Notes from Fr. Tim

April 21, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

On this fourth Sunday of Easter, we are presented with two celebrations:

First, we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus espouses the characteristics of a Good Shepherd. He is selfless, willing to lay down his life for the sheep. He is welcoming, and willing to lead those inside and outside his flock. He is faithful and willing to use his power for the greater glory of God. These are the types of characteristics we hope for in all leaders. Unfortunately, abuses of power are all too common in our world. How can we hold our leaders accountable? What would it be like to have “good shepherds” in positions of power within the government? Study your local leaders and commit to voting in the next election for morally strong leaders.

Second, we celebrate the 61st anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. At today’s Mass, we pray for both callings to specific ways of life (priesthood, married, religious, single life) and for the many, varied, daily callings each of us experiences. Vocations are not like they were back in the day. While visiting St. Joseph’s Seminary during Holy Week, a parishioner and I toured the class photos gallery. As we walked the corridors, I noticed two trends: class pictures were very robust in numbers, but the numbers began to decline after the mid to late 70’s. In my class photo, 2002, there were six priests (4 archdiocesan priests and 2 religious). Also, I noticed the surnames reflected the waves of newly arrived immigrants. Will the class sizes continue to decline or will they increase? Prayers are powerful.

Third, please pray this prayer for an increase in vocations.
God our Father, thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrifi cial love in our youth and young adults.

Finally, You can read MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 61st WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS “ Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace” by scanning the bar code.

Fr. Tim

April 14, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

Throughout these weeks of Easter we read incredible stories of how the church is growing. These stories are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles did not unfold in secret, but in the open for all to see. Acts tell us the stories of what happened after Jesus’ resurrection and how people began to believe in him and follow his way.

The Magdalene is also growing sacramentally.
We welcome into the waters of Baptism: Becket Ethan Marr Bernardo Anthony Luciano, Emilia Anne, Tucci, Isabella Raine Carissimo, and Joseph Michael Lillis.
We welcome two couples through the Sacrament of Marriage. We welcome into the Church: Patty Cancro
We welcome into the parish the following families: Sandro and Melissa Carissimo, Suzanne Ferraro, Christopher and Kerry Scardino, Milan and Nicole Kana, Bridget Lillis, Roscoe and Kimberly Orman, Robert and Kathie Mackie, Eric and Katherine Straley, Daniel and Angela Lester, Matthew and Hayle Rodey,
14 children will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation
14 children will receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist
14 children will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Magdalene needs to continue to grow. How? Consider becoming a:

● Lector, Eucharist Minister, altar server, usher, member of the music ministry, sacristy helper
● Volunteer as a catechist or catechist aid
● Member of the Hospitality Committee, Buildings & Grounds Committee, Altar Guild
● Member of the Women’s Bible Study

This coming July 21, we will celebrate our 130th Anniversary. The Parish Council is meeting and planning for this momentous occasion. Let us reflect on this question: What is a Parish? “A parish is a portion of the diocese under the care of a priest who is appointed to secure in virtue of his office as a pastor, the helps of religion for the faithful dwelling therein.” The faithful are called “parishioners.”

The Magdalene is a portion of the Archdiocese of New York in which many people dwell. The Archbishop assigns a pastor to serve the faithful in a parish.

With the collaboration of the Trustees, Finance Committee, Parish Council and staff, we work in tantum, volunteering our time and talents to help others grow in the religion we love and believe in so deeply.

Please think, pray, and make a sacrifice for the good of the parish. We need you to keep The Magdalene parish life flourishing TODAY and TOMORROW and for FUTURE generations to come.

In the Risen Lord,
Fr. Tim

March 31, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

O Come All Ye Faithful ! is one of the most traditional hymns sung at Christmas.

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today ! is one of the most traditional hymns sung on Easter Sunday! We sing the story over and over because of our great joy that death has been defeated and no longer reigns over us. This is the ultimate, joyful truth of God’s love for us.

As faithful people, we have journeyed for forty days, praying, abstaining, and fasting. Easter is commemorated with powerful symbols: washing of feet, ritual fire, oil, water, the Easter candle, chant, and more!

On this Easter Sunday, we rejoice that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death for you and me, and for all who believe in him. We praise God for the triumph and hope of the Resurrection. The tomb is empty, and we thank God for those faithful disciples who went to the tomb early in the morning. What they experienced is Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of our faith. This incredible event calls us to sing resurrectional hymns that increase our faith in the Risen Lord. What Easter hymn is in your heart? What Easter hymn emits from your vocal cords?

What Easter hymn fills your soul with resurrectional joy? My hymn is Alleluia, The Strife Is O’er. What are your reasons for singing with joy when you hear your favorite Easter hymn?

Jesus Christ is risen today; Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day; Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross; Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss; Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing; Alleluia!

May we never cease to sing the Risen Lord’s praises!
Fr. Tim

March 24, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Processions are not just a functional action of solemnly introducing the priest and other ministers to the sanctuary. They are also a visual expression of the people becoming a liturgical community of being together as a people of faith.

On Palm Sunday, the Mass may begin outdoors. The priest will bless the palm branches and proclaim the Gospel and then all process into the church. On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper does not conclude in the usual way. Instead, the procession forms right after communion. You are invited to join this procession, singing hymns and praying privately. During the Good Friday liturgy, you will be invited forward to venerate the cross. At the Easter Vigil, the blessing of the fire and lighting of the Easter candle takes place. The priest or deacon processes down the aisle singing, “Christ our Light”. The people then process into the dark church responding, “Thanks be to God.”

The processions of Holy Week draw us into the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. They also draw us closer to God as His pilgrim people. You are most welcome to process from your private homes to your spiritual home during Holy Week services. Holy Week, the most significant week in Catholicism, spans from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday. It marks the final stretch before Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection.

During this sacred week, Catholics all across the globe pray and reflect on the profound journey of Jesus’ suffering, sacrifice, and victory over death. Let us process with great love, joy, and devotion to The Magdalene.

We anticipate large crowds for our Holy Week Services. Please be mindful of our neighbors’ driveways. We are extremely grateful to the PHFH and the Union Church for allowing us to park on their properties.

The rectory will be closed on Good Friday.

Fr. Tim

February 18, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

As Catholics, our greatest and most cherished gift is the Eucharist. The Eucharist is no mere symbol of Jesus; we believe that the consecrated Host is actually the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ. This is an amazing gift which we can see, touch, and even taste.

We received this gift when we made our First Holy Communion. All dressed up in our Communion best, appearing as brides and grooms, pretty and handsome, we, the little boys and girls, received Jesus’ Body and Blood. Thereafter, we receive Jesus’ Body and Blood as teenagers, young adults, adults and seniors.

This gift is reserved in the tabernacles until the end of the time. But this gift is also to be adored. Here at the COTM, we are fortunate to have Eucahrist Adoration on the First Fridays of the month after the 8:00 a.m. Mass and on Saturdays at 4:30 pm.

* When we enter the COTM, let us be aware of Who is on the altar.
~ Our backs should never be turned away.
~ We should genuflect or offer a profound bow prior to taking our seat.
~ We should refrain from talking so as to allow other parishioners to pray.
~ When the priest is offering the blessing, there should be no movement.

In her article Eucharistic Adoration: Drawing Closer to Jesus, Kathleen M. Carroll states: The best kind of friend is the one with whom you can speed time without having to say anything. Eucharistic Adoration provides us with a chance to be with our Savior one on one. By doing so, we grow more in tune with God. We put ourselves in position to talk to him, and also to listen. In the words of St. Vincent Pallotti: “Silence is a gift of God to let us speak more intimately with Him.”

Yes, the object of Eucharist Adoration is to draw closer to Jesus and, then, to bring that presence of Christ to our needy world.

Fr. Tim

February 11, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Have you abandoned our New Year’s resolution(s)? Do you remember your resolution(s)? Did you follow through on them? Maybe yes, maybe no! Each year the Church offers us a second chance by setting aside a 40 day period of prayer, penance and preparation so we can see where we stand with the Lord. We are given a ‘second’ chance for self-improvement. Before receiving your ashes, calmly reflect and plan for what you could realistically do for Lent, starting Wednesday, February 14th.

On a practical matter, I wish to bring the following items to your attention as we prepare for Lent:

1. THE BURIAL OF THE “ALLELUIA” BANNER: This weekend we have the ritual of burying our Alleluia banner during the Gospel Acclamation. Therefore, we refrain from singing or saying “Alleluia,” which translates to ”Praise the Lord.” The “burial of the Alleluia,” was popular in the Middle Ages when this ritual included a procession. We continue this tradition with confidence that what has been buried – our beloved dead and our Alleluias – will rise again. The Alleluia banner will remain buried in our Lenten Casket until its rising at the Easter Vigil, when we greet the good news of the Resurrection.

2. 2024 LENTEN BULLETIN INSERT : Please accept today’s purple insert and keep it handy. It contains the “happenings” here at the COTM during Lent.

● The color is purple.
● The tabernacle will be covered.
● Our gold candle sticks will be “retired”.
● The water fonts will be emptied.
● We will not be accepting flowers.
● Schubert Mass in G will be used.
● The Gloria and Alleluia will not be sung.
● The Kyrie and Agnus Dei will be used at times.
● Statues will be covered during Passiontide.

Thanks be to God the Church gives us Lent and the opportunity to rearrange our spiritual priorities. These forty days help us to gain clarity on how we are living. The absence of the above items reminds us that we’re in the desert.

“All-embracing God, teach us how to return to you with our whole hearts. Guide and direct us as we strive to be more fully united with you.”

Fr. Tim

February 4, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14 (see the bottom of my article for the distribution of ashes) and ends on the evening of Holy Thursday, March 28.

We enter this sacred season receiving ashes and reflecting a spirit of penance in our daily lives through performing acts of fast and abstinence. Yes, we fast in various ways, perhaps by eating less food and foregoing treats. We give alms, which means that we find a way to share what we have, our time and our goods. And these days have their own ways for us to pray and sing without ever singing the “Alleluia”- that word waits for Easter). In these ways we remember our Baptism and so try to grow more deeply in the Christian life.

Perhaps these days before our Lenten Journey begins can be a good opportunity to prayerfully reflect on our own spiritual life and what we would like to commit to and omit from in our life.

This year, Ash Wednesday is also the observance of St. Valentine’s Day. It is obvious that as Catholics we must observe most strictly the first day of Lent while perhaps accommodating the commendable Valentine tenderness. How do we do this? Parishioners are encouraged to take unusual advantage of Mardi Gras and do the Valentine thing on “St. Valentine’s Eve” which, in any event, is a traditional party day.

Also, this year the month of February has 29 days. Hence, it is considered a “Leap Year”. I often wonder when a person is born on this day, and it is not a Leap Year, on what date do they celebrate their birthday? In preparation for the Season of Lent and the celebration of Easter, I will be taking a few days off this week to rest and recharge my spiritual batteries.

God bless,
Fr. Tim

January 28, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Paraphrasing the Publisher’s Clearing House announcement: “Check your mailboxes”. By now you should have received a correspondence from Cardinal Dolan announcing the 2024 Cardinal Annual Stewardship Appeal: Sharing God’s Gifts.

This is a direct appeal from the Archbishop of New York to parishioners and friends of the archdiocese to raise $21 million in funds to support the budgetary needs of its ministries, charitable works, schools, parishes, seminary, priest retirement residences, and administrative offices.

The faithful support of thousands of parishioners and friends of the Archbishop of New York allows the archdiocese to live and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ aware of the local area and the world, the spatial and the material, the present and the future.

This year’s Parish goal is $67,300. It is based on regular collections from two fiscal years prior, which does not include archdiocesan second collections, and holiday and holy day collections. Therefore, this year’s assessment increased by $3,200. In past years, the COTM has exceeded its goal.

When making a contribution, I kindly ask that you place our parish ID #511 on all of your correspondences. For your convenience you can make your gifts online at .

“The Cardinal’s Appeal is our faith at work in the work, attesting to who we are and the values we represent.” -Cardinal Dolan

God bless,
Fr. Tim

January 21, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

The Advent and Christmas Seasons have ended. Preparation on many levels made our celebrations joy filled and truly inspiring. At this time, I wish to thank:

~The Hospitality Committee for hosting Sunday Brunch with Santa. What a wonderful way to kick off the holidays with the Parishioners and Friends!

~The women who gathered for Advent By Candlelight. The desserts were divine!

~The children in our Good Shepherd and Religious Education Programs for performing in our annual Christmas Pageant.

~The Music Ministry and Lectors who performed “first class” Lessons & Carols, preparing us in Scripture and song for the Birthday of Jesus.

~Those who helped organize the Christmas Raffle and those who donated towards it. ~The Building Committee who set up the outside and inside creches.

~The Members of the Altar Guild and Daily Communicants who decorated and dismantled the Church during Advent and Christmas .

~The altar servers, Lectors and Extraordinary Ministers, cantors and the music director for sharing their talents which enhanced all our liturgies, as well as ushers who assisted in maintaining order.

~The rectory staff and volunteers for their behind the scenes work.

~Those who contributed so generously to the Christmas Collection and those who made “End-of-the-Year” contributions. Please know that your gifts help to maintain COTM and keep our parish plant in good shape for worship and prayer and fellowship.

~The St. Elmo Council of the Knights of Columbus for their generous donation of $10,000. What a wonderful gift to open during the Christmas season!!!

~Those who sent delicious baked goods, gifts, and cards to the Rectory. It is my hope that in 2024, the year of our 130th Anniversary, we will continue to be a community of prayer and service.

With all the blessings, have a wonderful New Year!

Fr. Tim

January 14, 2024

Dear Parishioners:

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at Him.” (Mark 12:17)

It is the time of the year that DP Murphy, our envelope company will be forwarding your 2023 Contribution Statements to you. The primary source of revenue comes from our weekly collections (via pew, mail or on-line}. I am very appreciative to those who are committed to supporting the COTM consistently. Your contributions are very much appreciated. As your pastor, I take your financial support seriously.

For record keeping, please note the following:

Contributions dropped into the collection basket without an envelope will not be included in any parish statement unless YOU record your parish number on the memo line of your check or write it on the correspondence that you included with your contribution. If you are registered here with a parish number, we will do our very best to record your donations.

Contributions given for Mothers’ Day, Father’s Day or All Souls Novenas and Masses are not recorded because these donations are not given to the Church (even though you make your checks payable to The Magdalene); they are given to the priests. Likewise, checks made payable to The Madelene for raffles, fundraising, and Religious Education are not recorded.

A single contribution of $250 or more, at any given time, will generate a tax receipt by law. If these contributions are placed in any of your parish envelopes, it will be posted on your contributions statement and you will also receive an individual tax receipt. If there are discrepancies, please contact the rectory.

We will record contributions coming from your financial/investment institution (s) if you have an envelope number. We do not record We-share contributions. We-share can generate a report of your contributions upon your request. At this time, I invite those of you who wish to sign up for envelopes or We Share to contact the rectory.

\Now, what belongs to God? Our worship belongs to God. Every Catholic has the responsibility to support their parish to the best of their ability.In next weekend’s bulletin, the financials for the months of November and December will be published.

Fr. Tim
FYI… Lent begins one month from today on February 14.

January 7, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

On Monday, the Church concludes the Christmas Season with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan River by John. On coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1: 9-11)

Let us reflect on our own Baptism.
Where did your Baptism take place?
Do you ever visit that Church?
Is that the same font that was used for your Baptism?
What was the date of your Baptism?
Do you celebrate it every year?
Who was the minister of your Baptism (Priest/Deacon)? Say a silent prayer for him now.
What is your Baptismal name?
Why were you given that name?
What does that name mean?
What promises did your parents make on the day of your Baptism? Say a silent prayer for your parents.
Who were/are your godparents?
Why were they chosen?
What promises did they make? Say a silent prayer for them.

On the last day of the Christmas season, may we think of how we will be open to allow Christ to be manifested in our lives. Let us resolve to consciously choose to follow Christ more closely and take seriously our baptismal call to live as disciples.

Fr. Tim