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3rd Quarter 2009

On Saturday, September 12th at the 4 PM Mass a special blessing was bestowed upon Dieter and Carol Lohndorf by Father Alan Jupin. This was to celebrate the occasion of their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Father Chris was away for the weekend and Father Jupin graciously did the honors.
The Baptism of Matthew Joseph Maurice took place after the 4 PM Mass on August 21, 2009.  Matthew was born in New York City on February 23, 2007. The Godfather is Gary Keith Brock Jr. and the Godmother is Marybeth Cotto.

The Catholic Daughters held their Annual Picnic on August 13th 2009. Father Christopher Welch and Mrs. Pat Geer were our special guest for the evening.

The members enjoyed a lovely supper and much lighthearted conversation. The meal was followed by Father Chrisís mom Mary Welch monthís celebration Mass.  Although our picnic was planned before the Mass was scheduled, after hearing Father Chrisís tribute to her and how she loved people, we were especially honored to be part of her special Mass. 

A short business meeting followed the Mass. Please mark your calendars for our Annual Penny Social on September 12th 2009.  We need your support by donating items for this event. We are also selling raffle tickets and are looking for your assistance with the sales. Thank you to our ticket sellers Maureen Dennis, Maureen Hunt, Betty Rosengrant, Mary Morgan, Liz Couse. These ladies efforts have brought us halfway to our goal.

Our summer lunch program for children in our community in partnership with the Emory United Women ended with a total of 300 prepared and delivered lunches. It was a wonderful program for our community and the ladies who participated not only enjoyed helping with the program but also enjoyed some real fellowship with each other.

We continue to work the concession stand on Wednesday nights and could use your support. Any assistance would be appreciated at your convenience. The proceeds from our fundraisers are always used for our charitable works.

Many Thanks to Mary Jo Law who continues to send out cards to all of our friends in need of cheering up and to Mrs. Danielle Gross who so beautifully sends out the prayers in need list on behalf of Saint Paulís Church.  Thank you ladies.

Please join us for our next regular meeting on September 10, 2009 -   7:00 PM.

Every so often a dear friend sends me some inspirational words, which I am sharing with you,  Please share them with others:


Happiness keeps You Sweet, Trials keep You Strong, Sorrows keep You Human, Failures keep You Humble, Success keeps you Glowing, But only God keeps You Going.  


Socorro Marin / Vice Regent

Court St Mary # 929


Funeral Homily for  Mary Welch, by her son
Father Christopher Welch
July 15,2009

"Holy Jehoshaphat Jack, look at that heavenly mansion God has prepared for us." I just can hear mom now, can't you?

Her expressions are one quality that defined mom. My brother in law Mike made a study of the various expressions and never missed an opportunity to quote them back to mom.

It is a shame that at the end of her life here on this earth mom could not talk, but we all filled in the empty moments for her with her expressions.

We have had a good long time to prepare for this day. When mom had her episode on May 24 we all thought we had lost her on that day, but she, God or both were not ready yet. When I started to pray the prayers for the dying that is the moment she began to recover.

We were given 7 weeks to sit, pray and talk with her.

As I sat I kept asking myself what I would say when the time came. The nurses and caregivers provided the answer for me. They kept making comments on how much they loved mom's smile, how she was so easy to care for, these men and women who hardly knew her told me how mom cheered their days.

Her laugh and the twinkle in her eye defined who she was for them.

For me it was the smile in the morning that will stay with me. So many mornings as child I was greeted with "It's a beautiful day in Chicago" (a phrase from an old radio show) or maybe the words "Today's the day they give babies away with a half of pound of tea."

(At night it might be "up the golden stairs" or "Time for Nelly white's party")


As an adult when I might sleep in, maybe till 7:30 I would come down and meet mom who had been up since 6am and having completed 100 chores and was waiting for all the info, "Where did you go, who did you meet, what did you do." Sometimes I could slow her down and get a sip of coffee down before I answered.

Mary was not a gossip just interested. Mary loved people and wanted to know all about those she loved.

This cherry attitude is one sign of how much the spirit of the living God dwelt in Mary. Many parts of her life were not easy. Mom lost her father when he was murdered at Auburn Prison in 1940. He left behind a wife with a 12 year old daughter and 10 year old son. In 1940 it was hard to be without income. No welfare or SSI yet. My dad was not always able to help out as he worked awful hours at the prison. Mom was widowed for 15 years, and in the last few years mom saw her balance and walking worsen.

Despite all her struggles she had an optimistic and cherry attitude.

Simple things meant lots. For me to take mom to my rectory, mix her a Manhattan and give her dinner made her feel that she had been on a Caribbean cruise. Mom came once to see my new parish in Hancock. (A test run of 2 nights) One day I made hot dogs on the grill, with homemade coleslaw and all she did was rave for days on how good the meal was. 

I know an Anglican priest who was known to say "I would rather have bitter herbs with my friends, thank sweet meats with my enemies." I am sure Mom would agree.

Mom never had much, but what she had she shared. It seems she was always sacrificing her wealth and time for others. It took time for us to list the entire councils and boards mom served on over the years. She would tell us children that she did nothing on these boards, but when we met the members around the town they would tell us, "We just adore your mother. We love serving with her on the committee." Maybe it was just that she provided the "Spoon full of sugar" that was needed to make the work fun.

We know that NY Tel and JC Penny Company were richer for Mary's sharing herself there.


John gave me a one line homily. Maybe I should stop now and just tell you what he told me. "The world is a richer place for Mary being here."

Of course as priest I need to go on.

A few years ago I bought for mom a book called Bus Nine to Paradise by Leo Buscaglia. She kept it by her chair and read it over and over again. Here are some of the highlights she made in the book.

"No matter how love is expressed, the important thing is that it be communicated freely and often."

"We may never learn that sometimes to do nothing is do something"

"Man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be"


"Have it all, but in moderation" Our lives change when we stop looking at
 our work as a necessary evil and begin to see it as a privilege. "

Mary had/has a great faith and love of the Lord and the Blessed Mother.

If I got up early in the morning I would find her at her chair praying her rosary. At the end one of our routines in the hospital and Matthew House was to pray the rosary together. I am sure she enjoyed this activity.

Her faith is one of her gifts to her children and grandchildren.

Mom tried on each and every ministry possible at Sacred Heart. She was a lector, Eucharistic minister, and Council member and Bingo helper.

When mom was on the council I was invited to join her as the council went to Rochester for Bishop Matthew's installation.

One of the proudest moments for mom was when she encouraged members of the parish to step forward and take on a ministry. She would tell me, "} got her to be a lector; I got him to be a Eucharistic minister." (Talk about Vatican II in action.)


When 1 was sick in high school mom always told me it was the prayers and the anointing, she probably saw it as last rites, given by Fr. Cieriani. That made me well.

When John was able to begin his recovery a few years ago, mom told me it was the BVM who made him well.

As kids John and I would serve Mass and mom might lector and or distribute communion. That night when he got home my dad would ask mom, "Did you all say Mass today" .

The last few years mom's particular joy was her grandchildren. They never came to visit enough or stay long enough for her.

What a particular joy it was for mom when earlier in the summer when Erin came to stay with mom for 2 nights.

Mom did not have much to give to the grandchildren, but the pile of bonds for each Christmas and birthday is large.

The grand children and Mike came to see mom a few hours before she responded to the call of Jesus to come home. I am certain that seeing them one last time was the icing on the cake and she said "now I am ready to go".

I came to see mom on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Before she had her episode, she sat with me on the lake, 11anhattan in hand, and told me with excitement in her voice, "1 had the girls over to play bridge. I didn't win, but I came in second." Mom loved her bridge and her friends. She always complained she had bad cards, but I suspect she couldn't concentrate on the game because she was too into talking and hearing all the news.

Mom always told me she didn't understand why the girls liked her so much, but you know why.

The scriptures today speak of why we are here. The words of Ecclesiastes remind us that we live on God's time and God's time is not our time. But we trust and enjoy the time we are given.

I love the words of St. Paul to the Roman community. "Nothing separates us from the love of God." Mary knew the love of God and communicated this to those she knew and loved.

Finally, in the gospel we hear the words of Martha at the grave of Lazarus. I like two things about this reading. First in this episode we meet another side of Martha, before we saw her as the bad sister berating her sister Mary for not helping out. Here Martha is the women of Faith, "Yes Lord I have come to believe you are the Christ."

These are the words for all us. As we stand before the life, witness, grave of our Mother, Sister, Friend we place faith in Jesus. We know from our faith in Jesus that Mary is at peace, she has been gathered into the loving arms of Jesus and his mother Mary. And she is at peace.

The Manhattan is prepared, the cards are dealt, Jerry Vale is on the stereo and Mary sits down at the table and asks, "So tell me all the news."

Or an alternate ending

Mary may be "laid out in Lavender" but she can and will "Tell them how trees made shingles"


The Funeral Mass for Bob Dillon was held on Thursday, August 6th at St. Paul's. Bob was a long time parishioner and always helped out at the Lenten Soup Suppers by making breads and rolls. Even though the suppers started at 5 PM, I would always find him sitting in the church parking lot at around 2:30 every Friday waiting for me to open the hall. The Bethany Ministry Volunteers put on the funeral luncheon and served about 50 family members and friends.

On Friday, August 7th there was another funeral here at St. Paul's. This was a Memorial Mass for Jose Ceballos  who passed away near Philadelphia about 3 weeks ago. He grew up in the Hancock area and was in an auto accident a few years ago that had left him paralyzed. The Mass was attended by many of his friends in the area.

June was a great month for organizing for Mary's Flowers.

A fresh idea was "unveiled" and implemented  for Mary's Flowers veils. The mantilla, a triangular piece of cloth or lace used as a head covering for catholic women, was the inspiration. With the simple adaptation of an elastic headband in a lace casing, Mary's Flowers were able to present Father Chris with the sacred oils during his installation as pastor in Catholic tradition and style. In addition, all of Mary's Flowers sashes were updated with badges the girls' have earned.

Our project for this month was also one of organization: ribbon bookmarks for the church hymnals. After a bit of trial and error, the girls completed some very nice bookmarks for our parishioners.

Lastly, Mary's Flowers had the joy of helping set up for Helena Dirig's birthday party. Last year, Ms. Dirig invited the girls to her lovely vegetable garden. Mary's Flowers helped to weed the garden and shared cookies with her on the front porch. The young ladies of Mary's Flowers are fond of Ms. Dirig and were pleased to help prepare for her celebration.

The Red Cross was at the Father Rausch Hall on Monday July 28th. The blood drive was very successful, with approximately 45 donors participating. We had a number of 1st time donors this time and that helped to add to the success of the drive.

The top picture is of Father Chris blessing the new chalice that was so generously given to him by the parishioners of St. Paul's for his 15th anniversary of his ordination and his installation as Pastor. The others are some candid shots that were taken during the installation by members of his family.

The installation of Fr. Chris as our pastor took place on Sunday afternoon July 19th. The hard work over the past few weeks by all the people involved was very evident. The installation ceremony was impressive to watch and even though this type of installation was a first for us, things went very smoothly. The committee worked very hard at being sure that all the groups of St. Paul's were represented and as many of the parishioners as possible were involved. A reception followed in the Father Rausch Hall, with coffee, punch cake and ice cream.

If you missed the installation because you had another commitment or were out of town the pictures below are a representation of what went into the planning of such an event.

If you were not there, you missed the roast that we did on Father Chris. During the reception I asked him if I still had my job? He said yes, but I'd have to take a pay cut.

To view the program for the installation, click on this link:  Installation Program


Master of Ceremonies:
Kevin Caramore

Presenting of the keys:
Holy Name Society
Harold Morgan
Al Restaino

Presenting of the Altar:
Prayer & Worship
Ed White: Reader
Maureen Hunt
Tina Linke

Presenting the Book of Gospels,
and Ambo (Lectern)
Eucharistic Minister/Lectors
Linda Kulikowski
Bob Collarini

Presenting the Stole:
Catholic Daughters
Mary Jo Law
Socorro Marin

Presenting of the Holy Oils:
Mary's Flowers
The Blue Knights
Boy Scouts
Reader: Brad Esolen

The Religious Ed. Book:
Pat Brown
Kristie White

Presenting Loaves & Fishes:
Jean Ann Karcher
Diane Schield
Barbara Rotzler

Presenting The Easter Candle:
Bethany Ministry
Mary Morgan
Shirley Fredo
Reader:  Barbara Leonard

Presenting the Chalice & Paten
Pastoral Council
Patty Esolen
Cathy VanMater

Presenting a Cross:
Ecumenical Council
Pastor Roxie Moses
Sandra Bartholomew

Presenting the Chaplet
Altar/Rosary Society
Helena Dirig
Diane Weber

Signing of the Book of Appointment:
Very Rev. John Burns
Pastor Christopher Welch
Mary Ann Hunter/ Pat O'Brien

Prayer of the Faithful:
Jessica Mason

Revelation Readings:
Gabrielle Biggs

Presenting a Choir Angel:
Rosemary Bennett
JoAnn Passaniti
Sunday  July 12th will be a day that Helena Dirig will remember for a long time. The day started out with a special 12:20 PM Mass offered for Helena by Father Chris in honor of her 90th birthday. After Mass, a luncheon was served to over 100 well wishers in the Father Rausch Hall by volunteers from the Catholic Daughters.

The hall was filled to capacity with her many many family members as well as many parishioners from St. Paul's. Family and friends came from all over New York State as well as many of the surrounding states.

The "Dirig Band"  rocked the hall for the afternoon with their playing mostly 50's and 60's music. Stories surfaced throughout the afternoon that might lead one to believe their may be a side to Helena that most of us had never seen.

Happy Birthday "Helena"


Vacation Bible School News    July 7-10 2009 --- CAMP  E.D.G.E. The goal for the VBS week and every week after VBS: to Experience and Discover God Everywhere. All week, Campers learned about God and how God is involved in every area of our lives.  Campers arrived at the United Emory Church at 6:00PM Ė Until 7:30 PM. The Hall was decorated as an outdoor campground and all activities were geared for campers of all ages.

Daily bible stories came alive through the narration of our Bible storytellers, Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Charlene Caramore. Daily crafts were directed to reinforce their learning and as a keepsake reminder of their Camp E.D.G.E. Experience. Indoor and outdoor games were a must for camp activities and snacks were provided and enjoyed while seated by the (pretend) campfire while they ate and sang songs. Their favorite snack was Símores.

A Special furry fox friend named Sparks was a special visitor at all the assemblies on the stage helping with all the reflections. A short video about the Bible stories featuring Extreme Jean provided the campers with some chuckles while they were introduced to the daily bible journey.

Session 1  Trek to the Promise Land  ---  Joshua crossing over the river.

                  E.D.G.E PledgeóGod is with me.   I will stay close to God.

Session 2  Trek to Bethlehem -----   Wise men finding Jesus.

                  E.D.G.E. Pledge ----- God guides me.   I will follow.

Session 3  Trek to the Upper Room  ----- Washing of the feet.

      E.D.G.E Pledge --- God loves me.  I will love God and others

Session 4  Trek to Galilee ----   Resurrection

                  E.D.G.E. Pledge  ----- God sends me.  I will go.

Much planning went into providing a week full of fun and excitement for campers, while keeping them excited to learn about our awesome God. All the extra hands including the youth leaders were really appreciated and the collaborated efforts of the members of St. Paulís Church and The United Emory Methodist Church really took our VBS week to the Extreme  E.D.G.E.  At weekís End all campers were treated to a sweet treat donated by our generous friends at the Cow Lick. A quote from the VBS material ďthe edges seen in these passages are basic to our spiritual lives: faith in Godís character, the incarnate life of Jesus on earth, his message, his death and his resurrection.  All inform us of how to view God, our lifestyles and ourselves. Encouraging us to move a little closer to the edge of our comfort zoneĒ.