We Share - Direct and Online Donations

Your continued generosity is important to help our parish maintain financial stability and services during these unprecedented times. Please consider signing up for online donations at https://stjohnalden.weshareonline.org    If you are having difficulty with this link, or you would prefer to set up your donation directly, please email Kate Wypij at [email protected] 

Donations (checks only, please do not send cash through regular mail) may also be mailed or dropped off to the office at 2021 Sandridge Rd, Alden, NY 14004. 

Thank you!

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.

Mass Schedule

All Regularly Scheduled Public Masses are Canceled at This Time

Although our building is closed, our Live-Stream Masses will continue! They are available on the Live Stream Portal live at 4 pm on Saturday afternoons and On-Demand for playback at your convenience. Come pray with us by visiting our Live Stream Portal.

Or, you can Like our Facebook page and see it there ... click this link St. John the Baptist Church Facebook page.

Office hours

Due to current New York State restrictions, we do not have any office hours at this time.

The emergency line is still available and will be checked regularly. All staff members can be reached via email.  We apologize for any confusion during these trying times and encourage everyone to stay safe, stay home and pray.

(716) 937-6959

[email protected]

Spring Sweepstakes Winners

Our first ever Drive-thru Chicken BBQ and Plant Sale were a huge success!  Thank you EVERYONE who made this day soooo great!

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the Spring Sweepstakes Drawing...

       $4000     Laurie Coccionitti
       $1000     Ron Mayer
       $500       Marie Bieniek
       $500       WNY Asset Management (Donated back to St. John's)
       $250       Rick Szymanski
       $250       Mike Was
       $100       Judy Fleming
       $100      WNY Asset Management (Donated back to St. John's)
       $100      Ellen Faucett
       $100      Joan Sommer
       $100      Rocky Kotas
       $50        Marie Strauss
       $50        Tracey Golding
       $50        Mike Boling
       $50        Barbara Galina
       $50        Marie Bieniek
       $50        Jena Caparrelli
       $50        Jeff Zaleski
       $50        Jeff Zaleski
       $50        Margaret Trembley
       $50        Mark Krysczak

Up Coming Events

Our Pastoral Council is forming a St. John's Helpline so people who need help or have a question can contact the hotline (which is Pat Heslin) and help will be provided. Please call (716) 937-9293 (Pat Heslin) and she will get the information to someone who can help. Jennifer LeRoy, Stephanie Genco, Margaret Trembley, Pat Heslin, Everett Boone, and their team have come up with this terrific outreach plan. 

Our Pastoral Council is also making home care comfort kits to go home to shut-ins and those who request them with things such as: 
     Masks (paper or handmade for our seniors or any parishioner in need)
     Gloves
     Antiseptic wipes
     Hand sanitizer
     Granola bars (or other individually labeled healthy snacks)
     Crossword (or other) Puzzle/Activity books
     Chocolate or hard candy
     Rosaries (provided by Pam Turton and team)
**We also will include a card from children if we can get the kiddos to make some!
Any donations can be placed in the foyer in labeled bins. Thank you! We will then have one person sanitize all collected and make care packages and we hope to get them into the hands of those in need.

Respect Life News:
"St. John's 200 Club "Dinner Dance for Life"- an update from the Collector Team:
Our Mission Statement holds true and carries on into our 23rd year! 
St. John the Baptist's 200 Club For Life is a parish family community that is committed to nurturing and sustaining God’s precious gift of life. We support our youth and parish pro- life activities. Central to this endeavor is the promotion of the culture of life from conception to natural death. 
Unfortunately, the Dinner Dance must be indefinitely postponed - Banquets are impossible for the near future.
Membership continues!
Collectors have or will be contacting all members. Weekly drawings begin May 9 - all ticket money must be in by June 1. We sincerely appreciate members' continued support. There are some tickets available! Please call Pam at (716) 785-7195 for more information. We have some projects in store and will keep all informed!" 
-Pam Turton
*If you'd like to be involved in any Respect Life activities, please give Pam a call!  

Parish Town Hall Meeting:  Our scheduled Town Hall Meeting has been postponed.  We will publish the new date when known. 

Bulletin:  During this time without Mass, we will not be printing out any bulletins.  

Masses and Sanctuary Light:  We will not be taking Mass requests for public Masses at this time.  Fr. Jim Walter is graciously offering Masses at his private residence for those with scheduled intentions at this time. If you would like to reschedule a Mass, please contact the Rectory to change the date.  

Tax Letters:  If you have not received your tax letter yet, please contact Kate at [email protected] or at 937-6959 and we will happily send it out to you.

Cook Book: Our Churches’ 170th anniversary is this year! To commemorate this special occasion, we would like to release a cookbook for purchase around Christmas time. If you would like to help compile and create the book, or have a recipe you would like to share, please mail to the rectory (2021 Sandridge) or  email to [email protected]

PARISH CALENDAR - Attention All Ministries and Parish Organizations: Before we know it, it will be time to work on the Parish Calendar again. Please start getting your meeting dates and events together. We are asking for start and end times as well as the location for the meeting/event, and if you would like it to be published in the bulletin. The due date for the calendar will be announced within the next couple of weeks, and we hope to get everything together ASAP. Thank you!

Daily Mass Readings

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter Mass in the Morning

Reading 1 Acts 28:16-20, 30-31

When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,

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Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 25:13b-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea

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Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth

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PrayerForce One Blog

Adieu

The French are famous for many things, including the number of different ways they ... Read More »

Ask the Deacon

Have a question about what happens at Mass? Struggling with a question about faith, ... Read More »

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, both living and deceased, we remember you in ... Read More »

Message from Debbie

Dear Parish Family, 
How difficult is your life right now? There is so much strain on everyone in so many ways. We are fearful of the virus, fearful of our economic future, struggling with our relationships and, all the while, wondering when life will get back to normal. Father Jim Walter suggested an reflection, entitled “Fever” by Ronald Rolheiser, written May 4, 2020 because it gives some good emotional and spiritual insights that we can use right now. Here is an excerpt that I hope you find helpful. At the end is the link to the whole article.
 "I recall, too, as a graduate student sitting in on a series of lectures by the renowned Polish psychiatrist, Kasmir Dabrowski, who had written a number of books around a concept he termed, “positive disintegration”. His essential thesis was that it is only by falling apart that we ever grow to higher levels of maturity and wisdom. Once, during a lecture, he was asked: Why do we grow through the disintegrating experiences such as falling ill, falling apart, or being humiliated? Would it not be more logical to grow through the positive experiences of being loved, being affirmed, being successful, being healthy, and being admired? Shouldn’t that fire gratitude inside us and, acting out of that gratitude, we should become more generous and wise?"
 He gave this response: "Ideally, maturity and wisdom should grow out of experiences of strength and success; and maybe in some instances they do. However, as a psychiatrist, all I can say is that in forty years of clinical practice I have never seen it. I have only seen people transformed to higher levels of maturity through the experience of breaking down."
 Jesus, it would seem, agrees. Take, for example, the incident in the Gospels, where James and John come and ask whether they might be given the seats at his right hand and left hand when he comes into his glory. It is significant that he takes their question seriously. He does not (in this instance) chide them for seeking their own glory; what he does instead is redefine glory and the route to it. He asks them: “Can you drink the cup?” They, naïve as to what is being asked of them, responded: “Yes, we can!” Jesus then tells them something to which they are even more naïve. He assures them that they will drink the cup, since eventually everyone will, but tells them that they still might not receive the glory because being seated in glory is still contingent upon something else.
 What? What is “the cup”? How is drinking it the route to glory? And why might we not receive the glory even if we do drink the cup? The cup, as is revealed later, is the cup of suffering and humiliation, the one Jesus has to drink during his passion and dying, the cup he asks his Father to spare him from when in Gethsemane he prays in agony: “Let this cup pass from me!”
 In essence, what Jesus is telling James and John is this: There is no route to Easter Sunday except through Good Friday. There is no route to depth and wisdom except through suffering and humiliation. The connection is intrinsic, like the pain and groans of a woman are necessary to her when giving birth to a child. Further still, Jesus is also saying that deep suffering will not automatically bring wisdom. Why not? Because, while there is an intrinsic connection between deep suffering and greater depth in our lives, the catch is that bitter suffering can make us deep in bitterness, anger, envy, and hatred just as easily as it can make us deep in compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and wisdom. We can have the pain, and not get the wisdom.
 Read the full article here.
 You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through these difficult times. May you know the love and care and guidance of Christ as you go. May you grow in the way of Christ not the way of bitterness.
 In my deepest faith, hope, and love for all,
Debbie

Staff

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Debbie Brown Liturgical Corner

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel readings for this Sunday in each cycle all come from Chapter 10 of John’s Gospel which presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd. (Year A Jn 10:1-10, Year B vs.11-18, and Year C vs. 27-30).  In our Gospel today (Year A) Jesus describes himself as the sheep gate.  He is the one that is the legitimate shepherd, the one the sheep know and will trust and follow.  Anyone else who may try to gain admittance to the sheep will have to do so by going over the wall.  Jesus characterizes them as a “thief and a robber.”  Jesus is about nourishing and caring for the sheep.  His love and care for them brings them along safely and carefully to the Father in Heaven.  They can completely trust Jesus just as sheep completely trust their shepherd.

The imagery of people being compared to sheep is a consistent image throughout the whole Bible.  Indeed Psalm 23 is our Responsorial Psalm and it is very much about the need for a shepherd to guide us on “right paths.”  “Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil for you are at my side, with your rod and your staff that give me courage.”  How comforting is that today in the midst of this Pandemic when there is so much to be afraid of.

There is an important nuance about the style of Jesus as a Good Shepherd.  As we said earlier his care and protection are essential to acknowledge.  But Jesus’ leadership is characterized in the way that the sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice and subsequently follow along.  This implies that the sheep have a choice, that they are free to follow or not.  Jesus is not standing at the back of the herd with a cattle prod forcing us to go where he wants.  He calls our name; he carefully leads us through all the struggles.  We have free will.  We can choose to follow or we can wander off toward one of those other voices.  This is the beauty of our savior.  Jesus not only is the way to heaven; he gets us there with unqualified love and true freedom. How spectacular is this message in this time in which we find ourselves?

Now, does this mean that we will never suffer or get sick or hurt?  Is Jesus telling us that everything will go exactly the best and easiest way for all of us?  No, absolutely not.  All Jesus is telling us is to follow his voice and he will help us through.  Good people are getting sick and even dying of COVID-19.  God did not will that nor punish people for not listening to him.  John 10:10, the last line in our Gospel passage today, gives us an incredible insight into Jesus’ motivation.  “A thief only comes to steal and slaughter and destroy.  I come so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  Is that not an awesome statement!?  This leadership style is one of love for the sheep not a focus on allegiance to the shepherd.  The readings today are so full of hope and the promise of righteousness and fulfillment to come.  I hope they bring you comfort and hope in these difficult times.  As verse 6 of the Twenty-third Psalms says: “Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”  Stay strong, stay safe, and stay connected to the Good Shepherd.

Parish & School Calendar

Prayer for a New Bishop

Merciful Father, you gave us shepherds as successors of the apostles to guide and govern your church.
We implore your Holy Spirit to guide the selection process as a new bishop is chosen to lead our diocese.
May he be a pastor filled with holiness and compassion who will foster healing and a greater love of your name.

Allow our hearts to be open to the candidate of your choosing so that, together as disciples of Jesus, we may continue to build your kingdom.   Amen.

 "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

Catholic News

Update: Racism seen 'at heart' of man's death at hands of Minneapolis police

IMAGE: CNS photo/Eric Miller, ReutersBy Julie AsherWASHINGTON (CNS) -- The racism "at the heart" of the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis "penetrates every aspect of life in the United States" and seeds "the terror that threatens communities of color and disfigures all our humanity," Pax Christi USA said May 28.

The Catholic peace organization, based in Washington, said it stands "in solidarity with our siblings in Minneapolis who are protesting white supremacy with their voices and their bodies, and we recommit ourselves to working to dismantle systemic racism in all its forms."

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Louisiana bishop: 'People are losing their lives because of racism'

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlos Barria, ReutersBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- The bishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism said the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police "reminds us that people are losing their lives because of racism."

It also serves as a reminder that "racism is a life issue," said Bishop Shelton T. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, whose committee produced "Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love -- A Pastoral Letter Against Racism," which was approved by the U.S. bishops in 2018.

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Vatican official says anti-religious bias was evident during lockdown

IMAGE: CNS photo/Jonathan Brady, PA Images via ReutersBy VIENNA (CNS) -- As people spent more time online during the coronavirus lockdown, negative remarks and even the incitement of hatred based on national, cultural or religious identity increased, a Vatican representative said.

Discrimination on social media can lead to violence, the final step in a "slippery slope which starts with mockery and social intolerance," said Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, the Holy See's representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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NYS Catholic Conference

Statement on resumption of religious services

Below is a statement from Dennis Poust, director of communications for the New York State Catholic Conference, on Governor Cuomo’s announcement that religious services can resume statewide with limits: “Today brings good news for people of faith, and we’re grateful that Gov. Cuomo has acknowledged the importance of religious faith and practice, especially now in […]

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Statement on passage of commercial surrogacy

Following is a statement by Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, on the passage of legal commercial surrogacy in the state: “The action by the legislature and governor to legalize monetary contracts for surrogate motherhood stands in stark contrast to most other democratic nations across the globe, […]

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Busted Halo

Pentecost: The Soul’s Most Welcome Guest

I await the Feast of Pentecost each year with anticipation, hoping to feel God’s presence. Putting on a red sweater, the color of the day,…

The post Pentecost: The Soul’s Most Welcome Guest appeared first on Busted Halo.

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WATCH: Pentecost in Two Minutes

Can't remember what or when Pentecost is? Well for starters, it's this Sunday; and if you want a little more info on this celebration of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church, take a look at Busted Halo's two minute video.

The post WATCH: Pentecost in Two Minutes appeared first on Busted Halo.

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Virtual Memorial Day Retreat: Remembering Those Who Serve

This weekend we dust off the grill, break out lawn chairs, and head to the first parades of the year. But Memorial Day isn't just the unofficial start of summer. It's a day to remember those who've made an extraordinary sacrifice.

The post Virtual Memorial Day Retreat: Remembering Those Who Serve appeared first on Busted Halo.

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