From wherever you have traveled or have been led on your spiritual journey, we, the Catholic community of Oneonta, are glad you are among us. We invite you to make yourself at home and consider joining our Christian way of life, worship and service.
Feast of Saint Anthony
Today, Saturday, 6 June is the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, he become a member of the Franciscan Order. A devoted student of sacred scripture, he taught theology to the friars and was a gifted preacher thus he has been given the title of "Evangelical Doctor". Anthony is a patron of Portugal, of the poor and of lost articles. Pray to day for people who experience poverty, especially children and that our country can find its center, purpose and meaning again which we have lost.
Capital Communications Campaign
Ways to give
If you are signed up with your parishes envelope system or e-giving, simply donate through that program the weekend of June 6-7. We truly appreciate your support! You can also send your gift directly to:
Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Office of Communications
40 N Main Ave, Albany, NY 12203
Learn more about the Catholic Communication Campaign at www.usccb.org/ccc
Young Adults & others young @ heart Thursday, 11 June 2020
Physically distant, spiritually connected.
Pints with Priests is a series of young adult online gatherings hosted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Enjoy a pint of your favorite drink or ice cream, socialize and partake in an engaging conversation with a priest. Expect an enlightening Q&A filled with both wit and wisdom. Pints with Priests is your chance to get to know our clergy more personally. Questions can range from light-hearted to practical to theological. Get to know the man behind the collar!
Pints with Priests will next occur Thursday night, 11 June 2020, at 7:30 PM, and conclude around 9:00 PM. The evening's guest is Fr. David Wm. Mickiewicz, Pastor of Saint Mary's Parish, Oneonta, New York and Sacramental Minister of Holy Cross Parish, Morris, New York.
The online gathering will be hosted on Zoom. On Wednesday you will receive an email with details on how to join the Zoom meeting. Be sure to provide the best email address to reach you when registering below.
Registration is required. You can register now online.
Requiem aeternam...Eternal rest
Pray for our dead...Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual life shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Jemele Mitrano, David Murphy, Charles Trachta, Sonny Amatucci, Dawn Weiss, Ann Marie Kitts, Terrance O'Hara, Margaret Reilly, & Griffen Wilsey
San Lucas Toliman Scholars
San Lucas Toliman is a small Mayan town of 14,000 in the highlands of Guatemala. The main occupation in the community is harvesting coffee. By UN standards, the majority of the people live in poverty. San Lucas Toliman Scholars is a local organization whose mission is to provide students of limited economic resources the opportunity to continue their studies beyond primary school (6th grade) so they can continue to secondary school. There are five main junior high schools in San Lucas; grades 7 thru 9. When students complete their secondary education, they choose a career which they will follow in high school. Brother Dennis Evans is our contact. Website: http://sltscholars.org
Representatives of the SLT Program regularly visit the schools and monitor the progress of the students so that problems can quickly be resolved. Students are assisted regardless of their race, gender or religious beliefs. SLT Scholarship Program has 501c3 status. A yearly scholarship cost is $250.00. St. Mary’s Church has provided 6 years of scholarship support, a cost of $1500.00 per child to 10 children as of May 2020 through parishioner donations and the annual Rummage Sale.
If you would like to join this endeavour of Saint Mary’s Catholic Community you can do so by making a contribution to support the SLT Scholarship Program. Checks should be made out to St. Mary's Church and noted in the memo line SLT Scholarships. Then mail to the Parish Office, 39 Walnut Street, Oneonta, NY 13820, in care of Kathy Neuer.
St. Mary’s Peace and Justice Ministries was started midyear in 2005 through the diocesan Sister Parish program Pueblo to People under Fr. Richard Broderick. Peace and Justice Ministries is locally the Hands of Christ, nationally through the St. Vincent Mission in David, KY and internationally through the San Lucas Scholars.
Saint Mary's Food Pantry
The number for the Food Pantry is 607.386.2623. The pantry is OPEN Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 11am - 3 pm. Please call for an appointment.
Otsego County Rent Relief
Applications Invited for Otsego County
Covid-19 Emergency Rent Relief Program
The Otsego County Board of Representatives is implementing a $200,000 Covid-19 Emergency Rent Relief Program to assist resident-renters facing financial hardship as a result of layoff, reduced employment, or non-retention by their seasonal employer.
The program will provide rental payments for three consecutive months directly to landlords on behalf of eligible households. The program will be implemented by Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc., in collaboration with the Otsego County Planning Department. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Eligibility criteria include the following:
- Applicants’ annual household incomes (as of application date) may not exceed 80% of the county median (e.g., $43,600 for a household of 2 persons; $49,050 for a household of 3 persons);
- Applicants must provide documentation of job loss arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g., layoff notice, notice of reduced hours, physician’s letter;
- The layoff or job loss must have occurred on or subsequent to March 13, 2020;
- Applicant-renters must have a current written lease agreement with the property owner which states the monthly rental amount – utility payments are not covered;
- Tenants and landlords must sign written agreements attesting to the terms and
conditions of this assistance.
Full eligibility and application materials are available from Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Inc., PO Box 189, Milford NY 13807 (607-286-7244), or via our web site: www.otsegoruralhousing.org
Saint Mary's WE ARE OPEN
Please help get the word out that we are primarily communicating through our website and Facebook.
Saint Mary's Church is OPEN for individual prayer daily from 8am - 4pm.
The Food Pantry is OPEN, but by appointment only. Please call 607-386-2623. As of Monday, 23 March 2020 the Pantry is open on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
For the protection and health of our staff the Parish Office is CLOSED. If you need assistance please call, 607-432-3920 and leave a message. For emergencies call 607-432-3920 Ext 6.
- All liturgical and devotional services are SUSPENDED/ CANCELED throughout the Diocese until further notice. All parish gatherings/meetings are CANCELED.
Kosugi Issho, 1652-1688
My eyes, having observed everything, returned to the white chrysanthemums.
Being Home: A Book of Meditations
The title says it all. Being Home: A Book of Meditations by Gunilla Norris with photography by Greta D. Sibley is a collection of poems that bring mindfulness, spirituality and prayer to the very heart of daily routines such as making the bed, reading the newspaper, sorting wash and taking our the trash. Allow yourself to be led into the mystery of everyday routine. Publisher: Bell Tower, New York, 1991.
Parents...home guides to assist you
Parents, for a guide to assist you in educating your children at home and making Christian disciples of them CLICK HERE.
For a digital booklet on the Sacrament of Holy Orders written by Kate Johnston, our Coordinator of Faith Formation at Saint Mary's Parish. CLICK HERE. In connection with this, parishioner, Paul Cerosaletti is a diaconal candidate and his ordination is scheduled for Saturday, 5 September 2020 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, New York.
How can you help our neighbors during this pandemic?
Local agencies, Catholic Charities and Family Service Association, are in need of the following items:
- All types of hygiene products.
- Diapers, particularly newborn, size one and size 6. Donations of diapers or hygiene products can be dropped off in the bins at the back of the Church or taken directly to the agencies. Call the agency prior to making any delivery.
- Cash to be used for gift cards to local grocery stores or The Dollar General. Cash donations may be mailed directly to the agency.
Catholic Charities of Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego County. 176 Main Street, Oneonta, New York. 607.432.006.
Family Service Association, 277 Chestnut Street, Oneonta, New York. 607.432.2870.
Giving to Saint Mary's NOW is more important then ever.
Many families and friends are experiencing challenges during this difficult time caused by the COVID-19 health crisis. St. Mary’s Parish is no different. We understand how financially difficult these trying times are for many of our parish families and ask that we all keep them in our prayers and charitable giving.
Yet weekly contributions are essential to the continued and future operations of St. Mary’s parish. We have financial obligations such as utilities, insurance and a reduced staff who do amazing work for others in our Christian community. Please send your weekly gifts to the parish office at, 39 Walnut Street, Oneonta, New York 13820. For parishioners with church envelopes, a pre-addressed envelope is provided in your monthly packet. Giving your best gift, or the same amount as you would have given means we will have the resources to sustain St. Mary’s important place in the Oneonta community.
Christ at Your Table
Saint Mary's Food Pantry is OPEN and your continued financial support, Christ at Your Table, is especially important at this time.
Suggestions for Spiritual Reading...
Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy by Joan Chittister, OSB
This book is meant to give someone in the process of making a life decision at any age, when we find ourselves at the crossroads without a name—some ideas against which to pit their own minds, their own circumstances. Its purpose, as they wrestle with the process of trying to find and follow their own special call at this new stage of life, is to both provoke thinking and to clarify it.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
This classic Christian work details how to gain that constant and comforting connection to God. Bro. Lawrence's gives honest advice rejoicing in everyday tasks.
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
In the first half of life, we are naturally preoccupied with establishing ourselves; climbing, achieving, and performing. But as we grow older and encounter challenges and mistakes, we need to see ourselves in a different and more life-giving way. This message of falling down - that is in fact moving upward - is the most resisted and counter-intuitive of messages in the world's religions.
Open the Door by Joyce Rupp
The spiritual guide Joyce Rupp creatively leads readers to explore how the image of the door can guide them in a process of discovering their true self.
Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, encourages you to turn the words of Scripture over in your heart as a plough turns over the soil to welcome the seed. In these scriptural meditations, the piercing reflective questions and personal prayers lead the reader into a deeper relationship with the Divine.
The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton, OCSO
This spiritual autobiography tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man, who at the age of twenty-six, takes vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders—the Trappist monks. One of the most influential religious works of our time.
Catholic Authors - Christian Themes
Looking for reading ideas while under quarantine?
Jon Hasssler: Staggerford, North of Hope, Dear James, A Green Journey
Shusaku Endo: Silence
Willa Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop
Flannery O’Connnor: The Complete Stories, The Violcent Bear It Away
G. K. Chesterton: Manalive, The Ball and the Cross
John Steinbeck: East of Eden
Fyodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot
Rumer Godden: In This House of Brede
Graham Greene: The End of the Affair, The Power and the Glory, Monsignor Quixote
A.. J. Cronin: The Keys of the Kingdom
Pope Francis to the people of the United States on the Death of George Floyd
Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr George Floyd. My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that “the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.” Today I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism. Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world. May God bless all of you and your families.
Requiem for the Black Children of God
A Reading, the Names, A Prayer...
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication goes forth like the dawn, and her victory like a burning torch.
Brothers and sisters, the scars of systematic racism plague our nation, our communities and our churches. For too long, too many of us stood silent or said too little as our Black brothers and sisters succumbed by the brutal blows of racism’s cruel injustice.
Let us remember their names, those who bled and died on this punishing cross and ask forgiveness.
Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Malice Green, Abner Louima, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Nathaniel Edwards, Rekia Boyd, Rafael Cruz, Harith Augustus, Michael Brown, Kajuan Raye, Botham Jean, Laquan McDonald, Paul O’Neal, Isiah Murrietta-Golding, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Antwan Rose II, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, O’Shae Terry, Sandra Bland, Terence Crutcher, Devon Bailey, Bettie Jones, Devaris “Caine” Rogers, Atatiana Jefferson, Quintonio LeGrier, Stephon Clark, Kenneth French, Walter Scott, Juan Flores, Michael Dean, Eric Harris, Marco Gomez, Bruce Carter, Tony Robinson, Eddie Lee Patterson, Genevive Dawes, Rumain Brisbon, Gus Tousis, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, John Crawford, Aiyana Jones, George Floyd
Let us pray.
O God, forgive us for being a party to injustice in the lives of these your children, our Black sisters and brothers, and all victims of systemic racism in these United States. Forgive us for not seeing them as coheirs to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Forgive us for not hearing their cries, “I CAN’T BREATHE” or “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT.” Forgive us for not lifting them up as your children, precious in your sight. Increase our strength, we pray, O Lord, that we may drink deeply of love’s power and everywhere promote your justice and peace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
from the Archdiocese of New Orleans
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Gospel, Homily & Prayers - 6.14.20 - Be Converted against Racism
In conjunction with this Sunday's homily...
Read "Open Wide Our Hearts: the enduring call of love - A Pastoral Letter against Racism" released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2018. CLICK HERE
Listen to Rodgers and Hammerstein's song, "You've Got to be Carefully Taught" from their musical, "South Pacific" .
Read Bishop Scharfenberger's column on George Floyd and racism. CLICK HERE
Read the Editorial from America magazine, To fight racism, Catholics must hunger for justice as we do the Eucharist. CLICK HERE
Watch the powerful sermon, "The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Armaud Arbery" by Chicago United Church of Christ pastor, Rev. Otis Moss III. Available on YouTube.
Listen to the choral setting of the opening text of today's Gospel, "God so loved the world..." by British composer, John Stainer [1840-1901] and sung by the Men and Boy's Choir of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, London.
Pray for Minneapolis
Let us offer prayers today...
for the people of Minneapolis...
for the repose of the souls of George Floyd...as well as Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery...
for the gifts of solace and justice for the families and friends of those African-Amercians who have been murdered...
for the conversion necessary in the hearts of our citizenry to bring an end to racism and the divisions among us...
for support for the upstanding women and men of our police forces...
for the African-American community who have carried for centuries the burden of disrespect, bigotry and human indignity...
for prudence and wisdom for the civil authorities of the City of Minneapolis...
for a conversion of our own hearts...
To view previously posted YouTube videos, click on Video Archives in the menu above.
Praying with ART
Art can speak to the soul/heart/inner being in ways words cannot. Contemplate this abstract painting by California artist, Hyatt Moore, entitled, Pentecost. This maybe your first time encountering abstract art. Abstract art uses shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may not offer the viewer a concrete image. Many of the mysteries of our faith such as the Holy Trinity, the Transfiguration, and the Resurrection, I believe are given better expression through the abstract style.
First of all, what do you see? Maybe I should ask, how does this painting make you feel? Spend some time looking at/living with the painting.
Now go deeper. What initially strikes you about this painting? It’s colour? Do you perceive movement? Don’t necessarily try and find a concrete image, their may no be one. Yet what might the painting remind you of?
After you have been with the painting for a time. Put the painting in the context of Pentecost. The gathered community has been behind locked doors in fear for over a week, they have been praying, waiting for…? It is nine o'clock in the morning. There was a rushing wind, then cloves of fire and no one knew what to make of it. What does the painting convey to you about the Holy Spirit? What does the painting convey about the Church?
What might this painting say to us in this time of pandemic, waiting, and economic crisis that is causing fear?
How to pray with the Bible
Become comfortable with your bible. Flip through it and discover its structure. It is really a library of 72 documents: the writings of the ancient Hebrews with their primordial stories, the prophets, poetry and history, the four Gospels and the early letters of the Christian community. The point in praying with the sacred scripture is not to necessarily finish a passage but to enter into dialogue with Jesus. This is called spiritual reading or lectio divina. It is different than reading for information or study.
- To pray with scripture, find a quiet time, a comfortable place and enter into silence for a few moments. Pray to the Holy Spirit to come and speak to you through the Word. Here is a sample prayer. Holy Father, anoint me with your Holy Spirit, so that as I read your eternal word, your word may penetrate my whole being and transform me. Grant me the blessing to be a faithful disciple in believing the Word of God and that I may be a light shining upon all who are in darkness. Amen.
- As you gently read a passage; listen with your heart. If a word, phase or image stands out at you – STOP! Relish the moment, digest the Word of God and let it burn in your heart.
- What is God saying to you? Pause in silence for a moment.
- Respond in your heart as if in conversation. Talk with Jesus in ordinary language as you would any friend.
- If a period of praying with the Bible seems dry, like nothing is happening. Do not worry. Use the same passage the next day. Sometimes it takes a while for our ego to give way to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Be patient. The Lord Jesus will always come to those who seek him out. This is called in the Gospel of John worshiping in spirit and truth.
- Complete your biblical prayer with words of thanksgiving.
Suggested Psalms Hope and trust 62, 91, 121, 131; Thanks 40, 92, 118; Evening 141; Longing 63; Anguish, Distress, Despair 69, 86, 88, 102, 142, 143
Suggested books of the Bible Gentle stories: Ruth, Tobit; Strong women: Esther, Judith; Common sense: Sirach, Wisdom, Proverbs; Primordial stories:Genesis; Love poetry: Song of Songs; Gospels: Matthew, Luke, Mark.
Gospel stories unique to the Gospel of John: Nicodemus visits Jesus at night 3:1-21; the Samaritan woman 4:4-42; the woman caught in adultery 8:1-11;; the man born blind 9:1-41; the raising of Lazarus 11:144
Saint Ignatius of Loyola offers another form of biblical praying which is relaxing and rather easy.
- Select a passage from one of the Gospels in which Jesus is interacting with others.
- Read the Gospel passage gently two or three times so that the story and the details of the story become familiar to you.
- Then close your eyes and reconstruct the scene in your imagination. Place yourself in the scene as an observer or as a participant. See what is going on and watch the men and women in the scene. Interact with Jesus and other people in the passage. What does Jesus look like? How do the others react to him? What are the people saying to one another? What emotions fill their words?
- Some people’s imaginations are very active so they construct a movie-like scenario with a Gospel passage. Others will enter the scene with verbal imagination, reflecting on the scene and mulling over the actions. Vividness is not a criteria for the effectiveness of this kind of prayer. Engagement is and the result is a more interior knowledge of Jesus.
- As one finishes this time of prayer, one should take a moment to speak person to person with Christ saying what comes from the heart.
Praying with the Psalms
A positive upside to our quarantining, for the sake of the larger community, can be to discover, recover and/or deepen our home and family prayer. Christians since the beginning have gathered and prayed at the dawn and the conclusion of the day marked by the rising and setting of the sun. Morning Prayer (Lauds) praises God for the Resurrection while Evening Prayer (Vespers) thanks God for the goodness of the day and asks for the forgiveness of any sins. This developed into what became known as the Divine Office; today, The Liturgy of the Hours.
The full Liturgy of the Hours can be accessed on the web each day at www.universalis.com/lauds.htm and www.universalis.com/vespers.htm . You need not pray the entire Office just use the psalms and canticles to begin. Pause at the end of each line of the psalm and savour the Word of God.
Praying with the Rosary
Want to learn how to pray the Rosary? Click HERE.
The time honoured prayer of the Rosary as an individual or family when prayed with thought and synced to our breathing can bring calm to a person and allow the Holy Spirit to enter our being. Just let the beads gently move through your hands, as they did for my grandmother, as you pray the Aves and meditate on the mysteries of Jesus' life. A full rosary is 150 Aves which coincided with the 150 Psalms.
For those who regularly (or not) pray the Rosary, here are some suggested intentions to go along with the Sorrowful Mysteries for this time.
- Agony in the Garden: For all those fearful of contracting COVID-19
- Scourging at the Pillar: For all those suffering with COVID-19
- Crowning with Thorns: For those who have loved ones infected with COVID-19
- Caring of the Cross: For COVID-19 patient care-givers
- The Crucifixion: For COVID-19 patients who are on the brink of death
The Jesus Prayer from Saint Simon...
"Find a quiet place to sit in silence; bow your head and shut your eyes. Breathe softly, look with your mind into your heart; recollect your mind, that is, bring all thoughts down from your mind into your heart. As you breathe, repeat: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me" - either spoken quietly or only in your mind. Strive to banish all thoughts; be calm and patient, and repeat this exercise frequently."
St. Simon the New Theologian, a Byzantine Christian monk & poet, AD 949 - 1022.
Our Mission Statement...
"To feed, care and connect"
Click HERE for live-streamed Masses from various parishes throughout our Albany Diocese.
Click the website address below for Mass with Pope Francis.
But I Didn't Sign Up to be a Monk!
Because of Covid-19, many of us are living, in a way, like monastics; enclosed and in solitude. The difference being, we did not ask for or want this situation nor are we spiritually prepared for it. What insights might we learn from monastic life to help us through quarantine and the feelings of isolation?
- Hang your heart on God. Actively commit yourself to God and Jesus in the Life-giving Spirit.
- Recognize that any sense of power, wealth or control you think you have is illusive and close the door to God’s grace. Learn humility.
- Root your purpose and meaning in God. What is God calling you to through this time of isolation and silence?
- With fewer distractions allow yourself to face and acknowledge your fears and the important ultimate questions of life that may arise within you such as your mortality and that life is fragile.
- Consider reading daily from Scripture, or from a classic of spirituality or Catholic fiction. What arises in your heart?
- Reflect and learn from your experience of family and those you are quarantined with.
- Hang your heart on God.
The Lord Bless you and Keep you...
Friday Mornings...a place for women
Jesus asks his disciples, “What are you discussing along the way?” Are you a woman looking for a place to be able to share your faith and prayers, your hopes and struggles…a place to connect with other women and not feel alone? If you are such a woman and want to enter to this experience, keep reading.
The group meets Friday mornings at 9am via ZOOM. To connect to ZOOM you will need to contact Diane DeDominicis at [email protected] to obtain the proper link for access. Looking to have your join us any Friday morning.
Sacred Space Astronomy
Explore the universe while in quarantine by following the Vatican Observatory. CLICK HERE
Prayer for Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul. Since I cannot at this time receive you sacramentally, come spiritually into my heart and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
An Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
The role of the Catholic Spiritual Director is to assist an individual on their own personal path of spiritual growth. A spiritual director listens and offers insight to assist an individual to discern the unique way that God is calling them to live a life of faith and to recognize the guidance of the Holy Spirit so as to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ.
We offer two links below for people seeking to enter into this kind of relationship for spiritual growth.
The Consultation Center of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese offers information about Spiritual Direction on their website which includes a listing of trained spiritual directors
Spiritual Director, Cindy Korb, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish in Oneonta.
Managing Stress during Difficult Times
PRAY, BREATHE, BE
Father Thomas Konopka, L.C.S.W., is the the director and a therapist on the staff of the diocesan Consultation Center. At the Diocesan website he provides a series of articles on managing stress and anxiety. To access this series, Click HERE.