Monday, December 28, 2009

"instruments of peace"

i've been contemplating this season of Christmas that we're now celebrating and it's meaning in our spiritual journey. and what has inspired me in reflecting is the simplicity and clarity of St. Francis of Assisi, who said to his fellow brothers that, even though he, himself, traveled great distances to bring the Peace and Good News to others, "every home can be Bethlehem and every city can be Jerusalem." i think what St. Francis meant by saying this is that we can bring the Good News right where we are and we can be "instruments of Peace," if we are open enough to let God be born in our heart and soul everyday.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon (Video)

Josh Groban - O Holy Night

Do they know it's christmas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and Children

Christmas day this year was a nice day spent with most of my family. the best part was spending time with my six nieces and two nephews, particularly my youngest nephew, 4-year-old Eric. children of his age are still so innocent and full of welcome and love for others. it's a beautiful thing and something that we can all learn from. after all, Jesus tells us to be like them. if we really understood these word of Jesus to be like the children, this would be a very peaceful world. i also love the openness of children and their eagerness to learn new things. my nephew, Eric, has loved books since he was very young and even started to read (yes, really read) at the age of two. so, i give him books when ever i see him and if it's something new that he hasn't learned about, he'll sit and read the book and talk about it and ask questions and he really wants to learn. he's like a little sponge - he just absorbs all of the knowledge!
so, on Christmas day when i was with him, i asked him "why do we celebrate Christmas?" and Eric responded: "because baby Jesus is born." if Eric already knows that Jesus is the reason for our celebration of Christmas, then i can talk to him and help him more and more to understand and learn about Jesus. unfortunatley, he doesn't get much religious learning at home, so it's up to me, as his aunt, to help him to know Jesus. so, next time i see my little nephew, i will bring him (if i can find them anywhere) a little creche of the manger scene to keep and a little book about the Nativity story - i'm sure he'll love to sit down with me and read about this GOOD NEWS! PEACE!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calling on the Name of the Lord

i teach second grade religious education on Sunday mornings and am often amazed at things these young children say in class from time to time. this past third Sunday of Advent was one of these times that a child, Elizabeth, shared something pretty profound. remember, this comes from a second grader who is only about 7 or 8 years old. Elizabeth shared in class that "using the Name of the Lord in vain is wrong, because when we call on the Holy Name of the Lord, He turns to us, and if we're using His Name in vain, then it is just wrong and hurts Him."

Friday, December 11, 2009

ArchbishopTimothy Dolan's vicariate visit

hi friends!
it's been a while since i've posted something, partly because i can never really think of anything to write about and partly because i don't have a lot of free time. but, i wanted to take the time to write about a very inspiring visit by our Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. he came to St. Patrick's church in yorktown heights, NY on thursday evening, the 10th of december for his vicariate visit to the northern westchester/putnam parishes. it was a nice evening of vespers and a homily given by Bishop Dolan. after the service in the church, there were light refreshments in the church hall along with an opportunity for every person to stand on a long line to meet the Bishop. what amazes me is how this very charismatic bishop took the time to really greet and speak with each person that he met. Bishop Dolan's homily was very encouraging. he spoke of it being the season of Advent and how Jesus is continually being born through each of us who serve in the ways that we do. Bishop Dolan also stated how much he loves us all, the people of the Archdiocese of New York, and how, being the Year for Priests, how we should all love and encourage and pray for our Priests. what touches me the most about this very warm and kind Bishop of ours is how much he wants to know, love, care and pray with all of his flock that he has been shepherding so beautifully and inspirationally. we are blessed to have him. and let us remember to love, care and pray for him, too. PEACE! ~tara t~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vasyl Papaduke - Violin Virtuoso

Vasyl Papaduke - Violin Virtuoso

Vasyl Popadiuk Live!

Vasyl is an AWESOME violin player - i saw him at a Ukrainian festival a couple of weeks ago in Glen Spey, NY. PEACE!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shepko kids

hi friends!
i just wanted to share a video of the Shepko kids, who performed at St. Michael's Catholic Ukrainian heritage festival this past weekend (the 19th, 20th & 21st of june.) it was a beautiful thing to see a brother & sisters performing together like this! PEACE!

Korinya folk band: Torontali Tancok

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


this past Sunday at St. Theresa's parish in briarcliff manor, we had a guest speaker at all the Masses-Bro. Columba, CFR, who spoke about the Priesthood/Religious life and the importance of praying for vocations and praying for all who are currently in the Priesthood & Religious life. Bro. Columba is currently studying at St. Joseph's Seminary in yonkers, ny, and mentioned that there are only about six being ordained as Priests this year. Bro. Columba's sharing on this topic inspired me to write this post about how important it truly is to pray for vocations and for those that we are blessed to have in these vocations already. we should not take them for granted. they give a lot of themselves day in and day out and make so many sacrifices. it's not an easy life and they need our prayers to persevere. Bro. Columba also shared the importance of perhaps planting the seeds to get vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life. one way that he suggested is to just say to someone who we might feel has a potential vocation, "hey, have you ever thought about becoming a Priest or Religious?" Bro. Columba mentioned that this is how he came to enter the seminary - someone did just that - planted a seed in him just by saying that to him. just to share some personal examples: i've seen some of the second grade children, who i've been teaching religious education to, become altar servers when they reach the fourth grade. i've been a regular altar server for quite a while, so it could be that just by my example (and prayers for them) that they, too, have followed this path. another example are the three children i care for part-time after school on weekdays, the older boy, age 13, in particular. occasionally, if a holy day falls on a weekday afternoon that i'm with them, i'll take them to church (they go to the same parish) and i've also taken them to visit Graymoor in garrison, ny, a few times. just by doing this seems to have made an impression on Matthew, so keep him in your prayers. the fact that i genuinely care about and love the children that i care for and teach also might mean a lot to them. it's important just to be a patient and understanding example to children and to let them know that they matter and are important, too. but, back to my original subject, praying for our Priests is really so important. consider what they do for us - it is through them that we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; it is through them that we are forgiven of our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (two of our greatest Sacraments that give us so much strength and healing.) by praying for them, we can help obtain for them graces and blessings that they would otherwise not receive without our prayers. i'm reminded of "Jesus the Great High Priest," from Hebrews: "Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great high priest who has gone into the very prescence of God-Jesus, the Son of God. Our high priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy with our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it." ~Hebrews 4:14-16~ PEACE!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Come, Let us Adore HIM

this past saturday evening was the first saturday of the month and, as usual, i went to Nocturnal Adoration at Sacred Heart church. i mentioned to a friend (Fr. Charles)whose blog pages i follow that i was kind of disappointed that there was hardly any time during adoration for "quiet" time. because it's almost non-stop vocal praying for the whole hour, with only a few minutes here and there for any kind of quiet adoration. (this is because they have to get all the prayers in during the hour that used to be all night adoration.) so, needless to say, i've been contemplating giving up the monthly adoration. but, after praying about whether or not to continue with adoration, i've been inspired to continue because it is special and intimate time spent with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. and, maybe because i didn't give up on adoration, God seemed to have maybe given me more blessings or graces or something, because i truly felt a deeper sense of peace and tranqility this month than in most months in the past. i want to share the first paragraph of the monthly NAS letter: "Christ, Our King, Desires our Love - Jesus has no need of us; He is equally happy, equally rich, equally powerful with or without our love; and yet, as St. Thomas says, He loves us so, that He desires our love as much as if man was His God, and his felicity depended on that of man. This filled holy Job with astonishment: What is man that Thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost Thou set Thy heart upon him? (Job vii 17)" so, i know that staying with adoration is what Jesus desires - He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us - i realize that it would make Him sad if i didn't spend this time with Him. another reason that i didn't have the heart to stop going to adoration is because i made a committment to the group to be the left side reader and the reader of one of the readings. i felt that our committments to one another are important, too. in another part of this month's NAS letter it says that "We are made for God. We are made to love Him. Here in His presence we are accomplishing the greatest work that anyone can ever perform which is to love and adore God. We look forward to return to Our Lord when leaving our visit. We are happy and at peace."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Serving funeral Masses

since august of 2007, i've been a part of the very special parish of Sacred Heart. i've become involved in many ministries, one of which is the bereavement ministry. this ministry is where we (those of us who are in this ministry) assist the priests at the funeral masses as altar servers; lectors; eucharistic ministers; and, most importantly, just by our prayerful prescence for those who mourn. it's a special ministry. in the past year i have seen how it seems to comfort the families who have lost a loved one. many of them will come up to us and just say "thank you." i realize that it is just by "being there" for others that seems to be what matters most. just this past week, i have had the honor to assist at two funeral Masses and it really is an honor - just to be there and to assist in whatever way necessary and to pray for the deceased and their loved ones. PEACE!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas memories

since the Christmas season has officially come to an end and we begin ordinary tme tomorrow, i was wondering if anyone has anything particularly special or meaningful that they remember about the season. as i reflect, participating in many Masses, in the two parishes that i love, as an altar server or lector was the main highlight, because it's just beautiful to be with others who share the joy for the right reason. it's definitely not about all the materialism that the world seems to suggest. also, time spent with my nieces and nephews, particularly my 3-year-old nephew, Eric, was significant. again, even though the kids all received gifts and all that materialistic stuff, my nephew, Eric seemed to enjoy the gift of others rather than all the "stuff," which was probably a little overwhelming for him, anyway. he loves books and he was perfectly content to just sit with me for hours and read his one favorite holiday book, "the polar express" and then we also watched the movie of the "polar express" together. since my neices are all teens and in their early 20's and my other nephew is 13, i spend most of my time with Eric whenever we get together. i did the same with all of them when they were little. they all know that "aunt tara" is the one who truly gives of her time to be with them. Eric now tells me that i'm his "best friend." the innocence of children is something that really touches me at Christmas, especially when they are young enough not to have gotten caught up in all the materialism yet. my nephew, Eric, was at the perfect age this year! PEACE!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yanni World Dance

this is a really fun song, which features Yanni's musicians and the instruments they play.

Yanni - Rainmaker

Rainmaker is another Yanni favorite. i love Victor, who plays the paraguayan harp and a little after the 3:00 mark, you'll hear what an awesome voice he has!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nican ( In Your Heart ) - En tu corazón

this is another YANNI favorite!

Yanni- Niki Nana

hi friends!
i wanted to share one of my favorite YANNI songs. hope you enjoy it!