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

Circle Tuesday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. on your calendar. This is a most important meeting for the future of St. John the Baptist Faith Community. If we are to not just survive as a parish, but thrive as an evangelizing faith community, we have to make some vital decisions. Our Pastoral Council is leading the way with the support of our Trustees and Finance Committee. I am enormously grateful for their commitment, passion, and hard work. Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Exhortation called “Joy of the Gospel” says this: I dream of a “missionary option,” that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation… and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself… (Evangelii Gaudium #27). This is clearly the direction we must take. It will not be easy, but it is essential. Please come with an open mind and the heart of Christ in order to join this renewal. We need the support and help of EVERYONE – no exceptions.   --Debbie Brown

 Summer Help Wanted
     St. John the Baptist Parish is in need of a temporary (June through August) maintenance/janitorial helper. (There is a possibility of this position continuing into the school year.) Please contact the rectory office (716-937-6959) for an application or for more information.

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 

Marian Vespers
       On Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m., we will celebrate a Votive Office of the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Unlike our Lenten Vespers program, this upcoming service will not feature a guest speaker, nor will it have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The focus will be on thanksgiving to God for our Blessed Mother. Come join us for this traditional and unique worship opportunity. Please contact Music Director Dan Stachelski if you have any questions.

Memorial Day Mass
      Our annual Memorial Day Mass will be Monday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. in the church cemetery, weather permitting. Please bring your lawn chairs. In case of inclement weather, Mass will be held in the church.

Lawn Fete Meeting
      Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the school faculty room.

Looking Ahead
      Thursday, May 30 is Ascension Thursday, a Holy Day of Obligation. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. with Masses on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.

 Mother’s Day Baby Shower!
       Volunteers from our School and Parish Respect Life Group are coordinating a collection from Mother’s Day, May 12 until Father’s Day, June 16 for items needed by the St. Gianna Molla Pregnancy Outreach Center in our diocese. We are collecting for the center in Buffalo, and their greatest needs are: baby clothes (new or gently used, newborn to 24 months – especially 0-3 month boy and girl onesies!), diapers (size 1), receiving blankets, bottles (slow flow and medium flow), and other baby care items (particularly wipes, baby wash, and lotion). Please place any donations in the bassinet located in the church entranceway, and contact Cheryle Ertel at 912-0315 or [email protected] with any questions. As always, thank you for your most generous pro-life help and concern!

 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).

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Liturgical Corner by Debbie Brown, Pastoral Administrator

       If we remember nothing else about today’s readings, let it be LOVE. This was apparently the hallmark of the earliest followers of Jesus. Despite what could have initially been judged a failure with the leader crucified in a horrible, dehumanizing death, and disciples hiding and failing to understand their mission leaving them bewildered and disheartened, they were ultimately successful. This success was driven by this one attribute: LOVE. And this LOVE was directed both to God and to others. Indeed, LOVE was evidence of the embodiment of Christ and his mission.

       In the first reading (Acts 14:21-27), we see what the recipe for success included. Paul and Barnabas “strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, ‘It is necessary to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.’” So, they reminded us that discipleship is not only not going to be linear and clean and easy, it will involve many hardships. Then, they identified “elders” in each church and “with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.” In other words, it was not a matter of trust in themselves that provided the leaven, it was trust in God’s plan and grace. Then, more hard work. Our church is at a real crossroads today with diminishing attendance, waning financial support, and a lack of need to be a part of any traditional institution or conventional way of thinking. This was certainly no less true in the earliest church than it is today. Trust in God, prayer, fasting, endurance of hardships, solidarity, and hard work are required to re-center the church, in particular our parish, to the kingdom of God.

       The Psalm today (Ps 145:8-13) is a magnificent description of who God is. God is gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, good to all, and compassionate toward all his works. If that is who God is, not only is God worth knowing, God’s ways are worthy of embracing as our own ways. God’s might is in his great LOVE and it is on the faithful ones to show that LOVE to the world.

       The Gospel (John 13:31-33a, 34-35) says it best: “As I have loved you, so you should also love one another.” It is a mandate: LOVE one another with the same LOVE that Jesus had for us, a LOVE that was full of prayer and sacrifice and trust in God. Here is a most relevant quote by St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” So this week, LOVE like Christ.

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