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

Sacrament of Reconciliation
  
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.

 "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

St. John's School Open Enrollment
     We are enrolling students for the 2019-2020 school year. We are accepting new students into Pre-K 3 and into Kindergarten through 8th grade. We currently have a waiting list for our Pre-K 4 program. Please contact Mrs. Johnson for a personal tour or to answer any questions. 716-937-9483  www.stjohnsalden.com 

LAWN FETE 2019
     Save the Date - July 19, 20 & 21
     Anyone who would be willing to bake and help us reach our goal of 90 pies for our Lawn Fate this year, please call the rectory at 716-937-6959. (Please note that we are unable to serve crème pies due to Health Department regulations.) We will also accept monetary donations to help with pies if you would like to contribute but are unable to bake. Thank you!
     Two weeks away and we are in need of your basket donations for the theme tray area and collectible items for the silent auction.  Anyone able to donate a finished basket with at least a $25 value, a gift card, lottery tickets, new merchandise or monetary amount, please call Shirley (716-937-6191) or Kim (716-446-3381).  We look forward to hearing from our friends and parishioners who have donated in the past and would appreciate the assistance of any other families that are able to contribute.  Thank you for your generous support!
   
  The 16th Annual Cruz Night will be held on Friday, July 19. Registration is $5.00 and starts at 5pm.

Vacation Bible School
     "Roar, Life is Wild, God is Good!" Join us for St. John's VBS! Vacation Bible School will be held at St. John's from July 29 to August 2 from 9 am until 12 noon each day.  With "Roar, Life is Wild, God is Good", kids will discover that no matter how crazy, scary or amazing life may seem - God is good and he will always be there for us! It will be a fun-filled experience with games, treats, singing and dancing, and so much more! Kids in Pre-K 3 to 6th Grade are welcome to join our island adventure! There is a fee of $10/student.  To register, fill out a form found in the back of the church or contact Heather Taylor at 716-725-8648 or Maria LaVarnway at [email protected]

Building on Our Past, Securing Our Future 
     Within the next couple of weeks, we will receive a Summery Report detailing the results of our Building On Our Past, Securing Our Future program. Several Weeks ago, we began this program and we are beginning to see signs that our Sunday offertory collections are growing through the generosity of many parishioners. Thank you so very much to all who have chosen to participate in this very important program. Your generosity shows your willingness as faithful stewards to be a part of the ongoing mission of St. John the Baptist.

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!

Troop 117
      Boy Scout Troop 117 is celebrating its 80th year. We would like to invite all past members; Scouts and Committee Members to come to a picnic on Tuesday, July 23 at the Alden Town Park Shelter 1 at 6pm. We are asking anyone with any memorabilia or picture from/ of the troop to display at the picnic. Contact: Scoutmaster Robert Rimbeck at 863-1243,or Committee Chair: Tibor Stotz at 937-6936.

 

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).

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Liturgical Corner by Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator

      In Ordinary Time, the Lectionary readings guide our growth as Catholics with the portions of the Gospel which help us to live our faith in the Kingdom of God on earth as we prepare for eternity in the Heavenly Kingdom. We pay attention to what Jesus reveals to us about God. Our baptism brings us into a permanent, unbreakable bond with the Triune God which provides a great starting point to live our faith.

      In my mind, our theme today can be summed up in the Nike slogan: Just Do It. Our first reading (Deuteronomy 30:14), as always on Sunday, points directly to the Gospel. Moses tells his people that they need to keep the commandments that God gave them (the Law) and “return to God with all your heart and soul.” The next part is a wonderful passage in which Moses tells them that they know what God wants. It is not up in the sky or across the sea where you would need someone to get it for you. “No, it is something near to you; already in your mouths and hearts, you have only to carry it out.” It is not enough to know it, you have to DO IT.

       The Gospel (Luke 10:25-37) begins with someone asking Jesus what they need to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus gives them a summary of the Law, called the Shema: Love God with your whole heart, your whole being, your whole strength and your whole mind. And Love your neighbor as yourself. This was the universal truth and understood by everyone. Then, Jesus gives us the well-known story of the Good Samaritan to describe HOW to live this law. By now, the meaning of this parable has been preached upon quite often. The priest and the Levite believed maintaining ritual purity was more important than helping someone in need. The Samaritan who did help, was from a culture that the Jews hated because they considered the Samaritans “half-breeds” and apostates so his response of helping was a total surprise. The bottom line is that Jesus asks his hearers then and all of us since: “Which of these three loved his neighbor as himself?” Gospel values give us a new yardstick by which to measure how well we are living our faith. Religious affiliation, “following the rules,” and a mentality of caution or fear in terms of how we live a Christian life are not the right attitude. We know the right thing to do. We have the grace of our baptism, the word of God and the sacraments of the Church to give us guidance and courage. Also, we have the communion of the whole church - those already in the Kingdom of Heaven along with those still on earth working their way toward it - to support us. How can we fail?! So, when you are faced with a faith decision this week, I encourage you to pray and reflect on the word of God and then – JUST DO IT!!

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Catholic News

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2019 End-of-Session Round-Up

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Statement on Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act

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