Bulletin December 25, 2016

 

+ Parish Schedule for the Week of December 25, 2016 +

Saturday, December 24 [Vigil of Christmas]

The Hay and Manger will be blessed before this Christmas Mass

* 4:00 pmFor our Parish and Parishioners

* 6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners

The church will be open for Midnight Christmas Mass at 11:00 p.m.

*12:00 Midnight – For the Benefactors of our Parish

Sunday, December 25 [Nativity of the Lord – Christmas]: **Holy Day of Obligation**

*10:30 amFor our Parish and Parishioners

Monday, December 26 [St. Stephen]:  

    8:00 am – Birthday Blessings for Maria Theresa N. Gilbert – int. Theresa Nyiri Nadler

Tuesday, December 27 [St. John the Evangelist]:

    5:30 pm – Birthday Blessings for Kristen N. Gawlick – int. Theresa Nyiri Nadler

Wednesday, December 28 [St. Jude Novena / The Holy Innocents]:   

    5:30 pm + Blanche Sojka Golonka – int. John & Ted Sojka & Families

Thursday, December 29 [St. Thomas Becket]:  

    5:30 pm + John Kopinto – int. Gary & Nancy Dion

Friday, December 30 [The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph]

    5:30 pm + Mary Kopinto – int. Fritz Family

Saturday, December 31 [Pope St. Sylvester I]:

   8:00 am + Fr. Bruno Cocuzzi and St. Joseph’s Order of Discalced Carmelites

   4:00 pm + Mary Kopinto – int. Fritz Family

   6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners

Sunday, January 1 [Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God]:

   8:00 am + Anthony Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka

 10:30 am + Anna Gentile – int. Richard Tedeschi

+ KRóLOWO POLSKI MóDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th – The Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the Blessing of the Christmas trees, Manger and the Christmas hay to await the coming of the Christ Child.  Carols will be chanted in English, Polish and Latin.  After the Mass, which will be in English, the congregation following an old Polish tradition is welcome to take a memento of the Blessed hay for the centerpiece on their Christmas Eve dinner table.

THE MIDNIGHT MASS of the Shepherds will begin at exactly 12:00 MIDNIGHT.  It will, however, be introduced at 11:30 p.m. December 24th with a concert of carols in English, Polish and Latin.  As the bells ring the midnight hour of Christmas morning, December 25th, the time of the birth of the Christ Child, a statue of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and carried in solemn procession around the church and then enshrined in the manger.  The Mass will follow in English

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th – The Mass of Christmas Day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the solemn proclamation of the birth of Christ and the solemn procession to the manger.  Mass will be in English with carols chanted in English, Polish and Latin.

PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass.  Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man.  The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best.  Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!

POLISH CHRISTMAS CAROLS are sung until the 2nd of February.  The Christmas season, for the Polish people, starts on Christmas Eve.  Advent is Advent — a time of preparation and anticipation.  Unlike many Western cultures, where Christmas carols and celebrations begin by December 1st, the Polish people spend that time in prayerful waiting.  The time after Christmas is the time for celebration.

            Unlike the Christmas songs of other countries the Polish carol (called a Kolęda) is not only a prayer but it is also a story — a kind of musical drama telling of the miraculous birth of Jesus.  These Kolędy are a musical expression of genius and profound religious conviction.  Many Polish carols date from the early 17th century and reflect, not only the folk culture of the day, but the royal and courtly life of the nobility.

            The word Kolęda is taken from the Latin word meaning the first day of the month and reflects the ancient custom of pre-Christian feasts in mid-winter.  With the coming of Christianity, the theme became the birth of Jesus.

            Many of the Kolędy are based on the majestic Polonez, a royal and stately dance from the courts of Polish kings.  One such Kolęda, “W Złobie Leży” was based on the Polonez played at the coronation of Wladyslaw IV (1632 – 1648).

            Adam Mickiewicz, in writing about the beauty of Polish Christmas carols, said:  “I doubt whether there is another country which can boast of such a collection of carols as Poland has.  It would not be easy to find any other nation’s poetry with feelings so pure, of such an extreme sweetness and delicacy.”

Wesołych Świąt

The Year of Mercy has closed but the Teresians continue performing the spiritual & corporal works of mercy.  Please consider being part of our ministry.  Remember NO commitment is necessary.  Just Join.  AND, yes, we will continue collecting “toiletries” throughout the year.  Thank you for sharing.  Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD donations have been made for Christmas Flowers in memory of the following:  In memory of Raymond & Louise Kervian, Lawrence & Helen Pelletier, and David W. Phillips from Joyce & Tina / In memory of Sr. Mary Rosalie, Charles and Cecelia Gloski, Mattie Stepanek and Sandy Miner from Joyce.  Bóg Zapłac!

THE FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN (December 26th) – For the Polish people, the feast of St. Stephen is celebrated as a continuation of Christmas.  It is sometimes called “Drugie Święta” – the Second Holiday.

     St. Stephen is called the Protomartyr because he was the first Christian martyr — the first individual to die for his Faith.  He was one of the seven deacons that the Apostles ordained (Acts 6) to help them with the work of the early Church.  St. Stephen proved to be a gifted preacher and stressed that God was to be found everywhere, that the world and all His creation is sanctified by His loving presence.

     St. Stephen also preached strongly to those who failed to recognize the reality of God and who refused to acknowledge Jesus.  The Bible tells us that St. Stephen “was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders and signs among the people.”  (Acts 6:8).  Because of his strong message of truth, St. Stephen was stoned to death by anti-Christian forces.  A convinced Christian to the end, St. Stephen prayed “Lord Jesus receive my spirit” as he was cruelly put to death and with his last breath he cried out in a loud voice “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”  (Acts 7:59-60).  His death eloquently speaks of our duty as Catholics to love so completely that we can even forgive and love our enemies and those who would hurt us.

     There are a number of Polish customs associated with this feast day.  It is a day of fun and games.  People jokingly throw grain at each other as a reminder of the manner of death St. Stephen died and as a prayer for protection by the saint and for a good harvest.  On this day priests, deacons, nuns and altar boys are often greeted this way after Mass to remind them that they must live a life so completely dedicated to Jesus, so committed to God, that they should be willing and prepared to die as St. Stephen died.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27th is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.  He will be celebrated with a special blessing of wine at the end of the 5:30 p.m. Mass.  This traditional Polish custom is observed in commemoration of a legend from the life of St. John.  The story goes that St. John was presented a goblet of poison wine by individuals who were angry at the Gospel of love he was preaching — a love that makes us the Children of God.  This seemed too much for the enemies of John.  It was too good for mortal humanity so they decided to eliminate him for teaching what they felt to be a dangerous doctrine.  As St. John took the goblet from his enemies, he prayed and blessed the wine, as was his custom.  Immediately a black snake was seen coming out of the cup.  The poison had left miraculously in the form of a serpent.

            In Polish churches this story, of John’s trust in God, is recalled by the blessing of wine after the Masses of this feast.  People bring a bottle of wine to be blessed and usually a crystal goblet of wine is also blessed and all present share in its goodness before the long cold walk home.  The wine that is taken home is shared by friends and family as a token of God’s love.

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:

Sunday, December 25: + Mary R. Di Mascola – int. Son

Monday, December 26: + Mary Kosewicz – int. Daughters

Tuesday, December 27: + Jacob Harold Garmalo – int. Family

Wednesday, December 28: + David Sroka – int. Carol Gloski & Joyce Phillips

Thursday, December 29: + John A. & Mary Ann Tosto – int. Melissa Wright  

Friday, December 30: + Holy Souls in Purgatory – int. Nina Johnson

Saturday, December 31: 8:00 – Grace & Blessings for Adam Boyd Brandow on his entry into the Roman Catholic Church – int. Nancy Faller

4:00 + Frank Waryas – int. James & Jean Koldis

PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, celebrating the little children who were martyred by Herod in his desperate and greedy concern for his throne.  Special prayers will be offered during the 5:30 p.m. Mass for the holocaust of holy innocents martyred every year in our nation through abortion.

THE GENTLEMEN OF ST. JOSEPH will meet on Wednesday, December 28th at 6:00 p.m. for a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by a meeting in the undercroft.     The Gentlemen of St. Joseph is a group of men dedicated to answering the call of Mary to lead families to her son, Jesus.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29th is the Feast of St. Thomas Becket who was martyred because he strenuously defended the freedom of religion and the rights of the Church. He will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30th is the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  Special prayers will be offered at all the weekend Masses for blessing all our parish families

SUNDAY, JANUARY 1st is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  Special prayers will be offered in thanksgiving for the past year and in supplication for blessings in the coming year.  We seek God’s blessings as did Mary.  Because of her Son, we can confidently call God, “Abba!”

THE OPŁATEK for the Polish people is the most important element in the Christmas celebration.  It is part of the family rites at the Wigilia supper on Christmas Eve and is used by friends and neighbors at parties and gatherings during the holiday season.

            The Opłatek is a small piece of bread-wafer often embossed with religious images of Our Lady and of scenes depicting the birth of Jesus.  These designs are usually excellent examples of Polish folk art and are often preserved in Art Museums to show the unusually wide scope of the decorative arts of the Polish peasants.

            The word Opłatek is taken from the Latin word “Oblatum” meaning sacred bread.  In the past, this holy bread, or Bread of Love as Opłatek is sometimes called, was made with great ceremonies and rites.  The choices wheat was chosen and the workers wore liturgical robes and chanted hymns during the process.

            The Opłatek symbolizes days of harmony, when what is to be forgiven is forgiven and what is to be forgotten is forgotten.  The sharing of the Opłatek signifies that everyone in the universe is related – we are all God’s children – we all have His Divine power.

            The Opłatek, that Bread of Love, so frail and perishable, has for all Poles a mystical meaning which cannot be explained.  At Christmas time it is even sent to absent members of the family and to close friends separated by distance, to draw them close in a spiritual union with their loved ones.  To receive a piece of Opłatek is a special blessing.  It says that the recipient is loved in a holy way and that the choicest blessings are prayed over them.

            Christmas Eve in Poland is called Wigilia. The Latin origins of the word Wigilia are the same as those of the English word “vigil,” meaning keeping watch in expectation of something.  Of course, what the Christian world awaits on this date is the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child.  The Catholic custom is that of attending midnight Mass or “Pasterka,” a name that comes from “pasterze” the Polish word for shepherds who, according to the evangelists, were the first to greet the New Born King.

            In Poland in common parlance, Christmas is referred to as “Gwiazdka,” or little star.  And it is the appearance of the first star in the eastern sky that Polish children await most eagerly on Christmas Eve.  This is because this evocation of the Star of Bethlehem signals that the Wigilia festivities can start.

            At the Wigilia Supper the rite of sharing and breaking the Opłatek is both simple and moving.  The host and hostess first share and break the Bread of Love – the Opłatek – with each other and then with all the members of their family and guests.  With the breaking, good wishes, blessings and prayers are exchanged and shared.  It is a time of spiritual gift-giving.  Sometimes the blessings take the form of spontaneous poetry – but this is often an art form reserved to the old.

            A piece of Opłatek is often saved after Christmas to use in time of sickness.  It is administered to the ill as a blessing-prayer for healing.  It is a strong affirmation of the love of family and friends.

            In some parts of Poland and among some Polish-Americans there is the custom of saving a few squares of the Opłatek and of creating religious ornaments with them.  Some of them are made into stars and miniature cradles for the Baby Jesus.  Others are made into tiny churches and complicated globes – often with a tiny figure of Jesus holding the cross in the inner circle of the world-globes to signify His rule over the universe.

            Usually these ornaments were carefully hung by a thread from the ceiling.  With the movements in a room it gently swayed to and fro and old timers often prophesied the coming weather from the direction in which these lacy ornaments moved.

            Adam Plug remembered these Opłatek ornaments of his Polish childhood and wrote:  “When father glued together a fine star enclosing a tiny cradle, he hung it to the ceiling by a thread.  I knew for certain this was the same star which shone down upon Jesus in the manger.  I rocked the little cradle on the thread with my childish breath, and really felt I was rocking the real little baby Jesus to sleep, singing Him a kolęnda.

THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates:  Sunday, December 25th and Sunday, January 1st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 8th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have

OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Betty Fritz for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

website:  ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com  Like us on Faceboo

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
In Thanksgiving for our priests Fr. Bombardier Deacon DeCarlo Fr. Lisowski Deacon Culliton Fr. O’Mannion Fr. Reardon

THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

NEW YEAR’S EVE is celebrated very differently in Poland.  It is a more quiet time for reflection on the past year.  There are services in Church asking God for forgiveness of the sins of the past years and prayers for blessings on the coming year.

            New Year’s Eve is called St. Sylvester’s Day in Poland.  (St. Sylvester was a great Pope in the early 300’s.)  In the cities there are parties after church services which are called Sylvester parties.

            The Sylvester Parties came about because of an old legend.  According to the story, Pope St. Sylvester I, imprisoned the dragon Leviathan in 317 A.D.  The belief grew that Leviathan would escape in the year 1000 A.D., set fire to the heavens and bring about the end of the world.

            Near the year 1000 a monk by the name of Gerbert became pope.  He was a scientist of sorts and spent his free time in his cell building strange machinery.  The people feared he was a sorcerer.  To make matters worse, Gerbert took the name of Sylvester II as Pope.  It seemed doubly certain then that as St. Sylvester I had imprisoned Leviathan, Pope Sylvester II would set him free.

            As December 31, 999 A.D. came closer, people lived in fear that they would suffer the horrible end of the world.  But as midnight came and went with not a sign of the dragon or the end of the world destruction, the release from tension was so great that the people rejoiced with parties ever since.  Hence the Sylvester parties of Poland and even our own New Year’s Eve parties.

            Meanwhile — what was Pope Sylvester II up to in his cell?  Was it sorcerer’s magic as the people feared?  Not at all!  Pope Sylvester II had been using his time to build a clock, which, perfected with the years, became the one we use today! 

            Pope St. Sylvester I will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.  This Mass will also be an opportunity to thank God for the blessings of the past year and to petition our Heavenly Father for help in the coming year

Triad in Need of Medical Equipment – The Triad program at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is in need of medical equipment for distribution to senior citizens in the Franklin County area. We accept canes, wheelchairs, transport chairs (Scooters, HoveArounds), hospital bed tables, rollators, power lift chairs, Hoyer lifts. We cannot accept accessories for CPAP machines, any treatment medications or anything of that nature. Please contact: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, 160 Elm Street in Greenfield or call 774-4726

Our parish has a Prayer Line under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is available for anyone.  To utilize the Prayer Line simply call 413-259-7571 or e-mail nan6539@gmail.com to leave a message with your intention and over 25 intercessors will pray for your intention daily.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,

And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Catherine Dobosz 12/25/1926

Casimier Seredejko 12/25/1945

Julia Sierakowski 12/25/1963

Joseph C. Kaminski 12/25/1982

Anthony Prohowicz 12/26/1935

Stanislaus Najda 12/26/1954

Adam Tuminski 12/26/1974

Stanley C. Semaski 12/26/1976

Eleonare Bakula 12/26/1981

Andrew J. Schab 12/26/1987

Anna E. Walton 12/26/2004

Scott L. Thompson 12/26/2008

Carl Rogaleski 12/27/1969

Edwin J. Putala 12/27/1985

Stephanie C. Zamojski 12/27/2000

Rose N. Simondiski 12/27/2010

Caroline M. Brzozowy 12/27/2011

Bernard J. Fritz 12/27/2013

Michael Putala 12/28/1947

Mary Kosewicz 12/28/1972

Joseph P. Zamojski 12/28/1978

Joseph J. Gozeski 12/28/1988

Jennie C. Rastallis 12/28/1996

Blanche A. Golonka 12/28/2000

Julia Czarnecki 12/29/1954

Ralph L. Kovalsick 12/29/1978

Walter J. Sak 12/29/1992

Arthur A. Paulin 12/29/2003

Helen G. Adzema 12/29/2008

Peter Koscinski 12/30/1922

Victoria Kliszka 12/30/1927

Casimier Kalinowski 12/30/1932

Michael Romejko 12/30/1948

Anna Bocon 12/30/1964

Edwin Marzalek 12/31/1953

Francis Waryas 12/31/1967

Beatrice M. Marziarz 12/31/1990

Mary “Molly” Pervere 12/31/2007

Eusebius C. Kelley 12/31/2013

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers

Pilgrimage to Italy – A pilgrimage to Italy will leave from Boston on October 15, 2017 returning October 26.  Flights from other cities can be arranged. Spiritual Directors are Msgr. Ronald Yargeau and Fr.  Timothy Campoli who will offer daily Mass. We will begin in Rome for three nights, take many tours in Rome, and attend an audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.  Then we will travel to Monte Cassino, Pompeii, Sorrento, San Giovanni Rotundo, Monte Sant Angelo, Cascia, Assisi, Siena and Orvieto.  These holy places are associated with many saints including St. Benedict, St. Philomena, St. Pio, St. Michael, St. Rita, St. Catherine, St. Clare, and St. Francis.  We will travel along the famous Amalfi coast, through the vineyards and visit historic towns and sites including the remains of Pompeii.  The cost is $4,499 which includes airfare, wonderful hotels for 10 nights, two meals a day, admission fees and tour guides.  A bus to Boston may be rented if there is enough interest. Please spread the word and contact Helen Shea Murphy at 413-773-8890 or HelenSheaMurphy@verizon.net with questions and to receive a flyer.

The Angels bring Good News to the Shepherds

by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

     The shepherds, imitators of the holy patriarchs, and the most innocent and guileless men in the world, were “keeping watch over their flock by night.” (Lk 2:8) Holy angels, accustomed to conversing with those shepherds of old—with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—brought these country folk the news that the great shepherd had arrived and that the earth was once again to see a shepherd king, the son of David.

     “And an angel of the Lord appeared to them.” (Lk 2:9) Let us not, like Manoah the father of Samson, ask the angel his name. He may well also respond to us, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?” (Judg 13:17-18) Yet do we not hope he is the same angel that appeared to Zachariah and to the Holy Virgin? Be that as it may, without presuming in a place where the Gospel does not speak, let us listen: “an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.” (Lk 2:9)

     All divine things initially cause fear in our sinful human nature, banished from heaven as we are. But the angel reassured them, saying “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy.” It is in the city of David, he said, this place so long marked out in prophecy that today is born for you “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Lk 2:10-12) By the singular sign of a child laid in a manger, you will recognize the Christ, the Lord. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,” who at the very same time is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6) “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace.” (Lk 2:13-14)

     Here we see a new Lord to whom we belong, a Lord who now receives the supreme and divine name of Christ. This is the God who is the anointed one of God, the one to whom David sang: “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” (Ps 45:7) You are God eternally, but you are newly the Christ, God and man at once, and the name of Lord is given to you to express that you are God with the same title as your Father. Henceforward, following the example of the angel, you will be called the Lord in all sovereignty.  Command your new people. You do not yet speak, but you command them by your example. And what is that command? To love, or at least to esteem, poverty, and to reject the pomp of the world.  To seek simplicity, even perhaps the holy rusticity of these new adorers that the angel brings to you, and who make up the whole of your courtiers, agreeable to Joseph and to Mary, and appearing like them, for they are equally arrayed with the robe of poverty.

     Let us once more consider the angel’s words: “you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Lk 2:12) You will know by this sign that it is the Lord. Go to the courts of kings: you will recognize the newborn prince by his gold-embroidered covers and by a splendid cradle that looks something like a throne. Yet to know the Christ who is born for you, a Lord so high that David his father, although himself a king, called him “my Lord,” (Ps 110:1) all you are given as a sign is the manger in which he is lying, and the poor rags in which his frail infancy has been swaddled. That is to say, all you are given is a nature similar to your own and a poverty below your own. Which of us was born in a stable? Which of us, poor as we may be, gives his child a manger for a crib? Jesus is the only one abandoned to such an extent, and this is the mark by which we are to know him.

     If he had wished to make a show of his power, with what gold would his head have been crowned? What purple would have covered his shoulders? What stones would have enriched his vestments? But, as Tertullian tells us, “he judged all this false display, all this borrowed glory, unworthy of him and of his own, and so, in refusing it, he disdained it, and in disdaining it, he proscribed it, and in proscribing it, he placed it with the pomp of the world and the devil.” So it was that our fathers the first Christians were wont to speak, while we wretches breathe only ambition and the love of comfort.

From Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Meditations for Advent

(Sophia Institute Press, 2013)

THE ADORATION CHAPEL of the Most Blessed Sacrament, located in Greenfield, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This would not be possible without volunteers willing to spend one hour per week in the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  It’s also a wonderful opportunity to set aside that regular quiet time that is so needed in today’s busy world.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact Maureen Filiault at 863-4777.

Prayer for the Blessing of Families

Priest–            Our help is in the + Name of the Lord!

All–                             Who made Heaven and Earth!

Priest–            The Lord be with you!

All–                             And with your spirit!

Priest–            Bow your heads in prayer and ask for God’s blessing upon your families and upon the family we call our parish.

All–                             Heavenly Father, bless our family and parish with Your grace. Let Your Spirit guide us in word and deed so that our light may shine before all and lead all who know us to give You praise!

Priest–            May our homes be filled with the spirit of love, with the obedience of faith, and the strength of hope!

All–                             Make our lives happy in Your service, and bring us in Your love to Your Eternal Home!

Priest–            Father, All-Good, we praise Your Name; and ask this blessing through the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and good St. Joseph.

All–                 Amen!

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUs museum, at 1 State Street in New Haven, has opened its annual Christmas exhibit.  The show features crèches from Germany as well as many from the museum’s collection, including a hand-carved cedar nativity scene from Mexico and its popular 120-square-foot Baroque Neapolitan (Italian) diorama.  Open daily.  Free admission and parking.  More at 203-865-0400 or kofcmuseum.org.

K of C Fleeing Famine Exhibition – During the mid-19th century, some two million people emigrated from Ireland, predominantly to North America, during a chaotic, hurried exodus resulting from a potato blight and devastating famine.  Thousands of Irish emigrants died during the 3,000- mile trans-Atlantic trip, huddled into what became known as “coffin ships.”  Fleeing Famine recounts the saga of the ocean crossing for the Irish emigrants and is on view at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven through September 17, 2017.

THE PRO-LIFE NOVENA will continue on Saturday, December 31st before the 8:00 a.m. Mass.  All are welcome to pray in supplication for an end to the violence of abortion and in reparation for our lack of love which makes abortion acceptable in our nation.

THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the 5:30 p.m. Mass here at our parish.

Church Bulletin December 18, 2016

+ PARISH SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 18, 2016 +

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 [Fourth Sunday of Advent]:
8:00 am + Mary Kopinto – int. Fritz Family
10:30 am + Mary Ann Dean – int. John & Rosemary Lukaskiewicz
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19:
8:00 am + Mary Kopinto – int. Richard & Geraldine Ahearn
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20:
Blessing and lighting of our Christmas Trees
5:30 pm + Patricia Collins – int. Doug & Mary Lynne Brown
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 [St. Jude Novena /St. Peter Canisius]:
5:30 pm + Stephen Golonka – int. John & Ted Sojka & Families
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22:
5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Mary Ellen DeVito – int. Betty Fritz
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23 [St. John of Kanty]:
5:30 pm + Rolland Richotte – int. wife, Joan, son and granddaughter
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24 [Vigil of Christmas]:
8:00 am + Rev. Joseph Szczepaniak – int. Henry R. Gaida
The Hay and Manger will be blessed before this Christmas Mass
* 4:00 pm – For our Parish and Parishioners
* 6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
The church will be open for Midnight Christmas Mass at 11:00 p.m.
*12:00 Midnight – For the Benefactors of our Parish
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25 [Nativity of the Lord – Christmas]: **Holy Day of Obligation**
*10:30 am – For our Parish and Parishioners

+ KRÓLOWO POLSKI MÓDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +

Christmas at Our Lady of Częstochowa Church

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th – The Vigil Mass of Christmas Eve will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the Blessing of the Christmas trees, Manger and the Christmas hay to await the coming of the Christ Child. Carols will be chanted in English, Polish and Latin. After the Mass, which will be in English, the congregation following an old Polish tradition is welcome to take a memento of the Blessed hay for the centerpiece on their Christmas Eve dinner table.

THE MIDNIGHT MASS of the Shepherds will begin at exactly 12:00 MIDNIGHT. It will, however, be introduced at 11:30 p.m. December 24th with a concert of carols in English, Polish and Latin. As the bells ring the midnight hour of Christmas morning, December 25th, the time of the birth of the Christ Child, a statue of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and carried in solemn procession around the church and then enshrined in the manger. The Mass will follow in English.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th – The Mass of Christmas Day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the solemn proclamation of the birth of Christ and the solemn procession to the manger. Mass will be in English with carols chanted in English, Polish and Latin.

PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass. Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man. The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best. Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!

A WORKBEE TO SET UP THE CHRISTMAS decorations in the church will take place on Sunday, December 18th at 3:00 p.m. and Monday, December 19th following the 8:00 a.m. Mass. Volunteers are needed and encouraged.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20th – The blessing and lighting of the Parish Christmas Trees in preparation for the Christ Child will take place before the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21st is the Feast of St. Peter Canisius, a leading voice in the Counter-Reformation and founder of several colleges and author of many books. He is known as the “Second Apostle of Germany” and will be remembered in the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 21st. All are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of St. Jude, the patron of impossible cases.

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS will hold their monthly meeting this week, Wednesday, December 21st, at 6:30 p.m. in the church undercroft. All members are asked to attend.

THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates: Sunday, December 25th and Sunday, January 1st. Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 8th. Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 1st is the Feast of the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Masses for the Holy Day will be offered on Saturday, December 31st, at 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday, January 1st at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Special prayers will be offered in thanksgiving for the past year and in supplication for blessings in the coming year.

THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN OF KANTY was born in Kanty, Poland in 1390 and is celebrated on December 23rd. After brilliant studies, St. John was ordained a priest and became a professor of Theology in Krakow. For a time, he was also the pastor of the church in Olkusz. He was a serious man, but humble and kind. He was known to all the poor and his few possessions were always at their disposal. He kept only the money and clothes absolutely needed to support himself. He slept little, ate sparingly and took no meat. He worked hard and prayed even harder.
St. John was ever kind, humble and generous but he still suffered opposition. He led an austere and penitential life. Many Catholics today can understand all the humility, kindness and generosity but they find the penitential style of his life hard to accept. Self discipline seems to be reserved for athletics and the military, certainly not religion. But St. John proves them wrong. Self discipline and penance can and does build, not only good Christians, but Saints.

THE YEAR OF MERCY has closed but the Teresians continue performing the spiritual & corporal works of mercy. Please consider being part of our ministry. Remember NO commitment is necessary. Just Join. AND, yes, we will continue collecting “toiletries” throughout the year. Thank you for sharing. Nancy Faller (nafaller@aol.com)

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries. They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18: 8:00 + Jacob Harold Garmalo – int. Family
10:30 + Agnes Golembeski & Janet – int. Donald Parda
MONDAY, DECEMBER 19: + Mary R. Di Mascola – int. Son
TUESDAY, DEC. 20: – Grace & Blessings for William & Amber Ahearn – int. Betty Fritz
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21: + Chet Galvis – int. Connie
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22: – The Parda Family – int. Donald Parda
FRIDAY, DEC. 23: – Grace & Blessings for Michael William Ahearn – int. Betty Fritz
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24: 4:00 + Edward Margola – int. James & Jean Margola
6:00 – Health & Blessings for Sophie Fritz – int. Daughter
12:00 – Grace & Blessings for Bernadette DeVito – int. Ciocia

PLEASE NOTE: The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help. It also helps the people where the Masses are offered. Bóg wam zapłać!

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD the following have made donations to our Parish Renovation Fund: In memory of Johnny M. Botch from Paula J. Botch / In memory of David S. Sroka from David & Joanne Dowdy, Theresa Kolodziej, and Marjorie Naida. Bóg Wam Zapłac!

OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Carol Kostecki for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish. We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

PLEASE DON’T FORGET OUR GROCERIES for the Poor Project! Many people who are having a hard time come to the Rectory for help. Please help us to help them. It is a sad and heartbreaking thing to turn someone away when we run out of groceries! Please leave them in the front vestibule of the church.

SURGE OF THE HEART LIVE EVENT will be held on Sunday, December 18th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Holy Family Parish, 29 Sugarloaf Street in South Deerfield. Confessions to follow. Refreshments and snacks will be available. Our presenter is Jon Leonetti, a nationally recognized Catholic Speaker, radio host and best-selling author of two books entitled Mission of the Family and Your God is Too Boring. Jon travels extensively helping Catholics understand this greatest story ever told – the story of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.

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THE RITES OF THE WIGILIA* SUPPER even dictates the menu. There is always an odd number of courses. This is an old Polish tradition which says that an even number is conclusive – the end – but an odd number implies a continuation and a bounty. Even the number of courses is a symbolic prayer in the Wigilia ceremony for “our daily bread”.
The Wigilia feast is traditionally meatless – for it is the last day of Advent and the meatless fast must be observed. But it is also the eve of great anticipation – the time when God became like us – when Heaven touched earth with great power. So the fast is observed – but the vegetarian meal is festive and bountiful. At least seven courses are included and often as many as eleven or fifteen courses are served!
Another requirement for the Wigilia Supper is that the menu should represent the produce of all the farmer’s land and industry and all the sources of God’s goodness should be represented. Most often there are delicately flavored mushrooms for the woods, fine wheat or millet for the field, sweet apples or plums for the orchard, tasty potatoes, cabbage and beets for the kitchen garden and herring and pike to symbolize the waters. It is important to at least try or sample from every dish in gratitude to God for His kindness and bounty. Not to do so would imply disrespect to God for His mercy!

A typical seven course menu for the rites of Wigilia might include:
1. Herring and marinated mushrooms with herbs.
2. Clear Barszcz and mushroom uszka
3. Broiled Pike with delicate horseradish sauce.
4. Cabbage soup with potatoes lightly flavored with onions.
5. Pierogi filled with spicy cabbage, light cheese, sweet fruit or berries.
6. Fruit compote.
7. Pastries, coffee, nuts and candies.
*Wigilia, the Christmas Eve Dinner, is sometimes also called Wilia.

PASTERKA is the name given to the Polish Midnight Mass. Pasterka means Shepherds Mass and it is filled with all the joy and pageantry the Polish people can muster for this holy commemoration of the moment when God became man. The crib is blessed, processions are held, the bells are rung and the choir is at their best. Everything and everyone is directed to the Holy Christ Child – God Who became like us to save us!
New Lessons each Christmas from Frank Capra Classic
By Brad Larsen

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.
When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
– Clarence (angel second-class)

One of my all-time-favorite movies is “It’s A Wonderful Life,” especially at this time of year. There are very few films that have had as much of an impact on my life as Frank Capra’s classic. Every time I watch this movie I get something new from it.
It teaches business leaders about being successful. George Bailey is the stereotypical entrepreneur. He is a passionate dreamer who works hard to sustain his family’s Building and Loan Company. He becomes cynical when he experiences many of the same problems small-business owners face today.
Bailey suffers financial crises, which could hurt his family and many others. He decides everyone would be better off without him. Clarence shows George what his world would be like if he never existed. He gains a new appreciation for what’s really important and sees the important role he and his company play in so many people’s lives.
Here are my top lessons learned from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which are still as important and resonant now, as when it was first released in 1946.
Selflessness leads to real success. The most important aspect of the movie is that George Bailey never got what he thought he wanted (wealth, world travel, designing monumental structures, etc.). He spent his life sacrificing for his family and his community. Ultimately, he learned that there’s power, success and happiness in selflessness.
The grass is not always greener on the other side. George never does get out of Bedford Falls, even though he dreams of doing so. Instead, he takes over his family business. Staying local ultimately leads to a very satisfying life as he focuses staying vested in his community. George learned that the grass is greenest where it is watered and nurtured.
Always look for the positive. Appreciating what we have is a daily struggle because today’s culture reinforces materialism and naked ambition. George thinks that life has crushed him under its boot with no way out. In reality, George just needed a little reminder to see what he really had and realize that every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.
Everyone makes an impact. It is not only the men and women in the history books, who have influenced the world. Every single person who has ever walked this Earth, has impacted, influenced, and affected history. Every life has an effect on everyone else. We are the cause AND the effect of change in our lives, families, businesses and in the world.
Seek to make a difference. When Clarence shows George what the world would have been like without him and his business, he sees a disaster. He realizes that the world is a better place because of him and his company. Making a difference is usually why we start a business and should always be what we continue to strive for.
Keeping up with the Joneses is not success. George’s ambition to be more, have more and do more creates a lot of his problems, restlessness and unhappiness. This is not to say that we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves, but that maturity requires finding a realistic balance without comparisons.
Real friends change everything. It is extremely hard to get, let alone keep, a good friend. George had many. At the film’s end, his brother and townspeople save George and his business from ruin. George learns that nobody is a failure who has the support and encouragement of family and good friends.
Setting high goals is vital. George says to his future wife, Mary Hatch, “You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.” This is exactly the kind of passion and confidence we need in order to succeed. The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting lofty goals.
Look at yourself, and review your own life. Your life is an epic story that will affect hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in one way or another. Don’t ever think your life is worthless. Realize the ripple effect you create every day and that all you can take with you is that which is given away.
________________________________________
ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA 01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010

PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments! Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.
OUR PARISH HAS A PRAYER LINE under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is available for anyone. To utilize the Prayer Line simply call 413-259-7571 or e-mail nan6539@gmail.com to leave a message with your intention and over 25 intercessors will pray for your intention daily.

WEBSITE: ChroniclesofCzestochowa.wordpress.com Like us on Facebook

CHURCH CHOIRS: The St. Cecilia Choir, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience. We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 12:30. For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com. The Saint Gregory Choir is accepting new members with any level of experience, adults and youths. One need only have a desire to sing in the Mass. We sing sacred chant and 16th century sacred polyphony. We meet to rehearse in the choir loft every Friday evening right after Mass or devotions. We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass. For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.

TRIAD IN NEED OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT – The Triad program at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is in need of medical equipment for distribution to senior citizens in the Franklin County area. We accept canes, wheelchairs, transport chairs (Scooters, HoveArounds), hospital bed tables, rollators, power lift chairs, Hoyer lifts. We cannot accept accessories for CPAP machines, any treatment medications or anything of that nature. Please contact: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, 160 Elm Street in Greenfield or call 774-4726.

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE – Bring the Bible to life joining us on a Holy Land Pilgrimage led by Fr. Wolfgang Seitz, ORC, from March 19 to April 1, 2017. Daily Mass. We will visit Mount Sinai, Haifa, Dead Sea, Galilee, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. Cost: $2980/person dbl. occ. For more information, contact Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, Carrollton, Ohio at contact@opusangelorum.org or call 1-330-969-9900.

PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County. Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar. The intentions for this week are:

     Sunday                    Monday                       Tuesday        Wednesday

Fr.  Aksamit    Our Deacon Candidates     Deacon Ratté      Fr. Roux

            Thursday                Friday                           Saturday
           Fr. Naranjo      Bishop McDonnell      Clergy who are sick

THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

John Yarmac 12/18/1962
Alexander Oleksiewicz 12/18/1967
Victoria Korcz 12/18/1973
Chester J. Kabaniec 12/18/2011
Joseph Oleksiewicz 12/19/1965
Anna Pieciuch 12/19/1967
Josephine Holewa 12/19/1973
Antonia Milewski 12/19/1975
Frank M. Dudek 12/19/1981
Henry P. Siciak 12/19/1995
Magdelena Rudnicki 12/20/1931
Helena Karp 12/20/1955
Michael Saharceski 12/20/1967
Stephen A. Golonka 12/20/1978
John S. Zebrowski 12/20/1989
Katarzyna Choleva 12/21/1950
Kenneth A. Black 12/21/2011
Josepha Ponkowski 12/22/1926
Francis Ponkowski 12/22/1937
Frank Dlugosz 12/22/1959
Joseph W. Ranahan 12/22/2013
Walter Wysk 12/23/1972
Edward Waryas 12/23/1997
Josephine Sojka 12/24/1957
Mary Waraksa 12/24/1958
Viola Nadeau 12/24/1989
Edward F. Margola 12/24/1990
Walter P. Sokoloski 12/2419/92
Rolland Richotte 12/24/1993
Helen Deskavich 12/24/2012
Helen Molongoski 12/24/2012

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers
________________________________________
THE ADORATION CHAPEL of the Most Blessed Sacrament, located in Greenfield, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This would not be possible without volunteers willing to spend one hour per week in the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to set aside that regular quiet time that is so needed in today’s busy world. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Maureen Filiault at 863-4777.

ATTENTION, SINGLE CATHOLIC MEN 18-30 – The Knights of the Holy Eucharist, a community of consecrated brothers dedicated to fostering reverent devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord, invite you to discern your vocation at their House of Formation, located at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. Learn more: knights.org.

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MUSEUM, at 1 State Street in New Haven, has opened its annual Christmas exhibit. The show features crèches from Germany as well as many from the museum’s collection, including a hand-carved cedar nativity scene from Mexico and its popular 120-square-foot Baroque Neapolitan (Italian) diorama. Open daily. Free admission and parking. More at 203-865-0400 or kofcmuseum.org
PILGRIMAGE TO ITALY – A pilgrimage to Italy will leave from Boston on October 15, 2017 returning October 26. Flights from other cities can be arranged. Spiritual Directors are Msgr. Ronald Yargeau and Fr. Timothy Campoli who will offer daily Mass. We will begin in Rome for three nights, take many tours in Rome, and attend an audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. Then we will travel to Monte Cassino, Pompeii, Sorrento, San Giovanni Rotundo, Monte Sant Angelo, Cascia, Assisi, Siena and Orvieto. These holy places are associated with many saints including St. Benedict, St. Philomena, St. Pio, St. Michael, St. Rita, St. Catherine, St. Clare, and St. Francis. We will travel along the famous Amalfi coast, through the vineyards and visit historic towns and sites including the remains of Pompeii. The cost is $4,499 which includes airfare, wonderful hotels for 10 nights, two meals a day, admission fees and tour guides. A bus to Boston may be rented if there is enough interest. Please spread the word and contact Helen Shea Murphy at 413-773-8890 or HelenSheaMurphy@verizon.net with questions and to receive a flyer.

Church Bulletin December 11, 2016

+ Parish Schedule for the Week of December 11, 2016 +

 Sunday, December 11 [Third Sunday of Advent]:    

    8:00 am – Health & Blessings for Sr. Agnes Loretta – int. Pelc Family

  10:30 am + John Kopinto – int. Gary & Nancy Dion

Monday, December 12 [Our Lady of Guadalupe]:

 8:00 am + Mary Kopinto – int. Fritz Family

Tuesday, December 13 [St. Lucy]:

   5:30 pm + Antonina Osmola Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka & Families

Wednesday, December 14 [St. Jude Novena/ St. John of the Cross]:

   5:30 pm + Anne Sojka – int. John & Ted Sojka & Families

Thursday, December 15:

   5:30 pm + Mary Kopinto – int. Richard & Geraldine Ahearn

Friday, December 16:

  5:30 pm + Helen Muszynski – int. Wanda Attesi

Saturday, December 17:

  8:00 am + Mary Kopinto – int. Richard & Geraldine Ahearn

  4:00 pm + Leon Piecuch – int. Parish Council

  6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners

Sunday, December 18 [Fourth Sunday of Advent]:

  8:00 am + Mary Kopinto – int. Fritz Family

10:30 am + Mary Ann Dean – int. John & Rosemary Lukaskiewi

+ KRóLOWO POLSKI MóDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +

Infant Jesus of Prague

Infant Jesus of Prague

     Devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague is devotion to the Child Jesus.  It is veneration of the Son of God, Who in the form of an infant chose a stable for a palace, a manger for a cradle, and shepherds for worshippers.  Our Savior grants special graces to all who venerate His sacred Infancy.

     The image of the Child Jesus known as the “Infant Jesus of Prague” was in reality of Spanish origin.  In the 17th century, this beautiful statue was brought by a Spanish princess to Bohemia and presented to a Carmelite monastery.  For many years this statue has been enshrined on a side altar in the church of Our Lady of Victory in the city of Prague.  It is of wax, and is about nineteen inches high.  It is clothed in a royal mantle, and has a beautiful jeweled crown on its head.  Its right hand is raised in blessing; its left holds a globe signifying sovereignty.

     So many graces have been received by those who invoke the Divine Child before the original statue that it has been called “The Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague.”  We read the following in an old book printed in Kempt:  “All who approach the miraculous statue and pray there with confidence receive assistance in danger, consolation in sorrows, aid in poverty, comfort in anxiety, light in spiritual darkness, streams of grace in dryness of soul, health in sickness, and hope in despair.”

     In thanksgiving for the numerous graces and cures received, the miraculous statue at Prague was solemnly crowned on the Sunday after Easter in 1665.

     What is said of the original statue may be applied also to the images of the “Little King” which are venerated the world over.  From small beginnings, this devotion has grown to great proportions.  The Divine Child attracts an ever increasing number of clients who appeal to Him in every need.

                                        Novena in Honor of the Infant Jesus of Prague

to be prayed from December 17 through December 25*

 O Miraculous Infant Jesus, prostrate before Your sacred image, we beseech You to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts.  Let your tender heart so inclined to pity be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace for which we ardently implore _____________________.  Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden.  For Your sacred infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise You with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.  Amen!

Please pray this novena for our Parish!!

The Rectory Open House

All Parishioners and Friends are cordially invited to the Rectory Open House on Sunday, December 11th from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.

All are welcome to come any time during the day to share in refreshments, good wishes and Holiday Fellowship.

 The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12th and recalls the four apparitions of Mary to a Native American, Saint Juan Diego.  The most startling aspect of the vision is the permanent miracle which is an image of Mary miraculously and inexplicably imprinted on the cloak of St. Juan Diego that remains to this day at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico.  A reproduction of this miraculous icon is enshrined in the front vestibule of our church.

 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13th is the Feast of St. Lucy, an early Christian martyr.  She is the patroness of the eyes and those suffering from disease of the eye.  She will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.

 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14th is the Feast of St. John of the Cross who with St. Teresa of Avila founded the Discalced Carmelite Friars.  His writings soar to great spiritual heights and he is given the title “The Mystical Doctor”.  He will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.

 THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, December 14th.  This is a continuing Novena and all are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of the Saint of hopeless and impossible cases.

 THE PARISH COUNCIL will meet on Wed., December 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the church undercroft.  The Christmas Services and the results of the bazaar will be discussed.

 THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates:  Sunday, December 25th and Sunday, January 1st.  Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 8th.  Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!

 THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the 5:30 p.m. Mass here at our parish.

FOR THE GLORY OF GOD a special donation was made to sponsor our annual St. Nicholas Day Christmas Bazaar as a Candy Cane Patron from the St. Kazimierz Society.  Bóg Zapłac!

 Surge of the Heart Live Event – Mark your calendars for our Surge of the Heart Live Event on Sunday, December 18th from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Holy Family Parish, 29 Sugarloaf Street in South Deerfield.  Confessions to follow.  Refreshments and snacks will be available.  Our presenter is Jon Leonetti, a nationally recognized Catholic Speaker, radio host and best-selling author of two books entitled Mission of the Family and Your God is Too Boring.  Jon travels extensively helping Catholics understand this greatest story ever told – the story of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.

 Triad in Need of Medical Equipment – The Triad program at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is in need of medical equipment for distribution to senior citizens in the Franklin County area. We accept canes, wheelchairs, transport chairs (Scooters, HoveArounds), hospital bed tables, rollators, power lift chairs, Hoyer lifts. We cannot accept accessories for CPAP machines, any treatment medications or anything of that nature. Please contact: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, 160 Elm Street in Greenfield or call 774-4726.

 GROCERIES ARE PROVIDED by our parish for those who often come to the Rectory for help and we are running a little low on some essentials.  Please help us to help the poor by leaving some of the following in the church vestibule:  stew, tuna, soup, ravioli, spaghetti sauce, baked beans, canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, and jam.  All donated goods must be such as requiring no refrigeration and can be stored for a period of time.  Please help those who cannot help themselves!  Bóg Wam Wielki Zapłac!

 THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUs museum, at 1 State Street in New Haven, has opened its annual Christmas exhibit.  The show features crèches from Germany as well as many from the museum’s collection, including a hand-carved cedar nativity scene from Mexico and its popular 120-square-foot Baroque Neapolitan (Italian) diorama.  Open daily.  Free admission and parking.  More at 203-865-0400 or kofcmuseum.org.

 K of C Fleeing Famine Exhibition – During the mid-19th century, some two million people emigrated from Ireland, predominantly to North America, during a chaotic, hurried exodus resulting from a potato blight and devastating famine.  Thousands of Irish emigrants died during the 3,000- mile trans-Atlantic trip, huddled into what became known as “coffin ships.”  Fleeing Famine recounts the saga of the ocean crossing for the Irish emigrants and is on view at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven through September 17, 2017.

THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries.  They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:

 unday, December 11: 8:00 + Jacob Harold Garmalo – int. Family

                                    10:30 + Parda Family – int. Donald Parda

Monday, December 12: + Kathy Whittemore – int. Dana

Tuesday, December 13: – Grace & Blessings for Richard Ahearn – int. Betty Fritz

Wednesday, December 14: + Agnes Golembeski – int. Donald Parda

Thursday, December 15: – Grace & Blessings for Geraldine Ahearn – int. Betty Fritz

Friday, December 16: – Grace & Blessings for Mary Ellen DeVito – int. Betty Fritz

Saturday, December 17: 8:00 – Grace & Blessings for Joseph DeVito – int. Betty Fritz

                                            4:00 + Mary R. Di Mascola – int. Son

 PLEASE NOTE:  The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help.  It also helps the people where the Masses are offered.  Bóg wam zapłać!

 OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Jill Rose-Fish for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish.  We thank you for this holy work of power and love.

 PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments!  Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.

 Our parish has a Prayer Line under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is available for anyone.  To utilize the Prayer Line simply call 413-259-7571 or e-mail nan6539@gmail.com to leave a message with your intention and over 25 intercessors will pray for your intention daily.

THIS BULLETIN is sponsored by the St. Stanislaus and St. Kazimierz Societies.

 PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County.  Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar.  The intentions for this week are:

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Vocations Deacon Tudryn Pope Francis Deacon Nolan Fr. Roach Deacon Bete Pope Francis

The Tilma of Juan Diego

Fr. James B. Buckley, F.S.S.P.

 220px-eternal_father_painting_guadalupe

     On Tuesday, December 12, 1531 when Juan Diego let fall from his tilma a shower of beautiful flowers he had gathered from the frosty crest of Tepeyac Hill, he thought these were the heavenly sign the bishop had requested.  Moments later he discovered that a far more excellent sign, a miraculous image of Our Lady, had been imprinted on the tilma itself.

     In The Wonder of Guadalupe Francis Johnson writes:  “…The tilma of Juan Diego comprises two straight lengths of ayate fiber sewn together in the center and woven so coarsely that when viewed close up it appears to be almost transparent… the life span of the ayate fiber is approximately twenty years.  Yet after four hundred and fifty years, the tilma still shows not the slightest sign of decay.  Its colors remain as vivid and fresh as when they first materialized before Bishop Zumarraga’s astonished gaze, despite the fact that for over a century the sacred image hung unprotected even by glass in a damp, open-windowed chapel the size of an average living room, where it was directly exposed to ceaseless smoke and incense, burnt perfumes and myriads of votive candles flickering beneath it.”  (pp. 116-117)

     An incident which occurred in the Basilica on Sunday, November 14, 1921 further highlights the remarkable preservation of the tilma.  At 10:30 a.m. a powerful bomb concealed in a vase of flowers and placed beneath the sacred image exploded, ripping out chunks of marble from the sanctuary and shattering the stained glass windows of the church.  The image of Our Lady and its thin protective glass covering were, however, completely unharmed.  By contrast, an iron cross on the altar was twisted like a pretzel by the blast and is today displayed in the new basilica for the edification of the faithful and the consternation of the skeptic. (cf. The Wonder of Guadalupe, p. 119)

     Subjected to scientific investigation, the image itself has provoked even more wonder than the preservation of the tilma.  In 1936 Richard Kuhn, a German Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, thoroughly examined two fibers from the image.  Francis Johnson made the following summary of Doctor Kuhn’s conclusions:  “There was no coloring of any kind in the fibers.  The materials used to produce what resembled colors were unknown to science, being neither animal, vegetable nor mineral dyes.  The use of synthetic coloring was ruled out since that was developed three centuries after the creation of the sacred image.” (p. 121)

     In 1981 the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) published An Analysis of the Tilma under Infrared Radiation by Dr. Philip Serna Callahan, a biophysicist at the University of Florida.  Doctor Callahan discovered human additions on the image whose purpose, he believes, was to cover up water damages at the bottom and around the edges of the tilma.  He nevertheless states:  “The original figure, including the rose robe, blue mantle, hands and face… is inexplicable.  In terms of this infrared study, there is no way to explain either the kind of color pigments utilized, or the maintenance of color luminosity and brightness over the centuries.  Furthermore, when consideration is given to the fact that there is no underdrawing, sizing or over-varnish, and that the weave of the fabric is itself utilized to give portrait depth, no explanation of the portrait is possible by infrared techniques.  It is remarkable that after four centuries there is no fading or cracking of the original figure or any portion of the ayate tilma which – being unsized – should have deteriorated centuries ago.” (p. 18)

     By comparison to miraculous cures whose effect can be known to future ages only by testimony, the tilma of Juan Diego has been observed by 17 generations of witnesses.  It has been examined by experts who maintain that its continued existence is an exception to the physical laws of science and who cannot explain according to those same physical laws either how the image was painted or what materials were used to paint it.  The certitude which rests upon the testimony of reliable witnesses is called moral certitude but the certitude derived from the tilma is physical because the evidence can be acquired through one’s own senses.

CHURCH CHOIRSThe St. Cecilia Choir, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience.  We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 12:30.  For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail hgaida@gmail.com. The Saint Gregory Choir is accepting new members with any level of experience, adults and youths. One need only have a desire to sing in the Mass. We sing sacred chant and 16th century sacred polyphony. We meet to rehearse in the choir loft every Friday evening right after Mass or devotions. We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass.  For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738. 

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,

And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.

Frank J. Bocon 12/11/1995

Carl S. Hoynoski 12/11/1996

Kenneth A. Rosewarne 12/11/1998

Dr. Edmund B. Olchowski 12/11/2000

Genevieve E. Krol 12/11/2007

Casimier Kurtyka 12/12/1935

Joseph Kurkulonis 12/12/1949

Anna Yarmac 12/12/1962

Edward Krysiak 12/12/1988

Mary Woznakewicz 12/12/2001

John Nadolny 12/13/1938

Leo Piecuch 12/13/1942

Mary Grygo 12/13/1959

Antonina Hajduk 12/13/1961

Antonina Sojka 12/13/1974

Bernard Kurtyka 12/13/1974

Charlotte Kelley 12/13/1978

Anne Sojka 12/13/2005

Helen B. Krejmas 12/13/2012

Tadeusz Wojtasiewicz 12/14/1950

Anna Yarmak 12/14/1962

Julian Kulesa 12/14/1975

Raymond F. Kervian, Sr. 12/14/1992

  1. Dorothy Fulton 12/14/2006

John Kawecki 12/15/1950

Edwin C. Parry 12/15/1998

Sophie Piecuch 12/16/1928

Arlene J. Letourneau 12/16/1998

Julia Mlewski 12/17/1939

Joseph Dobosz 12/17/1952

Mary Pluta 12/17/1958

Henry A. Gaida 12/17/1973

Rose Dunican 12/17/1996

Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers