St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
585-671-1100
Masses: Sat 5:00 pm
Sun 7:30; 9:00 (children's liturgy); 10:30 am
Mon-Thurs 8:15 am
Reconciliation: Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 pm
Office Hours: M-Th 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Fri 9:00 to 12:00 pm

Pastor's Message - April 22, 2018

“Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." ~1 John 3

Dear Parishioners and Friends,
We congratulate the second half of our St. Rita Confirmation students as they received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Matano last Wednesday evening. It was a joy to witness the excitement of our young people and the happiness of attending parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and brothers, sisters and sponsors.

In addition to thanking parents and sponsors for supporting our fine students, I wish to thank Marie Marton, assisted by her husband Tom Marton for their kind dedication in teaching and guiding our students through this two year preparatory Confirmation program.

Last week, all diocesan priests and parish administrators gathered with Bishop Matano for our annual convocation. It was a wonderful opportunity for reflection and we had a host of topics and themes to ponder.

One of those topics was to consider the "domestic church." When we speak of "church" we often only think of the church building or of the general church community. But really our church is comprised of individual "domestic" churches, individual family units that consist of parents, children, grandparents and more. The "domestic church" is the family unit. The health of the family unit directly relates to who we are as the larger church community.

Faith is not something that happens in a vacuum. Children need a lived faith experience that is rooted on the faith commitment and teaching from parents. While the larger church can assist parents in the task of raising Catholic, faith-filled children, it cannot replace the teaching and modeling role of parents. Children need parental love and support in developing their own relationship to faith. They need to be taught how to pray. They need personal stories from parents who can tell them God is real and loves them too. They need experiences of faith and of church and the sacraments. Most importantly, children need you!

In the presence of God, your family is THE domestic church!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - April 15, 2018

"While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But
they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you
troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch
me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he
showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them,
“Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them."
~Luke 24

Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Plans are well underway for our 64th Annual Fiesta! A special thanks to our dedicated leadership team and all of our sponsors for their planning and support. This huge parish and community event is remarkable in its size and witness to our parish community coming together with so many generous volunteers.

The month of June is significant for me as well as I will be celebrating my 25th anniversary of my ordination and giving thanks to our Lord for 25 years of priesthood. I am blessed to be a priest of the Rochester Diocese and to have had the blessings of supportive parents and family and to have known so many wonderful parishioners, fellow priests, and the kind shepherding of my ordaining Emeritus Bishop Clark and Bishop Matano.

We all have the responsibility to encourage vocations to the priesthood. Vocations do not drop down from heaven. They come from families like your own. We adults have to encourage, and challenge our young people to think bigger. A wonderful opportunity to explore the possibility of priesthood is being organized by Fr. Justin Miller, one of our fine younger priests.

Consider the Priesthood ~ Good Shepherd Sunday
Young men grades 8 & up are invited to attend a special gathering on
Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 12:15 to 2:15pm
at the Church of the Holy Spirit's Parish Hall (1355 Hatch Rd, Webster)
An amazing lunch will be served
Listen to inspiring testimonies
Have a chance to meet young, fun priests
Powerful prayer
Fun and games galore
Free books, prayer aids will be available
To Register/ask questions via Fr. Justin Miller at fr.justin.miller@dor.org or 585-586-8089 ext. 125

May God bless you this week!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - April 8, 2018

“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe!" ~John 20
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As our Easter celebration continues, I hope this past week has been one of prayerful reflection and rest for you. Many students are just ending a week of school vacation.

This past Wednesday we gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Matano for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The remaining students from St. Rita’s confirmation class will gather at the Cathedral on April 18. Congratulations to all!

We reflect today on the Divine Mercy of God, otherwise known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Here is a link that describes how to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Divine Mercy Novena http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.php which typically starts on Easter Sunday, though it can certainly be used at any-time. Prayers for the intentions of the Pope, reception of Holy Communion and participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation are all part of the Divine Mercy novena.

Chapter 20 of the Gospel of John describes how Jesus appears to his disciples ... "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Imagine being present in that room with the other disciples ... suddenly Jesus appears to you and says those words of peace! Considering all that had happened, the betrayal of Judas, the denial by Peter, the abandonment by the others, the agony, the crucifixion ... and yet now Jesus stands before you very much alive, offering words of peace!

This had to be an overwhelming experience for the disciples. Most profoundly, Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Jesus gave his disciples the ability to forgive sins just as he had done. His power would now work through them so that the church could continue.
Jesus also gently addressed the doubts of Thomas who was not with Jesus when he first appeared in that locked room. When He appeared again he turned to Thomas and said "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

What was true for the disciples and the early church, is still true today. Our present lives and our children's lives will
continue to unfold in relationship with Jesus Christ. The same Jesus in the Gospel who loved his disciples is the same Jesus who loves you now!

May God bless you this Easter season!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - April 1, 2018

"Christians, to the Paschal Victim Offer your thankful praises! A Lamb the sheep redeems; Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father. Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal. Speak, Mary, declaring what you saw, wayfaring. ‘The tomb of Christ, who is living, the glory of Jesus’ resurrection; Bright angels attesting, the shroud and napkin resting. Yes, Christ my hope is arisen; to Galilee he goes before you.’ Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning! Amen. Alleluia." (Victimae paschali laudes)

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Today we celebrate the most significant day of the church year, the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are saved, not by our own accord, but by the mercy of God. Jesus is raised from the dead so that we too may have everlasting life!

From the entire St. Rita Parish and School staff, Deacons Rick and Jim, Fr. Michael and myself, we wish you and your family a holy and joyous Happy Easter!

We especially welcome the newest members of our faith community who fully joined the Catholic Church through our RCIA and RCIC programs at the Saturday evening Easter Vigil. They are Celena and Cristofer Clement, Aidan DeMeritt, Seth Stramonine, and Robert Altemari, Jr.

If you are here visiting family, we are happy you have joined us this weekend! May this time be a joyful one as we celebrate Jesus who is Risen, Alleluia!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo