As We Celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, We Celebrate Our Parish Family in Imitation of Them . . . Thank You to all for the sharing of yourselves so God’s Presence could be shared by the Many! Blessed Christmas Season and New Year! Click on orange title for complete reflection.
As we grow in closeness and familiarity with God, we’re inspired to offer more heartfelt thanks and gratitude to God. Souls close to God, like Mary and Joseph and like today’s psalmist ardently thank and offer God more earnest and sincere adoration, glory, praise and gratitude. This week, let’s contemplate family members who’ve been role-models of holiness for us. Let’s try to be more aware of and appreciate the blessings we’ve received from them, throughout our lives. If our benefactors are living, we can make efforts to approach and thank them; while, if they’ve passed on, we can pray for them and acknowledge them in our prayers. This is a great time of year for giving thanks for God’s faithfulness and for that of our inspiring family members, friends or mentors. For the complete reflection, click on the orange title above.
Welcome to Olean Fr. Chris Emminger! Father Christopher Emminger has been appointed pastor of Family of Parishes #24 (St. Bonaventure, Allegany; St. John, Olean; and pastor & rector of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, Olean), effective Jan. 15, 2024. He will reside at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, Olean. Father Emminger has previously served as parochial vicar of the Catholic Community Buffalo, North/Family #20.
Parishioner “Gifts” As we end this Advent Season in the anticipation of the Jesus’ coming, we all search on how to receive Our Infant Savior anew in our hearts and then respond in His love. The prayer written by Mary Lou Wood can speak to us as it does to God. This Christmas, let us complete ourselves in the Lord, let us live in our vulnerability of not knowing but continuing to desire Him in the act of becoming. Blessed Christmas, Fr. John How Do I Learn To Live? Is this it? Is this my surrender to You? Is this my life? Am I truly learning that this is it? The wait for You is the nagging ache in my heart and soul and nothing I can ever do will ease that angst? I have searched, as you know, for activity, for involvement, and sometimes that does occur but in reality the ache, the desire never ceases, never leaves me. I feel I have never done enough, but can anyone do enough? My enough will not occur in this life and, I believe, I truly pray, that the next part of my existence will see the fullness of who I really am and what I can really do. By Mary Lou Wood
Faith-sharing, charitable works and acts of sacrifice aren’t just for the saints to do. We’re all called to “be the Light” of Christ to others. As we actively participate in “sharing the Light,” we’ll see that the rejoicing of the saints is infectious! Rejoice! Click on orange title for complete reflection.
Not everyone has the opportunity of enjoying a hearty dinner surrounded by family on Christmas Day. Many people locally have no family in town or no family at all. Others are unable to afford a meal, especially for a family. And others, who serve our communities such as first responders, police officers, fire personnel, hospital staff, and correction officers may not get the opportunity to obtain a hearty meal. Local meal providers such as Meals on Wheels and the Warming House are not open that day. For all these reasons, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels with our linked parish family of St. John the Evangelist, hold an annual Christmas dinner for the hungry, lonely, community workers and any others in need of a meal on Christmas day for any reason at all— no questions asked. The free dinner can serve up to 1,000 people. We will be serving take-out and home deliveries only—no in-person dining. With each complete ham dinner costing the parish roughly $12, monetary donations are vital. (We take donations on the Basilica website at Smaolean.org and the Parish Offices at the Basilica and St. John the Evangelist.) Also important are the volunteers who take time out of their Christmas schedules to help others in need by preparing food, driving home deliveries or cleaning up afterwards. Thank you!
"After extensive discernment, it was determined that I would be helping the Diocese to create programming and establish sites of pastoral support throughout the Diocese, including in the Southern Tier. As a result of this discernment, I will be leaving my position as pastor at the Basilica and St. John’s effective January 15, 2024." Fr. John (for complete letter, click on orange title above)
If we’ve been loving God and others fully, we’ll have nothing to fear and everything to rejoice over when we meet our God. With reverent trust, we’ll be full of faith in God’s mercy and love, given that we’ll have been a conduit of them, throughout our lives. For complete reflection, click on orange title above.
“One of the hopes of a God-filled life is that our life will continue to grow and grow until it reaches its fulfillment in Heaven. God promises that He will always be faithful to us. Gift of God, fill my heart with Your hope and trust.” (“Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit” Winkler, 2008) For complete reflection, clikc on the orange title above.
Veteran’s Day is a day of gratitude and reflection. Like Memorial Day, it is a time to pay tribute to American men and women of service, but it is not the same. Memorial Day was established to remember the fallen, those who have paid the ultimate price, the totality of the selfless gift defending America and its freedoms. Veteran’s Day focuses on all who have served, not just the fallen. It is important to reflect on the experiences they have gone through and the contributions they have made. Veteran’s Day offers the chance to show public appreciation for our living veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces as well as remember those who have gone before us who have served. Military personnel and their families often make sacrifices, large and small both now and in the past and should be remembered, never forgotten. Let us Remember Our Heroes -- The Home of the Free Because of the Brave Let Us Pray . . . For all those who serve and have served in the military. May God bless them and keep them safe. In a special way, we pray for all those who have given of themselves to defend our freedoms and protect our country. May all veterans know of our support and affection. Fr. John
We pray to the Lord . . . O loving God, support us all the daylong in our dark hours of grief, until the shadows of evening fades and morning light breaks through, we ask for your presence. Grant our loved one(s) safe lodging, a holy rest and a lasting peace. Amen For complete reflection, click on the orange title above.
Thank You! As we continue to reflect on the many insights the Biblical Conference provided in September, we take this opportunity to thank the two anonymous families that donated and sponsored Dr. John Bergsma’s presentations on the living Christ in the Eucharist for our linked parish communities! Let’s reflect on ways the Lord may be sending an invitation to us to serve Him. We thank all who helped in the success of the Spaghetti Dinner in support of our linked parish families’ Oratory of the Sacred Heart! Thank you to Sal Gagliardo aka “Chef Sal-ardee” along with his many helpers in the kitchen for preparation, delivery and all those contributing through the purchase of raffle tickets, donations and meals for themselves and others. We can begin to prepare for Advent as we await the coming of the Lord. We can welcome Jesus to our local “Bethlehem” (our local “house of bread”) and think of ways we can bring the living Eucharist to others. Perhaps we can contribute to make a difference in our parish families by participating in ministries, sponsoring a Bible Study in our home or by helping at our special events like hospitality or the Christmas Bazaar. Call the Parish Office if Our Lord is calling you to help Him do His work, bring the living Bread to others through your hands or support others in their mission to do so. God’s blessings, Fr. John