Mustard Seed Moments

06-24-2018From the Pastor's DeskSeminarian Chris Heller

This week's column was written by Seminarian Chris Heller who is working in our parish for ten weeks this summer.

I want to begin by thanking all of you for the kindness with which you welcomed me to Saint Patrick’s. It has been an enormous blessing to meet you and your families – a blessing that has aided my own discernment as I follow God’s call towards priesthood. This parish has received many summer seminarians in past years, which I can now tell is due to the many programs, events, and Masses that occur here throughout the week. My experience at St Pat’s so far has been both encouraging and uplifting.


Nurturing the Seed of Faith

06-17-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden
One of the wonders that is before us in nature is the growth of the flowers and produce in our gardens. The last time I went out east, I bought strawberries in Mattituck that were big, ripe, and delicious. There is a very short period of time when the local strawberries and other local produce are available. In today’s Gospel Jesus uses the image of seeds being planted and growing. The seed of faith is planted in each one of us when we are baptized. In our early years our parents, siblings, relatives, and teachers help that seed to grow. Like the seeds we put in the ground, the seed of faith planted at baptism needs to be nurtured with love. That love not only comes from the countless sacrifices and concern of parents but also from the good example of all of us.READ MORE

An Important Appeal

06-10-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Recently I read a reflection that said the most radical words Jesus speaks in the Gospels are: “Love our enemies.” The last thing we want to do with those who we consider “enemies” or those who anger or aggravate us is to love them. Jesus goes even further in the Sermon on the Mount as He says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-45).


A Commitment to Prayer

06-03-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

What is it that we really need? What is it that we are willing to generously and joyfully give away? We all need time to ourselves and for ourselves. One of the key ways that we are encouraged and invited to take time for ourselves is by praying. Prayer is far more than just reciting rote formulas, it is putting ourselves consciously and attentively into the presence of God. There are many people, issues, and concerns we speak to God about as we pray. But prayer is first and foremost simply putting ourselves into the presence of God. We live in a society of constant and instant communication with our cell phones, computers, and iPads. There is always the temptation to switch on one of those devices to see who called, who is texting us, or who is revealing themselves to us. God does not call on the phone, text, or use the social media to reveal Himself to us personally. Like anyone who truly loves us, He reveals Himself to us in person.


Faith and Trust or Doubt and Confusion

05-27-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the biggest obstacles we deal with in life is doubt. At times when we think of past failures and mistakes, we begin to doubt others can or would want to love us, so we expend a lot of mental energy trying to keep hidden from others these failures or mistakes. We also doubt others at times. But how good it is when we see how good others really are and the power of their presence and love in our lives. How wonderful it is when we see how good we can be and are.


"He was what I am"

05-20-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“I am all at once what Christ is since He was what I am.” As I was preparing my homily for last Sunday I was amazed at this line in one of the commentaries. It comes from a poem by Gerard Manly Hopkins. How can I be what Christ is? How was He what I am? In the creed that we profess together at Mass every Sunday we say: “For us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” Jesus was fully human.


The Inviting and Liberating Presence of Jesus

05-13-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

It is always wonderful to feel we are welcome into the presence of others. Of course, the other side of that is making others aware that they are welcome into our presence. Sometimes we feel we are given the bum’s rush and at times we are the person rushing to get away from people we do not want to deal with at the moment. Even more, sometimes we do not want to be alone with ourselves and our thoughts of who we are and what we have done in the past. This is the last Sunday of the Easter season. Next Sunday will conclude the Easter Season of fifty days as we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit on the followers of Jesus.


The Gifts of Wonder and Awe

05-06-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Wonder and awe is one of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit. As the bishop prepares to anoint those to be confirmed with Sacred Chrism he first holds out his hands and prays: “All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”


God is Always with Us

04-29-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

I thank Fr. Shibi for writing his article about his visit to Fatima and his insights and experiences of the Good Shepherd and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Easter Season is our time to be lifted up, inspired, encouraged, enlivened, and enriched by the Resurrection of Jesus and the power that overflows into our hearts from it. Fr. Shibi communicated so beautifully how our faith in the Good Shepherd enables us to see how “God is calling us to trust Him, to obey Him, to love Him more deeply for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.” Once again, thank you Fr. Shibi!


The Good Shepherd Cares for His Flock

04-22-2018From the Pastor's DeskFr. Shibi Pappan

This week's pastor letter was written by our Associate Pastor Fr. Shibi Pappan.

This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday and in the Gospel reading, Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd. He gives three characteristics of a Good Shepherd. First, a good shepherd cares so much for the members of his flock that he is willing to risk his life to protect them. Secondly, he knows each of the sheep well. Thirdly, he cares about all of them, even those who go astray. Lots of things are ready to snatch us from the Lord, to lure us away from Christ. There are hundreds of voices calling to and for our souls. But in the world of many voices, through the Church, the voice of the Good Shepherd is with us every day. Today, through the four pillars of Catholicism, we are united to our Good Shepherd.


The Way, The Truth, and The Life

04-15-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Whenever we look forward to an event or activity that is outside, we hope that the weather will be good. When we work hard we hope our efforts will bear fruit. As we continue our celebration of Easter, which can only take place if we live our lives as people of faith (since for the world outside of faith Easter is another holiday that is past), we cannot help but to be amazed and inspired by the unwavering hope of Jesus for us. In last Sunday’s Gospel from John 20:19-31 we reflected on two post Resurrection appearances of Jesus. In both of them His greeting was, “Peace be with you!”


True Peace

04-08-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“Peace be with you!” These are the words of greeting Jesus speaks to His disciples as they are gathered in fear and disappointment in themselves. The Risen Christ comes into their midst to express His continued love for them and His joy over their presence in His life. All of this seems so contradictory to what we see over and over again when we and others are disappointed, denied, and betrayed. There are feelings of anger and revenge that cloud our minds and hearts.


We Are God's Beloved Children

04-01-2018From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Happy Easter!! In the world of nature, we look forward to the season of spring and the appearance of new life bursting forth. As I write this column on the second day of spring, it is snowing heavily. At this point, we are all looking beyond the white of winter to the green grass and leaves and the color of flowers in nature. Easter is about new life. Like natural human childbirth, there are labor pains to get to new life. The ultimate pains were endured by Jesus as He was rejected, betrayed, denied, and crucified.