July 17, 2022: Church Updates
I hope this message finds the Parish well and enjoying the beautiful days of summer.
I write to inform you of a couple of changes here at St. Cassian Parish. I would like to introduce Mr. Nicholas Fallivene who will be the Parish's new Director of Faith Formation. This is a newly created position here. These changes at the Parish will be part of our Parish's pastoral restructuring. Mr. Fallivene will have several responsibilities, in that he will be directing our religious education program; lead the sacramental preparation, as well as Adult and Family Faith formation. In the restructuring process, the director of religious education position, which had been a part-time job this past year, is now part of Mr. Fallivene's responsibility. At the same time, directing our evangelization program is also absorbed in the restructured position.
Nicholas Fallivene comes to us with great educational experience. He has been a special education public school teacher since he graduated college. He is also a devout and practicing Catholic who is very excited to join our staff. To say that he brings great energy to the position would be an understatement!
After four years, Mr. Gregory Hann, who was the Director of Evangelization, is no longer with us. Also, Miss Mary Flanagan, the Director of Religious Ed last year, has taken a new position closer to her home. I want to thank them both for their service to the Parish and I want to welcome Mr. Nicholas Fallivene to our Saint Cassian staff.
Another change that I want to inform the Parish of is that, while we just began our summer Mass schedule of Sunday Masses at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, and 11:30 am, after long thought and consideration, that will be the permanent schedule moving forward. In years past, we would ordinarily return to our four Masses on Sunday, but the current summer schedule will be permanent.
Some have asked me why we are changing this permanently. The answer is simple: after the pandemic, our weekly congregation numbers have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, while Msgr. Anthony Kulig will continue to help at the Parish, generally, it has become more difficult to find “helper” priests when they are needed. Finally, we will also be able to reduce some costs by keeping the schedule.
The time for CCD classes on Sundays will change slightly to 10:30 am; the choir will be singing regularly during the 11:30 am Mass, and the children's Liturgy of the Word will be within the 9:30 am Mass.
Just a reminder that the celebration of the Feast Day of St. Cassian will take place at the 11:30 am Mass on Sunday, September 25. Bishop Manuel Cruz will be the main celebrant and homilist.
Again, I just wanted to keep you all updated on what is going on at the Parish and let you know that I am praying for your during these summer months, as we continue to return to normal, especially come September.
Blessings to you,
Fr. Marc A. Vicari,
June 19, 2022: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, godfathers and
those in our lives who have been like a father to us. For all those fathers who have left us, we
remember you in our prayers today.
This weekend we celebrate The Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, also
traditionally known as Corpus Christi. A couple reminders about what we believe regarding the
Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus:
- We believe that the Host is truly Jesus and not a symbol of Him.
- The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all Divine Beings of the same “substance,” meaning that they have the being. This is what “consubstantial” means.
- “Transubstantial” means to “change substance or being.” For example, when the bread changes into the Body and Blood of Jesus it is transubstantiation.
- Jesus promised us that if we “eat His Body and drink His Blood” we will have eternal life.
- Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper and He becomes present at every Mass.
Perhaps we can all spend a little extra time in prayer this weekend, thanking Our Lord for
becoming present to us, and, hopefully, we never tire of this great gift and miracle.
Just a reminder - our Summer Mass Schedule begins next Sunday June 26th. The schedule is
the same as it has been in the past years: Sunday Masses are: 7:30AM, 9:30AM, and 11:30AM.
Saturday evening Mass stays at 5:30 pm and confessions are still being heard on Saturdays
from 4:15 to 5:00PM.
Congrats as well to our St. Cassian school graduates and all graduates in our parish. Well
Fr. Marc A. Vicari,
June 12, 2022: Ninth Sunday of Easter
Dear Followers of Christ,
Today we celebrate The Ascension of the Lord. This feast may seem confusing. In the western part of the United States, this feast is celebrated on Sunday. In the eastern United States, The Ascension of the Lord was celebrated last Thursday, the traditional forty days after Easter. The feast was moved to Sunday because it is a major feast of Jesus and could be celebrated by the majority of Catholics.
The first reading from Mass today is from the Acts of Apostles. This text, Acts 1:1-11, tells the story of the Ascension of Christ Jesus. There is one phrase that always captures my attention, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” I am always with the disciples who must have been so intrigued and confused about all of Jesus’ actions. His death was not expected and then he rises from the dead and they wondered about the meaning of his resurrection. And now he disappears into the sky! Can you imagine what the disciples must have thought about that?
Many years ago, I had a dream about the Ascension. I was in a crowded Jerusalem street in the market place, shoulder to shoulder with people in the hustle and bustle of life. Suddenly at the end of the street amid all the people, Jesus began his ascending into heaven. As he left the ground, he turned to all the people in the crowded street. He seemed to look into all of our eyes at once, including mine. As he left, he said to all of us, “Okay, you guys, you do it, you take over
I always found this dream so empowering. I felt he was talking to me in this very vivid dream. As the years go by, I still believe he was speaking to every one of us who follow him. He was asking us to take his place and to do the things he did on earth. He wants us to learn how to heal people, how to invite people into forgiveness, how to raise the dead and offer his touch to the marginalized. He wants us to find in him a gracious way of being tender to people and to put down our armor that keeps people at arm’s length. He wants us to find his peace in the world by working for justice. He wants us to create community and make sure every person belongs in such a space. He wants every person to realize that no matter who they are, the Father has created them, and in the end, they will be just fine.
I believe this dream is not just whimsy. The Ascension is a call and challenge for all of us to get to work. This work means that we witness to all people that we believe in Christ Jesus who walked the earth and that his mission is worthwhile. The Ascension is not meant for us to look up into heaven and reminisce about the past. This feast means that we will focus on the ground, where the work needs to be accomplished in Christ Jesus. So get to work, everyone, and enjoy your life inspired by God for the benefit of our poor, lonely and marginalized. Don’t look up; look around.
Blessings to you,
Used by permission of Fr. Ronald Raab, C.S.C.
May 22, 2022: Sixth Sunday of Easter Ascension
Dear Followers of Jesus,
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. This phrase of the gospel reminds us that following Jesus is not always easy. God’s love is countercultural. God’s love and commandments invite us deeper into union with God that does not always follow our human lives. Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit will give us all peace, a peace that the world cannot give. This peace is far reaching in the world and deep within our lives. This peace forms our conscience and penetrates hate, violence and pride.
Sometimes the peace the Holy Spirit offers us goes against our vision of life, our politics and even what we have learned. If we remain rooted in God through personal prayer, the Eucharist and the riches of our own baptism, a deep and abiding peace will flourish in our lives. We need a new reliance in this Easter season on the reality of God, our place in God’s life and a deeper understanding of our reliance on the Holy Spirit.
God invites us to live fearlessly. We should not be afraid, reluctant or bashful about living our faith in the world. We are given all we need to live in faith. Sometimes we forget that the Holy Spirit is present to us and that the Holy Spirit will be the force of comfort and strength we need to live out of our own needs, to live a life that is reflective and loving in our world.
Easter is a sheer gift to us. Yet, we hesitate to commit our lives even when we are sure of the Lord’s presence and his gifts of reconciliation, salvation and new life. We cannot let this gift of mercy and love be ignored by us. This gift must be taken to our hearts and shared in our daily lives. Love is what we are looking for in life. Peace comes to us when we are willing to offer such faith, hope and love to others. Peace is also not just an illusive gift from God. Peace comes to us when we believe that God is more powerful than our sin, our doubt and our grief. Peace is incredibly beautiful and shows within us when we finally move toward it. We all know people who exude the peace of Christ in our daily interactions. Perhaps we can imitate them.
Love, peace and mercy are all gifts to the first disciples and it is those gifts from God, from the resurrection of Christ, which formed the early Church. I wonder what will form the Church in the future if we do not find these gifts in our hectic lives? We worship on the shoulders of those who believed before us. Our gift to this next generation of believers will certainly reveal to our children and grandchildren what we take seriously and what we believe today.”
Writing used with written permission of Fr. Ronald Raab, C.S.C.
May 15, 2022: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Easter greetings to all of you. He is Risen. He is truly Risen!
I wanted to take this opportunity to say how wonderful Holy Week, the Triduum and Easter Sunday have been. It was truly special to see so many of you stay on Holy Thursday to spend some quiet time with the Lord and then to see many more of you than usual join us for the very moving Easter Vigil mass. Overall, the number of people attending all masses was so much more like ‘normal’ since the pandemic turned our lives upside down. I pray we continue to worship together every week.
This Sunday we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This feast highlights the Mercy of our God, which very much goes hand-in-hand with the salvation won for us by the Paschal Mystery. Hopefully, we find great comfort in knowing that God loves us so much that his “mercy endures forever.”
May the joy of the Easter Season remain with you these days and always.