Fr. Gerard’s Weekly Column: 6/9/24


We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

I recently discovered a book titled, Saintly Solutions to Life’s Common Problems: From Anger, Boredom, and Temptation to Gluttony, Gossip, and Greed by Joseph M. Esper. The book includes many sins, temptations, problems, challenges, and life situations commonly experienced by people today, along with inspiration and practical advice from the example of the saints. In a chapter dedicated to the problem of uncertainty, I found this quote from our parish patroness, St. Rose of Lima. “When God is consulted sincerely, He gives a clear answer”

In today’s second reading, St. Paul is inspired to give one of those clear answers. Whatever earthly issue we are struggling with – that concern is temporary. What is right in front of us understandably becomes the focus of our attention. While we cannot ignore responsibilities and genuine concerns, our faith calls us to look beyond them. All of what we see and experience is transitory, whether it be good or bad. What we cannot see with human capabilities, we see and experience through faith, and it is those eternal things that we find consolation and hope.

Like much of my preaching, I write these words for myself. I am mindful of the interchange between Jesus and the sisters Martha and Mary. Jesus has been invited to dine at their home and as he visits, Martha is busy about the preparation of the meal and Mary takes the position of the student disciple, sitting at our Lord’s feet. When Martha asks Jesus to tell her sister to come and assist her, Jesus famously responds, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her.” I know that I can be preoccupied and worried about the many responsibilities and concerns of my life. I am often tempted to, “get things done,” and pray later. The opposite order, however, is the right one. The transitory things can wait, the eternal relationship with the Lord and my covenant relationship needs to be tended to first. I, like many of you, look to the summer days ahead as an opportunity to reorient my priorities and my focus to that which is eternal.

Through the intercession of St. Rose, may our parish community consult God seriously and listen for the clear answer that comes from a true discernment between what is transitory and what is eternal.

CELEBRATING FR. ANTHONY – As I announced a few weeks ago, Fr. Anthony will begin a new assignment at the end of this month and will be moving to St. Mary’s in Manhasset. His final Family Mass will be on Father’s Day, June 16. Our children and families will have a chance to pray for Fr. Anthony and thank him. On Sunday June 23, Fr. Anthony will celebrate his final Sunday Mass at 12:00 p.m. A farewell reception will follow.

CHURCH DOOR UPDATE – The first payment has been made, allowing the planning and production process to begin. The manufacturer has set a target date of August 23rd, the feast of St. Rose of Lima. We have received 88% of our stated goal of funds needed for the project. I am so grateful that there has been such a generous response. Like any project that supports the mission and needs of our parish, it’s not the size of a donation that matters as much as the participation and support of many. As of this writing 90 families or individuals have contributed to the campaign. If you have not already done so, please consider contributing to this necessary capital project.

ORDINATION OF PRIESTS – This weekend Bishop Barres will ordain two men to the priesthood. Please pray for Deacon Joseph Lettieri and Deacon Dennis Gannon as they are ordained priests of our diocese. Pray too for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, so that the church on Long Island might be served with the sacraments.

LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR – Thank you for your support and welcome of the Little Sisters of the Poor at mass last weekend. They appreciated your hospitality and generosity. If you did not get a chance to donate to them last week, please drop your contribution off at the rectory.