We Share - Direct and Online Donations
Your continued generosity is important to help our parish maintain financial stability and services during these unprecedented times. Please consider signing up for online donations at https://stjohnalden.weshareonline.org If you are having difficulty with this link, or you would prefer to set up your donation directly, please email Kate Wypij at [email protected]
Donations (checks only, please do not send cash through regular mail) may also be mailed or dropped off to the office at 2021 Sandridge Rd, Alden, NY 14004.
St. John's COVID-19 Update
All of our weekend Masses will be live-streamed and available on this website and on our Facebook page.
For those who cannot go online, WGRZ (Channel 2) is broadcasting Sunday Mass at 11 am every Sunday on behalf of the Diocese of Buffalo.
St. John’s Worship Committee has prepared the following guidelines based on the current NY State and diocesan guidelines.
As of November 26, 2020, a color zone designation no longer affects a finite number of attendees at Mass. We will continue to follow the protocols below:
- Daily Mass continues as is.
- Weekend Masses continue as is and our current weekend seating policy remains in effect. Ushers will limit available seating with 6 foot spacing. The Mass will be broadcast on FM 88.9 to our parking lot and Holy Communion will be brought out during the Communion Rite. There will be no overflow in the school gym.
- Baptisms, weddings, and funerals continue with social distancing capacity limits.
- Confessions will be held at 3 pm on Saturdays.
- The church will be open for personal prayer on weekdays during business hours.
Congratulations to all of our Fall 2020 Raffle Winners!!!
- Deborah Brown, Pastoral Administrator
- Rev. Msgr. Vincent Becker, Priest Moderator
- Rev. James Walter, Sacramental Minister
- Rev. Richard DiGuilio, Weekend Assistant
- Deacon Marc Leaderstorf, Permanent Deacon
- Deacon Peter Donnelly, Permanent Deacon
- Jonna Johnson, St. John's School Principal
- Jennifer Golinski, Family Faith Formation Director
- Katherine (Kate) Wypij, Business Manager
Sunday - 8:00am, 9:30am & 11:00am
Weekdays - 8:30am
Vigil Mass - 7:00pm
Holy Day - TBA
Eucharistic Adoration - 9am to 7pm
Saturday - 3:15pm to 3:45pm
We can arrange a special time and place if needed; simply call the rectory to make arrangements.
Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm
Debbie Brown Liturgical Corner
At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation (that is, God becoming human). God’s love and presence is manifested in the person of Jesus. The manifestation begins with a woman, his mother Mary. We celebrate this manifestation on January 1 with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The next manifestation is to Jesus’ earthly father Joseph. We celebrate this manifestation at the Solemnity of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The shepherds then come to experience the manifestation – symbolizing the people of Israel who had been awaiting a savior (Messiah).
Today we celebrate Epiphany which is another manifestation and hear about the arrival of the three wise men from the East—the magi. God’s love, manifested in Christ, is not just to Israel, but to the entire world. Today we recall God’s defining act in human history—the Incarnation of his Son which begins his work of salvation through his eventual death and resurrection and ascension to the eternal throne. (From Breaking Open the Word, Mary Birmingham © 2011 ). Epiphany is where we see the impulse to mission begin. Our faith affects not just our immediate family, not just our extended family, not just our parish family, not just our Diocesan family, not just our Catholic family, not just Christians throughout the world, but every person born.
The Old Testament Reading (Isaiah 60:1-6) contains the details of what the day will look like when the prophecy of the Messiah to come would be fulfilled. “Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.” Note here that Isaiah predicts that nations will also see this light through the Israelites. The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13) amplifies this thought: “Lord every nation on earth shall adore you.”
The Gospel (Mt 2:1-12) is Matthew’s story of the magi following the star seeking the king it was announcing who eventually find their way to the Holy Family. The story of the Magi is vivid and full of intrigue – as every good story is, but its essence is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah (the anointed one) would come to bring salvation to the world. He would bring light into the darkness of the world. Through this light, wrought by the incarnation, is the sanctification of God all creation, especially the jewel of creation which is humanity. Christ took the form of a human being and in so doing infused the human heart with a divine nature. We partake in this salvation in a unique way whenever we celebrate the sacraments. Baptism is the entry sacrament, Confirmation seals us with the Holy Spirit and Eucharist feeds us on our journey. The light must now be manifest in all the baptized – bringing this light to each and every person we encounter. May your new year, as well as that of your loved ones, be filled with light and holiness and peace.
Parish & School Calendar
"Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch. Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them. In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation." Pope Francis, October 4, 2018
Message from Debbie
How difficult is your life right now? There is so much strain on everyone in so many ways. We are fearful of the virus, fearful of our economic future, struggling with our relationships and, all the while, wondering when life will get back to normal. Father Jim Walter suggested an reflection, entitled “Fever” by Ronald Rolheiser, written May 4, 2020 because it gives some good emotional and spiritual insights that we can use right now. Here is an excerpt that I hope you find helpful. At the end is the link to the whole article.
"I recall, too, as a graduate student sitting in on a series of lectures by the renowned Polish psychiatrist, Kasmir Dabrowski, who had written a number of books around a concept he termed, “positive disintegration”. His essential thesis was that it is only by falling apart that we ever grow to higher levels of maturity and wisdom. Once, during a lecture, he was asked: Why do we grow through the disintegrating experiences such as falling ill, falling apart, or being humiliated? Would it not be more logical to grow through the positive experiences of being loved, being affirmed, being successful, being healthy, and being admired? Shouldn’t that fire gratitude inside us and, acting out of that gratitude, we should become more generous and wise?"
He gave this response: "Ideally, maturity and wisdom should grow out of experiences of strength and success; and maybe in some instances they do. However, as a psychiatrist, all I can say is that in forty years of clinical practice I have never seen it. I have only seen people transformed to higher levels of maturity through the experience of breaking down."
Jesus, it would seem, agrees. Take, for example, the incident in the Gospels, where James and John come and ask whether they might be given the seats at his right hand and left hand when he comes into his glory. It is significant that he takes their question seriously. He does not (in this instance) chide them for seeking their own glory; what he does instead is redefine glory and the route to it. He asks them: “Can you drink the cup?” They, naïve as to what is being asked of them, responded: “Yes, we can!” Jesus then tells them something to which they are even more naïve. He assures them that they will drink the cup, since eventually everyone will, but tells them that they still might not receive the glory because being seated in glory is still contingent upon something else.
What? What is “the cup”? How is drinking it the route to glory? And why might we not receive the glory even if we do drink the cup? The cup, as is revealed later, is the cup of suffering and humiliation, the one Jesus has to drink during his passion and dying, the cup he asks his Father to spare him from when in Gethsemane he prays in agony: “Let this cup pass from me!”
In essence, what Jesus is telling James and John is this: There is no route to Easter Sunday except through Good Friday. There is no route to depth and wisdom except through suffering and humiliation. The connection is intrinsic, like the pain and groans of a woman are necessary to her when giving birth to a child. Further still, Jesus is also saying that deep suffering will not automatically bring wisdom. Why not? Because, while there is an intrinsic connection between deep suffering and greater depth in our lives, the catch is that bitter suffering can make us deep in bitterness, anger, envy, and hatred just as easily as it can make us deep in compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and wisdom. We can have the pain, and not get the wisdom.
Read the full article here.
You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through these difficult times. May you know the love and care and guidance of Christ as you go. May you grow in the way of Christ not the way of bitterness.
In my deepest faith, hope, and love for all,
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