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The Church's Holiest Season of the Year

Holy Week Begins on Palm Sunday and Culminates with Christ's Resurrection on Easter.

Lazarus from the dead came into Jerusalem at Passover, riding on a donkey­ adhering to Solomon's sign of humility- the people were overjoyed. Yahweh had at last sent the Messiah he promised. They welcomed him waving palm branches and shouting, "Hosanna (that is Save Us), Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." In their jubilation, the people forgot the scripture readings that foretold that His kingdom was not an earthly one and that Jesus would suffer and die to usher in the new kingdom. (See Isaiah 53.)

The Easter Triduum* By Merlene Fray

St. Martha's Newsletter Committee: Mike Dragonetti, Merlene Fray, Karleine Graham and Kathleen Lyons.


As we approach Passion Sunday and prepare to wave the palms in celebration, it is good to note the differences in the work, career and mission of two of King David's sons. Solomon was the successor to the aged King David. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (mule) to be anointed by the prophet. This was a symbol of humility and also a sign to the people that his kingship would be one of service. Solomon was blessed with wisdom and his reign gave the people prosperity and peace and he built many temples and palaces. God asked Solomon to maintain "integrity of heart", "uprightness" and observe the decrees and laws so that the throne would not depart from him or his descendants. After a while Solomon forgot his commission, married many foreign wives, and now built shrines to and even worshipped the foreign Gods(1 Kings 11:1-12). Solomon also taxed the Northern tribes to pay for his building program. Upon Solomon's death, his successor refused to give the 10 Northern tribes the tax relief they sought. So they broke away and eventually Israel was weakened, conquered and its people scattered. But the people never forgot God's promise of an everlasting kingdom for David.

By Karleine Graham and Kathleen Lyons


When Jesus, the "Son of David", the Rabbi, the Miracle Worker and the Man who was said to have raised

During the Lenten period, which began on Ash Wednesday, the Church has been in preparation for Easter during which we observe the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. On Holy Thursday, Lent is ended and the Easter Triduum begins. The Easter Triduum comprises Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil/ Holy Saturday. Let's remember the significance of each of these three days and set aside this time to experience the fullness of Easter. The evening mass on Holy Thursday celebrates the Lord's supper; during which Jesus shares a last meal with His disciples. During this meal, Jesus gives thanks and takes the bread, breaking it and giving it to them saying: "This is My body, which will be given for you, do this in memory of Me." He also blessed His cup and passed it to them saying: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which will be shed for you." Jesus then washes the feet of His disciples "as an example of the service to which we are all called" but He also tells His disciples that one of them will betray Him. When we celebrate the Eucharist at Mass every Sunday, we recall the Lord's supper and the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples which are now spoken to us. On Good Friday, we remember the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This is a day of fasting and abstinence. The solemn Liturgy celebrated on this day proclaims the Passion of Christ and is remembered by the Stations of the Cross and the seven "last words" (utterances) of Jesus on the cross. We also have the opportunity to share in the veneration of the cross. At the Easter Vigil the risen Lord is proclaimed with singing and chanting of the Exultet and candles are lit which signify the emergence from sin to new

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By Karleine Graham

St. John of God was born into a devout Christian family in Portugal on March 8, 1495. At nine years old, a Spanish priest took him to Spain and left him in the care of the Chief Shepherd at Oropeza. The hardworking and pious John impressed the Chief Shepherd who wanted the adult John to be his son-in-law. He declined the offer and joined the army of Charles V in the fight to drive, from Europe, the Muslim Ottomans who had penetrated as far north as Austria. After his war service and the death of his mother, John resumed work as a shepherd and also escorted a Portuguese family to Africa. John spent some time in Gibraltar, and with the invention of the Printing Press, he started an Apostolate of the Printing Press. He sold books and religious pictures, at little or no profit, so the story of God would be in the people's hands. Meanwhile, John was still trying to discern his vocation. He was granted a vision of the Infant Jesus who bestowed on him the name "John of God". John became impressed with the preaching of St. John of Avila, gave away all his worldly goods and entered a period of intense public penance. His sanity was even questioned. Still seeking guidance for his vocation, he traveled on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. There, the Blessed Virgin revealed to him that his vocation was to be of service to the sick and poor. On his return to Granada, Spain, John devoted his life to the care of the poor and sick and was assisted by St. Raphael, the ministering angel to the sick. Many miracles are credited to John; the most famous was John passing through fire unscathed to rescue victims. John of God lived in very interesting times of Europe in the first half of the 16th century: highlighted by thwarting the Ottoman march, Spain and Portugal leading Europe into the New World of the Americas, and Whatsoever you do forging new routes to the East. to the least of my Through it all, John kept his focus people, you do on God. unto me. John founded the Order of Charity and the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of God, an order of brothers who administer to the sick. John of God died on his birthday in 1550 from injuries suffered when he tried to rescue a drowning man. John of God was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII on 16 October, 1690. He's the patron of booksellers, hospitals and the dying. Newsletter Page 2

Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry Anniversary Mass

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, the Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry and friends from throughout the Diocese celebrated the 27th anniversary of the Apostolate at a Mass at St Agnes' Cathedral. Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Peter Libasci, was the Principal Celebrant assisted by several priests including St. Martha's pastor, Msgr. Francis Caldwell. Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq of the Brooklyn Diocese delivered the homily. The youth of the Diocese were included in the Liturgical Celebration. From St. Martha's Parish, Courtney Thomas and Justin Gray were altar servers, Samantha Nicholson read petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful and Jazmine Fray sang with The Diocesan Sister Thea Bowman Gospel Choir. The festive occasion was captured on film and published in the February 27, 2008 issue of the Long Island Catholic. (For those not receiving the newspaper, this is a hint to sign up for the same through the Parish Center's office.) In his homily, Bishop Sansaricq observed that people are searching for something deeper in life. He reminded the congregation of the victory over death achieved by Jesus and that all those who believe in Jesus can share in His victory. He noted that we celebrate our Catholicity in the Universal Church which includes people from every tribe, nation and tongue. However, the Church encourages all groups to celebrate and appreciate the attributes that make each group distinct. Things such as the collective memory, artistic endeavors, customs and language twists will also be the group's contribution to the Mosaic of the Catholic Church. He admitted that parts of the African-American history of slavery, bigotry and other ills can be painful but the Bishop cautioned us not to let lamentations of the past fill us with bitterness. Rather, we should learn useful lessons from history as we celebrate the resilience and strength of character of these African-Americans. Bishop Sansaricq gave us examples of African Americans who, in spite of tremendous odds, lived the faith of Jesus. Pierre Touissant (1787 to 1856) was an ex-slave who worked as a hairdresser, was dedicated to the Church, was a pioneer in social work, and a supporter of orphanages. On the recommendation of Cardinal John O'Connor, the remains of Pierre Touissant were removed from his original resting place and are now interred under the altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Sister Henriette DeLille (1813-1862) was the founder of an order of nuns called the Sisters of the Holy Family. These great Catholics were not violent but used the "conquering power of love" to achieve great successes. Bishop Sansaricq asked the young people to consider the priesthood and religious life and promised that their life of service to God and His Church would be fulfilling and joyful.

The staff of the Newsletter welcomes all in attendance today and wishes you a blessed Easter Season. Wonderful things are happening at St. Martha's and we hope to see all of you worshiping with us in the future.

By Karleine Graham

March--Women's History Month


Founder of Sisters of The Holy Family

Henriette DeLille was born in 1813 in New Orleans, Louisiana to a white father and a mother who was a "free person of color". Under the strict racial categories of the times, Henriette was in the group, which carried some privileges, classified as "passé de blanc" or "passing for white". The women of this group married men of the group or had de facto common law marital arrangements and children with white partners because inter racial marriage was not sanctioned by the State of Louisiana. While a teenager, Henriette and some of her Creole friends taught the slaves, non whites and poor whites Catechism even though it was against the law to teach a slave to read. To the consternation of her mother, Henriette decided not to marry and instead wanted to be a nun. She was refused acceptance by the Ursuline and Carmelite orders of nuns due to the racial restrictions of the times. Since Henriette would not pretend to be white, an exception could not be made. Despite difficult times, by 1836, Henriette had inspired a group of women to work with her in bringing relief and the Word of God to the poor, blacks, sick, dying and hungry. She followed structures set by the church and the priests felt that the women were doing no harm. The first home for the elderly was bought with Henriette's own money. In 1842, Henriette DeLille and Juliette Gaudin, a free woman of color who was born in Cuba of Haitian parents, founded the religious order of nuns called the Sisters of the Holy Family. The order expanded Henriette's work and opened schools and orphanages for the poor. In 1852, the Sisters took formal vows and in 1870, the Order received Pontifical Recognition in the Roman Catholic Church and follows the Rule of St. Augustin. Henriette was considered rebellious, stubborn or uppity by those who wanted to keep her in the Creole box. The poor whites, blacks and slaves appreciated her work and dedication. She is known as the "Servant of Slaves and Witness to the Poor". In 1836, Sister DeLille wrote the prayer by which she lived: "I believe in God, I hope in God. I love and want to live and die for God." She died in 1862. The Sisters of the Holy Family, in 1989, formally opened the cause for canonization of Sister Henriette DeLille with the Vatican in Rome. TODAY: The Sisters of the Holy Family own and operate the oldest continuous Catholic home for the aged in the USA, low income senior housing, pre schools, primary schools, high schools, a vocational school in Belize, Central America and have an involvement with The Diocese of Benin City in Nigeria, West Africa. The Sisters are teachers and administrators. Sister Henriettte DeLille's work continues and she and the Sisters are worthy role models for today's youth.

By Karleine Graham

Sr. Henriette DeLille was just one of many extraordinary women who have impacted the history of our country. There are also many "unsung" heroes among the women in small communities everywhere who give untiringly of themselves for many causes. Here at St. Martha's we are blessed by the many women who serve in many ministries and committees of the parish. Our women are also involved in many Diocesan programs and ministries. Others involve themselves in community organizations. The following is a brief list of women who made history. 1790 Mother Bernardina Matthews establishes a Carmelite convent near Port Tobacco, Maryland, the first community of Roman Catholic nuns in the Thirteen Colonies. 1809 Elizabeth Ann Seton establishes the first American community of the Sisters of Charity, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In 1975 she became the first native-born American to be made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman in the U.S. to earn an M.D. degree. 1864 Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree earned from the New England Female Medical College. 1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers. 1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode intended the bed to be used in apartments.. 1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives 1921 American novelist Edith Wharton becomes the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. 1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours. Hattie Wyatt Caraway, of Arkansas, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. 1946 Mother Maria Frances Cabrini (1850-1917) is canonized by Pope Pius XII. She is the first U.S. citizen (she was born in Italy) to become a saint. 1964 Margaret Chase Smith, of Maine, becomes the first woman nominated for president of the United States by a major political party, at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco 1965 Patsy Takemoto Mink, of Hawaii, is the first AsianAmerican woman elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years. 1969 Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) becomes the first black woman U.S. Representative. 1981 Sandra Day O'Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice. 1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space. 1984 Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman to run for vicepresident on a major party ticket. 1985 Wilma Mankiller becomes the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 1989 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, becomes the first Hispanic woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 1992 Carol Moseley-Braun, of Illinois, becomes the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Mae Jemison becomes the first black female astronaut. 1997 Madeleine Albright is sworn in as U.S. secretary of state. She is the first woman in this position as well as the highestranking woman in the United States government. 2000 Hillary Clinton is elected to the U.S. Senate, the first First Lady elected to national office and in 2008 she becomes first woman to win a presidential primary contest in New Hampshire. 2005 Condoleezza Rice becomes the first African-American female Secretary of State. 2007 Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives and Harvard University names Drew Gilpin Faust its first woman president in the school's 371year history. Newsletter Page 3

`round the town

By Mike Dragonetti

Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams hosted two forums in Uniondale recently: On February 23, he hosted a Tax Assessment Forum at the Uniondale Public Library. Dolores Sedacca from the Nassau County Department of Assessment talked the large crowd in attendance through the process of filing a grievance. Sedacca was also at the Uniondale Community Council meeting on February 25th. Legislator Abrahams also hosted, "Meet your local Police night" on February 28th at the Sherman Van Ness Firehouse. Members of the Nassau County First Precinct discussed crime statistics for 2007, and gave a preview of the "Shotstopper" program, expected to go into effect later this year. This will pick up sound within two feet of a shot being fired, and police squad cars will be notified within 8-15 seconds after the incident. The program will be paid for entirely by money confiscated during drug arrests. The Police also have a number to report illegal guns, 1-8774GUN411. All calls are anonymous and can result in rewards up to $2,000. There are two uniformed police officers assigned to Uniondale High School. Deputy Inspector John Capece, the Precinct's Commanding Officer, stressed that, "96% of the kids in (the high) school are good kids." They praised Nassau Auxiliary Police's Uniondale unit as "one of the best in Nassau." There are 15 Auxiliary Police in the all-volunteer unit, and they could use more officers. For more information, visit the "Auxiliary Police" page on Uniondale's website, For quality of life issues, the First Precinct encourages everyone to call them at 573-6170. The February 29th issue of the Uniondale Beacon carried a story about students from California Avenue School who collected used cell phones to be turned into prepaid calling cards for soldiers stationed overseas. On March 3rd, the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association hosted a meeting on the subject of Illegal Housing and the "Hofstra houses" in the community. Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, and representatives from the Town of Hempstead Building and Sanitation Departments, the Nassau County Police First Precinct, and Hof-

stra University's Community Development took questions from Nostrand Garden members and others in attendance at a "packed meeting" at the Uniondale Library. Councilwoman Goosby urged all to call her at 489-5000 with any and all complaints regarding sanitation and illegal housing. She'll turn them over to the Building and Sanitation Departments and follow up with them. Some observations from the guest speakers include, "If the homes are deemed illegal homes, the occupants will be evicted.--Vehicles with commercial plates are not allowed in residential zones.-- Shop owners are responsible for sweeping in front of their stores.--Anyone may pull signs off telephone poles." The First Precinct reported that in the month of February there were four(4) robberies, 18 arrests of Driving While Intoxicated, and 17 drug possession arrests. Uniondale and St. Martha's lost several people in the past few weeks: Sister Mary Rita passed away on March 2nd, and was buried in Sacred Heart Chapel of St. Joseph's Convent in Brentwood. There is a guest book in her memory at William Johnke passed away on February 27th. He was a graduate of Hempstead High School, a longtime member of the Uniondale School Board of Education, and was a photographer for Newsday in the 1940s. Walter Paul passed away on March 3rd. He was a lifelong Uniondale resident, and many may recognize the house in which he grew up. The house on Uniondale Ave. was sold to Dr. Joseph McCarthy, who in turn sold it to the Knights of Columbus in 1961.

Early photo of the Paul Home.

Triduum continued

life. We renew our Baptismal promises and also welcome all who have been preparing for full communion with the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation. Give yourself the wonderful gift of attending the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, a service on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday Mass. At the end of the Triduum, we can now rejoice and sing "Christ the Lord is Risen, alleluia."

*Excerpts from The Easter Triduum ­ Wikipedia encyclopedia Newsletter Page 4


"Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia. Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia. Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia, Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia."


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