St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
585-671-1100
Masses: Sat 5:00 pm
Sun 7:30; 9:00 (children's liturgy); 10:30 am
Mon-Fri 8:15 am
Reconciliation: Saturdays from 3:30-4:30 pm;
Wednesdays after morning Mass (about 8:45)
Office Hours: M-Th 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Fri 9:00 to 12:00 pm

Pastor's Message - July 22, 2018

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.” ~Psalm 23

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Psalm 23 (selected from our readings this weekend) is perhaps the best known and recognized psalm verse in the Bible. It is a psalm that gives comfort and hope. It reminds us that God loves us with a depth of love that is certain and eternal. Our Lord, the Good Shepherd, will never abandon us or our loved ones at the time of death. Psalm 23 is truly powerful. But so are the other psalms!

Originally the psalms were composed as songs and intended to be sung. They are attributed to the work of King David who would sing and dance before the Lord, even when he was ridiculed by onlookers for doing so. Nothing was holding King David back from his love and praise for God. The psalms have endured ever since and express the full gamut and depth of human emotion. The psalms express a longing for God that no other prayer can match. For centuries the psalms have been incorporated into the daily prayer of the church found in every monastery, abbey and cloistered community. Priests and deacons are obligated to pray using the psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours. We pray the psalms at every Mass that is celebrated and sing the psalms at Sunday liturgies because they were intended to be sung.

It is summer-time and a great time to do some extra reading. Check out the psalms in your own bible. You may be surprised a psalm-prayer that matches the longing you have for God in your heart.

May God Bless You!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - July 15, 2018

“Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven. The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and prepare the way of his steps.” ~Psalm 85

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Although it may be mid-summer, lots of work and planning are happening at St. Rita. I always look forward to these days and enjoy seeing the flurry of activity around our campus. Summer gives everyone at the parish a change in routine, time for a bit of rest, and a chance to get things "tuned-up" before fall. This is a place of constant activity. Even the office staff is helping out with rearranging furniture and painting. Extensive "super cleaning" of the school and gym and various repairs and upgrades are underway. Vacation Bible School signups and volunteers (we are especially blessed by our many teen volunteers and parents) are in preparation for a great summer event for our young people. ChristLife volunteer training and coordination is underway for the fall. Registrations for St. Rita School and Pre-school are coming in as well as Faith Formation and our two-year Confirmation Program. We are blessed by the many volunteer gardeners who have been hard at work keeping the beautiful flowering St. Rita landscaping alive during these hot and dry days.

In 1 Corinthians 12, St. Paul reminds us that we are many parts but are "one body" as we help build up the Body of Christ. No task is too small or insignificant!

May God Bless You!
Fr. Gonyo

Pastor's Message - July 8, 2018

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor. " ~Luke 4

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

I wish to extend gratitude to Fr. Michael Bernier for his liturgical presence at St. Rita these past months as he cared for the medical needs of his sister nearby. After his final 10:30am Mass this Sunday, July 8, he will take some time to travel to a family reunion and then return to his parish and Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.

From where "Life is Worth Living" here in Webster, we send our many thanks and God's many blessings to Fr. Michael and his own Parishioners!

(The parish office will forward any cards to Fr. Bernier that you may wish to send or drop off.)

Parents are reminded to register their children for Faith Formation and Confirmation this fall.

On August 6-10 we will host our annual Vacation Bible School summer program for children between the ages of 4-10. Register your family and/or volunteer online here.
Please email Elizabeth or call 671-1100 x 14 with any questions.

May God Bless You!
Fr. Gonyo

Thank You …
As my time in Rochester draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to all of you and in a particular way to Fr. Gonyo, for everything you’ve done for me and my family while I was here. Please know that as I return home you will continue to be in my prayers.
~Father Michael Bernier

Pastor's Message - July 1, 2018

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.
The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.” ~Psalm 146

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is for all those who are ill, aged or infirmed and facing significant mental duress
or grief. This Sacrament is deeply rooted in apostolic tradition and practice found in the New Testament… “Is anyone
among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil
in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has
committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:13-15 As Jesus would cure with the laying of his hands, so too does
the church continue in his mission.

A week or so ago, we had the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick in church, inviting
anyone needing the Sacrament to attend. Afterwards we finished with a wonderful Strawberry Social. I love strawberries
- especially fresh strawberries; sliced or whole, whipped cream topping or not, it doesn’t really matter. I wouldn’t mind
strawberry socials every week!

This weekend, we welcome Fr. Mike Mayer, who has a close connection to Webster. Please read his introduction
below. He will be joining us as Parochial Vicar at St. Rita Church and living at the rectory. He will be preaching at all the
masses and will provide us a chance to welcome him!

May God bless you this week,
Fr. Gonyo

From the Desk of Fr. Mike Mayer . . .
My assignment as Parochial Vicar at St. Rita is something of a “homecoming” for me. I spent most of my
childhood in Webster. My parents were married at Holy Trinity, my older brother and I were baptized at Holy Trinity and
we both graduated from St. Rita School. One thing is sure, however: the Webster my family left fifty years ago is not the
Webster of 2018! But Webster is still “where life is worth living.”

After attending LeMoyne College in Syracuse I entered the Paulist Fathers and studied at the Washington
Theological Union in Washington, DC. I was ordained a transitional deacon in 1981 in Austin, TX, but left the Paulists the
following year. From 1982-1994 I lived and worked in Washington, DC as an administrative aide, a teacher at Gonzaga
College High School, and as the program director for The National Alliance to End Homelessness. I left Washington in
1994 and spent three months as an observer at the Trappist abbey of the Holy Cross in Berryville, VA. In 1996 I was
accepted as a diocesan seminarian in Rochester and lived for two years at Theological College in Washington while
studying at The Catholic University of America. I was ordained a priest in 1998 by Bishop Clark. I tell people that mine
was not a “delayed” vocation, but an “interrupted” one!

My first assignment in Rochester was St. Pius Tenth Church in Chili. In 2001 I was appointed pastor of St.
Andrew and St. Philip Neri Churches in the city. Shortly after St. Philip Neri was closed I also became pastor of the
Church of the Annunciation. St. Andrew and Annunciation eventually merged as Light of Christ Church. In 2011 I served
as assisting priest at St. Pius Tenth and left there in 2013 for Our Lady of Peace Church in Geneva. During my time at
Our Lady of Peace I began programs for men and women, evangelization and rosary-making.

In 2014, I sponsored a basic evangelization training by Adam Janke of St. Paul Street Evangelization and initiated
the Rochester chapter of the organization. Members evangelize at the Rochester Public Market, the Geneva Farmers
Market, Frontier Field and other venues. Several years ago, I initiated The Margaret Home, Inc. in East Rochester. The
Margaret Home is a not-for-profit, long-term residential program for single pregnant women and children. The former St.
Jerome convent is currently being renovated and will house The Margaret Home. I can also be heard regularly on The
Station of the Cross as a guest on The Catholic Current, a show which can be heard on the radio AM 1460 or FM 92.9
Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

I look forward to my ministry at St. Rita and in Webster. I have always found it a privilege to get to know the
people of a parish and to have the opportunity to share in their joys and sorrows. I pray that we will all continue to grow as
committed disciples “always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for our hope” in Jesus Christ.

Welcome, Father Mike!

Pastor's Message - June 24, 2018

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you”. ~Jeremiah 1

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

This past Tuesday our St. Rita School hosted their annual end of the year "Blue and Gold” field day celebration. Teachers, staff, and many volunteer parents provided assistance with outdoor games, grilled hot dogs, bagged fruit, potato chips, cookies and frozen ice treats. Visits from our local first responders during the event added to the excitement. It ended with the traditional "Tug of War" games between classes and even between former graduates of St. Rita School who came back to participate. Thank you to all the parents, the wonderful St. Rita school staff and our own students for another happy and successful academic year. Summer vacation time now begins!

This weekend we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. While we often focus on the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary and the subsequent birth of Christ as described in the Gospel of Luke, we also have many details about John the Baptist. In the very first chapter of the Gospel of Luke we read, "In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly." Both Elizabeth and Zechariah longed for a child but they were still childless and getting "along in years."

When Zechariah was chosen by lot to perform special duties at the temple, he suddenly sees an angel of the Lord standing at the altar and is fearful. "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard" said the angel. "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. John will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn their hearts toward their children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Because of his stunned disbelief at what was said by the angel, Zechariah emerges from the temple unable to speak a single word until the day his son is born and he is named John.

Mary also heard that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, so she traveled "in haste" to the country of Judah to assist. Upon Mary’s arrival, Elizabeth felt the infant stir in her womb leaping for joy. So even from his mother's womb, John recognized Christ.

Years later, at the river Jordan, John would be baptizing speaking of repentance and pointing the way toward Jesus. Jesus would also come to the river to be baptized by John. A voice from heaven would proclaim, "This is my beloved son, listen to him!" Luke 9:35

From that moment forward, Jesus would begin his ministry and command his disciples to also baptized, preach and proclaim the Word of the Lord. We continue that same mission today.

May God bless you and have a happy summer!
Fr. Gonyo