Worshiping through Prayer and Sisterly Love at St. Joseph’s in Lee Center, NY

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lee Center outside Rome, New York has always been a special spiritual place for me to visit! My sister Chris married Bill, a farmer from Lee Center, when I was in junior high school. I loved the trips up to the farm with Mom & Dad. Long talks in the barn with Bill while milking the cows, cleaning out the calf pen, and driving/riding the lawn mower cutting grass are all favorite childhood memories of mine!

Going to church at St. Joseph’s has always been a spiritual experience for me from teenager, to adult, to now older adult. St. Joseph’s is now canonically linked to St. Paul’s in Rome. In fact the Syracuse Diocese, all of 7 counties, over 100 parishes, nearly 250,000 Catholics includes my childhood, hometown parish of the Church of Saints Cyril & Methodius. Attending St. Joseph’s with other Christians, family, with my sister is extra special and meaningful. This Sunday was no different!

My Mom knew the Lord and shared her faith with me!

My Mom knew the Lord and shared her faith with me!

Father Destito presided over the mass while Rev. Bob Kelly gave the sermon. His sermon focused on the power of prayer; intercessory prayer like Abraham’s Prayer for Sodom in Genesis in the Old Testament to the Lord’s Prayer—Our Father found in the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament. Mom always told me and showed me that the Lord’s Prayer was the perfect prayer in that mercy and forgiveness is the best way of life!


“Today’s Gospel is not simply a prayer text (although it has become one) or a formula for praying. It’s an invitation to engage God in an ongoing conversation—and invitation that comes with Jesus’ assurance that we can come to God with all our doubts and fears and questions, without feeling that we have failed God or that our faith is empty. All prayer begins with realizing the loving presence of God in our lives—a love that is a mystery in itself—and expressing gratitude for that presence. And all prayer is sustained by trust in that love, trust that enables us to “ask and seek and knock” with all our questions and doubts and wonders.

If we are persistent in our prayers God will hear us. Watch your ‘phraseology,’ don’t use the Lord’s name in vain.

How do we know prayer is powerful? From the Second Reading which included “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:!2

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9

Walk by faith; seek God; don’t lose heart; and be persistent. Jewish tradition holds that each generation endures because of and for 36 righteous people. They keep the reality of the world from coming apart at the seams. Look for opportunities to do good to make His Kingdom come!

For this we pray including prayers and blessings for Bishop-Elect Douglas J. Lucia…

The Gospel Reading included the Lord’s Prayer:

“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:2-4

The First Reading was from Genesis—Abraham’s Prayer for Sodom.

Like Mom, like Sister! Alleluia!

Like Mom, like Sister! Alleluia!

22 As the men turned and walked on toward Sodom, Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous people in the city; would you really sweep away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people within it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Should not the judge of all the world do what is just?” 26 The Lord replied: If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.

27 Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am only dust and ashes! 28 What if there are five less than fifty righteous people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?” I will not destroy it, he answered, if I find forty-five there. 29 But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it for the sake of the forty. 30 Then he said, “Do not let my Lord be angry if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it if I can find thirty there. 31 Abraham went on, “Since I have thus presumed to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?” I will not destroy it, he answered, for the sake of the twenty. 32 But he persisted: “Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten are found there?” For the sake of the ten, he replied, I will not destroy it. Genesis 18:22-32


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