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.

Holy Week...

Holy Week, the most sacred days of our faith make present in a real way, as every Sunday Eucharist does through our sacramental rites, the mysteries of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. Since we will not be able to gather and celebrate them in the usual manner this year, please see the notes below to assist you as individuals and families to pray at home as "domestic" gatherings of the church.

Palm Sunday

Holy Week begins Sunday, 5 April 2020 with Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.   Since we as yet cannot gather for liturgy, I strongly encourage you to spend time on Sunday reading and meditating on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.  The Passions are our most ancient stories.  The Passion according to Matthew can be found in your Bible beginning at chapter 26, verse 14 thru chapter 27, verse 66.   I might suggest that you meditate on sections of the Passion throughout the day rather then all of it at one time.  This way you will sanctify the entire day with the Word of God.  Sacramentals, such as ashes, rosaries, crosses, medals, holy images, holy water are important ways for Catholics to be connected to their faith, but because the liturgy of Palm Sunday will not be celebrated in its fullness, palms will therefore not be blessed nor distributed this year.

Confession and Spiritual Holy Communion

Since we cannot gather for Communal Penance Services/ Confession or Eucharist, please see the words of Pope Francis on Confession and the accompanying entry on Communion; website entries: Confession in a Time of Quarantine and Spiritual Communion.

The Sacred Triduum @ Home

The Sacred Triduum (The Three Holy Days) beginning the evening of Holy Thursday, thru Good Friday, Holy Saturday and ending with sunset on Easter Sunday, the Day of Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ are intense days of fasting, prayer and union with Jesus and the entire Church.  Since this year we will not be able to gather as a full community, provided below are Services of Prayer for parishioners to use at home for these sacred days. 

Click HERE for Holy Thursday

Click HERE for Good Friday

Click HERE for Holy Saturday

Click HERE for Easter Vigil

Click HERE for Easter Sunday Dinner

The Paschal Fast

Good Friday is a universal day of fasting from food and abstaining from meat as an way to honour the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus and prepare ourselves to share more deeply in his resurrection.  For those who are able this Paschal (Passover) Fast should continue through Holy Saturday until the night of the Easter Vigil.

Meditations on the Station of the Cross

The website provides Meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Bishop Barron, Auxiliary of Los Angeles. 

The Little White Books

The Little White Books of daily meditations for the Easter Season will be available, beginning Palm Sunday, at the main and transept entrances of the church.  Please take copies to share with family members, parishioners who are home-bound, the sick and as a way to spread the "good news" of Jesus with people who have  drifted away or left the community of our Catholic Church as a way to rekindle and reconnect everyone together through daily prayer during the 50 days of Easter.

The Church is OPEN for Prayer

Saint Mary's and Holy Cross Churches are daily open for prayer.

Bishop Livestreams Triduum Rites

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger will be live-streaming the Liturgies of Palm Sunday and the Sacred Triduum from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany.

Click HERE to connect for the broadcasts. 

The schedule of liturgies is as follows:

Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m.
Palm Sunday Mass, Bishop presiding.

Holy Thursday, April 9, 5:30 p.m.
Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Bishop presiding.

Good Friday, April 10, 5:30 p.m.
Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Death, Bishop presiding.

Holy Saturday, April 11, 8 p.m.
Solemn Vigil of Easter, Bishop presiding.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 11 a.m.
Easter Mass, Fr. David R. LeFort, rector of the cathedral, presiding.

Faith during Quarantine

Quarantine Humour 2

Saint Mary's during COVID-19...

  • All liturgical and devotional services are SUSPENDED/ CANCELED throughout the Diocese until further notice. All parish gatherings/meetings are CANCELED.

  • Saint Mary's Church is OPEN for individual prayer everyday 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.

The Virgin Mother is in our midst...

Holy Mary, pray with and for us.

Stewardship in the Time of the Virus

Please remember that through this uncertain period, our Parish will continue to have financial obligations and a payroll.  Having said this, it is hoped that parishioners will continue to support Saint Mary's Parish as they have done so in the past.  Thank you.

Online Donating

Please Support...

...to the extend you are able, our local businesses and shop keepers. 

Isaiah 26:20

"Go, my people, enter your chambers, and close your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past."

Lent V - Gospel, Homily & Prayers

Meditations - The Stations of the Cross

Video Archive

To view previously posted YouTube videos, click on Video Archives in the menu above.

Confession in a Time of Quarantine

Pope Francis has recently drawn attention to the fact that, before Easter, many faithful go to Confession to meet with God again. “However,” he acknowledged, “many will say to me today: ‘But, Father, where can I find a priest, a confessor, because one can’t leave home? And I want to make peace with the Lord, I want Him to embrace me, that my Papa embrace me . . . What can I do if I can’t find priests?’”

“Do what the Catechism says,” the Pope stressed, “it’s very clear: if you don’t find a priest to hear your Confession, talk with God, He is your Father, and tell Him the truth: ‘Lord, I’ve done this, and that, and that .  . . I’m sorry,’ and ask Him for forgiveness with all your heart, with the Act of Contrition and promise Him: ‘Afterwards I will go to Confession, but forgive me now.’”

“If you do all this,” Francis said, “you will return to God’s grace immediately. As the Catechism teaches,” he reminded, “you yourself can approach God’s forgiveness without having a priest at hand. Think: ‘it’s the moment!’ And this is the right moment, the opportune moment. An Act of Contrition well made,” Francis said, “will make our soul become white as snow.”

– Pope Francis, Friday of the Third Week in Lent, 20 March 2020

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.

Spiritual Communion

It has long been a Catholic understanding that when circumstances prevent a person from receiving Holy Communion, it is possible to make an Act of Spiritual Communion, which is a source of grace. Spiritual Communion is an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and lovingly embrace him at a time or in circumstances when one cannot receive Him in sacramental Communion. The most common reason for making an Act of Spiritual Communion is when a person cannot attend Mass. Acts of Spiritual Communion increase our desire to receive sacramental Communion and help us avoid the sinfulness.

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.


Daily Eucharist...

Click HERE for live-streamed Masses from various parishes throughout our Albany Diocese.

Click the website address below for Mass with Pope Francis.


Prayer @ Home

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.

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.  For now simplify the pray and omit the Mysteries and added prayers from the past.  Just let the beads gently move through your hands, as they did for my grandmother, as you pray the Aves.   A full rosary is 150 Aves which coincided with the 150 Psalms.

Though the Eucharist cannot be celebrated at this time, you can meditate on the daily readings of the Mass.  Go to the website of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops at www.usccb.org and click the day on the calendar.

Don't forget The Little Black Books of Lenten meditations.  Daily Mass can be watched on line as well.  See below.  We may not be able to physically gather but we can pray together in spirit. 

Managing Stress during Difficult Times


We are all under a lot of stress and anxiety at the moment.  The reality that God is the One we turn to and is the true source of our comfort and our hope. Together as a people of prayer may we hold each other in prayer.  Here are a few more ways to manage your anxiety and worry:

  1. Breathe. When people are anxious, they tend to breath from the upper chest. “Gut” breathing is the antidote to anxiety. Here’s a YouTube video on relaxation breathing to learn how to do this.
  2. Take time every day to relax and just be. Read a novel. Listen to music. Play an instrument. Go out for a walk or run or bike ride (if allowed). Garden. Find something physical to do. DO something that you love to do. We need to affirm the goodness of the world in a time of fear.
  3. Be honest with yourself about your worry and your fear. It is normal. We have never been through anything like this before. The uncertainty of everyday plays into our fear. Look to the Cross for calm and centering.
  4. Try to connect with others every day using whatever means you have. A phone call or text or Facetime can lift our spirits. Isolation will only add to our anxiety and fear.
  5. Limit the amount of exposure to social media and news. Stay informed, but watching 24 hours a day is like pouring gasoline on a fire.
  6. Try to find some humor in some of what is happening.
  7. Eat healthy meals. Comfort food is ok; but, too much is not healthy. Sometimes too much caffeine will mimic anxiety. It may be a good idea to limit how much coffee, soda, etc. you take in at this time.
  8. Remember, this will come to an end. We are  people who see hope in a cross and a tomb.
  9. Limit the amount of exposure to social media and news. Stay informed, but watching 24 hours a day is like pouring gasoline on a fire.
  10. Pray as you always do.

Father Thomas Konopka, L.C.S.W., is the director and a therapist on the staff of the diocesan Consultation Center. He is also Pastor of St. Mary's Church, Clinton Heights, and sacramental minister for the parish of St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph, Rensselaer.

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Fr. David's Homilies

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Spiritual Direction





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.