We all are gifted with many resources, concerns, and responsibilities. Some of the basics are time, faith, love, energy, and money. How good it is when we use these resources well for our own good and the good of others. While we feel stretched at times we always know in our hearts when we have enriched others and ourselves. As the pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, a gift where God has given you to me, I have been and continue to be enriched by you every day and hope I am doing the same for you. My main responsibility is to do everything I can to nourish and strengthen the spiritual lives of all who come here.
The first issue I want to address today is one I have not had to deal with for at least ten years - the financial health of our parish. This weekend I, along with members of our Parish Finance Committee and Parish Trustees, will introduce a three-week appeal to ask for an increase in your weekly donations to our parish. For the past ten years your financial support has enabled us to thrive and prosper with the many resources we have in ourselves, our employees, and our parish plant. I am very aware that in asking for an increase in your weekly support that you too are experiencing the same concerns in your own households. We have 19 acres, four large buildings, and more than 90 employees on our payroll. All of these resources give life, hope, peace, comfort, and encouragement to our life together as the family of St. Patrick’s in Smithtown. I ask your patience, understanding, and concern this weekend and the next two weekends as we seek the financial resources that will enable us to continue doing all the good things we do every day here with your support. I am not looking to expand anything, simply to maintain and nourish what we have. In addition to its introduction at all the Masses this weekend we will speak about it on the next two weekends. On the weekend of Nov 12-13 I will ask for a commitment from you. The first two weekends the financial situation will be presented. Just as your expenses have gone up, so have ours. Whatever you can do will be very helpful, but the most important thing of course is your presence in our parish family. You are a gift and a blessing and I thank you for your presence and support.
The other issue I want to speak about is more controversial. It is what I have spoken about many times, the issue of abortion. This evil has taken the lives of more than 60 million children in our nation since it was legalized in 1973, scarred the lives of countless men and woman, and divided us as a nation. The main thing evil does is separate us from God, one another, and ourselves. “Abortion is a woman’s choice” is the mantra of those who support, promote, legalize, and perform them. Morally abortion is a choice to kill a human being. From the moment conception takes place a human being has begun to exist. It is not just a group of cells, but the way you and I began life in our mothers’ wombs. As much as abortionists use technology to brutally take children from the womb, we wonderfully have the ability to medically treat children in peril while they are in the womb so they can be born healthy.
My grandniece who had to be taken from the womb at twenty-four weeks, weighing 14 ounces and measuring 10 inches, is now an active, joyful four-year-old in Pre-K. Touting a woman’s right to choose fails to say how brutal and immoral that choice is. Sadly, President Biden said he hopes the House of Representatives and Senate are in the Democratic majority after the upcoming election so he can codify a law that will make abortion in every state legal right up to the day of birth. Gov. Hochul of our state wants New York to be a place where people from any state can come for an abortion. Sadly, both Biden and Hochul claim to be Catholics. They are totally out of line with what we believe as Catholics on this issue. How can any moral human being even think about killing a baby?
I am not registered with any political party. As I have said before, being a Democrat or Republican will not get us to heaven, only a good, loving, sacrificial life. I recently read a quote from a saint that said, “Love never says I have done enough.” As long as abortion is legal we can never do enough in the name of children growing in the womb. I get a publication from a life center that shows how our local politicians are voting on abortion issues. I was happy to see our local State Assemblyman, Mike Fitzpatrick, votes pro-life consistently, while I was saddened to see our State Senator Mario Mattera votes pro-life and pro-abortion. I wrote the Senator a letter but got no response. Our response is in the voting booth. We pray for an end to abortion as well as for those who have had abortions at every regularly scheduled Mass in our parish. Election Day is our resource to answer those prayers. May we be agents of truth that will bring healing and peace and not waver in our efforts and responsibility to protect, nourish, and give life to all God entrusts to our care. If we allow children in the womb to be disposable, who is next?
In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus makes time for Zacchaeus, a sinner who is converted when Jesus comes to his house for supper. We are the presence of Jesus in defense of the unborn. Prayer, time, and votes are our resources and Jesus’ power and love in action.
I close with the opening prayer from the Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life, a Mass I frequently celebrate when there is no saint of the day.
God our Creator,
we give thanks to you,
who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother's womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding the dignity
of every human life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.BACK TO LIST