St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
Masses: Sat 5:00 pm
Sun 7:30; 9:00 (children's liturgy); 10:30 am
Mon-Fri 8:15 am
Reconciliation: Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 pm;
Wednesdays after morning Mass (about 8:45)
Office Hours: M-Th 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Fri 9:00 to 12:00 pm

Pastor's Message - December 16, 2018

“Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.” ~Zephaniah 3

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Happy Gaudete!

For many centuries this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, was referred to as “Gaudete” or Rejoice Sunday because we are halfway to Christmas, but also because of the underlying theme of Joy we find throughout Advent. This theme of joy is found in the scriptures, the prayers of Mass, and the music of Advent:

“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! Let us rejoice and be glad.” (Is 25)
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See I am coming to dwell among you.” (Zech 2)
“The earth rejoices in hope of the Savior’s coming.” (Opening Prayer today)
“Rejoice, Rejoice Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.” (Advent Anthem)

But the real joy of this season goes far beyond the cards, lights, parties and presents. It is a joy rooted in the love of a God who chooses to come among us as one of us; Who comes to heal and forgive, and embrace us in love, who brings us hope and light.

Don't forget to attend the St. Rita "Lessons and Carols" concert this afternoon in Church starting at 2:00pm. This is a major musical endeavor by all our music groups and choirs. What a wonderful Advent treat to yourself. The event is free and stay for refreshments!

Join us for a "Visit with Santa" this Sunday after the 9:00am and 10:30am Masses. Tasty donuts and treats are on the table, so come on down to the Parish Center and bring the whole family!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - December 9, 2018

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths:
All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ~Luke 3

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

On this second Sunday of Advent, we hear from the Gospel of Luke about John the Baptist. John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as was reflected in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Let us heed the words of John the Baptist as we prepare our homes and hearts for Jesus.

This Wednesday, December 12th, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we will host an evening Advent Penance Service in Church at 7:00pm. If it has been awhile since you have celebrated the Sacrament, don’t worry, nothing needs to be memorized and we will guide you through everything. This is a Sacrament meant to be an anxiety-free experience of God’s mercy and grace. Bring the whole family and join us! Our neighboring parish at St. Paul's is also offering a Penance Service on Thursday, December 13th at 7pm.

Be sure to check the inside of today's bulletin for many more Advent activities and prayer opportunities!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - December 2, 2018

"The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.” ~Jeremiah 33

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Happy Advent!

The Advent wreath in church will grow brighter with each additional candle we light as Christmas draws near.

Our parish Advent Schedule was mailed to every household this past week. Be sure to mark your calendars with the many upcoming Advent opportunities.

Don't forget that next Saturday, December 8, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day of obligation. We will have a Mass of Anticipation on Friday, December 7 at 7:00pm and Mass on Saturday morning, December 8 at 9:00am. (Please note – there will be no 8:15am Mass on Friday, December 7.)

Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction will be offered every Tuesday during Advent beginning this week from 1:00pm-3:00pm. If you are able, take advantage of some quiet time in the presence of our Lord on Tuesdays, December 4, December 11 and December 18.

On Wednesday December 12 (also the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe) we will host an Evening of Penance with individual reconciliation to help us renew our relationship with the Lord. If you have been away from the practice of reconciliation for some time, don't be worried. Nothing needs to be memorized for this stress-free experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Breakfast with Santa will be held on Sunday December 16 after the 9:00am and 10:30am Masses. Free donuts and juice will be provided. Bring the kids and Grandma and Grandpa too!

If this time of year is a stressful one, don't miss the opportunity to come and listen to truly exceptional musical and vocal talent on December 16th at 2:00pm. This is a free event of Advent and Christmas in music and prayer called "Lessons and Carols." Refreshments will be served afterwards!

Please be sure to check the bulletin and our Website for all of our upcoming events, parish news and the Christmas Mass schedule.

Again this year we are offering the Little Blue Books with daily Advent reflections and we have Children’s Advent materials as well. Be sure to take one with you. Thank you to Profetta Funeral Chapel and Michael Yackiw Funeral Home for their generosity in providing us with 2019 Catholic calendars again this year.

My great appreciation to our Boy Scout Troop 163 for helping us put up the giant trees behind the altar in church. This was huge task. The largest 12 foot tree (trees are artificial for safety reasons) is beautiful but really heavy! These trees will be lit on Christmas Eve.

May this Advent be a time to rejoice, a time of real peace, a time of hope for you and your family.

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - November 25, 2018

"As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations, and languages serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed." - Daniel 7

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Welcome to everyone who is visiting during Thanksgiving weekend!
This time of year reminds us that we have much to be grateful for.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, our King who seeks the lost and has laid down His life for the sheep. We seek to give of ourselves to Christ our King in everything we do. Each moment of life is a blessing from God, even during times of trouble and distress. Our Scripture readings from this past week and today remind us to have courage, to pray constantly, and to place our whole trust in God who will never disappoint.

Next weekend, we begin the season of Advent and the start of the new Church year by lighting our first Advent Candle. Sign up with your family or friends to light the Advent wreath! Please be sure to look for our "Little Blue Books" next weekend which has daily reflections and readings to help us on our Advent journey. Children's Advent materials will be available next weekend as well. Thank you to Profetta Funeral Chapel and Michael Yackiw Funeral Home for their generosity in providing us with 2019 Catholic calendars again this year.

All registered households will be receiving a mailing this week with our Advent Schedule of events - be sure to post this on your refrigerator as a reminder of all the great Advent opportunities! Save the date for our annual Penance Service with individual confessions to be held on Wednesday, December 12th at 7:00pm.

Please continue to pray for the deceased and those displaced from their homes in the recent California fires and for the safety of all the responders.

As we will begin our new church year next weekend with the start of Advent, May God bless you and your family on this Feast of Christ our King!

Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - November 18, 2018

“In those days, I, Daniel, heard this word of the Lord: At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.  Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be held in contempt and disgrace. But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” - Daniel 12

Dear Parishioners and Friends;

The first reading this weekend is from the book of Daniel. It is quite different than what we are used to. Reference is made to the "end times" and of the salvation God will bestow on the just. Reference is also made of Michael the Archangel who will assist in the task of rescuing those who have died, while separating the wicked from the good. These particular "end time" readings indicate that we will be soon celebrating the feast of Christ the King and the conclusion of the church year.

As to Michael the Archangel, I know of men and women who serve in our armed forces and others who serve in public service as police and firefighters who ask Michael the Archangel to protect them. Many even carry a medal of Michael the Archangel on their person. 

During the Month of October, Pope Francis asked us to pray the rosary for the Church and to avail ourselves of the intercession of Michael the Archangel by reciting the Archangel prayer at the end of mass. Our daily mass folks already do this during the week. Here is the prayer:

"Saint Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the Divine Power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen."

Our annual Thanksgiving Mass will be held ‪at 9:00 am this Thursday. We will have a table set up in the main body of Church for any personal food items (breads/pies) that you would like blessed at Mass and then brought back home again to share at your table. The Prayers of the Faithful will also provide an opportunity to offer our gratitude to God. So come join us for this great celebration!

This Sunday afternoon, our Confirmation candidates, along with some of their parents and sponsors will be helping to sort, pack and deliver deluxe Thanksgiving baskets to many local families this Sunday afternoon. We are so grateful to all the generous parishioners who responded graciously donating a variety of turkeys and food items so others who are less fortunate can enjoy a delicious dinner! Thank you!

We have much to be grateful for!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo