Dear Editor: Father Michael Carrano of Our Lady of Hope Church, Middle Village, gives the best homilies. They are brief, to the point and articulate. He gets the message across and one never forgets what was said.
I wish more priests would do the same.
Dear Editor: A couple months ago, I was going through a particularly difficult time. I was recommended to pray to St. Gerard Majella. I decided that in addition, I would attend Mass at St. Gerard Majella Shrine Church in Hollis.
Upon entering the unfamiliar church and sitting down, awaiting the Mass to begin, a very warm, welcoming feeling came over me. I felt happy to be there and felt like I belonged.
Once Mass began, the inviting feeling continued as the majority of the mixed crowd of young and old were singing and very involved in the Mass. The celebrant and pastor of the parish, Father Josephjude Gannon, began and continued the Mass in a manner that was truly engaging. I could not help but pay close attention to every word he said.
I have attended Mass for many years at various churches; however, I never have had this feeling right from the beginning of the Mass. I found myself listening intently to every word, even to those parts of the Mass that I have memorized over the years.
Then the homily began. Father Gannon’s words seemed to be directed to me. He spoke of how we should trust in the Lord and He is the one who will give us what we need to deal with our problems and difficult times. He said that we are not in charge, although we (and I) often think we are, and therefore it is not up to us to solve all our problems. Instead, we need to have faith and trust in God. I cried.
I entered St. Gerard Majella Shrine Church that Sunday, with the weight of the world on my shoulders, feeling very weak and lost. About an hour later when I left the church and walked out into the sunlight that November morning, I was a warrior. The strength that comes to us from our faith had been restored in me. Father Gannon’s very moving words reminded me that I had God on my side, and that was all I needed.
Dear Editor: My parish, St, Pancras, Glendale, was blessed with a priest who gave some of the best and inspiring homilies I ever heard. Father Thomas Shepanzyk (Father Tom) speaks with passion and said things from the pulpit that other priests are not willing to say because they are not “politically correct.”
Father Tom’s defense of traditional marriage, family values, life and his rejection of many of the aspects of modern culture and social values were a joy to hear over the past few years. We need more priests like him.
Some parishioners believe that his homilies were a little long, but they had to be in order to articulate his points and to educate the uninformed. Unfortunately, he was recently transferred to another parish. His homilies will be missed by my fellow parishioners. Right now, I envy Holy Cross of Maspeth.
Dear Editor: When acknowledging great homilists in the diocese, one has to mention Msgr. Joseph Nugent, who is well-known for his ministry to the poor and the marginalized. His homilies often relate the Gospels to those suffering in society. His actions as a priest illustrate the teachings of Our Lord.
Fourteen hundred men with substance abuse problems got a chance at a longer life than they might have expected through his rehabilitation program, Our Father’s House, at Our Lady of Victory Church.
Recently, he gave away his jacket to a man without one in this cold weather. The Gospels are not only preached but are lived as well by priests in our Diocese.
The old adage about boring sermons are a stereotype from the past.
GERALD DE MAIO