The Baptism of the Lord
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.

Jesus' baptism reinforces the message of the Christmas narratives. Jesus' baptism tells us that God's chosen way of being with us is not as a ruler of the universe, but as one who chooses solidarity with us in all our weakness – it depicts Emmanuel as one of us.

Knowing that Jesus shared our human limitations invites us to contemplate what the baptism revealed to him as he began his mission. The Gospels tell us that John began his preaching before Jesus appeared in public. The baptism is Jesus' first public appearance. 

Jesus' baptism was a proclamation of faith that God was up to something in their midst and that John was an integral part of it. In asking for baptism, Jesus was seeking and submitting to God's will among John's disciples. The scene of the baptism shows how Jesus' discernment of the will of God opened him to hear God's confirmation of his actions. Matthew draws a dramatic scene, saying that as "he came up from the water, the heavens were opened for him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him." That was Jesus' interior experience - the heavens opened for him and he saw the Spirit of God descending.

Jesus accepted baptism in union with us. Our baptism is a call and invitation to union with God and all of God's own. Jesus' baptism was a sign of his communion with us. Ours calls us into communion with God and one another.

Adapted from websites
Get your ticket here!

“Share the Wealth” is a raffle for Blessed Sacrament School and Church Capital Improvement & Parish Operations. Tickets are $75 each and only 750 tickets will be sold! Tickets can be purchased online at two websites: https://blessedsacramentsyracuse.ejoinme.org/2020raffle or https://blessedsacramentsyracuse.com (select Give then STW Raffle) or calling the rectory at 315.437.3394. Tickets are also available in the pews of Blessed Sacrament Church. Any tickets purchased prior to January 13, 2020 will be entered into a separate drawing to win 1 of 5 free tickets! Top prize is $10,000. Total Payout is $20,750. 1st Prize (1) $10,000 . . . 2nd Prize (2) $2,500 . . . 3rd Prize (5) $1,000 . . . 4th Prize (10) $75 (Dinner Attendees Only). Saturday, May 9, 2020 at the Parish Center. If attending the Spring Fling dinner, the ticket not only covers the dinner but will be included in a separate drawing for the 10 winners of the 4th prize at $75.00. RSVP for the dinner:  https://blessedsacramentsyracuse.ejoinme.org/2020raffle or https://blessedsacramentsyracuse.com (select Give then STW Raffle) by May 4, 2020.  
Spaghetti Supper

Come enjoy the Spaghetti Supper co-hosted by the Knights of Columbus and the Eagles Fund. This will be on Saturday, January 25th from 4pm to 7pm. Advance tickets are available on the website at bsseaglesfund.org. Tickets will also be available at the door. The Eagles Fund is a scholarship fund for our children here at Blessed Sacrament School. Please come to the dinner and support the children. Tickets are $10 per person and $25 per immediate family.  
Prayer Requests

We pray for Jean Suits, Patrick Brewer, Yang Juan, Perri Close, Jill Danial, Janet Barry, Mary Griffin, Cole Malone, Elizabeth Gilbert, Steven O'Donnell, John Laura, Susan Moro Campbell, Missy DiPaulo Angotti, Jeanne Griffen, George Taddeo, Carolyn Armstrong, Mary Linehan, Mary Extale, Mary Gersbacher, Mary Ingalls, Rita Bross, Marlene Brush, Roslyn Antonacci, Harold Thompson, John Gersbacher, and Grace McNamara. 
Funeral Servers Needed

There is an important need for funeral servers (both women and men) to assist the priest at the funeral Mass (on a rotating basis). This ministry is a beautiful testimony of service to those families who are experiencing the loss of a loved one. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the rectory at 315.437.3394. 
Share Your Faith

If you attend the Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass, then you know a special time during the Mass is when the priest calls the children forward to hear the Gospel from the Children’s Lectionary. Won’t you please consider participating in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word ministry on a rotating basis? Contact the rectory at 315.437.4494 and your information will be provided to the appropriate person to discuss and assist you in helping out.  
The Christmas Season Ends

The liturgical season of Christmas began with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes today on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During the Christmas season, we celebrated the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts and reflected on the gift of salvation that was born with him…including that he was born to die for us.  
Eucharistic Ministers Needed

We are in need of Eucharistic Ministers for the following Masses: 5pm, 7:30am and 11:30am. Please call the rectory at 315.437.3394 and leave your name and phone number and which Mass time. Thank you.
Thrive

What is Thrive? Thrive is a no cost, no commitment night of music and fellowship. It's a chance to encounter Jesus Christ in the midst of a welcoming community.

Who is Thrive for? Thrive is for anyone who is searching for "something more," looking for a sense of belonging, or in need of healing. It's also a great opportunity to invite someone who is away from Christ and his Church to encounter Him in a new way.

What can I expect? Each Thrive is a little different, but the main parts are the same: music, inspirational talk, testimony, and over-the-top hospitality.

When and where? January 29, 7-8PM at Divine Mercy, Central Square
Pope Francis' Prayer for Peace

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer! We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried. Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!" . . . Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words "division", "hatred" and "war" be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be "brother", and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace! Amen.
Job Opportunities

Blessed Sacrament Church is looking to fill a full time custodial position in the school (daytime custodial/maintenance). The position requires cleaning various parts of the school, daily lunch clean-up and occasional building maintenance among other duties. Diocesean required Virtus Training with a background check is required.

Catholic Cemeteries: Job Title: Family Services Guide. Description: Primary cemetery contact with our families. This individual will respectfully and compassionately guide a family through the process of making final arrangements. They will also perform post burial follow-up with the family. This position requires an individual who is caring and understands how to counsel, console, sell, and advise a family on how to complete this important life mission.
 
Epiphany Parish is in need of a Full time Maintenance Person. Candidate must be reliable, flexible, have own transportation. Janitorial experience is a plus. If you are interested in the position, please email a cover letter and resume to jeggert@ihmsjw.org or mail to Epiphany Parish at SJW, 1001 Tulip St, Liverpool, NY 13088.
Mission in Motion Disciple Series

You asked for it – and we listened! Calling lay Catholics more fully into the life and mission of the Church is critical for creating evangelizing, vibrant parishes.  Mission in Motion is a practical workshop that covers:

- How each of us is called to evangelize – and what that means

- Real ways to have one-on-one faith conversations

- The nuts and bolts of a parish evangelization team

Join international presenters Michael Dopp, Fr. Jon Bielawski, and Michele Thompson for Mission in Motion, the latest installment in the Disciple Series. 

Feb. 11 - St. Paul, Rome, 9am-4pm

Feb. 12 - St. Vincent Blessed Sacrament, Vestal, 9am-4pm

Feb. 13 - Immaculate Conception, F’ville. 8:30am-2:45pm

Register at OurCatholicFaith.com. FREE to Attend – Hope Appeal Sponsored.  
Mass Intentions

Saturday, January 11
5:00 p.m. -  Rosemarie Myers – Carolyn Armstrong

Sunday, January 12
7:30 a.m. – Millie Garofalo – Nicole Lanien and Marcie LaRose
9:30 a.m. – People of the Parish
* Interpreted Mass for Deaf Community
11:30 a.m. – Lois Papaianni – Mary DeRosa

Monday, January 13 – 8:00 a.m.
Bill Fitzgibbons – Jackie Shepardson

Tuesday, January 14 - 8:00 a.m.
Angela Caruso - Family

Wednesday, January 15 – 8:00 a.m.
Peter Vercillo – Frank and Helen Impelizzieri

Thursday, January 16 – 8:00 a.m.
Bernard Corbishley, Sr. – Paul and Anne Witz & Family

Friday, January 17 – 8:00 a.m.
Dolores Spadafora – Andrea Melfi and Frank and Bonnie Gagliardi

Saturday, January 18
5:00 p.m. – Joseph Scripa – 1 yr. Anniv – Wife Shirley

Sunday, January 19
7:30 a.m. – 20 th Anniversary Thomas Harrington - Family
9:30 a.m. – Helen “Hon” Murlin – Abby and Lou Paralin and Family
* Interpreted Mass for Deaf Community
11:30 a.m. – People of the Parish
Day of Prayer

January 22nd is a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. You’re invited to join Catholics nationwide in prayer for the respect of human life during a special novena called 9 Days for Life. Visit: 9daysforlife.com to sign up to receive daily intentions from January 21st through the 29th. 

God has a unique and beautiful plan of healing for all who have suffered from a past abortion.  Our dedicated team will assist you and offer you a safe place to begin the healing process at our Day of Hope and Healing on Saturday, February 1st. Register confidentially: 1-855-364-0076 or hopeandhealing@syrdio.org
Run Alpha

February 5, 2020 - 9:30am – 3:30pm. Registration begins at 9:00AM. Training begins at 9:30AM. Christ the King Retreat House l 500 Brookford Road, Syracuse NY 13224. 

Who Should Attend - This training is for everyone that has run, is currently running, or is thinking about running Alpha. Gather with others across the region for an interactive Alpha training that will help you revitalize the invitational culture of your church and transform people's hearts through authentic community and encounter with Jesus Christ.

Topics Covered - How to continually grow in the best practices for running Alpha . . . The importance of building a good team . . . Building an "Invitational Culture" in your church . . . Growing your Alpha to reach more people with the Gospel . . . Inviting and retaining your Alpha guests . . . Effective use of the all new MyAlpha platform . . . How Alpha Youth impacts families and complements Alpha.

Cost and Registration - Individual Registration: $30.00; Group Registration (5+): $20.00. Register at OurCatholicFaith.com. Payment: Advanced payment required. We will bill your parish (register by Jan. 31) or you may pay by check, payable to “Diocese of Syracuse” Attn: Office of Evangelization. Contact Regina Wright at 315.459.7168 or rwright@syrdio.org
World Marriage Day

35 th Annual World Marriage Day will be celebrated on February 16, 2020, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse. The Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia will celebrate holy Mass and invite all couples in attendance to renew their commitment to Holy Matrimony. He will specially honor couples who will celebrate their 25 th, 50 th , and beyond 50 th anniversary in 2020. All married couples and their families are welcome. 
Catechesis for the Faith Community

Jesus came to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. At first John objected and said that it was he, John, who should be baptized by Jesus. Jesus indicated a future baptism when he responded to John saying that it was fitting for John to baptize Jesus. John acquiesced and at the conclusion of the baptism, the Spirit came down from heaven in the form of a dove and clearly announced Jesus as his son. God was pleased with His son.

Most parents know what it means to be pleased with our children. Even when they do things that annoy, challenge, or disappoint us, we love our children. Although we experience some notion of unconditional love with our own children, it is difficult for us to grasp the magnitude of God’s love for us, even when we annoy, challenge, or disappoint Him. Through our Baptism, we are members of God’s family and will know the unconditional love of a parent. 

Adults:  Do you think that God was “well pleased” by your actions in recent weeks? Why?

Children: What good thing could you do this week that would be pleasing to God?
A Letter from our Pastor

Dear Parishioners, You are all wonderful. Thank you for all the support from each one of you. I am humbled to serve you as your pastor and I appreciate the many gifts you have to build up the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God in our parishes. 

Many good things are ahead of us. I will be visiting my home country of Tanzania for a month as of January 23 to February 21. Pray for safety of my journey to and from my home country. I look forward to visiting with members of my immediate and extended family as well as meeting many of my old friends and make new friends.

I am leaving you in good hands of God and many good hands of Msgr. Kopp, our worthy deacons Dan and Mike, staff of our parishes and many good visiting priests who will be coming to cover for me. I can't thank enough all these angels who will support you in your spiritual and pastoral needs.
 
When I come back,  Ash Wednesday  (the beginning of Lent Season) will be at the door (February 26). We have formed sub-committees to help organizing spiritual Lenten activities to help us get prepared for the celebration of Easter. 

Time is running fast. In April we will be celebrating Easter on Sunday, April 12 and ordination to permanent diaconate of our three candidates, Aleu Tong, Peter Lual, and Thomas Murphy on Saturday, April 25. April showers will bring us into May flowers to celebrate sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation to our children/young people. 

I have the honor also to announce the official pastoral visit our Bishop Douglas Lucia in his parishes of Blessed Sacrament on the weekend of May 16/17 and St. Vincent De Paul on the weekend of May 23/24. On those weekends, the bishop will preside and homilize in all the Masses. Let's get ready to warmly welcome our bishop in his parishes.

May God continue to bless us all as we daily journey in our Catholic faith.

Fr. Severine