Living as Missionary Disciples | April 16

What do you know about Pentecost? Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples  The Church needs her perennial Pentecost; she needs fire in her heart, words on her lips, prophecy in […]

What do you know about Pentecost?

  • The Christian feast of Pentecost lies in the Jewish feast of Shavuot/Pentecost (meaning 50). 
  • It was originally a harvest festival, but also commemorates the giving of the law (Torah).
  • Shavuot/Pentecost is one of three “Pilgrimage Feasts” in which every Jewish male is instructed to physically journey to Jerusalem and appear before the Lord. “Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.” “Each one heard the message in their own native tongue.” Acts 2:5.
  • Pentecost is referred to as the “birthday of the church” because it marks the beginning of the Christian church’s mission to the world. 

Quote from Living as Missionary Disciples 

The Church needs her perennial Pentecost; she needs fire in her heart, words on her lips, prophecy in her outlook. With the help of the Holy Spirit, parishes that foster this renewal of faith and the formation of evangelizers can transform the world. (pg. 19)

Pastoral Suggestions for Pentecost!

After Easter, what could be more exciting than the feast of Pentecost. This is the day we celebrate the explosion of the Spirit upon the world. The day when we are reminded that the name “Christian” means “anointed”, that is, to live as missionary disciples. It is our day and Church voices should be raised all over the diocese. Here’s what your Family of Parishes can do . . . 

  • Put a red ribbon at the end of each pew (one parish alternated red and white strips of ribbon. It looked elegant!)
  • Encourage all those who come to Mass to wear something red as a reminder of the Holy Spirit. For those who do not wear red, give them a small red ribbon to pin on. 
  • Proclaim the readings and read the petitions in different languages. (Don’t forget braille and American Sign Language)
  • Invite parishioners to wear clothing that reflect their heritage.
  • Pray the Our Father in different languages all at the same time.
  • Give out a red balloon to each family and ask them to attach to the outside of their home as a sign that this house is filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Have a potluck supper with dishes from different countries.
  • List the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit on sheets of paper, cut them out and invite people to pick one as they leave Church. (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, knowledge, piety (devotion) and fear of the Lord (honor, respect). 
  • Have a birthday cake for the Church’s beginnings. 
  • Plan a parish event (a retreat, talk, party, etc.) soon. Hand out cards for all parishioners to invite someone. Have everyone flex those spiritual muscles!
Videos to watch:
  • Rebuilt* has created a 3-part series on Radical Hospitality (RH). *Rebuilt is a parish renewal movement, whose mission is: Making Disciples by Helping Parishes Make Disciples. To watch one or all of these 10 minute videos click here: Radical Hospitality video 1, 2 and 3
  • Video 1: Belonging Happens First, Not Last.  What does Disney Land and Chick-fil-A, have in common? Radical Hospitality. 
  • Video 2: Not a Committee but a Discipleship Experience. RH deepens our baptismal call to ministry. It’s more than just a nice nod of greeting. 
  • Video 3: Layers of Hospitality and What They Look Like. From the parking lot to the Liturgy, from baptism to the funeral, from stranger to friend – these are all few of the many layers of radical hospitality.

Youth Rally

Sunday, April 28 from Noon to 5:00 pm | Villa Maria College

Grades 8 through 12, Catholic High Schools, and Elementary Schools are invited! Keynote speaker for the event is ValLimar Jansen. She is a college/university professor, a leader of worship and prayer, and a workshop presenter at conferences across the United States. ValLimar Jansen has sung sacred music since she was five years old. A representative from Alpha will be giving a workshop. $20.00 per person. Register now.

Alpha News!

Alpha USA has established a partnership with the Diocese of Buffalo and offers their services to us free of charge. This year we will be promoting and supporting two tracks: youth and adult. Keep your eyes on this newsletter for all the opportunities offered from the National Alpha Office. 

Alpha Upcoming Events:

  • Thursday, April 25 (Online) The Cultural Conversation. 1:00 – 2:15. Discuss the importance of sharing key values for evangelization that build a culture of making disciples and reaching the lost and unengaged. Register here.
  • Starting May 2: Alpha Preview for Catholic Leaders.  (Online) Six sessions: May 2, 7, 9, 14, 16 and 21. Time: 2-3:15. In each session participants will have an experience of the Alpha sessions as well as understand the cultural values of Alpha: hospitality, listening, empowerment, evangelistic intentionality, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Space is limited. Registration here.
  • Friday, May 17 Youth Ministry Mindset Gathering (In Person). Alpha Youth Ministry Mindset Gathering. Given by National Alpha office. St. Mary Catholic Church, 6919 Transit Road, East Amherst, NY 14051. Parish Center: Door B1. 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Registration here.
  • Saturday, May 18 Two Tracks. (In Person) Two track in-person training for those preparing to run Alpha for adults and youth. Given by National Alpha office. Both sessions will be held at St. Mary Church, 6919 Transit Road, East Amherst, NY. 14051. Parish Center. Door B1. 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Registration here.
  • Thursday, May 30. Youth Ministry Mindset. 1:00 – 2:15 (Online) A platform for conversation on moving from transactional to transformative youth ministry. Register here. 
  • There will be more sessions in June, July and August. Stay tuned…
  • Week of September 15: Start of 11-week sessions of Alpha in Families. We encourage two tracks: youth and adults. 
  • Saturday, November 2: Holy Spirit retreat given by the National Alpha office for all youth of the Diocese that are participating in Alpha. Location to be determined. (In person)
  • Saturday, November 9: Holy Spirit retreat given by the National Alpha office for all adults of the Diocese that are participating in Alpha. Location to be determined. (In person)

Click here for a 2-minute video on Alpha. Introduction to Alpha

For more information on Alpha, go to

The following Families of Parishes are doing LITE in the Spring. Feel free to attend. To know exact location and time contact person listed.

  • Family 11: (Orleans/Niagara East Catholic Community) 5 Wednesdays of May. Contact: Emily Kwiatowski
  • Family 17: (Light of Christ of the Northtowns). 5 Wednesdays in May. Contact: Michelle Vallee
  • Family 28: (Eternal Flame) twice a month: April 10, 24, May 8 – 22 and June 5. Contact: Karen Otto.
  • Family 29: (Lakeshore Catholic Faith Community) 5 Wednesdays in May. Contact: Jonathan Molik 716-627-2910. 
  • Family 34: (The Lower Niagara River Catholic Community). Five Fridays in May. Alternating parishes. Contact: Parish Secretary 716-754-4118. 

 If your FoP is doing LITE soon let us know so we can advertise it.

Closing Thought:

Finally, my winter fat is gone. Now I have spring rolls.