September 24, 2017

September 19, 2017

My dear parishioners,

The parish is in the full swing of activities again. All activities are up and running for another year, here at Saint Sebastian.

This leads me to share some thoughts with you about Mary, the Mother of God. Believe it or not, next Sunday is October 1st. The Church asks us to pay special attention to and learn about our faith from Mary, the Mother of God.

The month of October is dedicated to a special prayer, the Holy Rosary. Tradition says that Mary, our Blessed Mother, appeared to the great St. Dominic in 1206 and gave St. Dominic the Rosary.  St. Dominic was to use the Rosary as a powerful weapon and asked him to teach this prayer to others.

The Rosary is a Christocentric prayer focusing on the entire life of Jesus Christ, his passion, death, resurrection and glory . The authentic Rosary is a combination of vocal and mental prayer. Pope Leo XIII reaches the Rosary is composed of two parts –the meditation on the mysteries, and the recitation of the prayers.

During the month of October let us make every effort to pray the Rosary daily and to teach this powerful prayers to our children.

Have a great week.       –Monsignor Montecalvo

 

September 17, 2017

September 12, 2017

My dear parishioners,

This weekend you will find a survey at the end of the pews. This survey will help the newly formed Spiritual Activities Committee develop programs for the parish.

Please take a moment at the end of Mass and read over the survey. A number of spiritual growth activities are listed. Please check off those activities that might be of interest to you.

If you would like to take more time to reflect upon the activities, you will have a chance to take the survey next weekend, or take it home and return it next week.

Also, listed below are our Parish Outreach Activities for the year:

*****************

OCTOBER 1 (Sunday) 10:00 am: Pancake Breakfast (Hosted by CCD)

OCTOBER 22 (Sunday) 7:30 pm: Patriots vs Falcons, Pizza Beer & Wings

NOVEMBER 4 (Saturday) 6:00 pm: Pizza Party/Ice Cream Social (Hosted by CCD)

DECEMBER 3 (Sunday) 12:00 noon: Christmas Open House at Rectory

JANUARY 27 (Saturday) 6:00 pm: Potluck Supper in Honor of St. Sebastian

FEBRUARY 4 (Sunday) 10:00 am: Valentines for
Veterans, Coffee & Crafts

DURING LENT WE WILL HAVE A PARISH MISSION

MARCH 4 (Sunday) 10:00 am: Coffee and Crafts

APRIL 1 (Easter Sunday) 10 am: Easter Egg Hunt

MAY 20 (Sunday) 9:00 am: First Communion

JUNE 10 (Sunday) 12:-00 Noon: Parish Cookout

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

September 10, 2017

September 12, 2017

My dear parishioners,

Next weekend our second collection is for the Diocesan Priest Retirement Fund and the Senior Priests of our Diocese, men who have served for more than forty years in assignments throughout the Diocese. Though retired from the administrative duties, these men who have dedicated their lives to priesthood continue to provide sacraments and other services within the Diocese.

The Priest Retirement Fund was established in the mid-1960s to help retired priests meet everyday needs like food, housing, transportation and health care. To better understand this need, let me explain clergy salaries and benefits:

When a priest is assigned to serve in a parish, he receives from that place of assignment a salary set by the Diocese and paid by the parish, along with food and housing benefits in the rectory, supplied by the parish. The parish also pays for his health and automobile insurance.

All that changes upon his retirement. The retired senior priest receives a modest monthly pension from the Retirement Fund. It is coupled with Social Security benefits based upon what he might have paid into the system over the years. Since his priestly salary was never large, his monthly Social Security benefit will not be large.  Upon retirement the senior priest becomes responsible for all his own expenses; housing, food, health care and auto insurance.

Diocesan priests differ from religious communities of priests. A religious priest takes the vow of poverty with their needs provided for them throughout their lives. The Diocesan priest is responsible for his own needs and lives more independently .

Often retiring between the ages of 70-75, many of these priests continue to serve after more than 40 years of active ministry.

In retirement the senior priest can give himself completely to the sacramental mission of the church which first attracted him to the priesthood; without the stress of administration, management of leaky roofs, icy walkways, general maintenance and repair.

Next week’s annual collection is a major support for our retired priests. Your thoughtful and generous contribution will help the Senior Priest Retirement Fund meet its obligation to those who depend on it today and tomorrow. It’s also a way of thanking those priests for their many years of faithful service. In their name and in my own, I thank you.

–Monsignor Montecalvo

 

September 3, 2017

August 29, 2017

My dear parishioners,

This week we are lucky enough to have a guest writer!

Few, if any, of us expect that our name will one day be heralded in St. Peter’s Square in a canonization ceremony. And most of us probably would prefer not to be seen as the public picture of piety while still on this planet. But who  among us does not want to be “in that number when the saints go marching in”?

 But how-during all those many hours when our environment hardly gives off the scent of sanctity that we associate with religious practices-does one get from here to there?

 Even if it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be proclaimed St. ________ in St. Peter’s Square, you can still prepare every day t meet St. Peter himself with a broad smile on both your faces when it’s your turn to approach those golden gates. As yourself what Mother Teresa or Dorothy Day might suggest. Perhaps they might offer some ideas along the following lines. (Or… Fill in the blanks yourself…)

Some small suggestions:

Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while.

Go out of your way to compliment someone (perhaps adding a thick layer of frosting to the cupcake by also mentioning it to their boss.)

Call a relative who’s frequently a pain in the neck.

Call a person you know is lonely.

At the next meeting of a group you belong to, sit (with a smile) next to someone who tends to get under your skin a little.

Get to know-and then use- the name of a usually anonymous service person you regularly encounter.

The next time your spouse or sibling exhibits some trivial, inconsequential behavior that annoys you, just give him or her an: Oh dear,” and a sweet gentle kiss. Period. (Repeat as appropriate.)

If there is someone in your acquaintance that you have reason to believe suffers from low self-esteem, ask that person to do you a favor using one of their special gifts: bake a pie; fix an appliance; sew a patch; knit a sweater; show your granddaughter how to throw a ball; teach you how to play bridge…

 Some larger suggestions:

 Give a pint of blood (at least once but regularly if feasible)

Babysit occasionally for a single parent.

Make sandwiches for the homeless in conjunction with the parish’s Lenten project (and whenever else you feel so inclined.)

Walk Naso, the pastor’s dog, twice on any Sunday that the homily comes in under eight minutes

 Some really challenging suggestions:

 Get together with like minded people and organize a chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Look hard, every day, for opportunities to perform the Corporal works of Mercy.

 Holy is as holy does.

 

 

August 27, 2017

August 22, 2017

My dear parishioners,

As I mentioned in last week’s bulletin, our School of Religious has changed text books and will be using the Faith & Life Series for grades 1 though 8 published by Ignatius Press.

 

There are a few reasons for the change. First and foremost I wanted more content-based texts for your child(ren). Second, I wanted a workbook that your son/daughter could take home with them. This means you should reinforce what he/she learned in class. Third, to help facilitate your weekly lessons with your child(ren), each family will receive a Family Guide to the Faith & Life Series.

 

In this Family Guide to the Faith & Life Series there is a great introduction for parents. The introduction reminds parents that you are your child(ren)’s first and greatest teacher. The “How to Use This Book” section is easy to understand and will help you to reinforce what your son/ daughter learned in class. There are 8 easy steps for each lesson. You should be able to accomplish the review of each lesson in about 20 minutes each week. If your child(ren) is in the lower grades the time spent on learning and memorizing prayers may take more time.

 

I am mentioning this in the bulletin as a way to tell all our parishioners that we at St. Sebastian’s are striving to have a first rate School of Religion. To accomplish this goal we need everyone’s help but especially parent participation.

 

Thank  you,

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

August 20, 2017

August 15, 2017

My dear parishioners,

I want to share a few things with you. Some things you may know, and others may be new.

 

First of all, our church is unlocked from 6:30 am until 1:30 pm each day Monday through Thursday. On Friday the church is unlocked from 8:00 am until after the 5:00 pm Mass.

 

The reason I am mentioning this is, you may want to stop in for a period of time to pray before Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament. Or you may want to pray the Rosary before the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Please come to your parish church to during the week to pray.

 

Second, our parish office is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am till 2:00 pm. On Wednesday the office stays open until 4:00 pm.

 

If I am present in the Rectory and you call outside of those hours I will answer the phone. We are here to assist you in any way we can. You  are the reason why we are here and we will try to meet your needs. Sometimes when a parishioner calls and I answer the phone the parishioner says, “I don’t mean to disturb you.” Just remember you are not disturbing me. I am a priest because of you.

 

We are changing the books we use for our School of Religion. The publisher is now Ignatius Press. We will be using the Faith and Life series. Our School of Religion Program is small. There is no reason we can’t the best program in the Diocese. So hopefully you will notice some changes to the program this year.

 

Have a good week.

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

August 13, 2017

August 8, 2017

My dear parishioners,

In 1950, five years after the end of the carnage of the Second World War which had ruptured the peace of the world and during which millions of human beings, made in the image and likeness of God, had been consigned to oblivion and literally gone up in smoke, Pope Pius XII promulgated the doctrine of the Assumption.

 

The Assumption is a teaching about the value of an individual human life to the rest of humanity. He declared in the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus that ‘the Immaculate Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, on completing the course of her early life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.’

 

The human being, who most reflected the splendor of her Son’s humanity and his obedient response to the Father’s will, did not undergo separation from him. Mary, who was at his side on the Way of the Cross and who accepted the role of Mother of the Church at the foot of the cross, was called to his side in heavenly glory.

 

The key to the celebration of this feast is relationship. Mary is related to her Son through the grace of election and purity which she enjoyed from the first moment of her creation. Being without sin the relationship of obedient love was never broken. She also enjoyed the relationship of maternity. Jesus grew in Mary’s womb, they shared a common life, They were of ‘one flesh’ not simply by virtue of his being the Second Adam but by virtue of her maternity. It is this flesh, the total bodily reality of the Incarnate Word, which ascends to heavenly glory. At the end of her earthly life it is this body, in which the redeemer of the world was welcomed and nurtured, which is re-united with the glorified Christ.

 

Masses are Tuesday, a Holy Day of Obligation, August 15th at 7:00 am and 5:30 pm.

 

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

August 6, 2017

August 2, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 

Let us continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Alfred P Almonte, CS. Let us keep his family in our prayers.

 

As you know we have a visiting priest at St. Sebastian’s. His name is Monsignor Francesco Viscome and he will be with us for almost one month.  His present position in the Church is a Prelate Auditor of the Apostles Tribunal of the Roman Rota (one of 23 supreme court justices of the Catholic Church.)

 

Monsignor Viscome has a great educational background. He holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome “summa cum laude”. He also has a doctorate in Civil Law which he received from the Libera  University (LUMSA) in Rome.

 

Monsignor Viscome was ordained a priest on June 27, 1992 for the Archdiocese of Crotone. In 2001 he was named a Canon of his Cathedral. In February 2007  Monsignor was named a Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of Monsignor.  In October  2016 when he was named a Prelate Auditor he was raised to the highest rank of Prelate.

 

He has a number of publications in professional magazines. He authored a spiritual book entitled “Nel mio cibo, veleno. Crocevia di un ammalato.” In this book he describes his spiritual journey from health to a death experience back to health.

 

St. Sebastian Parish welcomes Monsignor Viscome and I ask you all to do what you can to make him feel at home.

Thank you,

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

July 30, 2017

July 25, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 

This week has been a tremendously difficult week for me and for the parish. As I write this weekly article, Fr. Almonte is about to meet his loving High Priest, Jesus our Savior. Some of St. Sebastian’s parishioners and I visit Fr. Almonte daily, encouraging him by our presence and prayers. Soon he will be praying for us, enjoying the eternal banquet in heaven and in the presence of our Loving God.

 

Fr. Almonte has served his God and God’s Church in an exemplary way. Fr. Almonte was a faithful priest. He was ordained a priest on March 18, 1961, as a member of the Scalabrini Congregation. The Scalabrini Congregation was founded in Italy to serve the religious needs of Italian immigrants. Today the Congregation serves the needs of all immigrants in many different countries.

 

Fr. Almonte served in Canada, in Rome, in Massachusetts, and as a pastor of two parishes in the Diocese of Providence. He was pastor of St. Rocco’s in Johnston and St. Bartholomew’s parish in Providence. He touched the lives of many people. Thanks for your ministry, Fr. Almonte, you were a good and faithful priest.

 

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

July 23, 2017

July 20, 2017

My dear parishioners,

 

Why do I wear a cassock? The following are not my thoughts but I would share them with you.

 

(Part 3)  “May it quickly show traces of wear and tear on the knees and shoulders, signs of your prayer and bearing other people’s burdens. May it not show such signs on the behind and elbows, indicators that you have sat down a lot or elbowed your way through the crowd.

 

First and foremost, love the Church who has given it to you. And love Jesus, who has offered you the Church and who has offered you to the Church, for which I am myself so grateful to Him.

 

Remember that passengers on a bus or on the metro believe they have more right to take a seat than a priest. Frankly speaking, it is immaterial whether they are right or not. What matters is that even when people hate you, they must not hate God.

 

More and more people will look at you; after all, your cassock gives you a lot of visibility. It also intimidates, and there will be fewer people brave enough to criticize you. This does not mean, however, that there will be no grounds for criticism.

 

Remember that your cassock is not the packaging of a completed product. The Lord has clothed you in it to mercifully hide your inadequacies and deficiencies.

 

Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly (John 13:17).”

 

(Reprinted from Aleteia’s Polish Edition)

 

Monsignor Montecalvo

 

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