PARISH CELEBRATES 10th ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA NOVENA
July 18, 2016 — Nearly 300 worshippers came to St. Paul’s Church on Wednesday, July 13, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Our Lady of Fatima Novena with mass, prayer, a rosary procession, and a picnic.
The Novena is prayed at St. Paul’s every Wednesday evening. Ten years ago this devotion was established here by then pastor Fr. Arthur Mastrolia. Significantly, the anniversary this year fell on July 13th. It was on the 13th of six consecutive months – from May to October — that Our Lady appeared to the children at Fatima 100 years ago.
At the beginning of the ceremony each person entering the church received a rose to place before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The image of Mary, robed in white and holding a blue rosary, with a beautiful arrangement of carnations, daisies, and jonquils at her feet, stood on the platform on which it would be carried in the procession. By the time mass began, vases placed at the base of the statue were filled with tributes of red, white, magenta, pink, and yellow roses.
The mass was celebrated by pastor Vladimir Chripko. Concelebrants were Fr. George Torok, Fr. Roman Palecko, Fr. Arogya Raju, Fr. Tom Kunnel, pastor of St. John the Baptist in Piermont, Fr. Arthur Mastrolia, now pastor of St. Anthony’s in Yonkers, and Fr. Jacob Thomas who was visiting from India. They were assisted by Deacon Dominic Buonocore.
Fr. George, the homilist, spoke of Our Lady’s Fatima plea for sacrifices and prayers to save souls. He said the “best kept secret of Fatima” was that “the smallest sacrifice offered to Jesus can save an immortal soul.” And we don’t even have to go looking for these sacrifices, he said. Opportunities are inherent in almost everything we do. Fr. George also gave the congregation a simple prayer to bring a soul to Heaven – the name of Jesus. “Jesus, I love you. Save this person.”
After the final blessing of the mass, the congregation formed a rosary procession outside the church. (See video.) It was led by two young girls dressed in white bearing red candles before a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Marian devotion of Mexico that has spread throughout the Americas and the world. Next came the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, carried on a platform by four men. It was followed by a replica of the statue of the Black Nazarene, a representation of Christ carrying His cross, which has been venerated by Catholic Filipinos for over 400 years.
The procession traveled west on Lake Road, turned right onto Friend St., and came around through the church parking lot, returning to the church. There the ceremony ended with Novena prayers led by Virginia Panzo. She also made the concluding remarks, thanking the many, many people who helped make the day possible.
After mass, there was a picnic in the parking lot with hot dogs and hamburgers, roast pig, rice and other hot food, ice cream, and watermelon. There was Philippine folk dancing for entertainment, a raffle, and, as the long summer twilight finally came to an end, line-dancing for everyone.
Click here for more photos of this event. Click on a photo to enlarge it and then scroll through the slide show.
Photos and video by Marie Olivier.
SILVER, GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES CELEBRATED AT MASS
July 5 — Thirteen couples from our parish who are celebrating their 50th and 25th wedding anniversaries this year were honored at a special mass at St. Paul’s on June 26.
Pastor Vladimir Chripko spoke of the many years of love and commitment these couples shared, and he thanked them for the encouragement their lives together have given us. He presented each couple with an anniversary scroll as Casey Cunningham sang the beautiful “May the Road Rise to Meet You.” Casey is the granddaughter of Victor and Frances Cunningham, who were celebrating their 50th anniversary.
A reception followed in the Parish Center with desserts and an anniversary cake. On the same weekend, many of the 50th anniversary couples attended the Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Dolan, which is held each year at the end of June.
The 2016 anniversary couples from St. Paul’s-St. Ann’s are:
50th — Joseph & Linda Artuso, Louis & Marion Boccanfuso, Victor & Frances Cunningham, Ben & Norma Fuentes, Frank & Diane Gemeinhardt, Kathy & Walter Hartl, Henry & Elizabeth Oberheim, Roberto & Lilia Salgado, George & Carol Teasdale, and Frank & Patricia Zaccaro
25th — Danny & Minnie Favorito, Erick & Ariadne Garces, and Edward & Catherine Skiba
More photos appear here. Click on a photo to enlarge it, and then scroll through the slide show.
GOOD TIMES ABOUND AT THE PARISH PICNIC
June 28 — The people of St. Ann’s and St. Paul’s came together as one family on Saturday, June 18, for the annual parish picnic. As one parish we celebrated mass and enjoyed each other’s company in the beautiful setting of the Marydell Faith and Life Center in Upper Nyack. Over 180 people attended. Three of our priests – pastor Fr. Vladimir and Frs. Roman and Raj — concelebrated the outdoor Mass with the assistance of Deacon Dominic Buonocore, our Children’s Choir led by Janet Fenton, and altar servers Gianna Tangredi and Jack Gannon.
The festivities continued through the afternoon and evening with Bryan Guzman of Amazing Grace Circus teaching our young people how to juggle and walk the tight wire! There were games for everyone, and we even had a pie-eating contest organized by Joni Tangredi. Joe Gannon came in first place!
Our delicious menu – hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecued chicken and all the fixin’s — was prepared and served by Jack Bozeat, Marie Lorenzini, and their team. Old-time music filled the air compliments of Peter and Mary Ann Partridge and their gang of players! The day could not end without the many desserts crafted by Jay Conklin, and our bonfire blazed thanks to Tom Sullivan.
The perfect June weather crowned a day filled with fun, laughter, and new friends from our joined churches. Thanks to all who attended and made the day possible!!
For more photos of the event, please click here. Click on a photo to enlarge it, and then scroll through the resulting slide show.
Photos by Joni and Ed Tangredi and Fr. Vladimir.
PARISH PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY DOORS OF MERCY
May 23 — The parish of St Paul-St Ann celebrated this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy by making a pilgrimage to the Holy Doors at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point, on Saturday, May 14. As a community of pilgrims, we crossed the threshold together and entered into a grace-filled encounter with Mercy.
The day started at the pavilion with a talk by Msgr. Thomas P. Nydegger, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Newark, who asked us to reflect on why the world needed a Year of Mercy. Extraordinary years typically draw our attention to an urgent theme. Msgr. Nydegger discussed how in the history of humankind, man has viewed God as a harsh judge, a distant powerful force, or a vindictive being, unpredictable and angry.
However, as Msgr Nydegger walked us through Sacred Scripture, he pointed out story after story in both the Old and New Testaments that reveal God as merciful creator. Jesus is the breath of mercy. God will never deny us forgiveness and never falls out of love for us. Our hearts are to become doors of mercy and forgiveness.
At the conclusion of Msgr. Nydegger’s presentation, we walked together up the hill to the Mary Help of Christians Chapel, whose right front door had been officially designated and decorated as the Holy Door at this pilgrimage site. We formed a line and passed though — a ritual recalling that the “door” to salvation is Jesus himself, open and waiting for every person.
Passing through a Holy Door also “evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish,” according to Pope St. John Paul II. So once inside the chapel, there was the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with several priests hearing confessions, followed by the celebration of noon mass at which the celebrant welcomed our group from St. Paul’s and St. Ann’s as Year of Mercy pilgrims.
After mass, there was a delicious lunch provided back at the pavilion, and then an afternoon Holy Hour for Mercy with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction in the chapel, conducted by Deacon Luke Conroy, ended our day.
We encourage all parishioners who have not yet made the pilgrimage to the Holy Doors to plan to do so before the Feast of Christ the King on Nov. 20, 2016, when the Jubilee Year of Mercy ends. You can make a pilgrimage on your own or with your family or friends. You do not have to be part of a formal group to receive the special graces and indulgences obtained by passing through a Holy Door.
If you are interested in a pilgrimage kit, please contact Deacon Luke or Nancy Conroy at 845- 642-7073. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more photos of the pilgrimage, please click here. Double-click on a photo to enlarge it and then scroll through the slide show.
YOUTH GROUP PUTS FAITH into ACTION
We’ve got spirit!
We’ve got pride!
We’ve got Brandon
On our side!!
April 30 — Who are these kids?
It was in mid-January that a small group of students first started to meet to form the St. Paul’s-St. Ann’s Youth Group.
But only three months later, their number had grown to 20, and this energetic bunch of teens – 8th grade through high school – was pulling off its first, full-scale benefit, a two-day basketball tournament called “Baskets 4 Brandon” to help with the medical expenses for one of their classmates.
“It was the kids’ own idea,” said Hernan Caceres, the adult moderator of the group. “It was their way of putting faith into action.”
Brandon Watson, a 7th grader at Felix Festa Middle School in West Nyack, suffers from a debilitating lung and GI disorder. To show their support for him and to help the family with medical bills, the youth group organized a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Players from 6th through 12th grade were invited to the St. Paul School gym in Valley Cottage, where the games were played over the weekend of April 30/May 1. A donation of $10 per player was requested, which came with a free hot dog, ice cream, plus a tournament T-shirt.
The shirts and refreshments were donated by the Knights of Columbus Pope John XXIII Council 7104 in Congers.
Commenting on the big turnout of kids and adults at the Saturday evening session, Brandon’s mom, Kim Watson, said, “We are thrilled. Just to see all the community support – be it a donation or a hug — and everyone here. This will have a lasting effect on Brandon. And he’ll have a lasting effect on them. When Brandon is in remission, we’ll find a way to pay it forward. This is so huge for us! We’ll never forget it!”
Hernan Caceres (center)with Jody and Peter Calabrese
Caceres, who has been doing Confirmation preparation since 1997 and has a son in high school and daughter in middle school, knows how much teens can contribute and how important it is for them to have a place to belong to. After eighth grade there is all too often not much there for them in the parish, he says. “We need to guide and nurture them.”
So with other adult helpers like parishioners Michelle Recine, Jody and Peter Calabrese, Deacon Buonocore, and Father Raj they are putting something in place. The youth group meets every Sunday after the 6 pm mass, in the Parish Center. They’re thinking about new activities for the future — maybe a dodge-ball tournament or a challenging “30-Hour-Fast” fundraiser.
The current members would love to see more kids join them. It’s for St. Ann’s teens too, and they’ll really be welcome. Just email email@example.com or come to the meetings following the 6 pm Sunday mass, at the Parish Center at 82 Lake Road in Congers.
For more photos of the Baskets 4 Brandon tournament, click here. Double-click on a photo to enlarge it and then use the arrows to scroll through the resulting slide show.
BIBLE STUDY GROUP FORMING
St. Paul’s and St. Ann’s parish is forming a Bible Study group. If you would like more information, please call Michelle at 973-879-5562.