This Friday - Special Padre Pio Mass

This Weekend - Special Collection for St. Pius X Enriched Living Facility

"We are always priests with all our soul and with all our heart. Being an ambassador of Christ... is a mission that penetrates our entire being." - Pope Francis

Dear Friends:

Please accept my deepest thanks for your prayers and continued financial support for our senior Priests residing at St. Pius X Enriched Living Facility.

St. Pius X provides a life-enriching experience for the men who live there, enabling our dedicated priests to live or recuperate at a facility that gives them the extra care and attention that they need. At the same time, St. Pius X allows them to serve as active, fully engaged members of the community. 

I feel confident that many of the faithful in our diocese can share stories about times in their lives when they have been supported and inspired through the ministry of their parish priest.  Our priests baptize and confirm our children, listen to our concerns during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, rejoice as witness to marriage vows and are present to pray and comfort us in times of sickness or when the Lord calls us or a loved one home.  Through their celebration of the Eucharist, dedication to our ministries and leading lives of service, our retired priests continue to inspire our Catholic community to develop a closer relationship with Christ and the Church. 

Today, more than 100 priests are retired in our Diocese.  Most are, even now, serving as our spiritual leaders, counselors, teachers and friends. 

Please, take some time to review the enclosed materials. I encourage you to give prayerful consideration of a gift in support of our retired priests living at St. Pius X Enriched Living Facility. May I ask that you remember all of our priests in your prayers as I know you are remembered in theirs.

Be assured of my own remembrance of you and your family in my Masses and prayers.

Bishop John Barres

Bethany Prayer Day for the Women of our Parish

We invite all the women of our parish to "save the date" - Saturday November 3rd from 9am to 5pm. The Saint Brigid’s Women’s Bethany Group will be hosting the 2nd annual Bethany retreat that day at St. Brigid’s Our Lady of Hope
School. Last year at our first Bethany Retreat Day, the women who attended experienced the heartfelt need to make time in
our “Martha world” for some “Mary time.” This year our theme is discovering why Mary and Joseph said YES to the plan of God. What is God calling us to say "yes" to at this moment in our journey?

 

Catechetical Sunday - September 23

Every year, as we begin a new academic year, we celebrate "catechist Sunday" - a Sunday when we bless all those who are involved in catechetical formation of our young people. While this obviously involves our parish catechists in our religious education program as well as teachers in our Catholic elementary and high schools, it also pertains to those involved in youth ministry and, yes, most importantly, the parents of our school-aged children. As we say in the rite of baptism of a child "You (the parents) are the first teachers of your child in the ways of faith. May God make you the best of teachers in all that you say and do in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord."

On this Sunday, at our family 10am Mass, we will have the opportunity to bless all our catechists, parents and all those involved in the Christian formation of our youth. We also want to bless all our students, so that they be "open" to receive the word of God as it is planted in their hearts. This is why we are also inviting all our young people to bring their back packs to Church at the 10am Mass. We will bless the back packs -  a symbol of the open mind and open heart that we hope our young people will have this year as they "carry away" the lessons in life that will help them to become the marvelous people whom God so desires them to be.

Pope Francis on Pennsylvania: A call for prayer and fasting

Pope Francis, in his recent letter responding to the terrible situation of clerical abuse and coverup (see the full letter of Pope Francis), calls upon all of the members of the Body of Christ to enter into "prayer in fasting" as a sign that we stand in solidarity with abused victims. He calls for a "fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary."

Fasting is a bodily prayer where we enter into the suffering of Christ (as he suffers in the little ones) so that no victim may ever feel alone, unheard, uncared for. Father Tony is dedicating this Wednesday, August 28th as a personal day of prayer and fasting - and he invites you to join with him in this prayer. We  pray not only for the victims, but we pray that those who have felt betrayed by their Church or her leadership may find healing. We pray especially for those who, in understandable disgust, have walked away from the Church, and tragically have walked away from the table of the Lord who so wants to offer all of us healing and strength.

Read the Pope's letter to the People of God

Statement on the Pennsylvania Report

You may be aware from media coverage this past week of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests that Bishop Barres was referenced in the report stemming from his time as the Bishop of Allentown.  The report accuses Bishop Barres of not dealing decisively with accusations against priests, one priest in particular. To be absolutely clear, what the report presents regarding Bishop Barres is inaccurate and misleading on key facts.  During his time as the Bishop of Allentown, Bishop Barres was, in fact, as vigilant as he is now about identifying and removing abusive priests and protecting God’s children. We urge everyone to take home and read the full statement regarding the inaccuracies in the report. The statement is also available on the diocesan website at www.drvc.org.

 

The abuse of any human being – particularly of children – is a terrible sin and a crime.  It should not happen anywhere and it most particularly should not happen in the Catholic Church.  The fact that it did is disgraceful and the Bishop is committed to removing any abusers and keeping out future ones.  And we continue to pray and work toward healing for survivors of abuse.  The Pennsylvania report looks back at 70 years.  It is important to note the progress that has been made since 2002.  It is also important to be accurate when reporting on or speaking about the record of Church leaders who have confronted these terrible issues. Clearly, the Church’s vigilance in this area can never cease, and, in fact must always be expanded.

 

The Windows are Coming Back! Plus - A Revised Mass Schedule

So, our beautiful stained glass windows that have been sent out to be restored and repaired, are now being re-installed into our Church! The process is painstakingly tedious, as you can imagine, as the individual panes are re-inserted into the stone tracks that exist and the new protective glass with their special aluminum frames are placed over them on the exterior facing of the Church.

The second phase will begin on October 1st and last until October 12th. During this second phase, the windows of the choirloft, the windows along the side aisles and the remaining windows of the sanctuary will be returned. 

Weekday Masses (Monday through Saturday morning) will take place in Saint Anthony's Hall.

During this time when the Church will be closed for Masses, we will ask our neighboring parishes (Our Lady of Hope, Saint Ignatius and Holy Family) once again to accommodate us for any funerals. As for the weddings and other events that have been scheduled (such as the Padre Pio "Transitus" Mass), they will still take place in the Church at this time.

So many projects have already been accomplished since we began the capital campaign some two years ago.

  • A new energy-efficient gas boiler was installed in the Church.
  • The bathroom in the Church was refurbished.
  • New structural supports for the interior of Saint Anthony's were put into place along with the incredibly beautiful "face-lift" of windows, walls, flooring and ceiling of Saint Anthony's Hall.
  • New offices were created on the second floor of Saint Anthony's Hall.
  • A new entrance way and a new reception area for parish business was established in the front of Saint Anthony's Hall.
  • The food pantry was moved to the renovated space of the Schaefer Center.
  • The interior of the Church was painted with the refurbishing of the pews and the creation of the side-altar shrines.
  • The sanctuary space was reconfigured with the tabernacle in the center.
  • And now, the stained glass windows are to be re-installed in the next month

What lies ahead? We still need to repair the main doors of the Church and possibly replace the rear doors. We are still looking to relocate the air-handlers of our Church air conditioning along with condensers that use the Freon that is in compliance with EPA standards. And yes -- the air conditioning in the school chapel will be the final piece. With everyone's help, we will get there!

MASS SCHEDULE RECAP:

Weekday Masses will take place in Saint Anthony's Hall: 

Monday, September 10 through Saturday morning, September 15
Monday morning September 17 through Saturday morning September 22
Monday morning October 1 through Saturday morning October 6
Monday morning October 8 through Saturday morning October 11

Weekend Masses of September 15-16 will take place in the school:

 

 

Support a Child in Our Religious Ed Program

Do you want to help make a difference in the life of a child? If you said "yes," consider making a donation to our parish's Religious Education Scholarship Fund.

To learn more about this fund, please click HERE.

Saint Brigid/Our Lady of Hope Golf Outing

Fr. Tony's Latest Update on Church Renovations

Where do we stand these days with the Church renovation?  Well, we're on our way!

Click here to access the most recent update from Fr. Tony on the Renovation

Prayer for the Reunification of Families

Father in heaven, your son, 
Jesus, was born into this world, 
born into a human family and 
made holy and sacred the bonds 
of family love.

As Jesus grew in
wisdom and knowledge through
the caring ministry of his parents,
Joseph and Mary, so now may
Jesus bless all children so that
they too may have he
opportunities to grow to full
stature.

We pray dear Father for those
children who now became
separated from their parents at
our nation's borders.

May Mary,
the mother of your Son, Jesus,
enfold these children in the
mantle of her protection.

Please bless the work of all those
who are dedicated to reunite
parents and children. Shelter
these children from needless fear
and further violence. Protect their
parents who seek reunification.

May the dreams and hopes that
you, dear Father, have for these
young people and their parents
come to fruition through your
generous mercy and our
compassionate care.

This we ask,
through Jesus, our Savior and our
Lord, Amen.

 

 

Check out "FORMED" - An Exciting New Website for you to Enjoy!

Welcome to “Formed” - a Catholic website giving you the best in Catholic teaching and inspiration Imagine that you would have a resource in your home to access inspirational videos, instructive audios, downloadable books and articles, and even movies that would present good Catholic teaching.

Imagine that from your computer, tablet or smartphone you would be able to access in one place inspirational speakers such as Dr. Scott Hahn or even Bishop Fulton Sheen. Imagine a place where you could search out answers to your own particular questions about the faith. This resource is entitled FORMED.

As a member of Saint Brigid’s parish you are given FREE ACCESS to this website -- joining is simple.

1. On your web browser of your computer, tablet or smartphone type in the following address: https://saintbrigid.formed.org

2. Go to the tab “Register” and type in your name, email address and a special password that you will remember.

3. You will see a ton of resources at your fingertips.

Once you register, Fr. Tony will be able to send you links to some really great stuff that can help you in your own faith-formation journey, videos that can help you prepare for next week’s liturgies, resources for kids and teens and so much more. Spread the word to others -- registration is free and through our parish subscription you have access to so many great Catholic resources.

The NEW Schaefer Outreach Center

What began as a convent for Saint Brigid's school almost 85 years ago is now transformed into our Outreach Center. Over five years ago, Father Ralph had a dream of bringing all the outreach services (Saint Brigid's Well, Casa Mary Johanna and our Food Pantry) into a single building. For various reasons, the original site of the outreach center was not able to be materialized. Soon after Father Tony arrived, we had various parish-wide listening sessions (among our various language groups) and we had decided to bring all of the outreach services into the Schaefer Center.

In some respects, the decision was already being made for us; the leases of the buildings where both the Well and Casa Mary Johanna were operating were no longer able to be extended. Those services moved into the Schaefer Center, sharing spaces with the administrative and clergy offices in the parish. Soon a plan was developed to renovate the second floor of Saint Anthony's Hall, move the clergy and administration out of the Schaefer Center, and make room so that the food pantry could enter into a newly renovated space in the Schaefer Center. And so, here we are, five years in the planning, and finally Father Ralph's dream has now come to pass.
 
Since January of this past year, we have been fixing walls and painting and carpeting the Schaefer Outreach Center. We have constructed safe and hygienic food storage areas, as well as created new office spaces for the volunteers and director of the food pantry. Joan Echausse and Ximena Aravena take on new offices on the first floor and Yanira Chacon, Barbara Powell and Lupé Ramirez expand their needed space on the second floor. In addition, a new space was created for baby items that can be given to expectant mothers.
 
The work of creating the Schaefer Outreach Center also entailed some structural work to keep the building safe and dry -- new leaders and gutters as well as a new drainage system and upgraded electrical wiring was put into place. A new walkway was created so as to allow food deliveries to be able to be brought more easily to the rear entrance of the Center. Finally, the remaining food and freezers are being moved into the center and all the work is on the verge of being completed.
 
But the work does not end there. Parish Outreach faces new challenges in the wake of growing fears among some members of the immigrant community that we serve. As TPS (temporary protected status) protections soon end for members of the Haitian, Salvadoran and Honduran immigrants, there is an understandable reluctance among some members of these communities to register for assistance when registration leaves a record that later could expose them to deportation when TPS ceases to exist. Something as simple as following the gospel directive to feed the hungry now becomes so complicated during these times that are so challenging for immigrant populations. In other words, it is not enough to simply have a nice building where services can be provided for those in need. We need to find new and creative ways to seek out and reach those people who may be reluctant to come to us for assistance. Our Parish Outreach will grow -- but only as the result of a combined prayer and determination of all of our parishioners to carry out that which Jesus has called us to do for the least of his brothers and sisters.

Updated Videos on Catholic Social Teaching

We continue our sharing of good Catholic Social Teaching Videos here on our parish website by offering some new additions (as you scroll down, you will find our older videos as well).  We're building up this online exploration of Catholic Social Teaching - and will continue to do so.

Catholic Social Teaching has its roots in the Teachings of Jesus, the Scriptures, and the entire Tradition of the Church.  Since the 1800's, magisterial Catholic Social Teaching comes to us in encyclicals and other formal documents of the Church.  Some in our Church call Catholic Social Justice Teaching "the greatest secret" in our Church because it is not often taught as a body of teaching in formational courses.  Clearly, though, saying "Yes" to following Jesus challenges us all to live lives in relationship with God and others which demand charity and justice.  And Catholic Social Teaching provides a blueprint to that end for those who believe in Jesus.

 

St. Brigid's Parish works hard to effect the "two feet" of Catholic Social Teaching - charity and justice - in our outreach to those in need.  Catholic Social Justice Teaching drives our entire parish outreach effort.  Here are some videos that help explore various themes of and applications in Catholic Social Teaching.

 

St. Brigid "Attic" Thrift Shop is looking for you!

Can you spare a couple of hours each week? If your answer is yes...

...then St. Brigid’s Attic Thrift Shop would love to have you join our dedicated, fun loving volunteers to help make a difference for the less fortunate. The Attic is open Monday thru Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

There are volunteer opportunities available Tuesday through Saturday. When you volunteer, you help make a difference in our community.

Working together, we can help those who shop in our store and contribute to the support of Parish Outreach. Please call Millie at 516-455-3556 to learn more about how you can help. Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

What's happening to our stained glass windows!

During Easter Sunday, when so many people came to our Church, many marveled at the renovated beauty of the Church. Some however were greatly disturbed by the fact that some of the windows are missing.

"Are you replacing the windows with clear plexiglass?" asked some. Others said, "Are you getting new windows?" 

So, let's be clear.

The windows are the jewels of our Church. The need for repair of these windows came to us in 1985 during the time of the renovation of Father Fred Schaefer. There was no money at that time to do anything about the bad shape of the windows. In 2005, it was estimated that soon the windows would fall out of their frames unless something was done immediately.

It was the desire to restore these beautiful works of art that originally drove the campaign to renovate the Church in the first place. So next came the process of interviewing many vendors.

One vendor said that they could do the work at the cost of about one million dollars.

Another vendor said, "Let's just fix the windows that are in worst need and save the rest for another day."

Another vendor said, "I can work on the stained glass windows without removing them from the Church."

The vendor that was chosen, based on price and reliability, was Bovard Studios. They have had a long history of working on stained glass windows for many years, and restored many of our Churches on Long Island. Based in Iowa, this company is a leading artisan for stained glass repair and restoration.

So what is the process? Each window is removed. When possible, the existing plexiglass safety covering (installed sometime in the 60's), is left in place in order to afford the Church light and security. The upper windows, where there is no plexiglass safety covering, are replaced temporarily with plywood covering. Then the windows are shipped to Iowa where each window is disassembled, cleaned, re-leaded, and fitted back into a new custom-made aluminum frame with a separate channel for a clear protective glass covering. Then the whole unit is shipped back and re-installed in their new frames. The overall cost of the project is about a quarter of a million dollars.

The windows are being removed during the weeks of April 9th and April 16th. They will be returned to us in September! In the meantime, the Church will look a lot brighter -- but somewhat barren of its beauty. We pray that the work goes well and that our Church will shine even more beautifully come the fall!

Follow St. Brigid on Twitter and Facebook

Click on the QR codes below, or click on the logos on the top right of this web page.

"Secret" Clicks on this Website...

From any page on this site, click the St. Brigid Cross in the upper left hand corner - or the name of the Parish on the top of any page - and, voila, you'll return to our home page!

Just for Laughs

From time to time, we'll be changing the cartoon that appears down below on our web home page.  Scroll down to check out the most recent one.