Lyndonville parishioners welcomed to Medina, artifacts find new home
Last February, a fire at St. Joseph Church in Lyndonville caused substantial damage, forcing the worship site to be closed. The diocese made the decision not to rebuild the church that served 40 people on an average weekend.
St. Joseph, part of Our Lady of the Lake Parish along with St. Patrick’s in Barker, is part of Family #11, also known as the Orleans Niagara East Catholic Community or ONE Catholic. Father Mark Noonan, pastor of the family, invited the parishioners to continue worshiping in other family parishes.
“We decided to have a welcome weekend for the active parishioners there at St. Joseph’s in Lyndonville,” said Father Noonan. “At all our six other churches, we prayed in a special way at Masses in gratitude for all the blessings from years that St. Joseph was active.”
Those six sites include Holy Family, Albion; Holy Trinity, comprised of St. Mary in Medina and St. Stephen in Middleport; St. Mark, Kendall; St. Mary, Holley, and St. Patrick in Barker, which shared St. Joseph as a parish.
St. Patrick’s hosted a barbecue after Mass on Saturday, Aug. 19. The following day, Bishop Michael W. Fisher came for Mass and stayed for lunch with the family. “It was a nice turnout,” Father Noonan said. “The bishop gave a beautiful homily.”
Father Noonan visited the Lyndonville church to look through insurance records when he found some old homilies written by former pastor Father Albert Bosack, who served the church from 1962-1994.
“One I happened to read was perfect for the occasion and perfect just for the moment. So, I shared a section of that homily and reprinted that message in the bulletin from Dec. 14, 1980.”
“When I read these words, they spoke to me and I think they speak in many ways to the moment,” Father Noonan wrote in the family bulletin. “I am sure Father Bosack never imagined these words would resonate so profoundly over 40 years after he wrote them. They describe the manner in which I hope our ONE Catholic Community will always live.
Father Bosack wrote, “Christians must indeed be joy-filled people – no matter what
the problem – no matter how bitter the blow – no matter how severe the calamity or disaster. Christians, knowing and depending on Jesus’ love, are never completely overcome by their trials. They may feel sadness for a time, but their hope springs eternal. Like the crocus, springing up from the dead earth in the middle of February, so too the Christian always looks up to that day when God will take him to himself.
“Dear Lord Jesus, fill our hearts this day with a true Christian spirit – a spirit of joy and hope that influences our own manner of living.
“In the first days of the Church, the Christians caused the pagan world to wonder – and people spoke about them: ‘See how they love one another!’
“Yes, Lord Jesus, come and fill our hearts with joy. Help us to bring peace into the lives of the sick, the sinner, the little child. Help us to live in joy, creating a new spirit of hope among our associates.”
Father Noonan said the fire, which happened just before the family was launched, forced the family to realize one of the purposes of the Church.
“It’s really sad what happened in Lyndonville,” he said. “It really kind of summoned us to have an openness of spirit, mind and heart to follow. The people in our parishes, realizing that one of our community, right before we started, went through this. It created an environment for us to really reach out and embrace the reality of having a new mission, and beginning that mission in the spirit of empathy and goodness.”
Father Noonan said memorials will be built at the Barker and Medina worship sites in the future.