The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother

05-31-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the most joyful experiences in life is discovering the traits, talents, goodness, and wisdom of those we love. It is so life-giving to be open to seeing more and more in the people we love and who love us. Growth in love and commitment happens when we rise above preconceived notions and closed-minded judgments about others. As we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in tongues of fire, I think back to the Gospel from this past Monday where this exchange took place between Jesus and His apostles at the Last Supper: The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this, we believe that you came from God.”


Listen Up! If finding the time to sit down with a book is seemingly impossible, try out some of the audio offerings on Formed.

05-31-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

Beyond Belief: Fr. Michael Schmitz tackles some of the most difficult topics in the Church today with humor, clarity, and theological truth. In this talk, he challenges us not to settle for mediocrity and to allow Christ to change our lives. Once we are changed by the love of Jesus, then together we can change the world.

My Conversion Diary: Jennifer Fulwiler is a popular writer and speaker from Austin, Texas. In this compelling presentation, she recalls her spiritual journey—one that ultimately led her to enter the Catholic Church after a life of atheism. Jennifer is a regular contributor to the National CatholicRegister and frequently appears on Catholic radio and EWTN. She chronicles her experiences of faith and family life on her popular blog,

Giving and Gratitude

05-24-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

The deeper we let God into our lives the deeper we go into His life. The deeper we go into God's life the more free we are to love. This past Thursday, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension. In the preface we use at Mass on this feast I am always struck by these words: "he ascended not to distance himself from our lowly state but that we, his members, might be confident of following where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before." The Gospel passages at our Masses on these past weekdays and Sundays have been from Jesus' Last Supper Discourse. The closer we come to the Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, the more we see how Jesus is inviting us to be intimately part of His life with the Father and Holy Spirit. We began our life with Him when we were baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We received a fuller outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. And each week or day if we have the time we are invited to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus freely gives Himself to us and has done everything possible to let us know how much He wants us to be part of who He is now and forever with the Father and Holy Spirit.


Ebook Suggestions for Readers of all Ages

05-24-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

The Chime Travelers Series: When Patrick has to work on his church’s cleaning team on a Saturday, he thinks his weekend fun is ruined. But when the old church bells start chiming, Patrick and his pet frog, Francis, are suddenly taken back through time to ancient Ireland. Will the strange shepherd he meets be able to help him get home, or will Patrick be stuck taking care of sheep in the rain and mud forever? Find out in The Secret of the Shamrock.



Jesus is Always Available

05-17-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

When I was ordained a priest and even before, one of my possessions was a tool box that I used to work on my car and on my boat engine. One day when I was struggling and getting frustrated my father, whose job was being an auto mechanic, came out to help and said, "This is mechanical, we can fix this." His expertise and confidence was always a great help. When we want help or advice on how to fix something or how to use one of our electronic devices, we look for someone who can show us.


Keep the Kids Engaged!

05-17-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

The Witness Trilogy: Discover the power and love of Jesus Christ and see whyhis followers risked all to carry his message to the ends ofthe earth. Children and adults alike will be captivated by thisaccount of Jesus’s life, featuring vivid storytelling and highimpact animation. Recommended for ages 7 and up.


The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land

05-10-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

For all you travelers who have been grounded by the coronavirus, here’s a chance to take a virtual tour of the Holy Land. “The Faithful Traveler inthe Holy Land” TV series explores sacred sites throughout Israel and Palestine, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, Ein Karem, Qumran, and more! It’s a great way to see the sites you read about in the Bible or possibly plan for a future trip!


Being the Presence of God for One Another

05-10-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Those are the words from the inaugural speech of John F. Kennedy in January, 1961. His enthusiasm resulted in the Peace Corps, which so many people joined and did good for others around the world, as well as the challenge that we met in 1969 to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely. Ironically, 59 years later, we are looking for what our country can do for us as we looked into our bank accounts to see when we received the $1,200 promised to all who paid taxes and earned under $75,000 last year. Our government is looking for ways to help us with the economy during this coronavirus.


Ignatius of Loyola

05-06-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

This modern and very human take on the story of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, often called "The Saint of Second Chances," is an incisive and thrilling look at the life of the real man behind the legend. In his lifelong quest to become the heroic knight of his fantasies, Ignatius stares death in the face again and again, having his leg shattered by a cannonball in battle, driven to near suicide by his inner demons, finding himself imprisoned, accused of being an illuminati, and finally finding his life in the hands of the Inquisition. Through it all, he would come to see the hand of God working in his life, shaping the self-obsessed sinner into the loyal and passionate soldier-saint.


Trusting Our Good Shepherd

05-03-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the things we do to help the children going to their First Confession is give them a booklet with the ritual and prayers they can pray. There is also a sheep pasted in the booklet with their name on it. The priest takes the sheep from their booklet and gives it to Mrs. Kedjierski, our director of religious formation for grades 1-4, who places it on a poster in our school hallway, showing those children are part of God's flock.


The Faithful Traveler

05-03-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

In these days of quarantine, we may not be able to vacation and explore different parts of the country, but “The Faithful Traveler” can do the traveling for you. This series explores some of the Catholic shrines and places of pilgrimage in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. The series consists of 13 half-hour episodes, each exploring one or more sites on the East Coast.


Hope Springs Eternal

04-26-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

"Hope springs eternal." These words are from a poem written by Alexander Pope in 1734. That line is so true in our society and in our world at this time. We sorely hope that this coronavirus will go away and we can live with peaceful minds and hearts. The world of nature in our part of the planet earth opens our eyes to the wonder of new life as the season of spring brings trees alive with leaves, birds singing in their branches, grass becoming green once again, and flowers growing in our gardens. But the true source of our hope is our faith in God. In today's Gospel (Luke 24:13-35) we have the account of two of Jesus' disciples on that first Easter Sunday leaving Jerusalem to journey to Emmaus. They are leaving in sadness the scene of Jesus' crucifixion and death. Their hopes were dashed and they were walking away from the scene of this disaster.



04-26-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

Two men separated by 100 years are united in their search for freedom. In 1856 a slave, Samuel Woodward, and his family escape from the Monroe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia. A secret network of ordinary people known as the Underground Railroad guide the family on their journey north to Canada. They are relentlessly pursued by the notorious slave hunter Plimpton. Hunted like a dog and haunted by the unthinkable suffering he and his forbears have endured, Samuel is forced to decide between revenge or freedom. A hundred years earlier in 1748, John Newton, the captain of a slave trader, sails from Africa with a cargo of slaves bound for America. On board is Samuel’s great grandfather, whose survival is tied to the fate of Captain Newton. The voyage changes Newton’s life forever and he creates a legacy that will inspire Samuel and the lives of millions for generations to come. Rated PG-13.


Divine Mercy Sunday Letter

04-19-2020From the Pastor's DeskMost Rev. John O. Barres

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Twenty years ago, on April 30, 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina Kowalska, the humble messenger of Divine Mercy. During his homi l y at t he Mass of her canonization, while reflecting on the timeliness of the message of mercy for the twentieth century, the Polish pontiff pondered what humanity's future might be like. He answered plainly. "We are not given to know. However, it is certain that in addition to new progress there will unfortunately be no lack of painful experiences."

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted families, parishes, and communities across Long Island and beyond, stands today as one of those painful experiences. What Pope Saint John Paul II knew vaguely to be on the horizon then is sadly ours to experience firsthand now. The devastating effects of the coronavirus – death, illness, fear, uncertainty, isolation, unemployment, financial distress – have invaded our lives. The weight of this Cross has fallen on our shoulders.


Divine Mercy 101 with Fr. Chris Alar, MIC

04-19-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. Learn more about this powerful devotion that has an urgent message for our world in this dynamic presentation with Fr. Chris Alar, MIC. Divine Mercy 101 provides a clear and concise overview of Divine Mercy and the role and mission of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the apostle of Divine Mercy whom St. John Paul II called "a gift of God to our time.” Those who are new to Divine Mercy as well as those looking to achieve an advanced level of knowledge will find this presentation ideal.


Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

04-12-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

As the Apostle Paul states, if Christ has not been raised, then Christian faith is in vain. The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is not an incidental or minor aspect of Christianity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is certainly false.

Skeptics have long tried to show that there was no resurrection. Today, there has been a resurgence of attacks on this central truth of Christianity. Some people claim that the followers of Jesus fabricated the resurrection. Others argue that the disciples hallucinated or had a "vision" of their dead master, which they confused with a truly risen Jesus. Others still suggest that the resurrection was a myth or that the Apostles may have seen a spirit or witnessed a "spiritual resurrection" that had nothing to do with an empty tomb and the transformation of Jesus' dead body. Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? carefully scrutinizes the historical evidence. Rather than accept Christian belief blindly, top scholars, and biblical historians critically examine alternative explanations. In the end, they show why it is a matter of sound reason as well as faith to affirm what the early Church proclaimed: Jesus is risen.

A fascinating, fast-paced, exciting exploration of Jesus's fate, Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? shows how Jesus' resurrection has consequences for every one of us.


All Is Not Lost

04-12-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Happy Easter! That greeting has a totally different meaning than it had last year and for all the other years of my life. Easter is about the new life Jesus made possible by facing sin, evil, and death head on and rising above and beyond them. We begin that new life when we are baptized. As we mature, we enter ever more deeply into the new life Jesus wants to share with us through our prayer, reception of the Sacraments, and love we share with one another. The obstacle we now face to find peace, hope, and joy this Easter is not so much our blindness or lack of concern for this new life we are blessed with in Jesus, rather it is a wistful looking back to our "old life," the life before the coronavirus. Oh to be able to shop without gloves, masks, and fear of the virus. Oh to be able to get on an airplane and go wherever we want without the need for quarantine. Oh to be able to gather together at Mass in our churches and gather with family and friends to celebrate Easter in the joy of one another's physical presence.


The Passion of Christ in Light of the Holy Shroud of Turin by Fr. Francis Peffley

04-05-2020Formed Suggestion of the Week

As we enter Holy Week, it is good to reflect on the great sacrifice made for us by Jesus. This video on the Shroud of Turin, helps us to see the extent of Christ's suffering for us. The Holy Shroud of Turin was called the greatest relic in Christendom by Pope St. John Paul II. In fact, the Shroud is the most studied scientific object in the entire world. Fr. Peffley presents new, detailed scientific and medical evidence for the authenticity of the Holy Shroud. This presentation brings greater clarity to the depth of the agony of our Lord's sorrowful Passion, which he voluntarily took on for love of us. The Holy Shroud of Turin was called the greatest relic in Christendom by Pope St. John Paul II. In fact, the Shroud is the most studied scientific object in the entire world. Fr. Peffley presents new, detailed scientific and medical evidence for the authenticity of the Holy Shroud. This presentation brings greater clarity to the depth of the agony of our Lord's sorrowful Passion, which he voluntarily took on for love of us.


Seeing God's Love in Holy Week

04-05-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

It is hard but so necessary to say, "Happy Palm Sunday." This is the beginning of Holy Week, a wonderful, joyful time in the Church to come together to celebrate and give thanks to God for His goodness and love. I write this column two Fridays before Palm Sunday because that is the deadline for us at the company that prints our bulletins. At this point I expect the palms to come. They will be blessed at our live streamed Mass that is also on the internet on that day, but they can only be distributed when the ban on gatherings has been lifted. Who knows, Palm Sunday might be in May or June. I will do my best to keep them cool and as fresh as possible. I will certainly miss our six hours of confessions on the Monday before Easter as well as our liturgies on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. We will celebrate them privately and much more simply on the internet for your viewing. For me, these are the most powerful celebrations of the year. How joyful it is on Holy Thursday when I along with the other priests of the parish wash the feet of twelve people. This very simple, humble ritual amazes and inspires me and I always look forward to it. The Mass on Holy Thursday is concluded with a procession with the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose.