Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing Fr. Rob's Weekly Message

January 28, 2024

Dear Friends,

“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

I am still listening and wondering and have questions of why.

Last week I shared with you about Tre Barton lll who at seven years of age had died. Tre is the grandson of grammar school friends of mine who had been diagnosed in April with cancer. All too quickly this precious little boy was called home to the Lord.  Words escaped me and I prayed to the Lord saying I was listening to what He wanted to say to me.  We celebrated Tre’s life last Saturday at Saint John the Evangelist in Greece.

Last Friday, I received an early call that one of our parishioners from Transfiguration was murdered on a street in Washington, D.C.

As many of you now know, Ryan Realbuto, 23 years old, was walking home with two housemates after a church gathering.  They were approached by a car, told to hand over their money, and in the turmoil, a person shot Ryan and he died later at a hospital.

Why? “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Senseless! Gun violence. A lack of respect for human life.

Another child of God, a brother of Jesus, taken from his family and friends and community that so loved and respected him.

Ryan was a phenomenal young man. He was so actively engaged in the parish life of Transfiguration. Everyone loved him.  He recently graduated from Bonaventure where he was involved in many ministries and beloved.  Ryan went to Washington, D.C. to be involved in a Capuchin service program, Cap Corps, a Catholic volunteer organization. His placement was at a Catholic High School,helping with job coaching.

We grieve and mourn his life alongside his loving parents, Janet and Pippo, his brothers, Christian and Evan, and his entire family and friends.

We all wonder why?

I’ll say it again, “May we continue in our faith, a faith not always understanding why, and have the strength like Samuel, to call out, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” God will speak to us and be in our questioning and moments of grief.”

With hope and peace for our days ahead,

Father Rob   



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