Our Family Faith Formation Office wrapped up a busy Easter Season as they prepared many children, and a few adults, for the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. If you have been a parishioner here at St. Mary’s through an Easter Season, you know this is another beautiful time of year to attend our Masses.
“Ninety students celebrated receiving their 1st Eucharist during our Masses”, commented Christina Egleston, Sacrament Coordinator. St. Mary’s integrates the Sacrament of 1st Eucharist into our Mass intentionally. As this Sacrament is another Initiation into the Church itself, St. Mary’s believes all should be present to welcome and congratulate our new Communicants as they celebrate their very special day.
Preparation for 1st Eucharist has had some wonderful changes in the last year. The new program offers a fresh, exciting, engaging and fun method to learning about our Catholic Faith and The Eucharist. Communicants can prepare with a parent in their own home, both home and Sacrament Preparation Session, or come to all the Sacrament Preparation Sessions offered here at St. Mary’s Parish Center. These sessions are hands-on lesson activities, supervised by Christina. With all of the options mentioned, there is great flexibility to schedule Sacramental Preparation for the busy family.
Our Confirmation Mass was celebrated on Sunday, May 19th, by the Reverend Peter J. Karalus, Vicar General, Rev. Robert W. Zilliox JCL, Rev. Andrew Kozminski, Parochial Vicar and Deacon Rick Stachura.
Over 120 Confirmation Candidates were Confirmed on this beautiful day. Michael Morrissey and his band, led the music ministry and one of our own Confirmation Candidates, Conner Stroth, was featured by playing the saxophone. Connor frequently plays in the band at our Sunday 6 p.m. Masses. Many other Confirmation candidates participated in different parts of the celebration as well; Gift Bearers, Ushers, and the Prayers of the Faithful.
Rev. Karalus spoke to the candidates on major milestones in our faith’s history by taking us back through a “Catholic time travel” in his homily. He highlighted the faith milestones on Jesus’s journey in life, pointing out that in each of these milestones; Jesus was living the life that God had asked of him even in His youth. Jesus did not wait to fulfill His discipleship until the end of His life. His choices along the way, from very early on, were to speak up, and get involved. Using this analogy, Rev. Karalus, commented; “that a disciple of Christ is not something that you will achieve in the end of your life or you should wait to become as you get older, you are a disciple of Christ now, and have been since your Baptism. Do not wait to get involved in doing good in the world around you and in your parish. Step up, make those choices and live the life of a disciple right now.”
After blessing each candidate and renewing their Baptismal promises, he offered many meaningful comments and reflections that made a wonderful difference in their holy celebration of Confirmation.
If you would like to learn more about our Sacramental Preparation Program, our Faith Formation program here at St. Mary’s, or how to form your faith at any age on your journey in life, contact, The Family Faith Formation Office @ 716- 688-0599.Registration is now open for faith formation 2019-2020!
Now that we have collected your updated emails, we will be sending our parishioners a survey asking for your feedback on our parish communications. This will be sent out to the parish on Monday, June 17th. We thank you in advance for your kind reply as we are excited to improve on how we share the latest news and events with you! We are hoping for 100% parish participation so we can fully represent all our St. Mary’s faith family as we analyze our results and improvements for future communications.
If you do not receive our survey, you may participate by filling out the survey link listed below.
This Communication Survey will be open for your feedback through Sunday, July 7th!
February 16th, 2019, was a very special day for Michaela Staskiewicz as she was recognized for her dedicated service to St. Mary’s Parish as Altar Server of the Year. Michaela was invited to St. Joseph’s Cathedral with her family to celebrate Mass and participate in serving at that Mass as well by carrying Bishop Malone’s Crosier. She was rewarded with a beautiful medal for her special achievement. After Mass, she and her family attended the reception in the Convention Center with Father Bob and all the other Altar Servers of the Year from different parishes.
Every year, each parish in the Diocese, has the ability to recognize an altar server of excellence and dedication to the ministry. Father Bob, commented on the criteria for selection, “I look at the character of the server, their dedication, their desire to love and serve, their devotion to the Eucharist, the dignity in which they carry themselves in this role, and the desire to step forward to help when there are additional needs. Michaela met every bit of that criteria.”
Michaela has been serving since she was in 4th grade, which is when the invite to serve is offered to our young students and parishioners here at St. Mary’s. You will find her on the altar serving an average of two to four times per month.
She was baptized at St. Mary’s and has been here ever since. She intends to continue serving until Confirmation. At that time, she is considering continued service to her parish by possibly becoming a Eucharistic Minister, like her mom. Both parents are heavily involved in service to St. Mary’s for giving of their time, setting a beautiful example for Michaela! Peter is an usher and Sue, a Eucharistic minister. Michaela finds that serving, “keeps her involved.” She also comments that “she gets more out of Mass and better understands it by serving; it helps her meet new people and friends from many different schools.” We know this to be true as St. Mary’s faith community is a mix of many friends in Christ from all over our surrounding community. Our parish is a true family of friends in Christ.
Michaela stays busy with school, on her school’s Cross Country team, and has played piano since Kindergarten and now plays clarinet as well. As a busy student, she makes sure she finds the time to be present and serve from her heart for our parish and for our Church.
Please join us in congratulating Michaela when you see her at Mass and thanking all of our altar servers for their dedicated service! It takes love of Church to commit your time to this ministry, and our youth exemplify that love when they make serving a priority in their life!