A Publication of the Pastoral Staff
* ALL MASSES ARE NOW IN THE CHURCH
Saturday 5PM (Church)
Sunday 8AM (Church & Streamed)
10AM (Church), 12PM (Church)
Monday - Friday 9AM (Church)
8AM (Streamed from Chapel)
Saturday 8:30AM (Church & Streamed)
[All Mass intentions are listed
on our parish calendar.]
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29
6PM to 7PM (Church)
or any time by appointment
*No Confessions on Saturday
Church Open Daily 8AM to 8PM
(to 2PM on Sundays)
The Holy Rosary Daily (Church)
following the 9AM Mass
[except if there is a Funeral]
First Saturday Rosary (Church)
prayed before 9AM Mass
Eucharistic Healing Service (Church)
2nd Tuesday of the month
7:30PM - 9PM
Family Adoration (Church)
[for families with young children]
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month
5-6PM, 6-7PM & 7-8PM
Family-led prayer for children
before the Blessed Sacrament.
Baby Abigail Elliot
and Henry Keidel
For the repose of the soul of:
and Leonard J. Augello
[Friday, October 23, 10AM]
Leonard J. Augello
[Saturday, October 24, 9:15AM]
by Father Rob
At the outset, let me retract any critical comments I may have made this week about the situation with the Holy Father. When I first heard the soundbites from the documentary, I rushed to judgment saying that "I take a poor view" of what I perceived to be his contention with Church teaching. I should have known better; his detractors were saying the same, and lobbyists were celebrating. In any case, we were visited here last night by a friend who told us about an article, which argues that Pope Francis' words were indeed taken out of context. After doing some research myself, I have found that to be true. What follows are my thoughts on what happened. I hope they bring you some relief in these already difficult days, and that they help you - as penning them has helped me - to resist the temptation to follow the marching orders of the Pope's harshest critics.
You will have heard by now that a documentary on Pope Francis released this week entitled, Francesco, contains footage of the Holy Father saying things in reference to people with homosexual orientation, which, taken as they are presented, have shaken the Church. The film makes it seem as if the Holy Father condones same-sex marriage. But looking more closely at the details of the interview, one finds that the editors of the documentary spliced together different pieces of different conversations to give the impression that the Pope is breaking with the teaching of the Church on marriage.
The first part of his statement, for example, is taken from his words about how some parents feel pressured at times to disown their children who experience same-sex attraction. To them he said, "Homosexuals have a right to be part of a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it." Understood in that context, he is absolutely right. No parent should feel they must shun their child because he or she experiences same-sex attraction. Taken out of its original context, as it was in the documentary, this statement could read as a kind of endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle. But, again, he was speaking about how homosexual children have a right to remain in their families while they wrestle with their orientation.
To make things worse, that sentence was paired with another portion of the same 2019 interview, also taken out of context, in which Pope Francis was speaking about creating civil unions. He is recorded as saying, "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered." It may seem as if the Holy Father wants to equate same-sex unions with marriage, but the opposite is true. Looking at the original transcript of the conversation, one finds that he is actually critiquing the problems with the term “gay marriage.” The Pope's words just before the quoted lines were, “I always defended the doctrine, right? Curiously, in the ‘gay marriage’ law, I always defended [that] the doctrine, ‘gay marriage,’ is incongruous." He calls, in some cases, for legal recognition of civil unions precisely in order to prevent homosexual partnerships from being referred to as marriage.
Remember that in 2016, Pope Francis said, “There can be no confusion between the family as willed by God, and every other type of union.” In a joint declaration with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in that same year he stated, “The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman.” And in Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis stated: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
Later in 2016: “When speaking of marriage as the union of man and woman as God made it - as an image of God and man and woman - the image of God is not man; it is man with the woman together. They are one flesh when they join in marriage. This is the truth.” And in 2017, the Holy Father gave a lengthy interview, in which he remarked, "Marriage between people of the same sex? “Marriage” is a historical word. Always in humanity, and not only within the Church, it’s between a man and a woman… we cannot change that. This is the nature of things. This is how they are. Let’s call them “civil unions.” Let’s not play with the truth. It’s true that behind it there is a gender ideology… But let’s say things as they are: Marriage is between a man and a woman. This is the precise term. Let’s call unions between the same sex “civil unions.”
The problem arising because of the portrayal (or rather betrayal) of the Holy Father in the documentary is that the secular media will give themselves (as they already have) to heralding what they perceive to be a kind of "gospel according to Pope Francis." One author said he commends the Pope's "great act of courage," congratulating him for "breaking from tradition." Ugh. Though it is hard to blame them, since many Catholics also read the documentary in the same way, as if it were an encyclical. But it is not. It is sensationalism, and one hopes the Holy Father will reserve to himself all editorial rights next time!
As for Pope Francis' actual thoughts about the legal protection of same-sex couples, I do think his intentions are good. One may disagree with his belief that creating a civil union law will protect natural marriage, but it is true that in many places in the world the term "gay marriage" does compete with the Church's understanding that marriage was created by God when He made the human person male and female, whereas the term "civil union" may arguably help to clarify the distinction between the two. It is a matter open to debate.
As for the Holy Father himself - often ambiguous and less than skillful in his dealings with the media - I take comfort nonetheless in remembering that he is the Pope chosen for us in these times by the Holy Spirit, because we believe that the Church and Her conclave are holy. We know also that some news outlets use the words of the Holy Father to promote their own agendas, abusing his graciously speaking with them in the first place, so we shouldn't be shocked by what we're hearing from the media. Why would we be surprised that those who distort marriage should also distort the words of its defender?
SANCTUARY CANDLE [Robert Anthony Mercurio +]
The candle will burn for the whole week.
ROSE FOR LIFE [N.]
The rose will remain in the vase for the week.
BREAD AND WINE [Dorothy A. Hurley+]
The bread and wine will be used for the whole week.
Saint Therese [N.]
Saint Anthony [N.]
Saint Jude [The Joseph Family]
The Holy Family [N.]
Sacred Heart of Jesus [N.]
The Blessed Mother [The Tuckey Family]
These large devotional candles by each of the shrines in our church burn for the whole week.
We will be decorating the inside of the church and parish grounds, including Our Lady’s Prayer Garden, with chrysanthemums for the fall season. We invite you to memorialize these mums in memory of a loved one who has died or to mark a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. A notation of these memorials will be made on this bulletin page at the end of October. The suggested offering is $10.
Brick pavers in Our Lady's Prayer Garden are available to be engraved in memory of a loved one, to mark a special occasion, or commemorate a living person or family. The offering is $130.
30th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
by John Linge
UPDATES AND NEWS
As you know, we've been hosting the homeschooling families of the Catholic Schoolhouse co-op, here at Christ the King. Every Wednesday, some 39 families make use of the 2nd floor of our school building to educate their 100+ children. Social distancing and CDC guidelines all being observed, they have been able to make good use of the space and we are just thrilled to have them.
We are in the process of finalizing a way for some of the young people of our CYO program to use the gym again. As you know, we've put the program on hold during this experience of COVID. While there will be no games or scrimmages, some drills and practice formations will be employed to enable the children to be active and socialize a bit, which we hope will be good for them.
BUSINESS AND FINANCES
We note an increase in Sunday donations, praise God, which we believe has something to do with the fact that amongst those returning to Sunday Mass are some visiting from other parishes and putting cash in the baskets.
We are also finding, however, that more people are making use of RebelGive, the automated donation platform found on our parish website under GIVE. It's taken a few months, but the culture of online giving is beginning to take root and grow.
I (Father Rob) am also happy to say that the parish has been the beneficiary of a number of larger donations over this past month as well. Parishioners like yourselves have written some more substantial checks in addition to their weekly stewardship, most of which for amounts between $500 and $1,000, others for as much as $11,000 and $15,000 from families who wish not to be named publicly. On behalf of those who will benefit from their generosity, I am just so grateful.
I spoke with a friend of mine this week who is a pastor of a wealthier parish, and he shared this story with me. He said, "I mentioned to the people that our live stream setup would cost $90,000, and the next morning one parishioner had written a check for $30,000 and another for $50,000." "Well," I said, "goodness gracious! Must be nice!" But in reality, I was also thinking to myself, "Our live stream is just as good, and we set it up for only $6,000." (I think he and his parishioners may have been taken for a ride.) Still, while I promise always to try my hardest never to let that happen to us (with the help of our Pastoral Staff and Facilities Manager who are second to none), I do thank God for those of you who are nevertheless able to give more and do just that!
SUFFOLK COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY
I (Father Rob) have written a letter to Jeff Szabo, CEO of Suffolk County Water Authority as well as County Executive, Steve Bellone, disputing what we believe to be overages concerning our water bill for July and August. The charges for those two months were exorbitantly higher, indicating either an underground leak or a faulty line meter. After hiring Suffolk Water Connection to inspect our lines and services, who determined that there was no leak, we then replaced the line meter. September's charges have returned to normal, indicating that the meter was indeed faulty. We are, however, asking Mr. Szabo and SCWA to adjust our bills for July and August, and to reimburse the expense incurred by the parish while examining the property for leaks. If you would please keep this intention in your prayers.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
As you know, past Grand Knight and parish Trustee, Mike Lucarelli, passed away sadly after contracting the COVID virus. Those of us who knew him have been mourning the loss. He was a man of joy and generosity. It is a great loss. But on October 3rd, we celebrated a Memorial Mass for him, which began with a blessing of the American flag and the flag of the Knights of Columbus, which flew at half mast for Mike all of last week. And I (Father Rob) would like, simply, to thank the Knights for all that they are to this parish and to the greater Commack area - and especially for the way they continue to honor Mike Lucarelli by carrying on as good servants of the Church and of the country, in that order.
Linda has been bringing flowers to Mary in our church for 50 years, and now to the statues of Saint Therese and the Sacred Heart of Jesus as well. Every Friday, she brings the perfect bouquet to each of the shrines with such devotion. She is very humble, and would not want us to thank her, but we do! We are just so grateful.
Lord Jesus Christ, King of our hearts,
have mercy on us!