Clear and Present Danger

09-25-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

This coming Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Fr. Michael Whalen, a professor at St. John’s University will give our parish retreat. He was the retreat master for the priestly retreat I was on last February. His intelligence, insights, faith, and ability to communicate spiritual nourishment led me to ask him to give our parish retreat this year. I am so grateful for his availability and willingness to come here. In the midst of our daily routines and constant barrage of media opinions it is good to find a time, place, and person where we can be uplifted and renewed. I cannot recommend Fr. Whalen enough and encourage you to take the next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM to come and be inspired, encouraged, and renewed in your faith.


Something is Rotten

09-18-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

To look at the present without a sense of gratitude is to lose sight of not only our blessings, but also who we are and where we are going in our lives. Lack of gratitude easily leads to a sense of entitlement. Because we work hard we feel we earn who we are and what we have. When that is our focus, we become protective of our money, time, and material goods. In that frame of mind, we do not pay as much attention as we should to the needs and situations around us that will have a great impact on our lives and the lives of those who will come after us.


Seeking That Which is Good, Pleasing and Perfect

09-11-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Today we note once again a sad day in the history of our nation. It is now the fifteenth anniversary of the day the terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and other places. As much as that day can be called what FDR called the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7, 1941, a day of infamy, so it is a day to continue praying for the victims and remembering the heroic acts of those who responded to save those trapped in the World Trade Center. Many of those heroic people lost their lives. In our sadness, we see the life giving spirit of our fellow Americans.


Can We Handle the Truth?

09-04-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the sparks of deep gratitude is the love and sacrifices of so many people who have affected our lives for the better. We have memorials in Washington, D.C. for many people: Abraham Lincoln, World War II veterans, Korean War veterans, and Viet Nam veterans to name but a few. Abraham Lincoln had the wisdom and courage to speak out against slavery. That resulted in a divided country for almost five years and even today we still need to work on race relations and respect for the lives of all people. What Lincoln initiated we are now responsible to build on. In World War II our fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, and neighbors joined our armed forces and defeated the evil axis powers.


A Powerful Force for Good

08-28-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

For many years there was a restaurant in my hometown of Greenport called the Rhumb Line. I always wondered what a rhumb line was but never took the timeto investigate. A number of years ago I took a brief course of navigating a sailboat and we sailed from Miami to Bimini and back. One of the first things the instructor told us was that we could not plot a course in a straight line (rhumb line) from Miami to Bimini in the Bahamas. The distance was only about fifty miles, but to get from Miami to Bimini we had to sail through the Gulf Stream, a current of water that flows north at four miles an hour and at thatpoint is thirty miles wide.


Fr. Sean Reflects on World Youth Day

08-21-2016From the Pastor's DeskFr. Sean Magaldi

This week our "From the Pastor's Desk" column was written by associate pastor Fr. Sean Magaldi. Fr. Sean tells about his trip to World Youth Day in Poland.

Back in February, a good friend of mine, Fr. Robert Ketchum, asked me to come to St. John the Baptist High School to give a talk. He has been the chaplain over there for the last few years and started a group that meets on Wednesdays for food and some catechesis. I came to talk about my vocation story and my journey to the priesthood. After the talk, we were chatting and catching up for a while. In the middle of the conversation, he had asked me if I was interested in traveling with him and a group of high school students to Poland for World Youth Day (WYD). The group included students from St. John the Baptist, in addition to Holy Trinity High School. I immediately asked if I would be required to be a chaperone and once Fr. Rob assured me that was not the case, I said I would attend. I later found out that our new youth minister, Theresa LoCascio would be in the same group. I told her we would either get along famously after that week or we would never want to speak again. Fortunately, we had a tremendous experience and are excited to get the youth group started up again.


Making the Right Choices

08-14-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the greatest blessings we have as human beings, especially in America, is freedom. We can use this gift to make choices in our lives that are life changing and life directing. You who are married know the joy and responsibility of being husband and wife. Along with the joys comes the responsibility to continue to affirm that choice by your words, actions, and attitudes every day. We choose to be teachers, service men and women, doctors, technicians, landscapers, plumbers, priests, etc. The choices are certainly varied and myriad. As we see in the first book of the Bible, we are created in the imageand likeness of God. Like God we can choose to love and do good every day. But at times we are like Adam and Eve, the ones who committed the original or first sin. They chose to give into the temptation to be like God, to determine what would be good and what would be evil.


God's Word as our Guide

08-07-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of my more enjoyable experiences in life is steering a sailboat. It always amazes me that as we are sailing along we are totally dependent on mother nature to provide the headway needed. Traveling by sail is far different that being propelled by a motor. The wind and current are two factors that must be taken into account to reach a specific place. When the wind is directly in the face of the boat we have to tack and sail into it at about a forty-five degree angle. The course looks like a zigzag. I find it particularly enjoyable to point as closely into the wind as possible. The boat heels, the waves break over the bow, and it feels like we are going 60 miles an hour. In reality most of the boats I have sailed have only gotten up to a speed of about eight miles an hour. Sailing gives me an appreciation and an amazement at those early explorers who sailed to discover new worlds. That is why we are in America today.


Taking Jesus Seriously

07-31-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the joys of being a priest is celebrating Mass every day. When I was on vacation a week ago, all I had to do was take out the Mass vessels and vestments in my room and say Mass. One of the things that is so striking about celebrating Mass is being in the presence of God and listening to His Word. The four Eucharistic prayers for various occasions all begin with this prayer of praise and joy: “You are indeed Holy and to be glorified, O God, who love the human race and who always walk with us on the journey of life. Blessed indeed is your Son, present in our midst when we are gathered by his love, and when, as once for the disciples, so now for us, he opens the Scriptures and breaks the bread.” The first part of Mass is the Liturgy of the Word where we listen to the voice of God from the inspired words of the Bible.


World Youth Day and Our Youth

07-24-2016From the Pastor's DeskFr. Sean Magaldi

This week's "From the Pastor's Desk" Column was written by Associate Pastor Fr. Sean Magaldi.

The thermometer read close to 100 degrees, but it was a dry heat, which was bearable. At this point we had walked about four miles and my backpack, containing water, some food, and a sleeping bag was starting to feel like it was filled with bricks. I wasn’t sure how much farther until we reached our destination, but I knew we were getting close because I was seeing more and more people. Eventually signs began to appear directing us to our destination and we were herded into an abandoned airfield like cattle. Looking for relief from the sun seemed like a futile task, as there was no shade in sight. We began to walk around what seemed to be aimlessly looking for the section where we were going to stay for the next day and a half. A truck came by hosing people off in a desperate attempt to cool the growing crowd off and prevent heatstroke. After about an hour of walking around, we found our designated area and began setting up our sleeping bags.


Some Parting Words From Seminarian William

07-17-2016From the Pastor's DeskWilliam L. Cassese

The "From the Pastor's Desk" column was written this week by Seminarian William Cassese who has been working in our parish for the past ten weeks.

Dear Friends,

This Sunday (July 17, 2016) is my last Sunday here at Saint Patrick’s, and I will be returning home to spend some time with my family on July 22nd. I have had a wonderful experience here, and I have learned quite a lot over the course of the past ten weeks. Msgr. Walden asked me to write this little column to share some of my thoughts about my time here with you. As I am sure you can imagine, this is not easy to do in only one page. So, as my stay at Saint Patrick’s this summer draws to a close, I want to tell you about some specific aspects of my experience here, which I think will give you a good picture of my overall pastoral internship.


Protecting the Innocent

07-10-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Every once in a while the horror of a child abuse case arises. In one of the workshops we had as priests last fall, there was a retired undercover policeman who spoke about how children are victimized by people in all walks and social strata of life. There is a part of the Internet called the deep dark web that has sites that are pure evil and it is horrendous to even see their titles. Sadly members of the clergy have been guilty of child abuse. I want to use part of this column today to inform you of what the Church, and in particular, the Church in our own Diocese of Rockville Centre, is doing in this area.


Our True Source of Peace

07-03-2016From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

My first car that I bought for $150 in 1964 was a 1954 Dodge. It was the basic model with standard shift and no radio. All I had to do was be attentive to driving. Today we have radios, phones, Wifi, navigation, and video players for passengers, to name a few of the add-ons we can purchase. The use of some of these devices has resulted in laws that make it illegal to text while driving and not using a hands-free phone on a call. While luxuries are convenient and sometimes taken for granted, we can too easily be distracted from driving. We all hope that the person in back of us when the light is changing to red is not on the phone or texting.