News & Events
Back Fourth Sunday in Lent
Friday, March 29, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Many of us through the years have been raised in families where discipline was administered, within the context of reward and punishment. One is rewarded when one conforms to the expectations of the parent and is punished in some way when one is not. This familiar formation also influences our expectations of fairness in dealing with others. Thus, it is fair and just to reward those who labor greatly with more remuneration that those who just fulfill the minimum of expectations. In our experience of understanding God Almighty, we often project unto God our own human experiences and expect God to act accordingly. People of the first covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, often wrote from that context and saw God’s actions of reward and punishment. If you sinned, or someone in your family sinned, you didn’t experience much success in this life. If one was righteous, then one was materially blessed as well. Jesus of Nazareth comes and begins preaching a different understanding of the nature of God Almighty. His understanding is that of a God of unconditional love and acceptance. In the most familiar story of “The Loving Father” or as it traditionally is known, “The Prodigal Son,” Luke paints for us an image of God, that violates many of our human projections of God. Most of us can relate to the outrage of the older son who refuses to enter into the feast that the father has thrown for his renegade boy. It’s just not fair! “He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But, when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.” (Luke 15:29-30). Who of us would not be able to relate to this son’s rage. Yet, the father has to convince his faithful son of the need to rejoice, not only for the safe return of this boy, but of his contrition brought about by the experience. Many of us grow up from childhood with the “reward and punishment,” idea projected upon God Almighty. Some of us are challenged to have our faith mature, to realize that there is nothing I can do to be worthy of God’s love and attention. Even in our sinfulness, God is hopeful for our conversion. As the loving father in Luke’s version of the parable of Jesus, God waits patiently for us to hit rock bottom and learn the error of our ways. Although, it was a necessity and an initiative of his own survival the younger boy had to “eat crow” and admit that he messed up. He had to learn from his mistakes. The loving Father, as God does, delights in his growth and not in his sins. We pray that we may appreciate God’s unconditional love for us and extend that love to each other as well...Blessed Lenten Journey…
NATIVITY OF MARY SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES, at their last meeting, having, at the request of our board, received some evaluative results from materials gathered by the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, offered the position of “Principal” to Dr. Robert Cluckey. Dr. Cluckey was hired as “Interim Principal” last September. He has accepted the position and we welcome Dr. Cluckey as our principal well into the future. Having Dr, Cluckey at the helm will assist in stabilizing our School ministry in the midst of many transitions. Welcome Dr. Cluckey.
A MESSAGE FROM NATIVITY’S LAY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
In the March 2-3 parish bulletin and on the parish’s website and Facebook page, Pastor Ronald Sajdak announced the formation of a new Lay Leadership Council
This is a message to parishioners from the six initial members of the Council: James Beardi, Margaret Cusack, Nancy Dobson, Victor Martucci, Robert Poczik and Bruce Zgoda. The purpose of the Council is to give Nativity’s laity a voice in the future direction of the parish. Oftentimes crisis leads to opportunity, and this is one of those times. Father Ron and Father Daniel not only encourage a greater role for the laity, they embrace it. This is our opportunity to influence the direction of our parish for years to come. We choose to be a part of the solution to ensure that our parish is all that we want and hope it can be.
Father Ron reminds us that this is in accord with the law of the Church. Canon 212.3 of that law states that parishioners have both the right and obligation to “manifest to the pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have the right to make their opinions known to the other Christian faithful.” This includes setting the future direction for the parish and identifying parish priorities.
Though, we have some sense of the challenges facing the parish, including the need to engage in long range planning, we are seeking broader input as we move forward. Accordingly, we will be inviting parishioners to engage in a planning process to identify areas in need of improvement and to chart future directions, including setting priority actions. We envision doing this through a series of small group meetings with a broad cross-section of parishioners, who will be encouraged and invited to be a part of this process. We hope that this involvement will help develop a sense of ownership and a greater level of trust.
The next message from the Lay Leadership Council will describe the specifics of the nature and timing of this collaborative planning process, and will invite participation