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

Polka Party
      All are invited to a Post Dyngus Day Party on Saturday, April 27 in the school hall, sponsored by the St. John's Holy Name Society.  Come enjoy an evening of Polish-themed music and dance featuring The Buffalo Touch who will play from 7-10 pm.  Doors open at 6 pm. Admission is $5 and included pop, chips, and pretzels.  No BYOB; beer will be available for $2 and wine for $3.  The evening will conclude with our Spring Parish Sweepstakes drawing - $7,500 in prizes!  Extra sweepstakes tickets are still available at the rectory office and at the back of the church for $20 each.

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.

Lawn Fete Meeting
      Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

St. John’s Cemetery News
      Our spring cemetery clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 9:00 a.m. with a rain date of Saturday, May 11. Volunteers are needed to help gather leaves and brush from the cemetery grounds. For safety reasons, volunteers under the age of 18 must please be supervised by an adult. Any amount of help would be appreciated!

Holy Name News
       The Holy Name Society will be holding its next meeting on Sunday, May 5 in the school cafeteria following the 8:00 a.m. Mass. Men of the parish, come and join us! All parishioners are welcome to pray the Holy Rosary with us at 7:40 a.m. in the church. 

Evangelization Meeting
       The Evangelization Team will meet Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the school faculty room.

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

     We took 40 days in Lent to prepare for Easter, but the Church ordains that we celebrate Easter for 50 days! And rightly so, for Jesus’ Resurrection is the once-for-all greatest gift that God could ever give. So, hopefully the work you put into Lent allows you to fully celebrate these 50 days until Pentecost. Our readings today reflect on exactly how much Jesus loves people in all times and places and cultures, especially in times of trial and tribulation. The difficulties humans face as individuals and groups are profound. The whole Bible – in both testaments – chronicles many of these struggles, and the news today is full of evidence that the world is still overwhelmed by suffering and affliction. Our readings remind us that God cares deeply for us and that he pours out mercy in many ways to everyone.

       Our Gospel this week (and next) refers to post-Resurrection appearances by Jesus. These passages describe those times the risen Jesus appears to various individuals or groups of his disciples. The details differ in these accounts as to where, when, and to whom Jesus appears, etc., but these appearances appear in all the Gospels and they are important to our Resurrection faith. For more complete information, there is a chart on Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances in the Gospels at http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Resurrection.htm – by Father Felix Just, SJ.

       The appearance account today (John 20:19-31) is actually about two separate appearances, one the night of the Resurrection and one a week later. The group that gathered the first night experienced the risen Jesus in their midst. But that group did not include Thomas who was one of the twelve apostles. When Thomas was told by the others that they had seen Jesus alive, he said he wouldn’t believe it: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side…” So a week later, when he was gathered with them, Jesus appeared and offered Thomas the opportunity to examine his wounds. Thomas’ response was the most profound statement of faith: “My Lord and my God.”

       Perhaps this story was a way to help people who did not experience the risen Lord to have faith nonetheless that he was truly risen. Or perhaps Thomas (like us) needed more proof in order to believe something so incredible. Either way, “Doubting Thomas” as he has come to be known, gave God the opportunity to remind all ensuing generations that faith in the whole Christ event is possible for all, even if you weren’t an eyewitness. There is an important axiom in the church: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. “As we pray, so we believe, so we live.” Our faith should be verified in the way we live our lives. Our life, both physically and spiritually, changes if we really live as if we believe that Jesus is risen and alive, if we can say with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”

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