March 27, 2017
Dear Parishioners: Lent is a great time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I am available on Saturday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. in the Reconciliation Room in the back of the church; also by appointment if you call the church office; and the annual " Light is On" confession time-Monday, April 10, 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Also, our Regional Penance Service will be at St. Mary's in Cortland on Wednesday, April 5th at 6:30 p.m. There will be several priests available to offer the forgiveness of Jesus. Please take advantage of these opportunities to receive God's mercy and forgiveness.
Anointing of the Sick: I will be offering the Sacrament of the Sick on Saturday, April 1 after the 4:00 p.m. Mass and on Sunday, April 2, after the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Those eligible to receive the anointing are the following: those who are elderly (the Church does not define "elderly!"), anyone who is in pain; those who struggle with addictions; those who have compulsive behavior; people who grew up in abusive, dysfunctional families; people with any mental illness, such as depression; and anyone who will be having an operation in the near future (this includes children).
When you are anointed, you can expect the following graces and blessings from Jesus: Strength to continue to be spiritually healthy; inner peace, knowing you are right with yourself and with God; forgiveness of all your sins; healing- spiritual, mental, or physical. Please sit in the front pews after Mass to receive the anointing.
40th anniversary! The 40th anniversary of my ordination to the diocesan priesthood will be coming up soon. There will be two celebrations that you are cordially invited to attend: Saturday, April 29th at 5:15 p.m. (after the 4:00 p.m. Mass) in our church hall. Food and beverages will be served. You don't have to sign up for the celebration, just show up! Then on Friday, May 5th at 6:00 p.m. there will be a dinner at Cortland Country Club. You will need to pick up a reservation envelope to attend. Invitations are available after Mass or at our church office. Seating is limited. Reservations will be available until April 10th.
NEXT SATURDAY.... I will be giving a morning retreat for the men of our parish. It will begin at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and will conclude with lunch at 12 noon. Please call our office (749 2542) if you plan on coming. A freewill offering will be taken up. Take this time to deepen your love for God!
What is a PCA? Pastoral Care Area is a relatively new term that many dioceses in the U.S have adopted. In our own diocese, we have 27 PCAs. Pastoral Care Areas are groups of parishes in a geographical area that collaborate and cooperate with each other. Parishes who are "neighbors" send representatives to meet as a PCA to discuss how we can help each other, by sharing resources, information, and ideas.
Our PCA includes the following parishes: St. Mary's and St. Anthony's, Cortland, St. Patrick, Whitney Pt., St. Patrick, Truxton, St. Lawrence, DeRuyter, St. Stephen, Marathon, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Cincinnatus, Newman Center at SUNY Cortland. This is one of the largest PCA's in the diocese, covering parishes that stretch over three counties! Our PCA has met several times for very interesting and lively discussion. We are planning for the future when there will be a reduced number of priests to serve this area. Contained in the reconfiguration plan that the diocese has put forth, when the pastor of St. Lawrence, DeRuyter/ St. Patrick, Truxton retires, the church in Truxton will become an "Oratory" (no regularly scheduled Masses) and St. Lawrence, DeRuyter will be "linked" with St. Margaret's. This means that the pastor of St. Margaret's will serve both parishes. It does not mean that the parishes will "merge." Each will continue as separate faith community. St. Lawrence has great lay leadership and is also served by a permanent deacon, Larry Brickner. We have a very good working relationship with the parishes in our PCA and good things will happen in our future together.
Many thanks. God Bless You, Fr. Paul J. Alciati