Homily – 12th Sunday Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith)

That nothing is concealed that will not be revealed and that every hair on my head is counted is a bit creepy. We live in a time when privacy is being eroded. We see the very accurate reconnaissance of drones from the war in Ukraine nightly and know that we are being watched and filmed in most public spaces in New York daily. Today’s passage from St. Matthew may begin with “Be not afraid”, but a fair question would be, “Is the kingdom of God the ultimate surveillance state and is this not scary?”

Continue reading “Homily – 12th Sunday Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith)”

Pastor’s Appeal for New Catholic Charities Initiative

I will send a farewell letter next week, but I write today with a request to support an upcoming Catholic Charities initiative.

This Sunday is my last Sunday Mass as Pastor. My very last Mass, however, will be this Wednesday, June 28th at 12:10PM. It is fortuitous but not accidental. My first Mass as Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo was also June 28th. This was a few days early, but I asked Msgr. LoPinto if I could celebrate it because it is the anniversary of the death of Msgr. Charles Diviney, a former Pastor of St. Charles who was a dear friend and mentor. Msgr. LoPinto graciously consented, and I felt that Charlie was guiding me in my time here. I am happy that I will close my Pastorate on the same day with the hope and prayer that I did not disappoint him.

Among the many things I learned at St. Charles was the critical importance that Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens (CCBQ) plays in the lives of so many people. Our partnership with CCBQ both to the food insecure beginning during the pandemic and welcoming asylum seekers when they were sent to us not only assisted and continues to help many people in need but strengthened our parish in countless ways. This participation developed during unprecedented situations, and we can be proud of our response. The situation has now changed, and we must assess how we can better help our neighbors. We have the unique advantage of being a block away from CCBQ’s administrative offices at 191 Joralemon St and the disadvantage of not having dedicated space for the social services we would like to provide.

Continue reading “Pastor’s Appeal for New Catholic Charities Initiative”

Homily – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith)

Some stories are so good that it is hard to believe that they are true, and I must admit that I heard the story that I will tell today secondhand. It was however from my spiritual director who heard it from the young priest in question and if you can’t trust a lawyer who can you trust?

On the day of his ordination, a newly ordained priest met an older priest whom he had never seen before and never saw again who said to him “Today you have given your life to Christ, don’t spend the rest of it taking it back”.

Continue reading “Homily – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith)”

Fr. Bill’s Farewell Celebration

Fr. Bill’s final Sunday Mass as pastor of St. Charles Borromeo will be on June 25. Please join us following the 11:15 AM Mass for a gathering outside the church on Aitken Place to celebrate Fr. Bill’s six years with us and to express our gratitude for everything he has done to transform our parish. To help us order the right amount of food, please sign up below or on the guest attendees sheets in the back of the church if you plan to attend. We hope to see you there.

Continue reading “Fr. Bill’s Farewell Celebration”

Homily – 7th Sunday of Easter – Fr. Smith

I grew up in a majority Catholic neighborhood with a vibrant Jewish minority. Recently, I met a Jewish friend from those days on a street in Manhattan. She was with a co-worker about our age. When her companion asked how we knew each other my friend said that we grew up in Blessed Sacrament parish. We all immediately laughed. The Catholic community in New York was once so strong that our parishes formed our lives and defined our neighborhoods. There is much that was wonderful about this, but we should not be overly nostalgic or sentimental, other parts were not so wonderful. St John today will help us identify and build on the good parts.

Continue reading “Homily – 7th Sunday of Easter – Fr. Smith”

Sandi – Leung Wedding (Fr. Smith’s Remarks)

As I might never have the opportunity to address so many professional musicians again, I will use it to thank all of you. First, personally, for the pleasure you have given me over the years. Life without Mahler, Brubeck, and Ambrosian Chant would have been little better than silence. But I also wish to thank you professionally. Although music can often tragically be relegated to liturgical decoration it can also aid true worship and give real joy. Whatever your religious beliefs we are all in the transcendence business. If we can’t bring people out of themselves, we should find other work.

Continue reading “Sandi – Leung Wedding (Fr. Smith’s Remarks)”