716-688-9380 dlesinski@stmaryswormville.org
| 6919 Transit Rd, Swormville, NY 14051
Spring for Success Auction Gala News

Spring for Success Auction Gala News

The Spring for Success Auction Gala will soon be here as it is planned for May 10, 2019 at Brookfield Country Club! This premier fundraising event is an exciting evening that features cocktails, a gourmet dinner, and silent and live auctions.  Invitations have been sent, and tickets are now being sold for 100.00/pp. Contact the rectory @ 688-9380, if you would like to buy a ticket as they tend to sell out quickly.

This is one of the biggest fundraisers for our parish and school community and it wouldn’t be so, if we didn’t  all come together to make it just that!  There are many hands working this event to plan for its success, in addition to the many volunteering that evening to be sure that things run smoothly.

We are currently seeking donations for the live and silent auctions of the evening,  and we really could use your help by donating or soliciting a gift, or hosting a gift gathering party! We’ve attached the 2019 Auction Item Wish and registry along with the 2019 Donation Agreement Form. You’ll see that we look for a variety of new items along with special experiences as we collect items for auction bidding! We hope to have all donations in hand by April 24th so we could start cataloging the items for your online viewing!

2019 REVISED AUCTION Letter to Parishioners

2019 Donor Form

Additional Auction news can be viewed by visiting the Home page of our St. Mary’s website and clicking on the Auction Logo! It’s also here, where you can view our Live Auction properties and buy your $50 Live Auction Chance to win one of these two beautiful properties for your family vacation!

We thank you for your support of our St. Mary’s Community and look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please email StMarysSpringForSuccess@gmail.com.







Meat Raffle Fun!

Meat Raffle Fun!

Saturday, March 9th, was a night to remember for our parish and school community!

The school gym was filled with over 300 people to partake in our First Inaugural Meat Raffle. If you have never attended a  meat raffle, you have set absolutely no expectations for what might happen at one and oh boy,  did this night make for many laughs! Experienced “meat raffle attendees” knew how to prepare. They had plastic steaks hanging on necklaces, special holders on sticks that they raised in the air that held their dollars, picnic coolers at their feet ready to hold their winnings and carry their meat home, and yes, they remembered their large pile of dollars. Most raffle rounds were a $1, with the most expensive round being the finale with $5. When they called your number and you found out you won a ham,  there was a loud noise, big smiles, and the silly thrill of knowing , that yes, you actually won a ham!

Friends and family gathered,  bringing homemade snacks from home for their tables to enjoy and share with others. Walking around, tables were full.  We saw cheese and crackers, shrimp and cocktail sauce, homemade dips and chips, home made cookies, and so many more tasty treats! St. Mary’s provided keg beer, wine and soda with the ticket purchase and craft beers were sold by the can along with pizza slices .

The night proved to be a great fundraiser for St. Mary School and hats off to all who orchestrated this awesome event! Another batch of experienced “meat raffle attendees” has been born and we look forward to upping our game at our next event!






Lent Starts on Ash Wednesday, March 6th- Spiritual Opportunities at St. Mary’s are Abundant

Lent Starts on Ash Wednesday, March 6th- Spiritual Opportunities at St. Mary’s are Abundant


This Wednesday, March 6th, is Ash Wednesday,  when countless numbers of Christians will gather in churches throughout the world for the imposition of ashes, making visible the sign of the cross for all to see on our foreheads.

Lent invites us to recapture a sense of simplicity: to put aside the many things that complicate our lives and focus again on the simple but profound things of God- love, compassion, forgiveness, and justice. The next 40 days calls us to free ourselves of the empty and shallow values that take over our lives and become the people we truly want to be in the eyes of God.

With the Lenten season upon us, there are many opportunities here at St. Mary’s (listed below), to participate in activities that enrich our soul and prepare us for Christ’s Resurrection.

May we have the courage to put aside whatever distracts us from the Lord’s love and grace, to turn away from self- centeredness and fear, and to open up our hearts to the life and peace of the Risen Christ.


St. Mary’s Lenten Schedule

Ash Wednesday, March 6th– There will be 5 Mass/ Service opportunities for ashes:

7 AM, 9 AM, Noon, 5 PM, and 7 PM- (all in the church)

Reconciliation Opportunities: (All reconciliations take place in church)

Every Tuesday during Lent (except 4/16) 7-9 PM

Every Saturday during Lent (except 4/20) 3:00-3:45 PM

Parish Penance Service ( with 5-6 priests) April 8th, 7 PM

Wednesday , April 17th, 5-7 PM

Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction:  Join our Deacons and come and spend an hour with the Lord…

Tuesdays during Lent: 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, and 4/9  7:30-8:30 PM (in the chapel)

Lenten Taize Service, April 4th, 7 PM– Meditative service in prayer,readings and songs.

Stations of the Cross: Every Friday during Lent after 9 AM Mass( 9:30 AM) & 7 PM in the church.

Living Stations of the Cross:  Presented by St. Mary’s 5th Graders on Friday, April 5,  at 7 PM:

Lenten Regulations Reminder

ABSTINENCE: All Catholics who have reached their 14th birthday are bound to abstain totally from meat on the following days: Ash  Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday.

FASTING: All Catholics between their 18th and 59th birthdays are also bound to observe the Law of Fast on the following days: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This practice involves limiting oneself to a single full meal and avoiding food between meals.Light sustenance may be taken on two other occasions in the course of the day.

EASTER DUTY: After they have been initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, all the faithful are bound by the obligation of receiving Communion at least once per year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season, unless for a good reason, it is fulfilled at another time during the year. this obligation may be fulfilled between February 18TH ( 1st Sunday of Lent) and May 27th(Trinity Sunday).

RECONCILIATION: Catholics are bound by an obligation to confess serious sins at least once a year. (Canon Law 989)

OTHER FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR: All other Fridays of the year remain as days of penance, in prayerful remembrance of the Passion of Jesus Christ.









Parish Tree Project- What will you write on your hand?

Parish Tree Project- What will you write on your hand?

This past Sunday, we unveiled what this little tree is all about in our church foyer!

This interactive faith based project, for our St. Mary’s faith based family, will give ALL an opportunity to share what coming to Mass at our parish means to them. “We have something so very special at this parish, and it’s faith, a deep faith. It’s time to share with others inside and outside of our parish, why this faith community is so very special and it’s centered around our Mass. ” commented Father Bob Zilliox.

Over the next few weeks the hands will be multiplying on the tree, as we invite our ministries to answer this special question. We invite you to stop by and start reading! On Sunday, April 7th, we will have over 600 hands in the church foyer ready for our entire St. Mary’s Faith Family to complete our tree!

Our Family Faith Tree will be up for all to enjoy throughout the Easter Season in celebration of our faith, our Church, and Our Lord’s Rising!




St. Mary’s State of the Parish Update

St. Mary’s State of the Parish Update

My Dear St. Mary’s Family,

I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to those that came last week to attend our State of the Parish. Many of you had sent notes and emails letting us know that you could not join us, and we missed your presence at our gathering on February 4th.

The purpose of this evening was to share, as transparently as possible, the attendance and financial health of our parish community, as this has been strained due to recent events. Due to its delicate nature, I preferred to share this with you in a more open setting and in person.

I have received much feedback on the evening, both positive and negative, which has guided me as your Pastor in formulating my review, thoughts and clarification to follow.

Let me first comment that our diocesan assessments have been suspended until further notice. We reached out directly to the Diocese of Buffalo in September, explaining that we anticipated an attendance and financial fallout as a result of our crisis. This was approved by the Diocese in a formal response.  I do want to make this point clear; we are not holding assessments in a protest against the Diocese. The relationship between a parish and a diocese is critical to the benefit of the parish community and we are a diocesan parish and will stay as such. We do plan on revisiting payments on our assessments as soon as we are financially healthy.

The financials shared that evening indicated a decline in our attendance and giving to the parish that has translated into a deficit of $93,185 from June 2018 to December 2018. Should this trend continue; we would be looking at a significantly restructured parish/school community as early as September of 2019. I was not looking forward in having to make those difficult choices on our ministries and programs here at St. Mary’s, as I know how important they all are and they demonstrate who we are as a parish community. As your Pastor, I wanted this information to you as soon as possible.

In sharing this news, I had hoped to appeal to those of you whom I know have either reduced your giving, and or stopped giving to St. Mary’s in protest against the Diocese.  I suggested that it was possible to donate to a specific line item expense. In reviewing this, I now stand corrected from an accounting perspective of this parish and I am sorry for any misrepresentation of the facts.

Clarifying now with you, that weekly contributions cannot be specifically designated to a particular expense/department.   This would be extremely difficult to execute from an accounting perspective and ultimately, could create financial hardship as well with an imbalance as to where we might have money to pay the gas bill, but not a teacher’s salary.  We work very hard to make the most out of every dollar you donate and support all buildings on our campus as needs arise equally.  We would ask for your trust as stewards of your money here at St. Mary’s, to best balance our campus financials allowing all departments to thrive.

 Just as important, was a discussion that evening, regarding how best to reach out to the many family and friends that have left our parish family. The Gospel calls us to be instruments of healing, forgiveness and peace. Without forgiveness, and a desire to live the Gospel, not just in word but in deed, it is impossible to build the Kingdom of God.

As we look forward to the wonderful season of Lent, a season devoted to redemption and healing, Jesus may just be inviting us to experience the best Lent of our lives. If we are to truly heal as individuals and as our parish family of St. Mary’s, we must open our hearts to forgive one another. The old saying is “it takes a village”.   Collectively, if we can all work to bring our family back together, we are doing Christ’s work and will see the fruitful rewards of our labor.

I look forward to more conversations with you; humbly I remain your servant in Christ,

Father Bob Zilliox


Baptism: Are you Living your Commitment?

Baptism: Are you Living your Commitment?

On Sunday, January 13th, we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord.  Deacon Rick Stachura shared his thoughts below on the meaning of Baptism that day in his homily.

“Jesus was perfect in all ways and yet He decided to be baptized by John the Baptist as a witness to what we as Christians need to do to become a disciple of God.”

“Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation that starts us on our spiritual journey of developing a relationship with God, Our Father.” We are obligated to continually developing that relationship with Him throughout our life.

“By virtue of our baptism, we are given a threefold mission of being a  Priest, Prophet and King. As a Priest, we are called to prayer to participate in the mass, not just attend, to also lead others to Christ and to strengthen our relationship with him. As a Prophet, we are called to proclaim the good news to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our country. As a King, we are asked to lookout for those less fortunate, to be good stewards of our natural resources and environment, and to use our time, talents and treasures for the good of the Church and community.”

“Catholic discipleship refers to a committed approach to living a  Christian life within the Catholic Church.The term disciple is generally applied to those Catholics who sincerely attempt to live according to the instructions provided by Jesus in the New Testament. The U.S. Catholic bishops have described disciples as those who ‘ make a conscious, firm decision, carried out in actions, to be followers of Jesus Christ no matter the cost to themselves.”‘ 

So,  how are you developing your relationship with God to become His disciple?

One way is to develop holiness. St. Paul told the Thessalonians,

” This is the will of God, that you be holy.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3

“One way to achieve Holiness is through ‘Holy Moments’. Matthew Kelly offers a host of examples in his book: The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. ”

Here’s a few of his examples:

  • Begin each day with a short prayer of gratitude thanking God for giving you another day of life.
  • Go out of your way to do something nice for your spouse or partner that you would rather not do, as an intentional act of love.
  • Offer the least enjoyable task of your day to the Lord as a prayer for someone who is suffering. 
  • Control your temper, even if justified in losing it.
  • Encourage someone, coach someone, praise someone, affirm someone.
  • Be patient with the person who drives you crazy.
  • Do someones else’s chores.
  • Teach someone how to pray.
  • Make healthy eating choices.
  • Get honest with yourself about your self-destructive habits

“Baptism, is so much more than the actions of pouring water over someones head and pronouncing a few words. It initiates us into a new life in Christ. It re-establishes a right relationship with God. It makes us children of God, heirs to eternal life. It challenges us to be Priest, Prophet and King. It challenges us to live as His disciple.”

“Take some time to think about your baptism and what it really means to you. Take an inventory of your spiritual life and ask if you are committed to being a disciple of God? And if you need to make some changes, then make a commitment to work on those one at a time this year. Look for opportunities to create at least one HOLY MOMENT in each day and you will begin your journey to achieving holiness as a disciple of Christ.”

“May the graces of our Father bring us closer to Him through the Holy Moments in our lives. Amen.”