Fr. Gerard’s Weekly Column: 5/26/24


We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

The last three weekends featured the joyful celebration of First Holy Communion for the children of our parish and Saint Rose of Lima School. Those same children also participated in the traditional celebration of the May Crowning of the Blessed Mother. We are a church of sacraments and traditions, and they are the primary means in which we and our children encounter the divine community of the Holy Trinity. In these acts of passing on faith we are not just teaching our children to believe in God, instead we are reinforcing the truth that through the sacramental life we find ourselves “in God.”

In our second reading today, Saint Paul speaks of Christians being “led by the Spirit of God” into an “adoption,” where we, like Jesus, speak of God as “Abba, Father!” The reference to God as “Abba” communicates the idea of nearness to a loving, trusting parent. In this intimate relationship, we become “children of God,” considered literally as “heirs of God,” participating with Christ in the Father, Son, and Spirit relationship. Rooted in our Christian baptism and nurtured by faith throughout our lives, we enjoy the blessings of life with our triune God. On the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we renew our life as children of God adopted into the Holy Trinity.

THANKS FOR FAITH FORMATION MINISTRY – The completion of our celebrations of First Holy Communions also marks the symbolic “end of the year” for our Faith Formation programs. In reality the work never ends. Registration for the Fall has been underway for several weeks and we are currently undergoing preparations for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Fall. 

That being said I want to publicly thank Mrs. Grace Rozea for her leadership as the administrator of the Faith Formation program. She works tirelessly through the year to provide a program of quality and sound pastoral care. Our parish community is very blessed by her leadership as well as the support of her staff, Kathy, Nancy, her daughter Grace and all of our catechists.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – This week I was informed that Bishop Barres has decided to reassign Fr. Anthony to a new ministry. The Bishop is appointing him as an Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s parish in Manhasset, where he will be given the responsibilities of serving their parish High School. This appointment is unexpected and a surprise to me and Fr. Anthony. Fr. Anthony has been a blessing to us, and we all know of the impact he has made on our parish. His departure will truly be a loss for us. I am extremely grateful that he accepted the invitation to join me here three years ago and I have valued the time that we have had together. His transfer of assignments is effective June 26th. We will plan a proper farewell for Fr. Anthony and will inform you of those plans when they are in place.

In addition, Bishop Barres has appointed Fr. Frank Zero to serve as our next Associate Pastor.  Fr. Frank is currently the Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst. His first assignment was at Holy Family in Hicksville, where I served as his pastor. While I did not ask for his appointment here, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Fr. Frank again. He is a hard-working priest who is very excited by the opportunity to once again be in a parish with a school and vibrant Faith Formation program. Fr. Frank also succeeded me as the diocesan scout chaplain and looks forward to engaging with our parish’s chartered scouting units. Fr. Frank is eager to join us and will be a welcome addition to our parish.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY – Throughout this weekend let us be mindful of and thankful for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to our country. Our nation is truly blessed by their selfless sacrifices. May the Lord reward them for their goodness.