Parish Mission Statement:
In faith we come together to celebrate the Eucharist as a Parish Family;
and as a Catholic community of faith,
we are sent to be Christ
to the world around us.
— — — — —
Be doers of the word not hearers only...
–Letter of James 1:22

Upcoming Events

"Thoughts Along the Way/Pensamientos en el camino"

"Thoughts Along the Way/Pensamientos en el camin" - Year End Issue submission deadline

Our thanks to the numerous parishioners who contacted us over the summer, with their submissions for the year-end issue of “Thoughts Along the Way”. Your support and enthusiasm for the magazine is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to hearing from more members of our parish family now that September is well under way.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Remember the days when we were asked that question by our teachers when the new school year began? Trips to the beach, or to visit family, or to explore new locales...they all made for great stories then and the same holds true now! Tell us where you went and what it meant to you and your family, and if you happen to have a photograph or two you would like to share, all the better!

The submission deadline for the year-end issue is October 31, 2016; send your submissions to: If you took photos of our new crèche during the Advent and Christmas seasons last year, we hope you will consider sharing them with us as well, as we’re hoping to include them in the year-end issue.

Our anticipated publication and mailing date is late November. New subscribers are invited to stop by the rectory office during normal business hours to pick up a subscription form. At $15/year, a subscription will also make a great Christmas gift!

Annual All Souls Service Of Remembrance

Observance of the Feast of All Souls provides us with an opportunity to pause, reflect and remember those who have gone before us.

On Monday, November 7, 2016, the St. James Parish Ministry of Consolation and the Bereavement Ministry will remember in a particular way, those members of our parish family who have passed during the last year. Please join us in the church at 7:30 pm for our annual All Souls Service of Remembrance, to honor our deceased family members through music, song, scripture and the recitation of their names.

All parishioners are welcome to attend; light refreshments will be served in the Parish Center, Room 101/102, immediately following the service.

Book Discussion: “Mariette in Ecstasy: A Novel” by Ron Hansen

Moderated, with introduction and closing, by Cris O'Keefe and Cathy Roberts
Parish Center Room 103
Wed. evening, Nov. 9, 2016, 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
~ or ~
Thurs. morning, Nov. 10, 2016, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Mariette, a sheltered 18-year-old, enters the convent in 1906 to fulfill her dearest dreams of the future.  Life in the convent is as she hoped for, and even more, as she directly experiences the Divine... or does she?  Mystery surrounds Mariette, and with mystery comes intrigue, admiration and even adoration, and a good bit of skepticism, as well.  Has the Lord bestowed upon Mariette sign of their intimate bond?

What do you think?  Let's discuss together... please join us either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.  You must purchase and read the book prior to our discussion.  The book is available on for $10.22*:

Light refreshments will be offered.  Bring a friend!

*2 copies of the book are available for free if you would like to join us but your budget can't accommodate the book purchase; simply ask at the rectory office.

Blood Drive – Thursday, November 10th

Please mark your calendars…the next Parish Blood Drive sponsored by the Knights of Columbus will be held on Thursday, November 10th from 3:00 PM till 8:30 PM in the Parish Center. We need NEW volunteers to donate. When the Knights call asking for you to make an appointment please do so. It only takes an hour out of your day to give someone in need a gift of life blood donation. If you should need any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me, John Dahl at (631) 474-1937, evenings and weekends or

Liturgical Ministry Training

Those who wish to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion or Lectors must register for and attend training sessions. Please see the attached flyer for details.

Alpha: Begin the Journey...Explore the Meaning of Life

What is Alpha? Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone is welcome.

Alpha is designed for individuals who do not go to church. However, it also provides a fresh opportunity for EVERYONE to look at the basics of the Christian faith and deepen that faith. It has benefited:

Individuals who are baptized, but have lost connection with the Church

Engaged couples preparing for marriage within the Church

Parents who have children receiving baptism or confirmation but have lost contact with the Church themselves

Those who only come to church on occasions such as Christmas, Easter, weddings or funerals

Those within the Church who feel they want to get back to the basics of their faith and grow spiritually.

If you would like to be a participant, call Veronica Groth at (631) 327-5395 or Barbara Jaeckel at (516) 313-4029. For more information visit the official Alpha website.

Golden Wedding Jubilee Celebrations

This fall, couples that have been married fifty years or more will be honored at liturgies on Sunday, October 23 at the Church of Saint Rose of Lima in Massapequa and on Sunday, November 6 at the Church of Christ the King in Commack. Both liturgies will begin at 2:30 pm. Couples may register for ONE liturgy. Registration forms and complete instructions can be obtained at the rectory. Registration must be received by the Office of Worship by October 7th for the October 23rd liturgy and by October 21st for the November 6th liturgy. There will be additional celebrations in the spring for those who may find that more convenient. If you have any questions you may call 516-678-5800, extension 207.

Catholic Ministries Appeal 2016

Every year through the support and commitment of individuals and organizations, Catholic Ministries are able to serve more than 600,000 people in our Long Island community. The Catholic Ministries Appeal enables our Church to continue to form our youth and adults in the faith, promote the dignity of life, provide quality education to our young people, feed the hungry, and foster vocations to the priesthood. Your generosity helps to make all of this, and so much more, possible! For more information and to make a donation please visit the Catholic Ministries Donation Web Page.

Changes to the Celebration of Matrimony

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, a revision of the former Rite (Ritual) for Marriage, has been issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments*. This revision includes a number of changes and updates affecting various aspects of the marriage rite. The changes will be initiated on September 8, 2016 (The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and all churches in the English-speaking world must be in compliance by December 27, 2016 (The Feast of the Holy Family). If you, or a member of your family plans to be married at St. James, please note these important changes.

These changes will undoubtedly cause some trepidation, as new ways demand that we let go of something with which we were comfortable, and now accept and get familiar with something new. Change is always difficult, and sometimes even painful. However, one of the great gifts of humanity is our ability to adapt and grow, allowing us to continue on this, our Camino of life.

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The changes incorporate the revised prayers as found in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, as well as some new “conversational” exchanges between the presider and the bridal couple. For the first time, three rituals typically found in Latino and Filipino cultures have been formally incorporated into the rite, including the placing of the veil, the arras and lazo.

Two of the most noticeable changes are the use of the word matrimony in place of marriage and the new requirements set forth regarding the liturgical procession.  In order to understand and fully appreciate the changes, it’s helpful to understand the reasoning behind them.

The name for the event is now called "matrimony." The two words "marriage" and "matrimony" can be found in other official books, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Code of Canon Law. Both English words translate the same Latin word, matrimonium. However, "matrimony" refers to something broader than the ceremony of marriage; it expresses the entire way of life that the engaged couple desire to enter. By the Sacrament of Matrimony, Christian spouses signify and participate in the mystery of unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church. Therefore, both in embracing conjugal life and in accepting and educating their children, they help one another to become holy and have their own place and particular gift among the People of God.**

Matrimony, when celebrated with and within the Church, is not only a personal and public event, but a liturgical event as well and is therefore governed by the rubrics of the Church.  The entrance procession, whether at a weekend mass or wedding, tells us who we are and who will preside over the particular celebration; the presider is always last.  For example, at a Sunday celebration, the priest enters last; at confirmation, it’s the bishop and for a wedding, it is the couple. To clarify a common misconception, the presider does not “marry” the couple. The couple, themselves are ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony, with the presider serving as the Church’s official witness. The presider can be either a priest or deacon, with the deacon permitted to preside over the Rite of Matrimony within or outside of a Nuptial Mass.

Therefore, beginning September 1, 2016, all wedding celebrations at St James, regardless of whether it was booked last year or last week, will have the entrance procession take the following form:

Cross Bearer
Acolytes (altar servers/candle bearers)
Presider (Priest and/or Deacon)
Groom’s Parents (if not accompanying the groom)
Bride’s Mother with escort (if not accompanying bride and her escort)
Junior Bridesmaids and Ushers as couples (if any)
Bridesmaids and Ushers- as couples
Flower Girl/Ring Bearer (if any)
Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor as couple
Groom with Parents
Bride with Parents
Bride and Groom together

To assist us in letting go of the “old, traditional way,” allow me to remind us all that some of these traditions developed at a time when marriages were arranged for both political and strategic reasons. A female offspring was seen as a piece of property, and something of a bargaining chip, or pawn, to be used by her father. Her father escorted her to the waiting groom, a veil covering her face. The best man stood close by the groom to ensure he didn’t try to escape, for the honor of his family was at stake. The blusher veil covered the face of the bride until after the exchange of vows; this done so that if the bride was somewhat lacking in physical beauty, the exchange of vows made it too late for the groom to run away.

This traditional way, which has been passed on for centuries with few modifications, spoke against the very theology of Sacred Scripture, which is oft proclaimed in the readings of a couples wedding.  “God made them, male and female He made them” (Genesis 1:27); they are equal and suitable partners for one another, “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:1-23) or, “So also husbands should love your wives as your own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5: 28).

So while it may be disconcerting at first, I think you will agree that looking at the changes within the context of scripture, they are much more in keeping with Catholic teaching as they relate to the partnership that is created when a couple marries.

In closing, allow me to share with you this blessing, which sums up quite nicely, the prayer I believe we all hold in our hearts as we stand witness to the joining of two lives in holy matrimony:

N. and N., the Church shares your joy
and warmly welcomes you,

together with your families and friends,
as today, in the presence of God our Father,
you establish between yourselves a lifelong partnership.
May the Lord hear you on this your joyful day.

May he send you help from heaven and protect you.
May he grant you your hearts' desire
and fulfill every one of your prayers.
(from the Order of Celebrating Matrimony)

Thank you in advance for your continued support and patience as we all adjust to this latest round of changes. Please be assured that Fr. Jerry and I will be most happy to review the changes in greater detail, with every couple planning to celebrate their wedding at St. James.

—Fr. Jim

*The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is a
Congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical
practices of the Latin Church.

** "One Love: A Pastoral Guide to The Order of Celebrating Matrimony," Paul Turner,
page 2.