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

2019 Lenten Vespers and Speaker Series - Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
    Feb 27, Mar 13, Mar 20, Mar 27, Apr 3, Apr 10 & Apr 17 

Sacrament of Reconciliation
  
Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 pm and by request
    Special for Lent: Saturday April 13 from 2-3:45pm

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.

 "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

Upcoming Events

 

Soup Supper Night at St. John’s
        The next Soup Supper Night will be held on Thursday, April 11 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Choose one of our delicious homemade soups! Dinners will also include a tossed salad, bread and butter, crackers, a beverage, and dessert. The cost is $5 per person, and an extra bowl of soup is $1.50. We hope to see you there! Proceeds support St. John’s School through grant matching funds.

Polka Party
        Save the date for the annual spring social – a Polka Party featuring The Buffalo Touch – sponsored by the Holy Name Society on Saturday, April 27. Stay tuned for more information! The parish sweepstakes drawing will also be held that evening; extra sweepstakes tickets are available at the rectory office and at the back of the church.

Faith Formation News!
        We will be having a Family and Parish Faith Formation Day on Sunday, April 28. The theme of the day will be “The Eucharist.” The Eucharist is the most important mystery of our faith, and together we will learn how the Catholic Church encourages us to receive the Eucharist and embrace Jesus’ love.  The Faith Formation families, the St. John’s School families, and the parishioners of St. John’s are strongly encouraged to participate in this very special event. This is a beautiful opportunity for our adult community to share their faith and love of Jesus with our children.  The event will begin with the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass and end with a closing prayer at 12:50 p.m. We have received positive responses from those who have shared in a parish event with us.

St. John’s Cemetery
        A reminder that all winter decorations should be removed from gravesites at St. John’s by April 15 (as stated in our cemetery regulations) in preparation for our spring clean-up. Thank you!

Youth Night
        For middle schoolers and high schoolers! Join us for activities, prayer, and snacks on Friday, April 12 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in St. John’s School!

Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt
        All youth 8th grade and younger are welcome to participate on Palm Sunday, April 14 starting at 12:30 p.m. The Easter egg hunt will be done near the baseball field, weather permitting. (In case of bad weather, we will move inside.) This is a Youth Group sponsored event.

Stations of the Cross
        The Stations of the Cross will be prayed in the church during Lent on all Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays (starting March 13) at 1:00 p.m. (with the school children).

Attention Altar Servers
        The sign-up sheets for Holy Week and Easter are posted in the priest’s sacristy. Thank you for serving at St. John’s!

 Is the Spirit Calling You to Serve?
      Our parish always welcomes additional helpers in our various liturgical ministries. Lectors, those who are appointed to proclaim the Word of God in the liturgical assembly, are particularly needed at this time, especially for the 8:00 a.m. Mass. More Eucharistic Ministers, those who assist at Mass by distributing the Holy Eucharist and Precious Blood to members of the congregation, are also needed for all Masses. To learn more about becoming a lector, please contact Judy Bowman at 523-9287. Those interested in serving as Extraordinary Minsters of Holy Communion, please call Pat Heslin at 937-9293. You could also speak to Deacon Marc or Deacon Peter or call the rectory (937-6959) during the week. If you know someone who would be good in one of these ministries, please encourage them, too!

Reflections of Fr. Vince Becker, Priest Moderator – Love and Prayer

      On the weekend of February 2 & 3, I introduced myself as the priest designated by the Bishop of Buffalo to be the Parish Moderator. In short that means I am the go-between person for Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator, and the Diocese of Buffalo. Thank you for welcoming me. I immediately feel I have a lot in common with you. I’m glad to be a part of St. John the Baptist Parish.

       I did, however, notice that there is some friction in the parish. Perhaps some would prefer to not bring that out in public, thinking that making it public only worsens the problem. My feeling would be more like: people already know there is some problem, better bring it out in public so we can talk about it. One person told me that I insulted many people by what I said. I certainly did not mean anything like that, and I sincerely apologize if I did offend anyone. Please forgive me. I’m not really certain what I did to cause negative feelings but maybe it was I appeared to be taking sides. Or perhaps some felt I was being sent to squelch any resistance. I certainly don’t feel my role as anything like that. My role is to help unify the parish and, as St. Paul says so often in these cases, “I want you to be happy.” I’ve always lived with the principle in my own life: in an argument no one is totally right, no one is totally wrong – meaning that there is always room for dialogue and talking out a difference.

       To return to making the tension public, some might feel it is better not to talk about it. And yet in several of Paul’s letters, he talks about tension and problems and in no way expects the problem will go away if we don’t talk about it. It’s true that the kind of problems Paul experienced in his day are different from the types of problems we experience in churches today. Nonetheless the inner dynamics are the same – when there is a difference of opinion, silence will not solve the problem. I’ve included here some of the Bible passages about conflict in the early New Testament Church: Colossians 2:16-19; Acts 17:2-9; Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 4:17-20. It is noteworthy that Paul had a special affection for the community at Philippi and he loved the people in a special way. Yet, at the end of his letter, he names names. “I appeal to Euodia, and I appeal to Syntyche to come to agreement with each other in the Lord and I ask Syzygos to be truly a companion and to help them in this” (Philippians 4:2).

       To summarize, Paul really has only one answer to alleviate problems of tension. It is the law of love. Read Romans 12:9-21 especially. “Love one another with the affection of brothers.” “Be patient under trial, persevere in prayer.” “Bless your persecutors.” “Never repay injury for injury.” “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” Final summary. As Jesus was preparing his apostles at the Last Supper for when they would be in charge of the Church, he said: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for one another. This is how all will know you for my disciples: your love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Calendar

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2019 Lenten Vespers & Speaker Series

Each service will feature St. John's Vespers Choir and original music.  Bring a pen and notebook. You will not be disappointed. Bring an open heart ready to accept and give forgiveness, mercy and healing.  Bring a friend; experience the healing power of God's Mercy and healing in His Divine Will just for you. We look forward to your presence among us. 

Wednesday, March 6th
         Ash Wednesday Masses at 8:30 am and 7 pm. Prayer Service at 12:10 pm. No Vespers or speakers this week.

Wednesday, March 13th
          Experiencing God's Mercy      Speaker: Deacon Peter Donnelly

Wednesday, March 20th 
          Merciful Cleansing          Speaker: Deacon Venatius Agbasiere

Wednesday, March 27th
          Entering Into Christ's Merciful Wounds   
                   Speaker: Amy Betros, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy

Wednesday, April 3rd
          Healing Mass with Healing Service
     We are excited to have Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun from Nativity of the BVM, Harris Hill, for this Mass and Service
        Homily Topic: Our Merciful Father and His Patient Healing for You

Wednesday, April 10th
           Jesus' Mercy Brings Us Out of the Tomb to New Life   
                    Speaker: Sr. Joanne Suranni, CSSF

Wednesday, April 17th
            Series Recap and Reflection 

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Liturgical Corner by Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator

      The fifth Sunday of Lent is upon us. We are on the final approach to Holy Week which begins with Palm Sunday next week. The statues are covered as we prepare to commemorate the Passion and Death of Christ in preparation for our holiest day – Easter! In order to get to Easter, we have to go through Good Friday first.

       In the first reading (Isaiah 43:16-21), Isaiah is telling those in exile, those who have lost everything, that God is about to change things in a big way: God will destroy the Babylonian Empire. Isaiah points out that the guarantee that God can accomplish this can be found in history. God indeed brought them out of the land of Egypt, rescuing them from the clutches of the mighty army of the Pharaohs and he provided water in the desert for his chosen people to drink. However, God says: “the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!” Christians feel that this passage is one of many that refers to the initiative of God in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior. The point is, if we think of God only as what he already did, we fail to recognize that God is active today and in the future.

       The Gospel (John 8:1-11) is the account of a woman caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees, the religious elite, thought they were the most faithful Jews and therefore were, by virtue of this rigid adherence to the religious practices, able to judge the practice of other Jews. They were harsh judges and were always looking to undermine Jesus. The Pharisees thought they had a perfect ploy to entrap Jesus. They brought this woman before Jesus to test his response. This crime under the Jewish law was punishable by death. But, the Roman occupiers of the world would not allow a death to be meted out by the local governments. Israel was a church state, so religion and civil matters were under the authority of the High Priest. The test was to make Jesus choose his religion (pitting him against the Romans) or adhere to the Roman rule and stand against Judaism. They thought they had Jesus right where they wanted him – in a pickle. Jesus was, throughout the Gospels, most critical of this group for Jesus felt they acted out of righteousness and not love, out of the love of power and not out of the power of love.

       How did Jesus thwart their challenge? Firstly, it is important to note that he did not respond in kind. He did not hire a scribe to protest the charges against him, or get angry and call them out. He gave them a challenge back: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he waited. They, then, became the ones who had to choose between their faith and the Romans. God is indeed the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow – what a perfect thought to enter into Holy Week with!

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Catholic News

Only risen Christ can bring peace to world at war, pope says at Easter

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As the machine of warfare continues to churn out more dangerous weaponry, only the power and joy of Christ's resurrection can fill hearts with comfort and peace, Pope Francis said before giving his Easter blessing.

"May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms -- both in areas of conflict and in our cities -- and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry, especially in the economically more advanced countries," the pope said as he prepared April 21 to give his Easter blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world).

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At Easter the stones of sin, despair, are rolled away, pope says at vigil

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As individuals and as a church, it can be tempting to dwell on mistakes, failures and sins that block the fullness of life, but Easter is the proclamation that the Lord is victorious and his love will triumph, Pope Francis said.

"Easter is the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside," the pope said in his homily April 20 during the Easter Vigil.

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'Their Calvary was lengthy': Pope's Stations recall those exploited

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesROME (CNS) -- Recalling Jesus' death on the cross, Pope Francis led thousands on Good Friday in reflecting on the crosses of loneliness, fear and betrayal that crucify countless men, women and children in the world.

In the annual Way of the Cross in Rome's Colosseum April 19, the meditation for each station reflected the suffering and pain of people exploited and marginalized.

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Busted Halo

How to Carry the Meaning of Holy Week Through the Rest of the Year

I remember the first time I attended services at my church for the entire Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. I was 10 years…

The post How to Carry the Meaning of Holy Week Through the Rest of the Year appeared first on Busted Halo.

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Your Essential Guide to the Triduum

The Triduum (TRIH-du-um) is the time of the Church year when we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This three-day celebration begins…

The post Your Essential Guide to the Triduum appeared first on Busted Halo.

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Holy Week Around the World

All my life, I’ve associated Holy Week and Easter celebrations with a range of sights, sounds, and smells — even the anticipation of the arrival…

The post Holy Week Around the World appeared first on Busted Halo.

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NYS Catholic Conference

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Memorandum of Opposition Re: A.2694 Paulin / S.3947 SavinoIn relation to legalizing physician-assisted suicide The above-referenced bill would add a new section of the Public Health Law to allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication for the express purpose of ending a patient’s life. The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill for many […]

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Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities Call on SCOTUS to Reject Citizenship Question in Census

The New York State Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, are calling on the United States Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling blocking a proposed question on citizenship from appearing on the 2020 U.S. Census.  The Catholic entities, joining with other religious and […]

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No to Assisted suicide