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-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 - February 25, 2018

“Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” ~Romans 8

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

One of the most profound conversions called for in Lent is a true acceptance of how much God loves us. Despite all of our failures and brokenness He still loves us deeply and that makes all the difference. If our prayer, fasting and almsgiving can free us up to realize this reality – that will make all the difference.

This Tuesday evening we begin our Lenten Soup Supper Series in Room 1 beginning at 6:00pm followed by a Lenten Reflection at 6:45pm. This series is Free and no registration is required. There will be delicious hearty crock pots of soup with a variety of breads, drinks and cookies. Bring the whole family!

For this Tuesday’s reflection we welcome James Murphy who will share his story from a life on Wall Street to now living and working closely with the Rochester homeless community. Come and hear his moving story!

Exposition of the Holy Eucharist will take place on Tuesdays from 1:00 - 3:00pm.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered every Wednesday in church after Daily Mass (about 8:45am) and on Saturdays from 3:30-4:30pm. On Wednesday, March 14, we will again host the annual Diocesan Day of Penance from 12:30pm-7:30pm. Easy to use guides to the Sacrament will be provided, so there is no need to worry about memorizing any prayers. This is a wonderful opportunity for a “worry-free” confession!

Stations of the Cross are offered every Friday at 7:00pm in Church - following our fabulous Lenten Fish Dinners. Like the Apostles, come eat fish and then spend some time with Jesus this Lent by experiencing the Stations of the Cross.

A new Bible Study begins next week, reflecting on the kingship of David and its connection to Jesus as our Good Shepherd and King.

Next Saturday morning and afternoon our Pre-Cana team gathers at St. Rita with 15 engaged couples preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. We will conclude with prayer for them at the 5:00pm Saturday Evening Mass.

Let us continue to pray for all those suffering because of violence.

May God bless you this week!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - February 18, 2018

“Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.” ~1 Peter 3

Dear Parishioners and Friends;
This weekend we celebrate the First Sunday of Lent and the opportunities for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But why is it, some will ask, that Catholics have to spend 40 days meditating on the suffering of Jesus throughout Lent? Why can’t we just skip the season of Lent and arrive right at Easter? Or as some are thinking, why can’t we just ignore the
predictions of the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and go right into Spring?

The season of Lent purposefully begins in the middle of winter because it helps us better understand life. Life involves
times of suffering. Suffering can come from a variety of circumstances, persons or experiences that can leave us feeling dark, cold and alone. But the good news is that Lent does not end with winter, or as one could say, with true despair, because we can reach out to God in the midst of our suffering. God always reaches out to us with an invitation of divine love. The good news is that we are never truly alone or without purpose in our suffering.

Jesus transforms our sufferings by virtue of his cross and resurrection so that we can be led from sin into forgiveness,
from darkness into light, from Lent to Easter, from winter into spring, and from eternal death into eternal life.

Saint John Paul II wrote that Jesus “has taken upon himself the physical and moral sufferings of the people of all times, so that in love they may find the salvific meaning of their sorrow and valid answers to all of their questions”. (Salvifici Doloris, No. 31)

May God bless you this week!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - February 11, 2018

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Congratulations to our High School Seniors who received the Hands of Christ Award this past week.
We recognize them at the 10:30am Mass this weekend.

The season of Lent marks one of the most significant times of renewal. Lent provides a season for prayer, penance and fasting. This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Mass times will be at 8:15am, 9:15am (school mass) and 7:00pm. Please join us for the start of this holy season.

Parishioners will receive a Lenten Schedule of Events in the mail – there are extra copies in the back of church.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar with all of the special Lenten opportunities.

Here are the requirements for adult Catholics regarding fasting and abstinence:

  • Days of Abstinence: NO MEAT. Roman Catholics abstain from eating poultry, beef, pork, etc. For those 14 years of age and older, Abstinence is required on Ash Wednesday, and all Fridays in Lent including Good Friday.
  • Days of Fasting (Abstinence): On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, a limit of one full meatless meal for all who have reached their 18th birthday and have not as yet reached their 60th birthday. These are the only two days Roman Catholics are required to fast. Therefore it is VERY important that we not forget to fast (and abstain) on these two days.
  • Weekdays of Lent: Voluntary acts of self-denial and prayer are recommended throughout Lent. Some families will say the rosary daily for Lent, other individuals will give up desserts, etc. for Lent. Others might choose to read the Bible daily or go on a retreat, make a pilgrimage visit to Sacred Heart Cathedral, attend daily mass, etc.

We will again offer “The Little Black Book” for the season of Lent for prayer and reflection. This booklet is based on the writing of Bishop Ken Untener and provides a daily six minute reflection and meditation on the readings of the Lenten Season. The books will be available after Mass this weekend. These books are great for homebound people too. Be sure to bring a book to them and let them know we miss them!

May God bless you this week!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - February 4, 2018

“Praise the LORD, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers. He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name” ~Psalm 147

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Last Wednesday we gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Bishop Matano in recognition of Catholic Schools week. Students from all of our area Catholic schools gathered together for a wonderful liturgy and celebration.

St. Rita Parish has been blessed to have a school that has been in existence since the early days of the Parish founding. More than a few parents who attended the school themselves as children, now (or already have sent) their own children to St. Rita School and continue that tradition.

This weekend we welcome our Scouts at the 9:00am mass for our annual recognition of our Scouting troop.

Next weekend we will recognize our High School Seniors who received the “Hands of Christ” award for their service to our St. Rita Parish and School and wider community. Many are parishioners who have been baptized here!

Our school, faith formation, scouting, music and sports programs would not be possible without the generosity and support of many Parishioners and parents. Thank you!

Finally, let us keep everyone who works at Xerox in Webster in our prayers.
May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - January 28, 2018

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin,
and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.” ~Deuteronomy 18

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the book of Deuteronomy? It is the fifth book found in the Christian Biblical Old Testament. It also referred to as one of the five books of the Hebrew “Torah.”

The word "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek word “Deuternomian” meaning the “second law.” But the original Hebrew title comes from the phrase “Eleh ha-devarim”. It means “These are the words..."

The word “Torah” can be interpreted to mean “the law.” But it is better understood as an arrow or finger pointing the way. This “law” or “arrow” or “finger” is God’s word that speaks and points the direction we need to live.

A famous passage from Deuteronomy 6:4, is in reference to the Shema Yisrael, the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one."

The book of Deuteronomy contains the exhortations of Moses to the ancient Israelites on the plains of Moab to remain faithful to the law of God, and that the possession of the Promised Land depends on their faithfulness. Moses reminds them that even if they lose the land because of their lack of faithfulness, hope is not lost because God is merciful. Even in spite of future unfaithfulness, all can be restored.

In the final chapters we learn of the Song of Moses, and the Blessing Moses gives in passing his leadership to Joshua. Moses never enters the Promised Land himself but does view it from a mountain. He then passes away and is buried in a nearby valley.

Jesus was obviously familiar with the book of Deuteronomy because in the Gospel of Mark he quotes from it in chapter 12.:28-31 “One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The early Christian writers of the Gospel of Luke 1–2, and Acts 2–5, saw Jesus as the fulfillment of hopes and dreams expressed by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. That is why the Gospel Vision description of Jesus’ Transfiguration on Mount Tabor with Moses and Elijah was so significant. Jesus is the definitive Son of God. He is God-incarnate, God-made-flesh, and came not only for the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of these great and significant prophets but also for the people of the whole world, including people from the past, present and the future . . . and us too!

A bit of Deuteronomy to ponder!

May God bless you!
Fr. Gonyo