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.

Our Mission Statement...

"To feed, care and connect"

The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel, Homily & Prayers

Saint Mary’s may be under LOCK-DOWN but we are not “locked-down”

St. Mary’s Parish is a community of believers, but also a community of DO–ERS.  Christians who take to heart the gospel message to love your neighbor and to reach out to those in need.  Despite a pandemic, we’ve continued to answer Christ’s call.

  • St. Mary’s Food Pantry continues to operate 3 days a week. Volunteers distribute food at our pantry and pick up food on a weekly basis from Walmart and twice a month from the Food Bank in Latham in order to feed those in need.
  • The Peace and Justice Committee has continued to support students in Guatemala through the generosity of individual donations and the monthly bottle and can drive as well as students in our area through the school supplies drive and the winter clothing drive.
  • Our Pastoral Care Ministry continues to provide outreach to our homebound (a ministry that is needed now more than ever!) by regular phone contacts and other support activates. The Consolation Group continues to meet supporting people who are mourning and  some limited contact home visits have begun. Fr. David continues ton minister to the sick and dying throughout the current pandemic.
  • By the way, pray for Fr. David, he has gone to the “dark side” of technology and has become quite a techie for our website. He knows what hyperlinks and YouTube are!
  • Holy Sews has been keeping busy by sewing layettes for stillborn infants. They recently had a “drop and swap” in St. Mary’s parking lot to ensure that volunteers have the materials they need to continue working from home.
  • Faith Formation is morphing into supporting parents and families with Bite Size Catholic Living. Check out in the near future the menu on our website.
  • Volunteers have made masks and left them in the church for anyone who needs them.
  • Habitat for Humanity volunteers continue to build their next new home in West Oneonta.
  • Thank you to everyone who has graciously offered to assist and volunteers with Mass, both in the cemetery and, starting October 4, in the church building. We could not celebrate the Mass without the assistance and cooperation of our community!
  • Our sacramental life through Baptisms First Holy Communions, Confirmations and Holy Orders continued rain or shine at the cemetery to the great delight of all...a blessing for our entire community.
  • Remember that the church is OPEN everyday from 8am-4pm, for personal prayer. We invite you to come and pray, spend some time in the chapel, light a candle, find some peace…

The past 6 months have brought about many changes in our lives. Some of us have found more time for spiritual reading, assisted with childcare needs, participated in online Bible studies, made more time for private prayer, discovered new ways to share our gifts and other unexpected side effects of the current world situation. How has God brought about positive change in your daily routine?

A Return to Church - 4 October 2020

It has been 6 long months since we have worshipped in our Church due to the pandemic. The cemetery expereince has been an enlightening one as to what "church" truely is and means espcially as we have celebrated Confirmtions, Baptisms, Holy Communions, Holy Orders and the renewal of Marraige. But with the change of seasons we must try to return to our church building. You have been sent a letter in regard to this move with registration and entrance procedures. Please carefully read it. NOTE: The Mass time is retuning to 10:30am. CLICK HERE and you will be brought to the letter.

We need to strongly emphasize:

1. Unlike the cemetery situation, we are limited in numbers within the church to between 80-90 people. Everyone, including, volunteers and liturgical ministers, MUST register. There will be NO admittance into the church without online registration. There will be NO exceptions. If you cannot get through or are not online you MUST call the Parish Office at 432.3920 during business hours: Wednesday to Friday at 3:00pm and speak with a staff memeber. DO NOT leave a message it will not be reconized as a registration.

2. Masks will be required and you will be seated by an usher.

3. Volunteers are still needed to assist parishioners into the church and to disinfect after the Eucharist.  Please call the Parish Office if you can and are willing to assist.

Thank you to all volunteers and minsiters who have assisted in the cemetery experience. Please be patient with this process of return.

Hurricane/Wildfire Relief Collection Sunday, 11 October 2020

With the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires, thousands of homes, businesses and churches have been severely damaged or destroyed. Bishop Edward is requesting an appeal to support the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's Emergency Disater Fund. This collection will be taken up on Sunday, 11 October 2020. The funds will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and/or Catholic Relief Services. Addressed will be the need for water, food, shelter, medical aid and long-term rebuilding needs. If such purposes become unnecessary, impractical or impossible, funds will be used for other emergency disaster relief where it is needed.

Make checks payable to Saint Mary's Catholic Church. In the memo write: Emergency Relief. Either bring your donation to church on 11 October or mail it into the office. One check will be sent to the diocese. The bishop realizes that people have been severely impacted by the pandemic and that local fund raising is challenging.  Please pray about this collection and give what you can to assist our fellow Catholics and citizens.

Catholic Kids Homilies + Sunday, 27 September 2020

Parents! Check out Catholic Kids Media CLICK HERE

Vocations begin in the Home

How can you foster vocations to the diaconate, priesthood and vowed religious life? Read the Vocations Newsletter with thoughts from Fr. Anthony Ligato, Vicar for Vocations, Priesthood Formation, Deacon Paul Kisselback, Diaconate Vocations and Sr. Laurie Marie Parisi, Religious Life.

Pray for the candidates for priesthood and diaconate listed in the newsletter. CLICK HERE

Pope Francis' 8 tips for family life

Check Out ARCHIVES in the Menu Bar

+ 4 ways of spiritually living by parents for and with their children...

+ How Can You Help Your Neighbors?

+ San Lucas Toliman Scholars - Who are they? How can you help?

For these postings Go to Archives in the MENU BAR...then to Posting Archives.

Report from Guatamala

Dear friends and sponsors,
This last week we have delivered over 38 thousand pounds of corn to families of students studying in various junior high schools. Nueva Vida is a community in which there is no access for trucks. Monday and Wednesday parents and students cleared an area beside the soccer pitch. (Tuesday it was raining!) They fixed a tractor path through a coffee plantation, which leads to the area. On Thursday morning early they marked the cleared area with circles, for social distancing. They set up a disinfection area at the entrance to the site, for parents to disinfect their hands as they entered. The truck came at nine o'clock. The local community leader, the school director, the chairwoman of the PTA and a student all expressed their thanks, then we started distributing the corn.

Many students helped their mothers carry the sacks, which weighed a hundred pounds. A couple of other local teenagers helped various mums, carrying the sacks and earning themselves a small tip. One boy was there with a wheelbarrow. Teachers messed in with the parents, helping manhandle the heavy sacks.

Almost all the families in the area work on coffee plantations. There is expected to be a good harvest this year. However, the plantations have reduced wages because of concerns over the world coffee price. Workers spend three months working, and then are laid off for three months, so they are not entitled to minimum wage. They are so, so grateful for your help!

On Friday we did the same for families of students in the Tierra Santa school. That day, the students were arriving with their parents to hand in their homework. They met with the teachers, one at a time, while the teachers looked at their work, answered questions, and gave them the next set of worksheets. Then they collected their corn!

This week we did the same with students in the Pavarotti school. We help not only sponsored students, but also the families of other students identified as belonging to the poorest families.

Corn is of course the staple food. Used for making tortillas, it has a special significance for the Mayan people. (Many Google entries about this). In various times of crisis, people here have managed "as long as they have corn."

The donation of corn was made possible by those of you who sent us donations, not only for your sponsored students (which we have distributed), but also to "help as needed" during this COVID crisis.

Travel in Guatemala has just been partially opened up, and Government help for poor families is now ending - for the few in the area who received it. I hope to continue to help the hardest hit families with corn, through to the end of this year, when the informal economy - hopefully - will have restarted.

In spite of everything, more parents than ever have come to us, seeking sponsorship so that their child can go on to study in junior high next year. I had thought we would have fewer applications, and parents wouldn't want to continue sending their children to school. I was wrong. It seems a higher priority than ever for parents. They want their children to have a better life. God bless you all for making it possible.

The government has said that Colleges and Technical schools will reopen for in person classes in October. Ordinary schools are preparing to re-open for ordinary classes in January, after the long vacation and the coffee harvest.

Times are hard for everyone at the moment. Many of you will be unable to send donations to help us get more corn or to sponsor another student. If you decide to so do, they should be sent to: SLT Scholars, 34 Hilltop Lane St Paul, MN 55116. Please indicate if a donation is for COVID relief or to sponsor a new student.

Thank you so much!  Dennis

“About Things That Matter” by Mattie Stepanek. 

It matters that the world knows we must celebrate the gift of life every day in some way, and we must always remember to play after every storm.


It matters that the world knows all children are truly blessed with the innocent gifts of gentleness, trust, and compassion, which should guide the wisdom of grown-ups.


It matters that the world knows we each have a song in our heart that can inspire us in good times and hard times if we take the time to listen.


It matters that the world knows our senses can help us discover the hidden and non-hidden enchantment in life, if we use them fully.


It matters that the world knows we must choose our words and wants carefully, or we could forever hurt others with these most dangerous weapons.


It matters that the world knows strength and value of all things created must be measured by character and commitment rather than by might and wealth.


It matters that the world knows we must heed the valuable lessons of everyday life, through the celebration of children and heartsongs, senses and words, or we could lose in our journey to the future.


It matters that the world knows a person by my name and being existed with a strong spirit and an eternal mindset to become a peacemaker for all, by sharing the things that really matter.

Catholic Stuff

A brief PRIMER...

The LAST RITES of the Church for the dying are the Sacraments of Reconcliation [Confession] and the Reception of Holy Communion [known as Viaticum, food for the journey]. As soon as it is ascertained that a person is dying, please call the parish office so that the priest can visit.

For people who are suffering from physical and mental illnesses or are infirm the Church prays the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick for their healing and the forgiveness of their sins. This Sacrament can be celebrated numerous times over a period of illness.

A Grateful Farewell...

After 29 years of musical service to Saint Mary's Parish, Donald Embling will be retiring and moving to Florida in mid-October. We are most grateful to him for his countless hours of practicing and preparation, choral presentations, assisting with the Children's Choir, engaging and working with the college students, being present at odd hours for liturgy, supporting the sung prayer of the assembly and providing us with the musical beauty that only the "King of Instruments" can produce for the glory of God. We offer him our thanks and ask God to lead him and his family safely into a well deserved retired future.

"The aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and the recreation of the mind. Where this is not observed, there will be no music but only a devilish hubbub".  Johann Sebastian Bach

40 Days for Life: A Prayer Campaign 23 September - 1 November

Join us for 40 Days for Life, a 40 Day campaign of peaceful prayer, fasting and witness. Join people all across the country and throughout the world for the unborn from September 23 - November 1, 2020. For more information CLICK HERE for the Albany Diocesan website site.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

The Catholic bishops of the United States offer every four years for our national elections a docuament entitled, Forming Consciences for Faithhful Citizenship. This is a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics offereing the guidance of the bishops for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order. The document is availble in English and Spanish...just CLICK HERE Scroll down a bit to READ and click on the title of the document.

"We need to participate for the common good. Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern." - Pope Francis, 9/16/13

As you consider how to vote in Nov. the following editorial may be helpful

The following editorial appears in the Evangelist, the Albany Dioocesan Newspaper. A FAITHFUL DECISION was written by staff writer Mike Matvey. CLICK HERE

COLLEGE STUDENTS and others... Online Bible Study - Tuesday evenings

Saint Mary's Newman Catholic Community

Tuesday evening at 7:00pm. Everyone is welcome Online!

Online Bible Study

on Microsoft teams at


The Newman Catholic Community is the voice of the Catholic Students at Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta both on and off campus.  We strive to build a community that reflects the Kingdom Jesus preached. We witness to the Gospel and grow toward Christ by worshiping God, serving the less fortunate among us, and creating a community of friendship and compassion. 

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 links below for people seeking to enter into this kind of relationship for spiritual growth.

Spiritual Director, Cindy Korb, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish in Oneonta.


Spiritual Director-in training, Diane DeDominicis

Diane can be contacted at either email [email protected] or [email protected]

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


So you want to talk about race?

This group discussion will gather on the 4 Monday evenings of October, 5, 12, 19, & 26; 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the sanctuary of Saint Mary's Church, enter through the sacristy door. Masks required. You will need to purchase your own copy of the book. Please support our local bookstores. Read the Introduction and chapters 1 & 2 for the first session.

Looking for a 5 minute daily spiritual pickup? Try the YOUCAT App

Looking for a five minute daily spiritual pickup? Try the YOUCAT App. YOUCAT stands for Youth Catechism BUT don't let that chase you away. A daily picture, biblical passage, Q&A from the Catholic Catechism and an inpisrational quote. It might be just what you are looking for to raise your spirits by the Holy Spirit. Go to the app store on our phone and put in YOUCAT App.

Managing Stress during Difficult Times


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

Peace & Justice Winter Clothing Collection thru 15 November

Recognizing the needs of many families in our area to prepare for the cold weather, we have placed a collection container at the back of the church and will continue until November 15th to collect clothing for the Family Services on Chestnut St.   They need clothing for ALL ages including socks, boots, scarves, gloves, coats, vests, turtle necks, heavy sweaters, snow suits, and blankets. Place items in container in back of church or in bags beside the container, and do not include summer clothing. Thank you! 

Why Care for the Environment? Understanding Catholic Teaching

Below are two brief videos on understanding Pope Francis' encyclical*, Laudato Si' - On Care for Our Common Home. This is the first encyclical devoted entirely to the environment. Tuesday, 1 September is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

For more information on the Catholic Church's understanding of our relationship with the environment, go the the website side of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE for Saint Francis' Canticle of the Sun for your prayer life.

*An encyclical is the highest form of papal teaching in the Catholic Church.

Pathways to God - Praying with ART

In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius gives us the idea of meeting sacred scripture with one's own life, mediated through Imaginative Contemplation. The aim of these reflections is to do this in tandem with pieces of art. Jesuit Goeff Wheaton, SJ will lead the reflection. He studied Religious Art at the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley, and then did an MA in Victorian Art and Architecture at Royal Holloway College University of London. Nowadays the focus of his ministry is to deepen our relationship with the Christ of the Scriptures with the aid of the wonderful images in painting, frescoes, mosaics, sculpture and stained glass from the catacombs to the present day.

Check out the website Pathways to God. CLICK HERE

Website Archives

Looking for an item that was on the website?

To view previously posted articles on Prayer, YouTube videos of homilies OR other postings, click on Archives in the menu above, then on either Prayer Archives, Video Archives or Posting Archives.

One Day Retreat for Grieving Parents

Losing a child under any circumstances is horrendous. Focusing on the spirituality of the grieving process can help tremendously. Just as Jesus comforted his grieving disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus comforts us and we comfort each other in this very special ministry.

This is a spiritual One-Day Retreat pn Saturday, 24 October 2020 for parents who have experienced the death of a child of any age, by any cause, no matter how long ago.

Church of St. Mary, Rensselaer/St. Henry’s Church, Averill Park, 163 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer
For information CLICK HERE

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.

Madeline Seger, Mary Farmer, William Lee, Claire Cormier, Alberta Peletz, Christine Romanelli, Mary Jane Allen, Paula Halleran, Eleanor Brienza, Jacqueline Chiapella, Lorraine Dono, Roseanna Garrison, Rita Swift, Marge Van Deusen, Michael Murin, Julia Kyner, Richard Day, Jr, Anthony Philip Amarose, Isabella Niedziela, Anthony Tamino, Jemele Mitrano, David Murphy, Charles Trachta, Sonny Amatucci, Dawn Weiss, Ann Marie Kitts, Terrance O'Hara, Margaret Reilly, & Griffen Wilsey

60+? New Catholic Charities Services

Aging Life Services - Otsego County

Catholic Charities Senior & Caregiver Support Services has developed a new service that is available to Otsego County residents, aged 60+. The Aging Life Services Program will include the following:

  • In-home social work consultation covering all area of life including health & disability, financial, housing, family, legal, in home needs for the purpose of developing a long term plan to enable older adults to remain living successfully in their community.
  • On-going individualized counseling and support to assist seniors and caregivers as their needs and circumstances change.
  • Referral and connection to appropriate community resources.
  • Connection to community volunteers to provide services to include home visits, assistance with grocery shopping and transportation.

For further information on how to access these services contact:

Jennifer Doherty, Elder Care manager at 518.545.6631/ [email protected] OR Jennifer Bullard, Aging Life Coordinator at 518.410.3742/ [email protected]

Volunteers NEEDED...

Volunteers are needed for the Aging Life Services of Catholic Charities..see posting below. To inquire for more information please contact, Jennifer Bullard, Aging Life Coordinator at 518.410.3742/ [email protected]

Seniors Talking with Seniors

Cooperstown Senior Community Center offers an opportunity for seniors to connect with another local senior for weekly prearranged telephone calls.  It doesn’t matter where you live in Otsego County, we will connect you to a friendly voice.  If you have email, CSCC also emails out a fun, informative daily newsletter to help keep you connected and your mind active.  If you’re interested in participating in either service, contact Carole at (607) 547-8471 and leave a message or [email protected]

The Warm Line is a local, confidential, peer support line available to reduce isolation, offer an opportunity to share feelings and talk with a well-trained, non-judgmental listener.  Pre-arranged outreach calls to your home can also be arranged by request. (607) 433-0661 or 1 (800) 377-3281; 12:00 Noon to 10:30 pm, 7 days a week.

The Best Book on the Bible

I want to  suggest for your reading a wonderful book entitled, Composing Sacred Scripture: How the Bible was Formed by Donald Senior, CP, Liturgical Training Publications, Chicago, IL, 2016. A brief 125 pages that can sit by your bedside for a few pages of reading at a time. This will give you the most easily readable and comprehensive understanding of the Bible and its content and formation.

Bible Search

Advanced search

Saint Mary's Food Pantry

The number for the Food Pantry is 607.386.2623The pantry is OPEN Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 11am - 3 pm.  Please call for an appointment.

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. 

Registration closed

Registration is ONLY from 12 noon Thursday thru 12 noon Saturday the days immediately prior to the Sunday.

If you have recently traveled out of the area, are coming from out of State or have a fever or flu like symptoms and have not self-quarantined in the last 14 days, please DO NOT register or attend.

To Register CLICK the image below. Registration is required for contact tracing purposes only. We look forward to your presence.

Please check this website after 6:00pm on Saturday and/or Sunday morning to see if the Mass is canceled due to forecasted inclement weather.

Refundable Bottle & Can Collection 10/11 October 2020


The Peace and Justice refundable bottle and can collection will held on the weekend of 10/11 October 2020 from 8 am until 12 noon each day.  Please make sure all bottles and cans are nickel refundable in NY and are empty.  No wine, Gatorade or juice containers please.  The recyclable container will be in front of the parish garage. Thank you for your support of our ministry to help those in need. This is the last collection for the year.

Online Donating

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Connect with us on Facebook by clicking the link below

New Pilgrim Path...Spirituality Resources

New Pilgrim Path is a website aimed at introducing fellow Christians of all denominations to the great wealth of online spiritual resources. Links to, and a brief description of, a variety of valuable websites on spirituality are provided. In addition to the permanent pages of Daily Prayer, Sacred Music, Inspiration, and Online Retreats, each week we feature a different Website of the Week, Poem of the Week and Music of the Week. CLICK HERE

Have Saint Mary's in your Pocket

Have parish information and our website on your phone. Saint Mary's Parish has an APP that you can install for FREE. You will have available on your phone, access to our parish website, the daily scripture readings, Sunday's homily, New Pilgrim Path, a website of online spiritual resources and more.

For Android Phones

Go to Play Store.

In the search box type: Saint Mary's Church, Oneonta.

Look for WeConnect Parish App, Liturgical Publications with the above logo.

CLICK to Install.

For IPhones

Go to App Store.

In the search box type: WeConnect.

Scroll to WeConnect Parish with the above logo CLICK on GET then CLICK on INSTALL.

It will ask permission to use your location, CLICK ALLOW.

Then Saint Mary's Church should appear on the list choose Saint Mary's Church.

Fr. David's Homilies - print version

Click the image for the print version of Fr. David's Sunday/Feastday Homilies.

Center for Action and Contemplation

What is Contemplation?

Many equate it to prayer or meditation. You might be surprised, however, to discover that you can practice contemplation while mindfully washing dishes, singing, being with a friend, or walking in a park. Contemplation is simply being fully present—in heart, mind, and body—to what is in a way that allows you to creatively respond and work toward what could be.

Contemplation is both personal and communal, internal and external. It helps us let go of our usual, self-focused way of thinking and doing things so that our compassionate, connected, and creative self can emerge. Through contemplation we develop the capacity to witness our egoic motivations, bringing this awareness into our day-to-day actions and living with increased freedom and authenticity through deeper awareness of our self and God’s Self.

Our Vision

Amidst a time of planetary change and disruption, we envision a recovery of our deep connection to each other and our world, led by Christian and other spiritual movements that are freeing leaders and communities to overcome dehumanizing systems of oppression and cooperate in the transforming work of Love.

Our Mission

Open the door for a critical mass of spiritual seekers to experience the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative tradition and nurture its emergence in service to the healing of our world.

Want to learn more about the Center? CLICK HERE