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 

Craft/Vendor Show Coming soon!
St John's will be holding it's 1st annual Craft & Vendor show & festival on October 20th 2019 from noon-6pm

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!

R.C.I.A
      St. Johns has a catechumen! That means, the witness of our parish community encouraged someone who had never been baptized to want to become fully initiated into the Catholic Church (Baptism - Confirmation - Eucharist). If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a Catholic, RCIA is for you. Also, if you want to be an RCIA team member to help the process of forming new Catholics with your faith and witness, RCIA needs you as well. We will be meeting Wednesdays at 6:30 in the rectory starting Wednesday, September 4th.

Early Bulletin
       Due to the Labor Day holiday, any information that needs to go into the Bulletin is due by Monday, August 26th for the week of September 1st

Saturday, August 24 - A Day of Hope and Healing - For those who in any way have been effected by abortion.  Held at St. Francis Park (5229 South Park Ave, Hamburg, NY 14075) 9:00am – 3:00pm  This is completely Free, Nonjudgmental and Confidential.  REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED  - Lunch will be provided Call or email and let us know if you are attending (716) 847-2205 or [email protected]org.  Lead by Cheryl Calire and Deacon Mike Dulak.

Thinking about Separation or Divorce?
      Is your marriage or that of a relative or friend heading for divorce? Retrouvaille is designed to help troubled marriages regain their health. The program is highly successful in saving hurting marriages. For details or to register call (716) 474-937 or visitwww.HelpOurMarriage.org. The next weekend is September 27-29, 2019. All calls are confidential and pre-registration is required.

 

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

 

      Luke’s Gospel has ten chapters (9:51-19:28) that focus on what happened while Jesus was on his journey toward Jerusalem where the Paschal Mystery became a reality. On the 13th Sunday in Ordinary time (Lk 9:51-62), we begin these chapters and will sequentially continue to do so until the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 19:1-10). So we join our own journey to that of Jesus as we head to that day when we are held accountable before God. All these readings help us to be ready for that day.

 

       It is important to remember that everything about our relationship with God has its roots in the totality of salvation history. That is, God’s relationship with all people since our creation. The only thing new is how Jesus interpreted the concepts, but the concepts themselves are the same. For example, the first reading today (Isaiah 66:18-21) illustrates the fact that God’s message was not an exclusive one open only to the chosen people, but it was inclusive and open to every human person, everywhere, in any time. No exceptions. The Lord says: They will come “on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain.” Some of them may even become “priests and Levites” – that is people who will be the religious leaders. This might be a difficult concept for an orthodox Jew, but it is truly a part of the Old Testament heritage.

      The second reading (Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13) speaks of the fact that on this journey of our human existence, we need God’s discipline. We are to take heart because, “at the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy, but for pain, yet it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” The last part of the passage is remarkable: “So strengthen your drooping hands and your week knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.” Be strong – God is helping us along the way!

      The Gospel affirms the reading from Isaiah. Heaven is not a birthright, and it is not guaranteed to anyone just because we showed up. It is, however, promised to everyone who wants in. The caveat is that we have to live our baptism each and every day so we can find “the narrow door.” Rejection and  failure to get into heaven will lead to “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” What’s worse is, as we saw in the first reading, others whom we may judge to be “outsiders” or less worthy than ourselves may get in before us. In the end, it is about us realizing that we are all in this together. Our job as Christians is to not just get across the finish line first, it is to help all people cross the finish line together. There are no trophies for being the best, there is only eternal life with God. And that is the best trophy of all.

 

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