The Catholic bishops of the United States offer every four years for our national elections a docuament entitled, Forming Consciences for Faithful 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. CLICK HERE.
For the full text of Pope Francis' third encyclical, Fratelli tutti... [Sisters and brothers all...] CLICK HERE
Seniors Taling 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.
Pope Francis' 8 Tips on Family Life
A Prayer for Healing at Night...
Lord Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, go back into my memory as I sleep. Heal every hurt that has ever been done to me. Heal every hurt that I have ever caused another person. Heal all the relationships that I am not aware of that I have damaged.
And Lord, if there is anything that I need to do; if I need to go to a person because they are still suffering from my hand, bring to my awareness that person. I chose to forgive and I ask to be forgiven. Remove whatever bitterness may be in my heart and fill that empty space with your love. Amen.
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.
How can you help your neighbors?
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.
4 ways of spiritually living by parents for and with their children...
Nourishing your own adult personal and private prayer is the foundation of your Christian life and the foundation of your child’s spiritual life. We all learn by example. I therefore encourage all parents to check out our parish website: SMCCOneonta.org. There you will find a posting entitled, New Pilgrim Path, a site with spiritual and prayer resources. Under the Archives in the Menu Bar you will find Prayer Postings which will assist you in step-by-step ways of praying with the Sacred Scripture, the Psalms and the Rosary.
Family prayer. Since it is not possible to gather as a full community at this time, gather as a family for prayer. A Sign of the Cross, hands held while standing in a circle, and either naming people who need prayer or people and things to be grateful for topped with a mindfully prayed “Our Father…” can in a simple way to begin and conclude each day.
The Sunday Eucharist is the heart of our Catholic Faith in which we encounter the living Christ in the presence of Jesus’ Words and the reception of his Body and Blood. No other form of private or public prayer is greater than this act of praise and thanksgiving. Gathering, sing hymns of praise, listening and responding to God with your children teaches them by your example how Catholics worship. No one else can do this as well as you. As we strive to gather for the Eucharist at the cemetery come with your children who Jesus embraces with his love.
And finally, a daily blessing of your children, no matter what their age, with the Sign of the Cross on the forehead. With infants it can be done without words. As children begin to learn language say, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Your adolescents will think you have gone off the deep end of course but... Live your faith so that they come to that same faith in Jesus. As uncomfortable as it might seem at first, just start doing it and keep doing it for the rest of their lives! Can you imagine what it will mean to your daughters and sons when you bless them on a graduation day, a wedding or ordination day, or the birth of a grandchild as well as those difficult and sad days of life? It is a simple yet profound prayer that speaks of God’s love for us. It is the symbol of the Son Jesus who died on the cross for our salvation. It is a sign of the Spirit’s protection and care.
A prayer for Dads...
Gracious God and Father, who birthed us, give to men who are the fathers of our children an openness to your presence in unknown and surprising futures as you did Joseph who cared for the child Jesus that was not his son, yet rejoiced in his birth, protected him against the evil of Herod, taught him to labour with his hands that would one day be outstretched on the cross for our salvation, worried about him in adolescence, and give him the foundation he needed to leave home to preach to the world.
Bless these men with graciousness, a gentle strength and a deep trust in you the Father of us all. We ask this through Joseph, the protector of the Church, who lives amidst the cloud of witnesses in heaven with your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the life-giving Holy Spirit, our God, now and forever. Amen.
Pope Francis to the People of the United States
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.
Sacred Space Astronomy
Explore the universe while in quarantine by following the Vatican Observatory. CLICK HERE
Catholic Authors - Christian Themes
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
Spiritual Reading - Suggestions
Being Home: A Book of Meditations by Gunilla Norris with photography by Greta D. Sibley. Publisher: Bell Tower, New York, 1991.
This 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.
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.
Silence In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, Pantheon Books, New York, 2017
The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser,Franciscan Media, Cincinnati, OH 1989.
Soul Provider: Spiritual Steps to Limitless Love by Edward L. Beck; Image Books, New York, 2007.
the art of confession: Renewing Yourself Through the Practice of Honesty by Paul Wilkes; Workman Publishing, New York, 2011.
The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen
Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis DeSales
Story of a Soul by Saint Theresa of Lesieux
The Holy Loning by Ronald Rolhieser
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.