a video about what to expect when returning to church for Mass, including the many restrictions and precautions we will be taking.

Please remember that attending public prayer or any public gathering in this time will always involve risk to one’s self, as well as to others that you may come in contact with. Although we cannot guarantee a completely safe environment at St. Brigid, we have put these guidelines in place to mitigate risk as much as we are able.

The following rules apply to any person planning to enter any of our campus buildings.

Please ensure you self-monitor and strictly follow these policies before entering a building. The success of our reopening will critically depend on all of us following these rules:

  1. During the past week, have you had fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell?
  2. Have you been in close contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

If so, please livestream Mass from your home!

Remember that Bishop Brennan has granted dispensation from attending Mass until September 13th.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Survey Results:

Gospel Reflection May 24 – Deacon Frank

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Sunday, May 24

The Ascension of the Lord

Matthew 28: 16 – 20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Gospel Reflection:
Airports are vulnerable places. Since 9/11 – and who knows what will happen to airline travel since the outbreak of COVID 19 – the various sections of the airport at any given moment you might witness or be part of tearful farewells or joy-filled reunions. Even before you are required to have your baggage weighed and screened, and before you are forced to take off your shoes, remove your laptop from your carry on and now, probably have to wear a mask throughout the whole flight, travelers will continue to find themselves saying goodbye at the curbside drop off. Departing often means leaving those whom we care deeply about – parents, spouses, children, grandchildren. And for those we have not seen for such a long time, the longing for return begins almost immediately.

When it came time for his ascension, Jesus knew that parting would be difficult – for him and for those he loved. As we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord this weekend, the conclusion of the Gospel of Matthew tells us that on the mountain the disciples doubted. We can imagine that they each felt a myriad of real emotions – doubt, but also sadness, fear, even anger. Jesus knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for them, so he gave them – and all of us – something to do.

Of course, it wasn’t just something to do like a scavenger hunt. It would become known as the GREAT COMMISSION, the call to ministry for the men and women who were to lead a community and eventually build a church. And now, as we start the very slow and careful process of returning to our church sanctuaries we still may continue to sit in our kitchens or living rooms celebrating Mass on YouTube or Facebook full of fear and anxiety and doubt and, maybe, rage. Jesus is somewhat commissioning us, once again, in the best way we can to do the same…build Christ’s church.

This journey through the COVID 19 “stay” which began in the middle of the Lenten Season, proceeded through the days of Holy Week, and has lasted through this season of Easter, continues. Just as that journey of faith over 2000 years ago didn’t end in death, it didn’t end at the empty tomb or a locked room. It didn’t end with Jesus being lifted up, nor has it ended in the centuries of faith that have followed, as his disciples have continued to carry out the GREAT COMMISSION. May our own journey continue THE Great Commission, our call to ministry, our call to community, our call to love.

-Deacon Frank Iannarino

Church Reopening Preparations & Survey

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May 22, 2020

Please watch this video from Monsignor Hendricks regarding the current projects and preparations that are in progress as we work to ensure we provide the safest environment possible when our parishioners return to church.

In addition, we would like to invite all parishioners to take the following survey to help us in our preparations. Please complete by Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Take Survey

Letter from Bishop Brennan on Return to Masses

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Click here to view a video message from Monsignor Hendricks from May 15, 2020 regarding the Bishop’s letter.

Dear Parishioners,

Please see the letter and Guidelines below from Bishop Brennan, released Friday, May 15, 2020, regarding the return to public Masses.

Please watch the video above from Monsignor Hendricks regarding specific information related to St. Brigid of Kildare’s re-opening planning.

Letter to the Faithful from Bishop Brennan

Guidelines for All the Faithful for The Return to Public Worship

Gospel Reflection May 17 – Sr. Teresa

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Sunday, May 17

Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 14: 15 – 21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Gospel Reflection:
Right before Pilate turned Jesus over to be crucified, he asked, “What is truth?”
He was standing right before ETERNAL TRUTH and yet he did not recognize the truth. I wonder why we don’t recognize truth, or why we have trouble sometimes separating truth from falsehood. It reminds me of a story.

The TRUTH was going into town to give a speech. As the Truth was walking to town a Lie caught up with the Truth and asked where he was going. The Truth said he was going into town to give a speech. A Lie said, “Can I come too?” The Truth said he didn’t mind. So, the Truth and a Lie walked together on the road toward town. On the way they came to a pond and the Truth said he wanted to go for a swim. Truth invited a Lie to join him, but a Lie said he didn’t feel like swimming. He would just wait for the Truth to finish his swim.

So, the Truth took off his clothes and went for a swim. While he was in the water swimming, a Lie took off with the Truth’s clothes. He put on clothes of the Truth and headed into town. When the Truth finished with his swim, he looked around for his clothes but all he saw were the clothes of a Lie. Refusing to dress himself in the clothes of a Lie the Truth went naked into town.

As the Truth approached the town, he saw a crowd gathered. As he got even closer, he saw a Lie dressed as the Truth giving a speech. Unable to contain himself he shouted, “That’s a Lie, dressed as the Truth!” The people turned and saw the naked Truth and they turned their heads in shame and continued to listen to a Lie dressed as the Truth.

You see often people choose to see a Lie dressed as the Truth rather than face the naked Truth.

Even while we are still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic stories and rumors circulate in great abundance. We are being bombarded from all realms – political (local and global), medical, familial, emotional and spiritual. Do this to cure the virus, no do this to cure it. This country was to blame. No it started here. Listen to this expert, no listen to this one. Social distancing is crazy — no, social distancing is the best way to contain the virus. It is a man-made virus. No, it was sent directly from God; no, it is an act of nature. It goes on and on until our minds are swirling in thousands of different directions.

In the area that is most sacred to us, our faith, the facts and opinions will go on and on as well. We will hear many things about Church and our spiritual well-being. “It worked out just as well attending Mass by live stream.” “No nothing can replace Mass in Church.” “Maybe community is not the best model for our faith.” “No, this experience has shown how important parish community is for us.”

Maybe we need to look at new ways to be Church instead of trying to figure out ways to perpetuate something that will never be the same again. The complexity, for me, is heightened the more important the issue. “What is truth?” We will have to listen; we will have to muddle through together and be willing to build the bridge as we cross it. We will have to pray and search and be open to things that may be very different from what we now know or have yet to imagine. Some truth will be lies dressed up to look like truth. Some things will be the naked truth.

“You see often people choose to see a Lie dressed as the Truth rather than face the naked Truth.” Which one will you choose? Which one will our Church choose?

How will we as individuals and as a faith community begin to sort things out?

Jesus gives us the answer in today’s gospel passage. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. God sent us an Advocate – the Spirit of Truth and that Spirit lives within us. BUT – we will have to be still, listen with open mind and open heart to bring forth this Spirit of Truth. Church will be different after the “coronavirus dust” settles and together we will have to respond to God’s call to rebuild my church. We will do it by separating lies dressed up as truths and embracing the naked truth and it is going to take a long time.

-Sister Teresa Tuite, OP