Dear Friends,
As we enter into a new season we begin many of our programs, especially our Religious Education Program, now referred to as the parish Catechetical Program. The change in name is because it is a way of looking at faith formation as a life-long process, a way of teaching about the truths of our faith to everyone and not only children, but also their families, all youth, all young adults, all adults – single or married. We are excited to begin this year with renewed life-long emphasis and with our new Catechetical Leader Mr. Kurt Hoover. We welcome Kurt and his family to our parishes and we look forward to building on the wonderful programs we had under the direction of Jeanne Higgins, our newly retired, now former Director of Faith Formation for over 12 years.
Last weekend was Catechetical Weekend. Mr. Kurt Hoover, our new Catechetical Director, spoke at all the Masses. The theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday is: “This is my body, given for you.” There was a blessing of all our volunteer Catechists as well Parents, as catechetical leaders of their family, at the 11:00 am Mass. As the National Directory of Catechesis says: “The service of catechists to God and to the Church is truly irreplaceable”. Let us thank them for their efforts with our prayers for the coming year.
Our Catechetical Program for our school age children K-10th grade begins this Sunday, September 25th with a Family Fellowship Event at 10:10am in St. Patrick’s Gym. All families and children from both parishes are invited. Continental breakfast will be served. It will be an opportunity to recognize and express our gratitude to Jeanne Higgins for her over 10 years of service to our parishes and formally pass the baton to Mr. Kurt Hoover, our new director. We will also introduce our Catechists for the year. Parents will then escort their children to their respective classrooms and introduce themselves to their teacher. All are invited to attend the 9 am Mass prior to the event. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Use the QR code to register your child(ren) for the year ahead or you can contact the parish offices or register at our web site –
Once again this fall, there will be offerings for adult catechesis. The Wednesday morning Bible Study will be back in session with Ascension Press’s “What We Believe, The Beauty of the Catholic Faith.” This 10 week presentation will be in the Cebula Room at St. Thomas Aquinas Church following the 10am daily Mass starting Wednesday, September 28th. Sessions begin around 10:30am and end by noon. On Wednesday evenings at 7pm starting October 12th we will be offering “The Chosen” in St. Patrick’s Parish Hall. The watch group will start with Series One, continue with Series Two, with hopes Series Three will then be out. All are welcome to either or both of these offerings. Kurt Hoover will also offer a six week program from Catholic Christian Outreach called “Discovery” which explores God’s personal love for you and some of the different aspects of His Love, offered, proved and merciful. More information will follow in the bulletin and on our website. Dr. Sr. Teresia Mutiso, LSOSF continues her work with the Grief Recovery Program. The second group will be concluding by mid-October and the next cycle will begin later in the month. Please call the St. Thomas parish office with your interest in grief recovery.
We will be looking at hiring a full time Youth Minister who will assume responsibility for our 7-12th grade program as well as overseeing any youth programs, like CYO. Further, I am pleased to announce that Mr. Scott Burghardt will be the Moderator for our CYO program at St. Patrick’s. Mike Simeck Sr., Mike Simeck Jr. and Bill Benedict will continue to moderate our CYO programs at St. Thomas Aquinas. Organizational meetings will be held in October for those interested in helping. We are happy to be back for a full CYO season this year and look forward to serving the youth in our community. We appreciate the time and talent shared with our youth by the moderators and the many volunteers it takes to run a full program.
I would like to share with you Bishop Lucia’s vision regarding the importance of PCA’s (Pastoral Care Areas) and the diocesan offices that oversee all aspects of ministries within the diocese.
Fall newsletter September 2022During the coming year, Bishop Lucia and members of the Visioning Team will be outlining their hopes for the diocesan church and how the various offices will assist parishes in their efforts at renewing parish life and reviving our understanding and belief in the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We will update and keep you informed on both the visioning process and Eucharistic Revival.

As we continue to transition to a more normal life after COVID, though there are still concerns about its impact on our lives, we will follow the protocols established by the diocese, taking necessary precautions. While we understand that some may still feel reluctant to participate, especially for those who have health concerns, our hope is that more will begin to attend Mass and participate in the programs being offered. We will continue to live stream our Masses for those unable to attend and reach out to those who are homebound through our Pastoral Care Ministry. We are now allowed to have Mass in most of our nursing homes – and the people are so grateful for this opportunity. We have Mass every week at Hilltop (shared with St. James), at Susquehanna Nursing Home and we will begin next month at Bridgewater Nursing Home twice a month. Anyone wishing to help can contact our parish offices.
Our Outreach Ministry Program located at St. Cyril’s continues to grow. St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas Aquinas Parishes support this program by paying the rent to use this facility which operates five days a week. We have been averaging the distribution of 61,000 lbs. of food each month or 3,000 lbs a day. Within the last month, we have served 6,883 individuals. As part of the back to school effort, we served over 600 children. Outreach Ministries are busy planning for the holidays. We are collecting monetary contributions for Thanksgiving and toys for Christmas. Many volunteers from our parishes and other parishes and denominations help with distributing food to the many families and elderly who are in need during these difficult economic times. We are so grateful to these many volunteers and those who support these efforts financially. We hope to begin offering Showers of Hope once again this fall. Barb Donnelly has been serving as a staff coordinator of the Outreach Ministries efforts and we welcome Marie Sullivan who is serving on a part time basis. St. Patrick’s also operates the CHOW Pantry and is supported by many volunteers from both St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas Aquinas and others in the community as well. Special thanks to both parishes for supporting this program and for those who donate necessary items, like personal care items. Your support of these efforts are deeply appreciated. Volunteer help is always needed at both of these programs. Contact the Parish Office if you can help.
As far as operations project updates I can share that we are anticipating our new church door installation at St. Patrick’s for the holidays. We are also anticipating finishing work on the plans for updating the heating and air conditioning for the lower level classroom and at the entrances and back hallway at the school building for St. Patrick’s. We have accomplished roof and gutter repairs on the lower nave of the church as well as the rectory. At St. Thomas Aquinas the convent stained glass windows repairs are almost complete and the new school doors at the three main entries are slated to be installed by November. We continue the work on the convent carport/parish pavilion.
Enclosed you will find the financial report for your parish of registration. I am grateful for the work and support of our Trustees and Finance Councils and to the parish family for your continued support. I would also like to remind you that the Bishop’s Hope Appeal has launched for 2022 and ask you kindly consider what you are able to offer/pledge. You may do so online via Syracuse Diocese website. Mailings were sent out this past week. Brochures with envelopes are also available at church or by contacting your parish office. Thank you.
Please be assured of my continued prayers for you and our parish community.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. John P. Putano