Saturday Vigil Mass - 4:00 pm
Sunday Masses - 8:00 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am
Weekdays (Monday - Friday) - 8:30 am
Eucharistic Adoration - 9 am to 7 pm
Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 pm and by request
Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
St. John the Baptist family of parishioners is a faith-filled Catholic Christian community which believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Church and its teachings, under the direction of our spiritual leaders. We watch and pray as we follow His call to love, life, fellowship and holiness.
"When our Lady received word that the tomb was found empty, her heart was filled with the joy of faith: Christian faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."
--Pope Francis, Reflection on Mary, St. Peter's Square, October 12, 2013
We now have a blue St. Vincent de Paul clothing bin on our property, located at the Westwood entrance of the school! You may put anything “cloth” in the bin: clothing, shoes, boots, towels, sheets, etc. Items that cannot be accepted include furniture, toys, books, pots, pans, kitchen utensils, etc.
Christmas Wafers (Oplatki) are available in the priest’s sacristy after all Masses and at the rectory. The suggested donation is $1.00 each.
Folk Group Christmas Concert
The St. John the Baptist Parish Folk Group is preparing a Christmas concert – “The Joy That He Brings” – to be held at St. John’s Church on Sunday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. Selections will include “Christmas Canon,” “Go, Tell It on the Mountain,” “A Christmas Hallelujah,” and much more! The event is free and open to the public, and a social will follow. Please join us for an evening of uplifting songs and parish fellowship!
On Christmas Eve, our annual Children’s Mass will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. Children ages 5-12 are invited to participate in a special presentation that night. Those interested should contact Tracy Martin at 937-9312 to sign up. Practices will be held at church on Wednesday, December 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Confirmation Team O’Grady will be serving dinner on Friday, December 28 at Friends of Night People in Buffalo. Along with our service hours, we are asking for donations of linen (new or GENTLY used): bath towels, washcloths, pillow cases, sheets (fitted and top, all sizes), etc., to be placed in the FNP barrel located in the back of St. John’s Church the weekends of December 8 & 9 and December 15 & 16. Thank you in advance for your generosity. Questions? Call Mary at 937-7477.
Soup To Go
Delicious homemade soup and baked goods will be sold after Masses next weekend, December 15 & 16, with proceeds to support the youth from our parish who will be attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January 2019. Thank you for your support.
Gifts, wrapped and with the mitten attached to the package, should be brought to church and placed under the Giving Tree by next weekend, December 15 & 16. Please remember that we will not be able to accept items after then because all presents will be picked up by 12:00 noon on December 16. Any questions, please call Pat at 937-9293. Thank you for your generosity!
Confessions Before Christmas
The Vicariate Penance Service for our region will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Lancaster on Monday, December 10 at 3:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. Penance services will also be held on Monday, December 17 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Annunciation in Elma, Queen of Heaven in West Seneca, and Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga. Confessions will be heard at St. John’s on Saturday, December 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Volunteers Needed for Decorating the Church
Please save the date for Tuesday, December 18 starting at 6:00 p.m. Your help will be very much appreciated to prepare our church for Christmas.
Faith Formation News
Bambinelli Sunday is December 16. All faith formation and school families are asked to attend the 11:00 a.m. Mass on that day to celebrate the blessing of the baby Jesus figures and the Blanket Mass. If you did not attend the Advent Family Event, you can bring the baby from your manger set to be blessed at Mass. This will remain an important memory for your children for years to come.
There will NOT be classes on December 22, 24, 29, and 31 in honor of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Please be assured of my warm wishes and prayers during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
WeShare Online Giving
Liturgical Corner by Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator
We move deeper into the Advent season of preparation and longing for Christ’s light and redemption in our life. The clock is ticking as we get closer to Christmas, as our busy life moves through the next event, preparation task, or deadline to get ready for Christmas. Jesus already came into the world 2000 years ago, so “adventing” or preparing seems kind of anticlimactic. And in addition, we know that at our Baptism, Christ came into us personally and continues to be with us in the Word, in the Church, and in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. This is the already is reality of Jesus and our salvation. In Advent, the already is of Jesus and the Paschal Mystery are always challenged by the not yet – that is to say, his second coming either at our own death or at the end of time, whichever comes first. One of the interesting things about the Catholic faith is that it holds tension between two seemingly opposed thoughts. The Church theologically takes much more of a “both/and” approach rather than an “either/or” one. For example: the Catechism #464 says that Jesus is “true God and true man.” Both are true so both must be believed because the remarkable theological reality is that he is truly, at the same time, fully God and fully human. There is a good discussion of this concept of both/and online at http://catholic-resources.org/Both-And.htm.
Our readings today speak of the expectation of God’s power and glory that lead all those who love God back to the promise of what God has done and in what God is yet to do. The first reading (Baruch 5:1-9) puts the present into the perspective of the glorious future. Even though it seems impossible, it is God who will lay down the mountains and fill in the valleys as we move toward the not yet. The Gospel (Luke 3:1-6) quotes Isaiah and applies this concept of what God has done and makes it our personal responsibility to get our own life in order. Remember we learned last week that Luke intended to shift the focus from thinking the end would be soon to the reality that the return of Jesus at the end of time well may be far off. So, in the interim, we need to prepare the way of the Lord in our lives and in our sphere of influence. We must level our own mountains and fill in our own valleys that keep us from keeping the greatest commandments: Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself (see Mark 12:30-31). We need to do this so we are ready for the not yet.
The thought that comes to mind is this: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. Advent, then, is the perfect opportunity to look at our own mountains and valleys that move us away from God so we can straighten our path toward God. As busy as we are, we cannot afford to not take the time to do this!
- Deborah Brown, Pastoral Administrator
- Rev. James Walter, Sacramental Minister
- Marc Leaderstorf, Permanent Deacon
- Mary Pat Bonnes, Director of Faith Formation
- Jonna Johnson, St. John's School Principal
- Katherine (Kate) Wypij, Business Manager
- Michelle Smith, Administrative Assistant
- Sue Wery, Bookkeeper
- Sr. Ellen McCarthy, SSJ, Evangelization
12/13/18 4:50 pm
IMAGE: CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPABy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Anyone who still believes the abuse crisis is an "American" or "Western" problem must become properly informed, face reality and realize problems may be hidden and explode in the future, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.
And those who think too much talk and attention about abuse only blows the situation out of proportion or that it is time to change the topic are following "a mistaken path," he said in the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica.Read More
12/13/18 4:23 pm
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For more than 38 years, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa has preached to the pope and top officials of the Roman Curia. In early January, he will lead the weeklong retreat of the U.S. bishops.
As they continue to study and discuss ways to respond to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, the bishops will gather for the retreat Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago.Read More
12/12/18 6:41 pm
IMAGE: CNS photo/Max Rossi, ReutersBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Just as she did hundreds of years ago from a small hill in Tepeyac, Mexico, Mary accompanies the downtrodden and the lowly like a mother caring for her children.
Mary "is a woman who walks with the gentleness and tenderness of a mother, she makes her home in family life, she unties one knot after another of the many wrongs we manage to generate, and she teaches us to remain standing in the midst of storms," the pope said in his homily during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.Read More
12/12/18 1:00 am
Jesus longs for us to come to him like little children. Why not start this Christmas?
The post How to Celebrate Christmas With the Faith of a Child appeared first on Busted Halo.Read More
12/10/18 2:02 am
Our digital twist on the traditional Advent calendar brings a sense of surprise by showing you the whole calendar, but not letting you “open” each…
The post Busted Halo’s 2018 Advent Calendar appeared first on Busted Halo.Read More
12/07/18 12:21 am
Q: Why does Mary visit her cousin Elizabeth? It doesn’t make sense to me for a pregnant woman to take such a long journey. Any…
The post Why Does Mary Visit Her Cousin Elizabeth? appeared first on Busted Halo.Read More
NYS Catholic Conference
11/16/18 4:20 pm
After vetoing similar legislation last year, Governor Cuomo has signed a bill that restores a standard for calculating state reimbursement of administrative mandates placed on Catholic and other religious and independent schools. The “instructional time” standard of 5 hours per day for K-6 and 5.5 hours per day for 7-12 had been used for nearly […]Read More
08/14/18 7:40 am
The catastrophic clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and the continuing revelations about its depth, has been the cause of unimaginable suffering for the many victim-survivors and their loved ones. It has also deeply impacted the lay faithful. Nothing can ever undo the damage that has been done, but the Church has indeed […]Read More
07/24/18 9:52 am
By Kathleen M. Gallagher Like most people, I was glued to the news about the boys’ soccer team lost inside a cave in Thailand. I prayed every day, first, that they would be found, and once they were, that somehow they could be successfully rescued. I rejoiced when they emerged from that deep, dark, wet […]Read More