Archive | January 2017

9 Days of Prayer

9-days-of-prayerThe annual observance of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, is this Saturday. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops invites you to join us in prayer for the 9 Days for Life novena, beginning January 21.

You may be planning to commemorate this year’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade by attending the National March for Life in Washington, DC, or a local march or event in your area. Perhaps you haven’t yet made plans for how to stand for life later this month. Regardless, you are invited to join us for 9 Days for Life. Think of it like a digital pilgrimage – you will be part of a community of thousands of pro-life supporters, all praying for life and for our country simultaneously.


Harlem Superstars talk hoops and life, in slam dunk performance in Pittsfield

Story by John Thornton

PITTSFIELD – On the morning of Saturday Jan. 7, a large group of students gathered at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, not for Saturday detention, but to shoot some hoops with real life “Harlem Superstars,” thanks to the St. Mark Parish Community Outreach Program. Superstars Kevin “Showboat” Jackson and Kenny “Blenda” Rodriguez (shown at left) offered skills clinics for children, danced and exercised with them and performed some signature tricks with music provided by DJ “Master of Sounds” Eddie Brown.

Father David Aufiero is the administrator of St. Mark Parish in Pittsfield.

“A number of students in my CCD program come to this great school. Back in October, I met Kevin ‘Showboat’ Jackson,” Father Aufiero explained. “We got to talking and he told me about all of the great camps that he was doing for youth. I was so inspired by what he was doing that I invited him to come to my church and he showcased some of his moves for my parishioners. We then exchanged numbers and planned for him to come up and perform for my students.”

Kenny “Blenda” Rodriguez, one of the Harlem Superstars told IObserve about his background. “I was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York,” said Rodriguez. “I attended community college in New Jersey and I toured with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters from 2007 until 2012. I’ve appeared on TV shows such as ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ ‘Jon and Kate Plus Eight’ and you might have also seen me on ‘Sesame Street’ hanging out with Elmo.”

After their performance Rodriguez and his co-star Jackson (shown bottom right) both had a positive message to give to the more than 250 children and their families who were in attendance

“My message to the kids is to always believe in yourself,” explained Rodriguez, “Because you can accomplish anything that you want in life. Just surround yourself with positive people and everything will work out.”

“Don’t tease or bully your classmates,” Jackson told the crowd. “Each and every one of you come to school to get an education and each and every one of you are special in your own way. So always remember that.”

While not definite, there are plans in the works to have the Harlem Superstars return to the area next year.

A video version of this story will be featured on an upcoming edition of “Real to Reel,” which airs Saturday evenings at 7 on WWLP-22NEWS.


© Copyright 2016 Catholic Communications Corporation

Flu Season


From the Parish Nurse Ministry
The  flu  season  is  here.  Only  You  are  responsible  for  preventing giving yourself the flu or flu-like illnesses. IF we follow the 4 principles  of  hand  awareness,  we  can  make  a  difference  in preventing  a  flu  epidemic  or  future  pandemic.  We  MUST  understand  that  we  as  humans  PERPETUATE  the  disease  and the POWER is in each and everyone of our HANDS to prevent it. We need to correct and improve our Awareness of our OWN
Personal  Hygiene  and  Respiratory  Etiquette  Habits.

Direct  Inoculation of your mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth) is how infectious disease enters your body. Germs are located on dirty  hands and by touching your eyes,  nose or mouth, you infect yourself with these germs. Germs  are not  wafting
through ventilation systems in your house or classroom.

Follow the 4 principles of hand awareness:
1.   WASH  your  hands  when  they  are  dirty  and  BEFORE  eating.
2.    DO NOT cough into your hands.
3.    DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
4.    Above all, DO NOT put your fingers in your nose, mouth or rub your eyes.


  • Remove Jewelry if possible.
  • Use warm water and wet your hands thoroughly.
  • Use soap and lather well.
  • Scrub  hands,  between  fingers,  wrists,  and  forearms  and under nails with soap for 20 seconds (Sing Happy Birthday x 2).
  • Rinse  thoroughly  and  if  possible  use  single  use  towel  or aid dryer and turn off faucet with a paper towel.
  • Protect  your  hands  from  touching  dirty  surfaces  as  you
    leave the bathroom.
  • Wash your hands and practice 4 principles of hand awareness
    for a safer and healthier you and parish here at St. Mark’s.

Meals-On-Wheels Volunteers Needed

meals on wheels logoOur Meals-on-Wheels Ministry needs Bakers and Drivers.
We serve our meals to the elderly on the 2nd Sunday of every month.

Bakers would drop off baked goods for recipients early on the Sunday morning of the meal, and the drivers would pick up their meals to be delivered between 11am and 12noon.

Please call the church if you can help out. 447-7510