Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent 2014

13 December 2014 - By

3402_Upward

God is sending
me?

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.

John the Baptist appears in the dessert preaching a baptism of repentance. The beautiful beginning of the Gospel according to St. John notes: A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. John came with a purpose based on a call from God. We too are sent to testify to the light, so that all might believe [in Jesus] through us. This call comes to us and this commission is given us at the moment of Baptism. We publically declare our acceptance of God’s call and commission as adults in Confirmation. We are strengthened and fed for this work in receiving Holy Communion. When we fail at our task we are renewed in the Sacrament of Penance.

It is hard to think that the Lord has anointed us. Really – Who, me? That seems like such a solemn and important thing. Think anointed and we may picture (as recent events indicate) the ordination of a priest, the consecration of a bishop, or the crowning of a king or queen. Prophets were anointed, King David was anointed – and yes we are anointed. As Christians we are anointed into the royal priesthood and into the family of God, the body of Christ. We are anointed as prophets, evangelists and leaders. The gifts of the Spirit are poured out on us – wisdom, understanding, right judgment, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They are the tools given to us so we can fulfill our great commission, to proclaim the Lord’s favor to all and to baptize them into Christ.

Our anointing is solemn, it is important, and it is joyful and life-giving. That is why Jesus left us every tool and grace we need to carry out our commission. He continually calls us into unity with Him, complete unity with His eternal life-giving love and power.

Advent gives us the opportunity we need to reconnect to our anointing, our call and commission. It allows us to recollect and re-recognize the wonderful gifts God has graciously given us. It slows us to give Advent witness to a world that might think Christmas Day is the end of the season rather than the beginning of forty days and an eternity of rejoicing.

Yes, God is sending us with power and conviction. Let us bring glad tidings to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to the captives and release to prisoners. Let us announce a year of favor from the LORD.

Fall-Winter Edition of the Cosmopolitan Review

9 December 2014 - By

The Fall-Winter edition of the Cosmopolitan Review has been published. Here’s the preview:

Poland has been commemorating anniversaries all year and those of us observing from a distance have shared in the country’s happiness. True, some of those anniversaries mark events that were far from happy, but now they are not only far in the past but also signify a remarkable endurance and resilience.

To share this joy, CR’s own Justine Jablonska put together a photo essay illustrating these significant dates with selected personalities from the arts, letters and politics of this successful country. We also invited Andrew Nagorski to say a few words, which he does with elegance and affection. And we have musicians from Wawel (top left) for a rousing chorus of Sto lat!

But as faithful readers all know, CR’s Poland is wherever there are Poles, and we hope our British friends forgive us if the sun never sets on us for a change. This issue, we write about Poles in Africa from the perspective of people who cherish the memory of their enchanted childhood, complete with an escape from the clutches of a monster. They hold regular reunions in Wrocław. A refugees’ reunion, you ask? It’s a psychological and social phenomenon Amanda Chalupa feels compelled to study.

About the same time that Polish kids frolicked with boa constrictors in Africa, Polish cabaret stars entertained Polish troops serving in the Polish II Corps under General Władysław Anders. Beth Holmgren, who has made interwar cabaret her own, introduces us to some very talented people as The Cabaret Goes to War.

Whatever has been said about the long communist era, artists find a way. Justine Jablonksa reviews Eric Bednarski’s beautiful film about dreamy neon signs created in a system that never delivered the goods that were advertised. A bit surreal? Tune in to the conversation.

Still with films, Małgorzata Dzieduszycka casts a sensitive eye on Jan Komasa’s MIASTO 44 and on Warsaw Uprising. There will never be a last word on this event, nor could it be otherwise.

Ben Paloff muses on the poet laureate of the wartime generation, Krzysztof Baczyński. Is he, as Magda Romańska suggested, “Bob Dylan, William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda and James Dean rolled into one,” or is he more like Keats, or maybe Marcel Proust?

We move on to the 2nd largest Polish city in the world, Chicago, specifically Stuart Dybek’s Chicago. Agnieszka Tworek explores this gifted writer’s perceptive and sympathetic stories about the gritty immigrant neighborhood of Chicago, and has a few questions for the award-winning author as well.

We are pleased to have another review by the young Toronto-based historian, Michał Kasprzak, whose great writing could upstage the authors under discussion. But with consummate skill, he instead seduces people to read – and maybe even buy! – the book. In this case it is the new history of modern Poland by Brian Porter-Szücs who examined Poland and came up with a startling diagnosis: Poles are normal people, just like everybody else. Some of us have long suspected as much but were waiting for a professional confirmation. Kasprzak will fill you in.

And we end with a fitting finale. Pomp, history, great plans and good feelings fill Martin Grzadka’s account of Canada’s first state visit to Poland. Yes, much business was discussed but the warm bilateral relations were the icing on the cake for a young professional proud to be a citizen of both countries.

Before we go, we invite you to look at our About Us page, where we introduce our stellar cast of Contributing Editors. We look forward to an exciting 2015.

Revived By Grace: Revival, Renewal & Restoration

9 December 2014 - By

10391445_833664746691798_1176176903936145504_nThe fifteenth National Mission & Evangelism Workshop of the Polish National Catholic Church themed “Revived By Grace: Revival, Renewal & Restoration” will take place at St. Martin & St. Rose Parish, San Antonio, Texas from Friday, February 27th – Sunday, March 1st, 2015.

Beginning on Friday, Februay 27, 2015, the PNCC will present the Fourteenth National Mission and Evangelism Workshop. The Workshop will be held in San Antonio at St. Martin & St. Rose Parish.

Over the past fifteen years the National Commission on Mission and Evangelism has presented to the faithful and clergy of the Church an opportunity to explore one of many faith-driven aspects of the Church on a National level, as well as experiencing the Church on a local Parish level.

Our goal for each Mission Workshop has been that the Faithful come away with a burning desire to bring faith-driven work of the Workshop back to their parishes, and be a light to that local Community of Faith, the Parish, and the communities in which they live.

This year’s Mission Workshop will be held in San Antonio, Texas. The hotel is located next to the Alamo and other historical sites, the River Walk, and the River Center Mall, St. Martin & St. Rose is about four miles from the hotel.
Arrangements have been made with the hotel for extra days to be added to our workshop days. Consider spending a couple additional days either before or after the workshop for some R & R.

Please click on the links below for Workshop resources:

Workshop Pamphlet which includes the tentative schedule, names, phone numbers and email addresses you may need.

Workshop registration form and Hotel reservation form. The Registration Committee requests that you call the hotel directly for reservations. When making reservations please use the hotel code: “Polish National Catholic Church.” The cutoff date for obtaining the guaranteed room rate of $109 plus tax ($16.75) is February 15, 2015.

Please fill out the registration form and send it along with a check for the Workshop Registration Fee of $75.00 per person. Please make the check payable to: St. Martin & St. Rose Parish.

Deadline for registering for the Workshop is February 15, 2015. For registrations post-marked after February 15, 2015, the registration fee is $95.00.

We pray that you will consider joining us for the Fifteenth National Mission & Evangelism Workshop of the PNCC, and we look forward to your attendance.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Rev. Raymond Drada, Workshop & Commission Chairman Parish Phone: (586) 978-1125 or Very Rev. Gus Sicard, Pastor Phone: (210) 924-1043

Thoughts on my Ordination to the Holy Priesthood

8 December 2014 - By

Overwhelmed by love – from preparing for my ordination to the Holy Priesthood, to the actual liturgy on the Commemoration of St. Nicholas, to my first Holy Mass offered on Sunday, December 7th, the Second Sunday of Advent for the people of my parish, living and deceased, and for my dearly departed parents. The love of the Lord has been poured out on me through the family of faith in our Holy Polish National Catholic Church, our many friends, and of course my family. This love is overwhelmingly powerful and life changing. I am so thankful for all of you who are a gift to me, a gift from God. I remember in a special way the many blessings I have received through our Church, its congregations, its priests and deacons, and most particularly the love and support of our Prime Bishop Anthony who has guided, supported, and cared for me since he was a priest and my Bishop ordinary, Bishop Bernard who reminds me of the many ways Christ is at work in our Church and in me, and of holy memory, Bishop Casimir Grotnik who loved me as a son. I am overwhelmed by this tremendous love and my heart desires only to love and serve God and His body – our family of faith. Thank you and bless you all.

Thank you to Fr. Robert for the following pictures. Pictures from my first Holy Mass will follow once they are available.

By the way – any interesting ideas on a new name for this website? Let me know.

Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Advent 2014

7 December 2014 - By

The power of one.

John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
The power of one is really something. The singer and musician Bono founded an organization called ONE that campaigns and advocates on [...]Read More

Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent 2014

30 November 2014 - By

What's on your clock?

Jesus said to his disciples: “Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
Many of us have heard of some of the most well know timekeepers. There is Big Ben in London [...]Read More

Reflection for the Solemnity of Christ the King 2014

22 November 2014 - By

The best life can be.

I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal
Why did Jesus come to us? Why would the eternal Son of the Father [...]Read More

Personal news

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19 November 2014 - By

To all my faithful on-line readers and friends, I invite you to pray for me as I prepare to enter the next chapter of my ministry in our Holy Polish National Catholic Church. On Saturday, December 6th, the Commemoration of St. Nicholas, His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Mikovsky will ordain me to the order of presbyter in our Church. I will celebrate my first Solemn Holy Mass on Sunday, December 7th, the Second [...]Read More

A Strong Economy for All

19 November 2014 - By

From Strong Economy for All:

The 213 members of the New York State legislature are currently agitating for a pay raise from their current base salaries of $79,600 per year. At the same time, three million New Yorkers working full-time at poverty-level pay are also fighting to raise the minimum wage up from the current $8 an hour, about $16,640 per year. If lawmakers are actually going to vote to raise their own pay, [...]Read More

Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2014

16 November 2014 - By

What is our return on investment?

His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For [...]Read More

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