Bishop Fisher visits Grand Island
Bishop Michael Fisher receives some gifts after visiting St. Stephen Parish on Grand Island. Father Raymond Corbin and former Buffalo Sabre Larry Playflair presented the bishop with a cross made by St. Stephen’s students, some candy and a Buffalo Sabres gift bag. Photo courtesy of St. Stephen Parish
Bishop Michael Fisher continues to make his way around the diocese in his effort to meet the people of Western New York.
On Feb. 7, he visited St. Stephen Parish on Grand Island, where he celebrated the 9 a.m. Mass and toured the church that is just shy of its 21st birthday. “It’s a mammoth place,” he said. The parish itself was founded in 1862.
“I come with an open heart to get to know all of you and your parish,” Bishop Fisher said in welcoming those to Mass. “I’ve already been greeted in a warm way by your pastor and your wonderful deacon. I look forward to my visit here and celebrating this Mass with you.”
In his homily, Bishop Fisher reflected on the life of Job, who lived 500 years before the birth of Christ.
“God knows what a wonderful and righteous and good man Job is, but we see Job at his lowest point. We know Job had everything. He had a beautiful family. He was happy with his children and surrounded by his flocks. He was a good businessman. He was respected in the community, and again, he was probably seen by his neighbors and friends as a good man. The devil says, ‘It’s easy for You to have a good man to love You. What happens if he is tested?”
With no concept of heaven or an afterlife, happiness to him was what could be seen and felt in his life. When he began to suffer, Job was at a loss. Still today, when good people suffer, they lose hope of ever experiencing joy again.
“Ultimately God says to us, ‘Keep the faith. I love you. Have confidence that I love you, and all will be made better,’” the bishop explained.
After Mass, Father Raymond Corbin and Deacon Frank Kedzielawa presented the bishop with a map of the diocese, some of Buffalo’s finest sponge candy, and a cross made by the students of St. Stephen’s School.
“It was a good pastoral visit,” said Father Corbin. “I think he’s a very personable guy. I like the fact that he has been a pastor, which is a first for us. He knows how it is in parishes.”
“It went great,” added Sandra Beyer, secretary for the parish. “It was beautiful and he did a great job. Everybody loved him. He had a very warm and welcoming personality.”
The full Mass can be seen on St. Stephen’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/St-Stephens-RC-Church.