Reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

26 July 2014 - By

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Follow the blueprint
for being in Christ

“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”

We could make much the same prayer as Solomon did. Lord, give me a wise and understanding heart so that I may serve you in the midst of all those around me. Help me to distinguish between right and wrong so as to follow the path Your Son Jesus has set for me.

Solomon was young and wasn’t quite aware of what God had in store for him. He wasn’t aware of God’s blueprint for his life. Solomon made the right choice. He prayed for wisdom – a wisdom that would allow him to build his life on God’s way, according to God’s plan. This gave him confidence in leading and building as ruler of Israel. He prayed to follow God’s blueprint for his life.

If you’ve ever watched a house being built, you know that blueprints are essential. Blueprints contain plans that tells the builders how to assemble everything so that the home is strong, safe, and of high quality. A good blueprint gives a homeowner assurance that the job will be done properly and provides confidence.

Our call is to follow God’s path for us, and to pledge ourselves to following His blueprint for our lives. His blueprint gives us a guarantee – confidence in all we do in Him. By following His blueprint we will succeed. We will be strong, safe, and have high quality lives that last forever. We have assurance that our lives will be lived properly and with goodness. We will judge rightly, with wisdom, and lead many to come to know, love and serve Him. He created a blueprint for each of us with all we need to live a faithful life, a life that draws us closer to Him and leads others to Him.

Following the Lord’s blueprint for us shows us what to do and how we can do it with joy, peace, and trust in both good and bad times – it allows us to overcome all.

God created a blueprint for our lives. When God designed our lives, when He drew our blueprint, He accounted for everything we need to live in Him and with Him. If we build our lives on Jesus as our foundation, if we follow His blueprint, if we are truly wise, we will, like Solomon, ask correctly. Lord, show us the way! It takes time to learn how to follow His blueprint for us. Like Solomon, we must continue to pray for the wisdom to follow His blueprint for our lives and work daily to live it out, to follow Him and live in Him.

July 2014 Issue of God’s Field Published

26 July 2014 - By

jul_2014_gods_field

The latest issue of God’s Field is now available online.

Articles for the August issue are being accepted now through August 1, 2014. You may E-mail items and photos or send them to:

God’s Field
Polish National Catholic Church
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505

A place to fill out their souls

14 July 2014 - By

From the The Lowell Sun: A welcoming family: St. Casimir’s Parish in Lowell welcomes those seeking faith to its tight-knit community

LOWELL — It may be one of Lowell’s best kept secrets, particularly for those who love traditional Polish foods like pierogi (dumplings), golabki (cabbage roll) or kapusta (braised sauerkraut or cabbage with bacon, mushroom and onion).

At a church kitchen and hall on Lakeview Avenue, volunteers who know their way around a dough pressing machine as well as the tricks to producing the perfect cabbage roll lend their talents a few times a month to their church, St. Casimir’s Polish National Catholic Church.

The team effort of these volunteers, who range in age from pre-teens to their 90s, results in hundreds of handmade pierogi and golabki, plus dozens of quarts of kapusta — all later frozen and sold in their parish store.

On Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon, St. Casimir’s Parish Store is open to the public. Pierogi sell for $11 per dozen, kapusta is $6 per quart, golabki $18 a dozen. Proceeds benefit the parish.

“This is a labor of love. We make these the old-fashioned way, with so many steps that it’s time-consuming. People often don’t have the time today,” said Joanne Menzia, who took part in the pierogi assembly line on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen other volunteers.

“People use pierogi as a side dish, a main dish, or even as an appetizer,” said Janice Klimczak. “We sell quite a lot of them.”

The store also sells for $12 each the parish’s new cookbook, A Taste of Heaven, featuring traditional Polish recipes from church members as well as recipes contributed by the church’s many non-Polish members.

Doing his own part in the pierogi assembly line was the pastor, the Rev. Andrzej Tenus, a native of northern Poland who came to the United States in 2006 speaking no English.

Tenus, a former Roman Catholic priest, born in 1972, and a current beekeeper, musician, husband and father of four, went to Pennsylvania to study English for three months at the Polish National Catholic Church headquarters. He was preparing for his new role as a pastor within the Polish National Catholic Church in the U.S.

He did pretty well with the Pennsylvania dialect; then he came to Lowell, where the Boston accent made it a little more difficult, he said, smiling. Today, Tenus has only a trace of a Polish accent, which belies the fact that he’s spoken English for less than a decade.

One of the questions he’s often asked from those outside the community is how the Polish National Catholic Church differs from the Roman Catholic Church. Many find it hard to grasp, he said, how a Catholic church in Lowell is not connected to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, that its bishops and priests (since 1921) are allowed to marry, and the church is democratic. Its governing board chooses the pastor, controls the finances, and the parish owns its assets.

The Polish National Catholic Church, according to its website, is a Christian denomination formed in 1897 in Scranton, Pa. While it serves the spiritual needs of its members, it also welcomes all people who wish to follow Christ. Today, there are more than 25,000 members in the United States.

The National Catholic movement, which encompasses more than the Polish National Church, resulted from the division in the Christian Church that similarly initiated the Protestant movement. However, according to the St. Patrick Catholic Church website, a National Catholic Church in Rhode Island, it differs from the Protestant divisions in that it kept its belief in the Mass and the priesthood necessary to have the Mass, as well as other Catholic rites and rituals.

The liturgy, especially the contemporary liturgy that Tenus is initiating at St. Casimir, closely resembles that of the Roman Catholic Church. Standing inside St. Casimir’s Church, which was built in 1908 for the then-large Polish community in the city’s Centralville neighborhood, is like standing inside any Roman Catholic Church.

“We keep the same beliefs. The difference is only in the administration level. We’re not connected to Rome,” said Tenus.

Tenus leads a busy life while living next to the church with his wife, Agnes, who followed her husband to the United States three months after his arrival. In Poland, Agnes trained as a nutritionist and professional cook. She creates recipes from her home country and often bakes desserts for home and the church with the honey Tenus harvests from three bee hives located at St. Casimir Cemetery in Pelham. Beekeeping was a hobby Tenus started in Poland and has since resurrected.

Their children, Karina, 13, Jonah, 9, Christoper, 6 and Amelia, 3, consider St. Casimir’s close-knit parish family as surrogate aunts, uncles and grandparents, Tenus said. Likewise, the parishioners love having them here, he added.

Tenus has many ideas to keep the small parish active within and outside the community, including a busy youth group that produces an annual talent show. He emphasizes the importance of welcoming others to their church.

“No matter your background, ethnicity or denomination, we don’t look at that. Just people with good will looking for some place to fill out their souls,” he said. “If you need comfort, a place to pray, this is the place. We do not judge — it’s not up to us to judge.”

Sunday Mass is offered at 10 a.m. at 268 Lakeview Ave., Lowell, followed by fellowship hour. For more information, visit the parish website, call 978-453-0742, or send an E-mail.

Watch live streaming video from StCasimirs at livestream.com

Reflection for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

12 July 2014 - By

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We have a
Treasure

He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

We are rich. We indeed have a treasure. We have built our Church and our local parish in which we participate in and increase our personal and collective treasure. This treasure makes our lives whole and complete. We are filled with true riches that will not fade away!

Our Holy Church expresses this well in the second verse of the Hymn of the PNCC: Unto Thee we built a temple, Which for us became a treasure, Pouring gifts of faith and courage, In it is our hope forever…

Our treasure gives us hope. Our treasure is all we gain through faith. Our treasure both increases in and is expressed by our weekly worship, prayer, study, and outreach to others.

This treasure is a secret, a mystery, to those without faith in Jesus. Even if they know a little about it, they miss the true meaning of that treasure when they fail to accept it into to their lives, or if they let their faith die because they do not enrich the soil that faith was planted in.

The soil that must be enriched is our faith lives. We need to enrich that soil regularly in worship, prayer, study, and outreach or our lives will grow shallow and our treasure will be scorched away. We need to pay attention and protect against neglecting our soil or the weeds of the world will take over and choke out our faith.

In the Holy Church, filled by the Holy Spirit, we worship, pray, study, and reach out. Our treasure grows and we become rich.

The treasure we possess and that grows day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year by worship, prayer, study, and outreach is our eternal loving relationship with God. The secret of the kingdom of heaven is that God’s kingdom is a never-ending place of love, forgiveness, and mutual support. It is knowledge that we receive God’s free gift of love – grace – and that if we cooperate with that grace our lives will be enriched, we will advance into greater holiness.

Our treasure comes from the free choice we have made for God. The first disciples had that choice – to follow Jesus or to stay behind, to stay on the path with Him or to fall away. We have chosen to: “Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind.”

The task ahead, our work, is to increase our treasure. Let us till the soil of our lives with worship, prayer, study, and outreach. Ask for Jesus’ grace of increase. Let us be very greedy for His treasure alone.

Reflection for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

5 July 2014 - By

Joined to, Free in Jesus

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Our children’s bulletin this week has a puzzle with the following statement and question: Sometimes you feel tired. Sometimes you feel [...]Read More

Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

28 June 2014 - By

Jesus is our hope and way of life

If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God.
This past Friday, at 1am, police were called to our neighborhood. 28-year [...]Read More

Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

21 June 2014 - By

Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema - A screening series of restored classic Polish films touring the U.S. and Canada, which opened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York in February 2014. The Masterpieces will be shown at the Cinema Arts Centre, at 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY from June 18th through July 23rd. More Masterpieces to come on July 9th, 13th, 16th and 23rd. Titles to be announced. Organized [...]Read More

Reflection for the Sunday in the Octave of Corpus Christi 2014

21 June 2014 - By

I am not an object!

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
In any good relationship we see the other person for who they are – first and foremost a human being. We look beyond appearance, beyond the [...]Read More

25 Years of Freedom

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17 June 2014 - By

Also check out several news source stories: Polish Radio - Poland celebrates 25 years of freedom and CNN - 25 things we love about Poland

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity 2014

13 June 2014 - By

Get on the couch with Us

Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
If you look at [...]Read More

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