Category Archives: Fr. David Kozak

The peace I give

This third Sunday in Advent we focus on the great job that the coming of Jesus brings us. The joy of a lame person beginning to walk, a blind person having their sight restored can only be beaten by our joy when we hear Jesus say: “Go, your sins are forgiven.” That is a joy you cannot find at the mall or on Amazon. Only through the sacramental life of the Church can we find the peace that the world cannot give. What are your priorities for the rest of this holy season? Is confession a part of your Christmas preparation? On Thursday, December 19th, 6-7pm the Holy Infancy CCD program is having confession for their students and any adult from our community is invited. Please prepare well for the wondrous time of celebrating our Savior’s Incarnation. There is no better way to experience His joy and peace. Wishing you…

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Searching for Lost Sheep

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In today’s Church, we must strive to imitate Jesus and search for the “lost sheep”, the “lost coin” and actively search out the “prodigal sons” who have strayed. ALL of us; not just the pastor must seek out inactive Catholic Christians who need our help. The offer of a ride to church for Mass, a listening ear to expressions of hurt and frustration along with guidance and good advice can do a lot in reconciling our friends and family who do not participate in our faith life. We need to imitate Jesus who came to seek out and help those who are lost. Please direct them to me if they have issues to resolve with church practice or doctrine. I pledge to do all I can in trying to imitate the Good Shepherd. Sometimes the invitation to return can start with a social…

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Dedication of Holy Infancy School

Text by TAMI QUIGLEY, AD Times Staff Writer Photos by John Simitz The morning of Sept. 6 marked a red-letter day in the history of Holy Infancy School, Bethlehem as the date marked the blessing of the new school in Southside Bethlehem. The school moved across the street from Holy Infancy Church to the former SS. Cyril and Methodius School building next to Incarnation of Our Lord Church. “It is a passing on of the tradition of the newer and beautiful building from SS. Cyril and Methodious to Holy Infancy,” said Father Andrew Gehringer, pastor of Holy Infancy. “Holy Infancy is celebrating 125 years of continuous Catholic education, now at its third building.” Father Gehringer explained the first two Holy Infancy Schools were located across the street from the parish, one of which was the original Bethlehem Catholic High School. Jeanne Negron-Garcia, an alumna of Holy Infancy School and parishioner…

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Martha & Mary with Jesus

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ! There is an old Polish proverb that states: “Having a guest in the house is like having God in the house”. This expresses sincere sentiments of Christian hospitality, but something even deeper; acknowledging that Jesus is among us and always will be. When dry periods in our spiritual lives come; as indeed they will, find Jesus in the people around you. Especially the weak and sufferingshow us Jesus. Help meet their needs like Martha did, or just sit at His feet like Mary. Either way, we will be enriched spiritually. Many thanks to those who continue to attend Mass and support your parish even during these vacation months. Be sure Jesus is with you, either at the shore or on Carlton Avenue or Thomas street. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Fr. David J. Kozak

How do you remain connected to Jesus?

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ! The Risen Jesus gives us advice on how to re-main connected to Him even though He is now beyond our physical grasp. We experience Him in the love we show to others. Not the bland sentimentality of feeling, but the vigorous day-to-day dedication to service of others. Our family, school, workplace and ESPECIALLY our parish family are the areas we find Him. Each day we find opportunities to reach out in love for others. It is sanctified and placed on the altar to be made one with Jesus’ offering when we attend Mass. Look for opportunities to live lives of loving service. Volunteering and helping. Contributing time and talent and material assistance are great ways to obey the commandment we hear from the Risen Jesus; “Love one another”. May the rest of this holy season strengthen us to follow this life giving commandment!…

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Truly He is Risen!

My Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen The presence of the Risen Jesus fills the world with joy. We must have open hearts to receive Him. Especially in the Word of God proclaimed in Church and in the Easter sacraments Christ is alive! Your presence and support of the parish is a sign of His presence. Look for Him! Search for Him! Just as He was present to Mary Magdalene and the first witness to the resurrection, so now, He is with us. As you gather for your holiday feast and to enjoy the birth of nature around us, pray to recognize the Risen Jesus. He is there, if you search for Him in faith. Thank you for your active supportive participation in the life of our Church. May the Risen Jesus bless you! Happy Easter to all! —Fr. David J. Kozak

God of the Living

My Dear Parishioners, MID-LENT CHECK-IN God says to Moses, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you…The LORD, the God of your [ancestors], the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:14, 15). As Jesus would later say, God is not a God of the dead, but of the living, and so we believe that the dead will one day rise. At this midpoint of Lent, we pause to consider how our repentance is leading us to the Resurrection, to our reunion with the great “I AM.” Part of our repentance involves working to secure justice for all and helping our neighbor to live in God’s ways. We encourage each other and nurture each other, like the compassionate gardener of today’s Gospel, who tells the owner of the orchard that he will nurture the tree, fertilize it, and perhaps…

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Blind Leading the Blind

What reassuring words these are as we prepare for the holy season of Lent. Have past penitential seasons really changed us or was it all for “show”? The cross of ashes on our foreheads, the purple décor in church, the more solemn music at Mass should reflect what is transpiring inside our hearts. If it does not; then the “H word” (hypocrite) that Jesus uses in today’s Gospel reading should also sting our conscience. Looking for splinters in others eyes than our own needs to stop. We can only do it through God’s grace and our willing cooperation with it through penitential practices. I recommend to you: •The Sacrament of Confession •Frequent celebration of Holy Mass •Fasting •Attending Stations of the Cross •Attending our “Healing God’s Church” sessions •Giving up excessive concern that others notice our piety. If we are faithful to this program we can “bear good fruit” as…

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Are We on God's Side

My Dear Parishioners, Jesus teaches us to have mercy and compassion, even towards people whom we consider to be unworthy. It was possible years ago to politely disagree about politics, religion and what is the best flavor of ice cream. Today it too often turns into a resentful battle to see who is right. Often it is shouted “God is on our side!”. Abraham Lincoln said the better question would be, “Are we on God’s side?”. Judgmental accusations hurled against those who disagree with us are directly contrary to the word of our Savior in today’s Gospel reading. Loving our enemies is perhaps the most difficult commandment of Jesus. Let us re-member that He died praying for his enemies and forgiving them, as did St. Stephen the first martyr. Let us make our faith a reality through our words and actions. O Sacred Heart of Jesus make our Hearts more…

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No Prophet is Accepted in His Own Native Place

How should faithful Catholics respond to this refusal of God’s love? In the February 3rd Gospel reading, Jesus is turned away by His own people at Nazareth. He almost was killed because of this tragic response. The same thing is happening in today’s society. The Church’s message: God’s love shown us in Christ Jesus, is refused. Our reaction to this refusal cannot be turning away in despair and consigning the world to its fate. We must redouble our efforts to bring back the lost sheep through words and dialog, but, above all, through good example! What should we be doing to reconcile them with the Body of Christ? God bless all of you who join in the effort of healing and reconciliation! —Fr. David Kozak