News & Events
Back The Epiphany of the Lord
Friday, January 4, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron
A few weeks ago, I was assisting former “Lost Boy” of Sudan, Fidele’s son with his homework. He had a reading assignment. The narrative was about the Spanish Traditional Celebration of Epiphany. It included the facts that though the birth of Jesus, was celebrated within the church settings on the 25th of December, it was the feast day of Epiphany celebrated January 6,th that the children really looked forward to. That celebration included adults mimicking the astrologers from the East who in full costume would bring gifts to children. It included a full day of visitation of friends and relatives. More locally, the feast of Epiphany was often referred to as “Little Christmas.” Its origin of course, is from the Gospel narrative of St. Matthew. Foreign astrologers notice miraculous happenings in the nighttime sky. The brilliance of a unique star, that in their tradition, indicated the birth of a new king. Preparing gifts they set out on an investigatory journey that brings them first to the palace of Herod and then to the humble dwelling of Mary. In Matthew’s account, there is no mention of a manger or shepherds. They bow in homage and present their gifts, which many have reflected were gold for a king, incense for worship of a god and myrrh for preparation for mortal burial. This story in Matthew sets the scene for Herod’s betrayal by the Magi, furry and insecurity that someone may take his throne, his decree for the death of the “holy innocence,” and Mary and Joseph’s escape as refugees into Egypt. On this the Feast Day of the Twelfth Day of Christmas, we remember the many around the world who, like the Holy Family, need to flee for their lives. My heart will forever be moved by the thousands of “Lost Boys,” many of whom died along the journey, who fled for safety from their war torn land of the Sudan and the many “Invisible Children” who fled the “lord’s resistance army” child soldier’s recruitment in northern Uganda. More currently we lift up the many young families who have fled the violence and terror of rampant drug cartels in Mexico who seek only the safety and security of the lives of their families and children. Holy Family, refugees into Egypt, rescue them.
FROM BISHOP RICHARD J. MALONE: Dated December 21, 2018. Dear Parishioners, On December 20th, the independent Diocesan Review Board met and received the report of investigator Scott F. Riordan who was asked to investigate an allegation of clerical sexual abuse of a minor against Rev. Ronald Sajdak. As a result of the report and the recommendation of the independent Diocesan Review Board, I have determined that the allegation of child sexual abuse against Rev. Ronald Sajdak has not been substantiated and I am happy to return him to his active ministry as Pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Harris Hill. I ask God’s abundant blessings upon you during the Advent days of hope and joyful expectation. Yours sincerely in Christ,…. Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo.
OUR PARISH PASTORAL LEADERSHIP TEAM meets together frequently to pray, discern, affirm and support the work of God’s Spirit, here within our parish. Our Pastoral Leadership Team includes our Pastor and Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun, our Parochial Vicar; Pastoral Associate, Amy Vossen-Vukelic; John Wilde, Director of Life Long Faith Formation; Deacon Thomas Friedman; Deacon Carmelo Gaudioso; Dr. Robert Cluckey, School Principal; Lydia Zielinski, Youth Minister; and Debbie Daigler, RCIA Coordinator. My special thanks goes to Fr. Daniel, who as Temporary Parish Administrator, had to continue a number of projects that were set in motion earlier this fall. These included the outdoor church lighting and indoor church ceiling light project, along with the initial modifications to our campus phone system. Most importantly, Fr. Daniel and the Pastoral Team had to deal with their own struggle of the events these past two months and as a team, assist all our other staff at Nativity, and reveal, guide and assist our whole parish family through this challenge as well. Words cannot express how sorry I am that we had to experience this together. Yet, I had every confidence in our team’s ability to work, support and strengthen each other through this challenging time. Thank you Pastoral Team for your selfless leadership. Thank you to our dedicated staff at Nativity Parish and School. Thank you members of Nativity Parish who though challenged to the heart, yet remained faithful to our Lord and His church in the Body of Christ among us. As we celebrate “The Holy Family,” I give thanks to God for returning me as a member of the “Holy Family” here at Nativity. May the Lord grant us a season of healing and wholeness. May He continue to guide and order our steps as we journey on in our life together as the parish of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary…….Fr. Ron
SPECIAL THANKS TO our Facilities Manager Otto Misso who coordinated with Mr. Electric of WNY for our Outdoor Church Lighting Project, parishioner Chuck Stephen, who worked to install the interior church lighting project, and Mario Tarquinio whose company is assisting with the phone communication update on our parish campus. Good Job Folks!