Pastor Letter July 19

Dear Parish Family,

Saint Clare of Assisi had a unique view of living the Gospel, and it’s captured well in this reflection

Despite many differing views of Jesus’ life and teaching, we can say confidently that Jesus was a poor man who fully embraced life with those on the margins of society. Francis of Assisi certainly did the same, and it became his litmus test for all orthodoxy and ongoing transformation into God. Clare of Assisi (1194–1253) wanted to imitate Francis in this and I acknowledge that she and her sisters, the Poor Clares, have kept the vow of poverty much better than we Franciscan friars have done. Today, Bridget Mary Meehan helps us understand how radical simplicity helped Clare and her sisters come to a singleness of focus and heart.

Clare understood that love and poverty [or what I would call simplicity] are connected. She taught that poverty frees one from the bondage of material things and from all the things that clutter the human heart and soul. . . . .

Gospel poverty was at the heart of Clare’s rule. The Poor Ladies owned nothing; they lived simply without property, endowments, or any kind of material possessions. For Clare, doing without things led to deep communion with God. Her way of life was characterized by a deep trust in God to provide for the needs of the community. Whatever the Poor Ladies received was sufficient. Openness and receptivity reflected Clare’s attitudes toward people and things. For her, everything was gift. She and her “ladies” lived the gospel passionately according to the Franciscan ideal.

Through the centuries Clare has continued to be a beacon of light to women and men who long to love Christ with an undivided heart, to serve others generously, and to live simply in a world that glorifies material possessions. If we have too many clothes in our closets, too much money in the bank, too many things cluttering our lives, Clare can help us find the one thing necessary—God who will liberate and fill our emptiness with divine love. Our conversion process may take time—sometimes years—but we will experience freedom and joy when we live with a loose grasp on material things, when we are willing to share our possessions as well as our time and energy with those in need. . . .

How often do we take a deep breath and appreciate—really appreciate—the air we breathe? How often do we savor the food we taste and smell the flowers along our path? When was the last time we listened to our child, laughed with a friend, embraced our spouse? It is true that the best things in life are free, but we are often too distracted or too busy to see the simple treasures of life right in front of us.

May the Franciscan love of simplicity be yours.

Blessings and Peace,

Fr. Tom Devery


Pastor Letter for June 21

Dear Parish Family,

Happy Father’s Day to our dads and granddads! What a gift you are! Not only to your family but to our parish family; your presence at Mass, your witness to your faith and loving your wife and children is so much needed in our world today. Many fathers have told me that this quarantine time has given insight to many things that we take for granted. Primarily, you have been present to your family at home than anytime before. Our identity as fathers has been provider, bread winner and protector and many describe ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. There has been a spiritual awakening taking place. God is with us in this terrible time and He will lead and guide us if we let him. So, let me honor you for your faithfulness and dedication to God and your families. Happy Father’s Day.

Cardinal Dolan writes about his dad in his book “Who do you say that I am”.

“I thank God for the gift of my dad, for he was a loving, responsible and caring man. His faith and his family were his focus, his passion, and the center of his life.

I am convinced that the restoration of fatherhood as a esteemed vocation in the Church and in society is the key to renewal and the antidote for many of our cultural ills. By their word and their example, dads teach us many important lessons.

When a man fully embraces what it means to be a dad – to be a father – he is a position to teach us fidelity. Simply put, a dad is man of his word.  He is true to the vows he made to the Lord and to his wife. He keeps the promises he made to his children on the day of their baptisms, when he agreed to teach them “by word and example”.

True dads are selfless and willing to make sacrifices, including the most seemingly insignificant ones. My dad loved ketchup. No meal was complete without it. Yet when the bottle was nearly empty, he would never touch it. The little bit remaining was for us.

Dads gift their children with time. I remember standing in the front yard, baseball glove in hand, waiting for Dad to come home from work.  Through he was hot, sweaty and tired he always had time to play a little catch.

Finally, dads teach their kids about God’s true nature. What a supreme compliment to every dad: God revealed Himself as a father!

What children think of their dads profoundly influences the way they think about God. If they see their dads as loving, selfless, faithful, and forgiving, this will translate directly to our Heavenly Father.”

I often find inspiration from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Her reflection for June 15 (Monday past) helped me appreciate where I draw the strength for my fatherhood as a priest. She writes as if Jesus is speaking to us in the first person.

“When you approach Me in stillness and in trust, you are strengthened. You need a buffer zone of silence, around you in order to focus on things that are unseen. Since I am invisible, you must not let your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is overstimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world.

The tangible world still reflects My Glory to those who have eyes to that see and ears that hear. Spending time along with Me is the best way to develop seeing eyes and hearing ears. The goal is to be aware of unseen things even as you live out your life in the visible world.   (2 Corinthians 4:18; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 130:5).

I can’t wait to see you all return to church. I miss you and pray for you all daily. May God bless you!

Fr. Tom Devery


Pastor Letter for June 14

Dear Parish Family,

This Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi, The Body and Blood of Christ. I will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live stream at 11AM. May I invite you to come by the car-full to our parking lot for a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament. At 3-4PM I will be people in their cars. This would be a wonderful way to demonstrate our faith. Jesus is truly present in His word, in His people, and most sublimely in The Blessed Sacrament. Unfortunately, there are Catholics who don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus. This is the heresy of our times. If only we could let go and let God give us this faith to surrender ourselves to this truth, how powerful Christ’s presence could change our lives for the better.

For lifelong Catholics, it has been a spiritual suffering to go these past 100 days without receiving physically Jesus into our lives. We understand that the new normal will challenging until the statics and metrics point to our total return to Church Life. Let us not waste this suffering but unite it to Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross for the healing and evangelizing of the whole world. It’s been said before, Know Jesus, Know Peace, and No Jesus, No Peace. May the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity reinforce our faith in the fact that God promised to never abandon us and that He is with us until the end of time.

We are on the brink of returning to 25% capacity for Sunday Mass and simultaneously offering a Parking Lot Mass in the gym parking lot. We are meeting this week as a staff to discuss, times and how we can do the logistics of this so as be with the health guidelines of this pandemic and maintain safety and security. It must be made clear, until we are fully opened for our regularly schedule of Mass, the obligation to attend Mass is suspended and we are praying the prayer for all at home for Spiritual Communion. This is a sacrifice and I anguish over this since social distancing is a unique suffering that none of ever experienced before. However there is new data from the CDC regarding the nature of this pandemic. For example, it has been determined the importance of wearing masks, not just in stores, or shops but in public, since the tiny droplets can linger for up to 3 hours and that it doesn’t last as long on surfaces. These findings are alarming and yet consequential, if we don’t be mindful that we can trigger another wave of sickness, suffering and possible death.

Surrender Prayer

God, my Father, I thank you for all that you are and all that you do for me through your Son, Jesus Christ. I praise you for my life, for your mercy and your presence in the Eucharist.

In Jesus name, Father, I place myself entirely into your Heart. I surrender to you my whole self, my heart, my mind, my memory, my imagination, my will, my emotions, my passions, my desires, my body, my sexuality, my desire for human approval, my weaknesses, my sins. I surrender every situation in my life to you. I surrender every relationship I am into you. I surrender every concern I have to you. I surrender every fear I have to you. I surrender every doubt I have to you. I surrender all my wounds to you. I surrender all my anxiety and worry that I have to you. I surrender all that deceives me in my heart to you. I trust you to care for me and others in a perfectly loving way.

As I have emptied myself; and surrendered everything to you. I ask you now, Father, to fill me with your Holy Spirit and all the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, you are the source of love, hope, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, tenderness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Purify my desires.  Help me to open my heart to you. Help me to become perfectly receptive as a pure child. Help me to believe in your love for me. Help me to hope in your love. Help me to receive from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus all graces and virtues necessary for me to become the person you created me to be. God Almighty Father, I ask this in the Name of Jesus your son.

O Most Holy Immaculate Virgin Mary, I entrust this prayer to your heart and ask you to press it into your sorrowful and immaculate heart and intercede for me to your Son, Jesus. Please help me to be as you are, a loving disciple, an obedient servant, a true child of God. AMEN.

I congratulate the Our Lady Star of the Sea School Class of 2020 who attended their outdoor graduation. Certainly, this class will go down in history as having to deal with the pandemic and troubled times for our economy and justice. However, you have been given the gifts to proceed into the future. We are saying well done and blessings be upon you and all the sacrifices your families made to give you a Catholic Education in our parish school. Now walk with God and we will take delight as we watch your growth. Be not afraid.

With Trust in God’s Love for you this Corpus Christi,

Father Tom Devery


Pastor Letter for May 31

Dear Parish Family,

Just as we remembered last Monday on Memorial Day, those men and women of the military that paid the ultimate price for our freedom from the past, and as we honor these days the men and women battling Covid-19 all first responders and medical personnel and all essential workers who risk their lives to save others, so we offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass praying for the Holy Spirit to come and end this pandemic and help us to discover new vaccines, and recover from fear and loss, and stress of these days. I recently was impressed by an article that seemed very timely about our situation now and how we can take care of our Planet. Pope Francis dedicated his encyclical “Laudato, Si”, to the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi and his love for ecology. Enjoy!

Loving God by Loving the World

I have often wondered what might compel more Christians to take personal responsibility to mitigate climate change. With all the scientific evidence we’ve been given, it doesn’t seem to be a head issue but a heart one. Scholar Sallie McFague (1933–2019) offers both theological and ethical reasons for us to make some much needed changes at an individual level. She writes:

As St. Augustine [354–430] puts it, sin is “being curved in upon oneself” [1] rather than being open to God. In our ecological age, we now see that being open to God means being open to the other creatures upon whom we depend and who depend upon us. We do not meet God only in Jesus of Nazareth, because God is also incarnate in our world as the universal Christ. . . .

To love God by loving God’s world has meant different things to different people in different times. For us . . . it is epitomized by climate change . . . the central crisis of the twenty-first century. Put simply, climate change is the result of too many human beings using too much energy and taking up too much space on the planet. Through excessive energy use and its accompanying greenhouse-gas emissions, we are changing the planet’s climate in ways that will make it uninhabitable for ourselves and many other species. . . .

This is a strange “crisis” to face: It does not have the immediacy of a war or plague or tsunami. Rather, it has to do with how we live on a daily basis—the food we eat, the transportation we use . . . the luxuries . . . [and] long-distance air travel we permit ourselves. We are not being called to . . . fight an enemy; rather, the enemy is the very ordinary life we ourselves are leading. . . . Yet, for all its presumed innocence, this way of life lived by well-off North Americans [and prosperous people in other countries —RR] is both unjust to those who cannot attain this lifestyle and destructive of the very planet that supports us all.

What, then, would be [an appropriate] ethic for twenty-first-century people and especially for well-off, religious people? One of the distinguishing characteristics of many . . . religions is some form of self-emptying. Often it takes the form of ego-lessness, the attempt to open the self so that God can enter. . . . In the Christian tradition, kenosis or self-emptying is seen as constitutive of God’s being in creation, the incarnation, and the cross. In creation, God limits the divine self, pulling in, so to speak, to allow space for others to exist. . . . In the incarnation, as Paul writes in Philippians 2:7, God “emptied the divine self, taking the form of a slave,” and in the cross God gives of the divine self without limit. Likewise, one understanding of Christian discipleship is [as] a “cruciform” life, imitating the self-giving of Christ for others. . . .

Could we live and move and have our being in the universal Christ, participating in the insight and power of God incarnate in the world as we deal with . . .  the basics of existence—space and energy—so we can live in radical interdependence with all other creatures? We are not alone as we face this challenge—the universal Christ is in, with, and for the world as we struggle to deal with climate change.”

I try to do my part. I ordered on Amazon a hand grabber, heavy duty and as I pray my rosary, I walk the perimeter of our 15- acre parish campus. There is no shortage of empty bottles, gloves, masks, candy wrappers, cigarette packs, wipes, cups, napkins and e-cigarette containers. Actually I have filled on these walks 9 garbage bags. It’s a practice of mercy for the land that resists this garbage and one of internal self -emptying in forgiveness. “Father, Forgive them, they know not what they do.” I pray for a New Pentecost and that day we resist the throw-away culture and love more our common ground.

Pentecost Blessings,

Fr. Tom Devery

Pastor Letter for May 24

Dear Parish Family,

We find ourselves with the disciples in the Upper Room with our Blessed Mother praying since the Ascension of the Lord for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Come Holy Spirit” is our prayer as well as we await a New Pentecost. When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, he promised that he would not abandon us and that “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and your will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” The birthday of the Church is Pentecost, and next Sunday we will celebrate that. Both Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and Cardinal Timothy Dolan write about Jesus who imparts his Spirit to us and intercedes for us before the Father.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen write:” Now that Christ is in glory at the right hand of the Father, what does he do there? Has he a work? Certainly, he’s a mediator. We might say that He is constantly showing his scars to his Heavenly Father and he is saying,

“See, these I was wounded in the house of those who love me. I love humanity. I suffered for them. Forgive them Heavenly Father.” He is our sacrifice. He is ever present before our Father. As Scripture puts it, “ever making intercession for us”. You see, we very often get the wrong understanding of the life of our Lord. We think of him as just living on this earth, preaching the beatitudes and suffering, No, Jesus did not come down just for that. He is living, making intercessions for us, the representative of all who invoke him. Certainly, he has finished the work of justice on earth because he paid the debt for sin. But the work of mercy in heaven is unfinished. That goes on and on. The reason it goes on is because we need this intercession.

When Our Lord was on earth, he revealed the Heavenly Father. It was only through him that we know how much love the Father has for us.  The Father so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to save it.  The night of the Last Supper, Philip said to Jesus, “Show us the Father.” Our Lord replied, “ Philip, have I been with you all this time still you do not understand the Father and I are one?” It was the Father’s love that sent the Son, so that the Lord was kind of a prism. Just as when the earthly sun shines through a prism and splits light into seven rays of the spectrum, so too Our Lord reveals the full love and goodness of the heavenly Father. “

(May 18- May 19 Through the Year with Fulton Sheem, complied by Henry Dieterich)

Last Monday, May 18 was the 100th birthday of Saint John Paul II and Cardinal Dolan writes, “ I tried my best to read everything that Saint John Paul II wrote, and in doing so I noticed that one word that appears over and over: return. He exhorts priest to return to the Upper Room, where Jesus gave the Church the gift of the priesthood.

He tells young people to return to their inner dignity, for they are in the image and likeness of God. He summons the sick to return to Calvary to share in the Christs cross, which gives meaning to their suffering. He tells married couples to return to the radiance of their sacred bond. – a bond that mirrors God’s love. And to America, he tells us to return to the protection of life and welcome those that in need.

He askes all of us to return to what is most decent, noble and uplifting in our makeup as children of God. He asks us to return to Jesus – to come back to Palestine and be saved.

Saint John Paul II wanted all of us to experience again the excitement, the invitation, the conversion, the promise, the miracles, the teaching- the Person who walked in Palestine 2000 years ago and who lives now in His Church.”

(Who Do You Say I Am? by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Image Books- May 18 reflection).

Questions about Pre Cana have been called in. I received information from the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York (212 371 1000) that in June there will be a virtual Pre Cana and preparations are being made at present for chat rooms. Also questions about re-opening the Church for Mass will depend on the metric system given by New York State and the Corona virus Task Force. Questions also about Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals will depend on the 4th Phase opening up the State. Also questions about Summer Camp are still yet to be determined since children have been having reactions relative to Covid- 19, Kawasaki disease and other symptoms. We are awaiting word. I will keep you posted as soon as I know. Though the bulletin, Wednesday updates on You Tube, Sunday Mass announcements that will be after Holy Communion at 11AM which will be live streamed from our parish website, OLSSPARISH. Org. God bless, stay safe and let us continue to implore the Holy Spirit to protect us.

Come Holy Spirit!

Father Tom Devery

A Letter from Father Tom May 17

Dear Parish Family,

The other day, my cousin Mark send me this adult fairy tale. It’s lovingly told of a dad reading this story to his little son at bedtime. Read it and enjoy.

The Great Realization

Little Boy: Tell me the one about the virus again, then I’ll go to bed.

Dad: But my boy, you’re growing weary, sleepy thoughts about your head.

Little Boy: Please Dad, that one is my favorite, I promise just once more.

Dad: OK, snuggle down though I know you know full well

that story starts before then, in a world I once would dwell.

It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

back before we understood that hindsight’s 2020.

You see the people came up with companies to trade across all lands.

But they swelled and got much bigger that we ever could have planned.

We always had our wants; but it got to be so quick

we could have everything you dreamed of in a day and with a click.

We noticed families stopped talking, that’s not to say they never spoke,

but the meaning must have melted and the work life balance broke.

And the children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone.

They filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.

And everyday the skies grew thicker, until you couldn’t see the stars.

So we flew in planes to find them; while down below we filled our cars.

We’d drive around all day in circles. We had forgotten how to run.

We swapped the grass for tarmac, shrink the parks, till there were none.

We filled the sea with plastic; but our waste was never capped,

until each day when you went fishing; you’d pull them out already wrapped.

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us why,

it’s best not to upset the lobbies, it’s more convenient to die.

But then in 2020, a new virus came our way,

the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,

the people dusted off their instincts. They remembered how to smile.

They started clapping to say thank you and calling up their mums.

And while the car keys gathered dust, they would look forward to their runs.

And with the skies less full of voyagers, the earth began to breathe.

And the beaches bore new wildlife, that scuttled into the seas.

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking.

We’d grown so used to bad news, but some good news was in the making.

And so, when we found the cure and we were allowed to go outside,

we preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.

Old habits became extinct and they made way for the new.

And every simple act of kindness was given then it’s due.

But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Sometimes my boy, you must get sick before you start feeling better.

Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things we can do.

And who knows if you dream hard enough, maybe some of them will come true.

We now call it The Great Realizaton

and yes, since then, there have been many.

But that’s the story of how it started, and why hindsight’s 2020.


A blessed Easter season,

Father Tom Devery


Let’s Pray A Million Rosaries on May 13th!!

Let’s Pray A Million Rosaries on May 13th!!

Join Fr. Jeff Pomeisi @farrell.pomcast a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in partnership with Spiritual Strength to pray one million rosaries at the same time on the same YouTube channel, in honor of the renewed consecration of the USA to Our Blessed Mother.

Join us May 13, 2020, 7PM EASTERN TIME
on Fr. Jeff’s “Pomcast” YouTube channel and sign the petition to so we can get to one million signatures by May 13th.

A victory for God is a victory for America!  And use the hashtag #millionrosarymay13th To find Fr Jeff’s “Pomcast” channel just go to YouTube and search for “Pomcast” or go this link:……  To sign the petition go to and search for “Million Rosary” or go to this link:…

And remember to use the hashtag #millionrosarymay13th

Ave Maria!

Saint Joseph, Pray for us!

A Letter from Father Tom May 10

Dear Parish Family,

Here’s a pastoral observation on just one of he comments of Governor Cuomo. It’s not an easy read; however, if it is read slowly it make perfect sense.

Bishop Robert Barron writes, “Last week Andrew Cuomo, made on interesting theological observation. Commenting on the progress New York State has made in fighting the coronavirus; and praising the concrete efforts of medical and ordinary citizens, he said: ‘The number is down because we brought the number down, God didn’t do that. Faith did not do that. “I won’t waste a lot of time exploring the hubris of that remark, which should be obvious to anyone. I might recommend, out of pastoral concern, that the governor read the first part of Genesis Chapter eleven.

What I will do is instead explain the basic intellectual confusion that undergirds Cuomo’s assertion, one, that, I fear, is shared by many believers. The condition for the possibility of the governor’s declaration is the assumption that God is one competitive cause among many, one actor jostling for position and time upon the stage with a coterie of other actors. One this reading, God does certain things – usually of a rather spectacular nature—and creaturely causes do other things, usually more mundane. Thus, we can clearly parcel our responsibility and credit – some to God and some to finite agents. But this account is deeply unbiblical and alien to the Catholic theological tradition.

To understand the scriptural sense of the play between divine and human causality, it is helpful to consult the cycle of stories dealing with King David in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel. What strikes the reader is the nothing “supernatural” takes place in these accounts. Practically everything that happens to David could be adequately accounted for on a psychological, historical, military, or political grounds. However, throughout the narrative, God’s activity and involvement are assumed, for the author takes for granted the principal that the true God works not typically in an interruptive way but precisely though a congeries of secondary causes. Mind you, it is not the case that some explanations of David’s story are political or psychological and some properly theological; rather everything is at once, natural and supernatural- precisely because God’s causality is operating noncompetitively. If you want a one – liner summery of this distinctively biblical perspective, you could not do better that this, from the prophet Isaiah. “O Lord, you have accomplished all that we have done.” (Isaiah 26.12).

Now why should this be true? Here it would be helpful to turn to the Church’s greatest theologian, Saint Thomas Aquinas. For Thomas, God is not the supreme being  (ens summum, in his Latin), but rather ippsum esse subsistens, which means “the sheer act of to be itself.” In a word, God is not one more instance of the genus “being”, one thing, however exalted among others; instead, he is the self- explaining source of existence as such, that great font of being in  and through which all finite things subsist and act. Therefore, God does not compete for space, so to speak, on the same ontological grid as creatures, a zero – sum game does not obtain in regard to God’s activity and creaturely activity – the more we ascribe to one, the less we have to ascribe to the other.

Allow me to ground this rather abstract rhetoric with a homey example. If one were to ask what is necessary to make a bicycle, the response would be something like this: “tires, brake pads, a chain, a metal frame, the skill of the builder, perhaps a schematic to guide the building process, etc.”. No one would ever to be tempted to respond as follows:” tires, brake pads, a chain, God, a metal frame, the skill of a builder, etc.” And yet, a smart religious person, upon finishing the project of constructing that kike, would quite legitimately say “Thank God!” The prayer would be a humble acknowledgement, not that God is responsible for the entire nexus of causes and behaviors that made up the process. The upshot is that the two dimensions of causality—on finite and the other Transcendent–operate simultaneously and noncompetitively: “You have accomplished all that we have done.”

All of which brings me back to Governor Cuomo. To claim that “God did not do that” because we did it is a category mistake. What brought the coronavirus numbers down? It is perfectly accurate to say: “The skills of doctors and nurses, the availability of hospital beds, the willingness of so many to shelter in place, etc.”. But it is also perfectly valid to say that God brought those numbers down, precisely by grounding the entire complex of creaturely causality just referenced. This relationship holds at the metaphysical level, but it is perhaps even clearer when it comes to the psychological motivation of those dedicated physicians and nurses. Why ultimately were they willing to do what they did? I would be willing to bet that a large percentage of them would say that it was a desire to serve others and to be pleasing to God.

So we should thank all of the good people involved in bettering our current situation; and we shouldn’t hesitate, even for a moment to thank God as well. There is absolutely no need to play the zero – sum game proposed by the governor of New York.”

God Bless you during this Easter Season, and may He and we Keep us all safe and well.

Father Tom

A Letter from Father Tom May 3rd

Dear Parish Family,

I was sent this wonderful etymology of the word, “Quarantine”. It has deep significance as you will see.

World Quarantine

The Latin root for Quarantine is “forty”. So what does the Bible say about “40”?

The flood lasted for 40 days. 40 years Moses fled Egypt. 40 Days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments. The Exodus lasted 40 years. Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the desert he began his public ministry. 40 days for a woman to rest after giving birth is recommended. A group of theologians thinks the number 40 represents “Change”. It is a time of preparing a person, or a people, to make a fundamental change. Something will happen after 40 days. Just believe and pray. Remember whenever the number 40 appears on the Bible, there is “change”.

Please know that during this “quarantine” rivers are cleaning up, vegetation is growing, the air is becoming cleaner because there is less pollution. There is less theft, murder, healing is happening and most importantly people are turning to Christ. The Earth is at rest for the first time in many years and hearts are truly being transformed.

So, during this time, enjoy it with your loved ones, and return to the family altar together. Family prayer is a great blessing. Through prayer you will see the changes that God can work in you and in your home. Christ promises us everything works together for the good for those who love God: Romans 8:28!

Remember that we are in the year 2020, add 20 + 20 = 40. Also 2020 is the year that the United States has a census. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the of the world and he was born during a census.

Lastly 2020 signals perfect vision. May our sight focus on Our Risen Lord and live according to His perfect vision for us knowing He holds us in the palm of His hand.

May these days of “quarantine” bring spiritual liberation to our souls, our nation, and our world. The best is yet to come. Trust in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

In honor of Earth Day, I took my trusty pick up stick and first started walking around the circumference of the parish with not one but what would later add up to 6 white trash can liners. Let’s keep our planet clean. It’s amazing looking from space to see how the earth itself is healing from all the pollution and garbage that destroys life.

I felt like the old TV commercial where the Native American has one tear rolling down his eye. Let us be mindful this Eastertide that this is, as Pope Francis says, Our Common Home. There is an old slogan that was once on all the trash cans in parks, it said “A Cleaner New York is Up to You”. Policing the area and keeping things clean will help us take pride in this 15- acre Vineyard of the Lord.

“And God saw all that He had created; and it was very good.” (Genesis). Keep safe and know you are all in our prayers here daily.

Last Wednesday I made a short 7 minute You Tube video and I spoke about the issue of worry. Reverend Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California made some 4 wonderful points about allowing our selves to lead by the Good Shepherd. Also, Sister Christine Sorrentino, a novice from Staten Island, and with the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate in Monroe, sent a lovely card and a letter from their sisters. In it was an inspiring poem call “Remember”. I incorporated these two in this video, and Called it Worrying and Remembering. I hope it enriches you.

Bes filled with Easter Blessings.

Father Tom Devery

A Letter from Father Tom April 26th

Dear Parish Family,

The other day I received this simple Prayer, called Remember. I invite you to pray it now with me.


O Lord; remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.

But, do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted upon us;

Instead, remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering-

Our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity,

The greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble.

When our persecutors come to be judged by you,

Let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.

Anonymous- Found in the clothing of a dead child at Ravens Bruck
Concentration Camp: From the Prayers of the Martyrs compiled and translated
– By Duane W.H. Arnold; Forward by Madeleine L’Eng

I was moved by the merciful heart of this child. Last Sunday, this was sent to me from a former parishioner from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak, where I was a parochial Vicar in the mid B0’s. It was no coincidence, but a God-incidence that I received this on the Feast of Divine Mercy. I am grateful for the magnanimous heart of Jesus for us all. I was also able to listen to Father David Rider’s homily. He had celebrated Mass at 10AM and I at 11AM last Sunday. It was brilliant as usual.

What is so encouraging to me is that as difficult as this time is, isn’t it wonderful that we now live in a digital age, where we can share Zoom, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and all the means of making ourselves present despite Social Distancing. I am reminded when I pray each day of the heroism that is to be found in our nursing homes and hospitals. But I heard one person who works there tell me, that although it is tough and the level of grief is high, they feel that they are called to be angels of mercy to the ones who are sick and isolated from their families. Yet, it’s also in the random acts of kindness, the bowl of soup sent over, the phone call from Costco or Stop n Shop, asking, “While I am here, do you need anything? I can pick it up for you!”. I am also aware of the domestic heroines and heroes that not only take care of their children’s schoolwork and homework, but also find the time to do their own computer work and manage a household full of chores. Things have ramped up with people now having to wear face coverings and masks .and keep six feet social distance.

All these interruptions of our freedom, our trying to comply with health and safety regulations point out clearly that we are not in control. We don’t like uncertainty, the ability to plan ahead. If you have been as frustrated as I, you may have heard yourself say to others, “I just don’t know when …. “This week would have been traditionally the time we celebrate First Holy Communions. This past Saturday and the next, would have been the special time to fill our church, three times over with sweet cherubic faces, coming to receive Jesus. I was hoping that by the time that the Feast of Corpus Christi, 6 weeks from now, we would be having 1st Holy Communions but now it seems we have to wait until September. Not knowing is part of the sacrificial suffering, we are going through. I am praying for yours and my patience.

In the meantime, let us walk with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. Like the disciples downcast in grief and sadness, we are told in Luke’s Account, there were prevented from truly seeing Jesus with them. It wasn’t until the Risen Lord Jesus went into their shelter, and stayed with them and when it was time to bless the food before Him, He Blessed, Broke and Gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened. This is the
formula for living daily the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We, too, will be blessed, broken (many times) and Given to others. Before that moment, Jesus explained how Scripture was fulfilled in his passion, suffering, death and now Resurrection. May you too, no matter what you are feeling and experiencing, come to recognize Jesus’ presence with you. He is always near, even closer to us that the air we breathe (behind those temporary masks). I am praying for you and asking our merciful and Risen Lord to once again, flood your heart with light, fire and peace.

Fr. Tom Devery