On the Journey

Weekly messages from Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and joseph

12-31-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

As we start the New Year, may we follow the Holy Family’s example and welcome the Lord into our lives. May God guide every step of our journey.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

12-24-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

This Sunday's Gospel, Luke 1:26-38 brings us the story of the Annunciation: the angel Gabriel announced to a virgin named Mary that she would bear a son, and she would name him Jesus. On that same day, the angel informed Mary that her cousin Elizabeth, who was called barren, had conceived a son in her old age. With this news, the angel emphasized that nothing was impossible for God.

Can you imagine what must have gone through Mary's mind? Listen carefully and notice Mary's confusion in the questions she asked the angel. Then listen to Mary's response once she had accepted all he had to say: "May it be done to me according to your word". Mary's unconditional faith in the Lord is the kind of faith all of God's people are called to cultivate throughout their life.


Third Sunday of Advent

12-17-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The messages and images we placed around the Narthex and in the Worship areas these past three weeks, are intended to catch your attention during this busy season. I hope you have taken the time to be still and listen to the sounds of the season while you have been preparing to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Earlier this week, Pope Francis spoke of letting go of the bitterness and negativity that sometimes prevent people from experiencing the joy God intends all of us to feel in our hearts. The Holy Father said this as part of his homily on December 11, which he focused on Isaiah 35:1—10. A scripture that speaks to the glory of the Lord, who will come with vindication and divine recompense, to save us.


Second Sunday of Advent

12-10-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

People often ask priests about the real purpose of Advent. Perhaps, you too, have asked –What is Advent? The quick answer is: Advent is a time of preparation and joyful expectation to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a time to renew our hope as we wait for the second coming of our Lord.

Advent Traditions prepare us to celebrate the anniversary of our Lord's first coming into this world. I welcome you to put aside a few minutes of each day during the next three weeks to reflect on how the Son of God assumed our flesh and dwelt in our midst to save us.


First Sunday of Advent

12-03-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

During the past four weeks, I shared some views on the different meanings of the word inspiration. One of the thoughts I shared with you was about the origin of inspiration which comes from two Latin words: "breath-in".

I also referenced the teachings of the Catholic Church about inspiration: God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."

Additionally, I shared other meanings of the word inspiration in a social context, and I hope that I was able to motivate you to think about what inspires you.


Christ the King

11-26-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

What can be more inspiring than knowing that the Lord cares for and watches over us? He is a good Father, Provider and Giver of all things.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose." (Psalm 23:1)

"Besides restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides my paths for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:2-3)


Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-19-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

When asked what inspires you, many people might answer: God's love and teachings inspire me. Some will say their spouse and children are their inspiration or motivation. Others may say acts of kindness. Though, many might say that finding inspiration is hard these days.

I encourage all of you to make time during the upcoming holiday season to think about what inspires you to be the best person you can be. Below are a couple of psalms to get you started thinking about it.


Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

11-12-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Last week I wrote about the meaning of the word inspiration according to the Holy Scriptures. If you look up inspiration in the dictionary you will find several definitions. Merriam Webster lists the following meanings for inspiration:

A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation; the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions; the act of influencing or suggesting opinions; the act of drawing in; specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs; the quality or state of being inspired; and an inspiring agent or influence.


Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

11-05-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week from November 5-11. An annual celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our support for those who are considering one of these vocations.

Let us pray for the people in our community and around the country who may be inspired to respond. Pray that they respond generously with open hearts and willing spirits if the Lord calls them to the priesthood, diaconate or consecrated life.


Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

10-29-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's scriptures speak to the way God expects us to behave and treat each other. Mathew tells us that when Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, he responded saying: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the greatest and first commandment. He then said, the second commandment is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

For the past few weeks I have shared some of my thoughts and understanding of the word "respect", as well as some different points of view. It pleases me to know that many listened to the suggestion I made earlier this month, and that several of you have been discussing the meaning of the word respect with your families and friends. Those of you who took time to look up respect in the bible will may have noticed that respecting, honoring and loving God the Father and His Son Jesus are essential characteristics to following Jesus.


Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-22-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's scriptures are a reflective teaching on respect. The first reading set the tone, "I have called you by name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. I am the Lord, and there is no other God but me."

When you look up the word respect in a dictionary, you can find several meanings. The definition I want to bring up today is the following: Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others –"respect for others". You will also find several synonyms: politeness, courtesy, civility, deference –" he spoke to her with respect".


Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

10-15-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Church has marked the month of October as Respect Life Month. The 2017-2018 Respect Life theme is "Be Not Afraid". A powerful message to remember that God is with us always! Following are a couple of excepts from the statement issued by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities; for you to ponder.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one another, especially to the weak and vulnerable.


Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-08-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Starting this week, we will be sharing some thoughts on what the word RESPECT means. The intention is to inspire parishioners to think about the meaning of this word, both in a social context and as one of our values. One of the meanings of respect is treating everyone with equality and dignity and being true to our Catholic traditions.

Peter summarizes the Bible's teaching on respect in his first letter: "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king" … (1 Peter 2:17). Loving the brotherhood of believers, means to love all believers, regardless of color, nationality, or beliefs; and we are called to demonstrate that we love all our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-01-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Catholic Social Teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness within the challenges of modern society. The depth of our Church's teaching has traditionally been articulated through papal, conciliar and episcopal documents. Nevertheless, there are several key themes or values at the core of our Catholic social tradition which I will briefly highlight below.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person - Human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is weather it threatens of enhances the life and dignity of the human person.