Mass Times

   Saturday Vigil Mass - 4:00 pm
   Sunday Masses - 8:00 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am
   Weekdays (Monday - Friday) - 8:30 am

  Ash Wednesday - 8:30 am & 7 pm Masses; 12:10 Prayer Service

First Friday
   Eucharistic Adoration - 9 am to 7 pm

Confession
   Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 pm and by request

Office hours:
     Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
     (716) 937-6959

Welcome

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.

"The grace revealed in our world is Jesus, who was born of the Virgin Mary, is true man and true God.  He has entered our history; he has shared our journey.  He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light."

                            --Pope Francis, Homily, Midnight Mass, St. Peter's Basilica, December 24, 2013

New Parish Leader at St. John's

St. John the Baptist Parish extends a warm welcome to our new Pastoral Administrator, Mrs. Deborah A. Brown, whose appointment here began on January 3. Mrs. Brown has a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary, and she brings much experience in family life and various aspects of parish ministry. She comes to us from the Newman Center at the University at Buffalo, where she served as Pastoral Associate for the permanent community there. She has taught at Christ the King Seminary in the Certificate Program, served as the Director of Spiritual Life at St. John the Baptist Church in Lockport, and worked as the Associate Director of Religious Education at the Catholic Center for the Diocese of Buffalo. Debbie and her husband, Kevin, recently celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. They have four children and three grandchildren. Debbie hopes our parishioners will find her approachable and eager to immerse herself in our parish life. Please take a moment to introduce yourself when you see her!

      Our parish is also grateful to Rev. Joseph C. Gatto, the President-Rector of Christ the King Seminary, who has been appointed to the additional responsibility of Priest Moderator for St. John’s; Rev. James A. Walter, who will act as our Sacramental Minister; and Rev. Richard DiGiulio, who will continue to celebrate Masses with us.

Upcoming Events

  20s, 30s, 40s Fellowship
          Starting Thursday, January 25, a Faith, Friendship & Fellowship Group sponsored by St. John's will be starting up again on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. We will reflect on scripture using Lectio Divina and share in friendship and prayer.  You are welcome to attend as you are able. 

Our next Middle School Youth Night will be Friday, February 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in St. John’s gym.

Youth Activity
       Bowling and pizza for 6th, 7th, & 8th grade students and families at the Broadway Bowling Center at 3500 Broadway, Cheektowaga on Sunday, February 25. Attend 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. John’s Church and leave for bowling after Mass. Return to St. John’s parking lot around 3:00 p.m. The cost is $10 per person to cover bowling ball and shoes. Checks preferred, made payable to Broadway Bowling Center. RSVP to Mr. Brandon Adkins at stjohnsyouthministry14004@gmail.com or 716-937-3448. Permission slip and check due by Saturday, February 10.

Ash Wednesday, February 14
       Masses will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and there will be a Prayer Service at 12:10 p.m. Ashes will be distributed at the Masses and the Prayer Service.

            Please note the following Lenten regulations:

          ABSTINENCE: All Catholics who have reached their 14th birthday are bound to abstain totally from meat on            Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday.

          FASTING: All Catholics between their 18th and 59th birthdays are also bound to observe the Law of Fast on            Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This practice involves limiting oneself to a single full meal and avoiding              food between meals. Light sustenance may be taken on two other occasions in the course of the day.

Daily Reflections
        As our Lenten journey begins on Wednesday, please notice the special Catholic Update insert in today’s bulletin – entitled, “Living Out Lent Today” – that invites us to “take five” and offers “ways you can use a few minutes to make Lent come alive.” It is a wonderful way to stay on track spiritually during this holy season.

Stations of the Cross
       will be prayed in the church during Lent on all Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays (starting February 28) at 1:10 p.m. (with the school children).

Holy Name News 
       The Holy Name meeting that was scheduled for February 11 has been rescheduled for Sunday, February 18. The meeting will be held in the school cafeteria after the 8:00 a.m. Mass. Please join us for the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:40 a.m. prior to Mass.

Pre-Cana
       Best wishes to our Pre-Cana couples, who will have their engagement rings blessed at the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, February 17!

RCIA and the Rite of Sending
       St. John’s Parish has two people who have been preparing – through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults – to enter the Church or come into full communion by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. Next Sunday, February 18 will be a special day in the faith journey of these two candidates. At the 9:30 a.m. Mass, our parish will publicly recognize them, and they will be “sent” to the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, which will be celebrated with Bishop Richard Malone later in the day at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo. Please keep these individuals in your prayers as they enter the final phase of preparation for the Easter Sacraments.

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Liturgical Corner by Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator

      Today is our last Sunday of Ordinary Time for four months! The readings today help to transition us to Lent, which begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Today we focus on the most difficult of problems for those in the world at the time. We can discuss leprosy as a disease, but that was not the real issue here. These readings today focus on the difference between being ritually clean and unclean and how Jesus redefines and restores people with his healing and mercy.

       The first reading (Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46) is from the Torah, the law portion of the Old Testament. The passage today contains a purity law. “Clean” (purity) meant that you were able to be in relationship with God. If you had become unclean, you were not welcome at the Temple or in the community because you were not able to approach God. Disease represented this reality in a physical way. The only way a person could become clean was to be cured. As long as they were deemed unclean, they had to ring a bell and yell “unclean” as they moved about while living outside of the community all together. They were shunned and rejected. Such a lifestyle must have been so difficult! Adding to the suffering was the presumption by the people that this affliction was due to sin and therefore the person must have deserved this. A double whammy – not only did one suffer, but somehow, they DESERVED this.

       Jesus has just the opposite view. He felt those suffering and poor and sick were those most welcomed by God, not the least. We are all sinners and deserving of punishment, but God wants all to be reconciled to him and to be pure of heart. That is exactly what the Paschal Mystery achieved for us. Jesus in today’s Gospel (Mark 1:40-45) cures people of illnesses like leprosy that kept them out of the community. He recognized their suffering and made them whole. In this passage we see that curing the sick apparently became an overwhelming task. Jesus needed time to pray and time to prepare his disciples for their ministry, but there was so much to do and so little time to do it.

       As we prepare for Lent, think of ways that can help you cleanse those things from your life that keep you from God. Where are you unclean in the choices you make? The ashes we receive this Wednesday remind us of our sinfulness and of our need to repent. Our challenge is to fast from those things that keep us from God (sin) and feast on those things that bring us closer to God (like prayer and almsgiving). This is the basis for a good Lenten plan. Sister Ellen has put together a great flyer with all the activities and spiritual opportunities at             St. John’s in Lent, inserted in last week’s bulletin. Plan to take advantage of as many as you can.

Publications


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Staff

Holy Water fonts

New Holy Water fonts have been installed in our Parish offices and in all the classrooms at St. John the Baptist School!

HOLY WATER is a means of SPIRITUAL WEALTH!

Every Catholic home should have in it a supply of Holy Water.  There is Holy Water available in the back of the church for parishioners for use in the home.  If you would like to order a Holy Water font for your own home, please contact Pam Turton by email pturton101@verizon.net or phone (716) 937-9577.

Catholic News

Update: Catholics urged to appeal to lawmakers in Congress to pass DACA bill now

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPABy Julie AsherWASHINGTON (CNS) -- By day's end Feb. 15, members of the U.S. Senate had rejected four immigration proposals,

leaving it unclear how lawmakers will address overall immigration reform and keep the

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Nuns withdraw from ministry in Mexican city wrought by violence

IMAGE: CNS photo/Francisca Meza, EPABy David AgrenMEXICO CITY (CNS) -- An order of

nuns has withdrawn from an especially violent city after the parents and sister

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Update: Florida school shooting an act of 'horrifying evil,' says Miami archbishop

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlos Garcia Rawlins, ReutersBy MIAMI

(CNS) -- Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski urged community members to come

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NYS Catholic Conference

2018-19 Testimony on Women’s Agenda Article VII Legislation, S.7511 / A.9511

Testimony submitted by the New York State Catholic Conference to the Joint Legislative Hearing regarding the Health Care and Medicaid Budget, specifically about the Women’s Agenda Article VII Legislation (S.7511/A.9511) in the 2018-2019 Executive Budget. February 12, 2018 Senator Young, Assembly Member Weinstein, and distinguished members of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees: […]

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S.2721, Alcantara / A.4189, Nolan: In relation to the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

Memorandum of Support The above-referenced legislation would address a number of the exemptions in New York’s labor, public health and workers compensation laws that currently prevent farmworkers from accessing rights and privileges available to other workers in New York State. The New York State Catholic Conference supports the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, and strongly […]

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2018-19 Human Services Budget Testimony

Submitted by Michael A. Lawler, Director for Catholic Charities, New York State Catholic Conference, at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing regarding the 2018-2019 Human Services Budget. February 6, 2018 Senator Young, Assembly Member Weinstein, distinguished members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, ladies and gentlemen: My name is Michael […]

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