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APRIL 2021

the phi lipian


St. Philip Neri Italian Marketplace Set to Return Next Month!


hat do you call hundreds of volunteers coming together to bring a 25-year tradition of community fun and fellowship to St. Philip Neri? In the words of a famous song, “that’s amore!” Indeed, it is a great love of our parish and local community that inspires our Italian Festival each year. When the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s event, people across the Fort Mill-Rock Hill-Charlotte area greatly missed this beloved gathering. Now, we are pleased to announce that the event will return next month with an adapted event format in compliance with current health guidelines. In the past, the St. Philip Neri Italian Festival has been a multi-faceted event spanning three days, providing food, musical entertainment, a children’s parade, and fun zone, festival games, the “Italian Idol” singing competition, and more.

The community enjoys fun, food and fellowship at the Italian Festival.

While the festival planning committee looks forward to soon returning to a larger community gathering, this year’s offering will be scaled down to accommodate pandemic-related regulations. This change is reflected in the 2021 event name, Italian Marketplace. continued on page 2


St. Philip Neri Italian Marketplace Set to Return Next Month! (continued from front cover) “Our primary focus this year and beyond to bring a form of will be what has always been the this parish tradition back. An heart of our festival - the wonderful entire subcommittee on health food that we provide,” says Italian and safety, chaired by Diane Marketplace chairperson Kathy Cooper and Diane Maloney, was Burden. “We’ll also be having local established to ensure that the artisans and vendors to share Italian Marketplace follows all their wares. This is a great way for current CDC and South Carolina parishioners and other members Health Department protocols. of the community to showcase Two other parishioners their talents and businesses.” working behind the scenes on On Friday evening, May 14 from event logistics are Kathy Burden’s 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 15 adult daughters, Grace and Diana. from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., vendors Their continued involvement in this will be set up outside on the parish St. Philip Neri tradition is a great grounds. There will not be on-site example of the lasting impact this dining, but food will be available for event has on families in our parish The authentic, traditional Italian cuisine is always carryout — so everyone who was and community. the biggest draw for this annual event.  missing their meatballs and cannoli “My best memories of the last year will surely be pleased! festival are watching my two children run around in “The food is just amazing,” says planning the games in the 1990s, and then being teenagers and committee member Jim Funk. “It’s all essentially volunteering at the festival,” Kathy says. “This year, they handmade, so that’s the draw. We are retaining our are helping me coordinate it.” model for the food this year, so we have big groups As always, funds raised through the purchase of parishioners on the ‘Meatball Madness’ and the of food at the Italian Marketplace will support the sausage team, and we have defined recipes for ziti future growth and expansion of St. Philip Neri, with a and lasagna. We’ve been told year after year that the portion of proceeds going back into the community. legacy of the festival is that people love the food. We invite everyone to come out next month and And it’s very reasonably priced, so that’s the best check out our local vendors — and of course, don’t thing. The meatball and sausage subs are to die for!” forget to mangia, mangia, mangia! Each year, the Italian Festival is a testament to “This is really our only annual opportunity to the strong sense of community and stewardship celebrate the community, and it’s a celebration that here at St. Philip Neri, as parishioners volunteer is full of food and music and fellowship,” Jim says. to fill an incredible 700 shifts! While fewer people “For St. Philip Neri, it’s an opportunity to celebrate will be needed to assist with the smaller 2021 our own community and to also expose the broader event, our planning committee has gone above community to who we are and what we do.”

The Italian Marketplace will take place on the evening of Friday, May 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. and during the day on Saturday, May 15, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information on the festival or volunteering to help with this event, visit the website at https://spnitalianfestival.com/ — or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/st.philipneriitalianfestival. You may also email Kathy Burden at spnitalianfestival@gmail.com.


A Letter From Our Pastor

Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


ow did you feel at the end of the Palm Sunday Mass? You may not have noticed, but there was an abrupt shift of tone in that liturgy. It began with great joy, as we celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the crowds. But then the mood shifted to sorrow, despair even, when the Passion Gospel was read, for we heard the shouts of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” from those same crowds a few days later. Palm Sunday, of course, was the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week in the Christian year. The confusion of conflicting moods is spread through the week, especially during the Easter Triduum — from sundown Holy Thursday to sundown Easter Sunday. Holy Thursday offers us the glorious Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrating the institution of the Eucharist before we pass to the sadness of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The next day brings us the Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion with our recognition of what our sins did to the Incarnate Son of God. Then, after a day of waiting as we mourn Jesus’ burial and repose in the tomb, we celebrate His victory over sin, Satan and death at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night or at the Masses the next day. If we have participated in all the main services of the Triduum, we arrive at Sunday evening exhausted but joyful. This year, Palm Sunday fell on the final Sunday of March, and we observe Holy Week and Easter Sunday early in April. That means we will spend most of April in the Easter Season, a period filled with joy and thanksgiving. Our gladness comes not only because Christ rose from the dead, but also because we benefit from it. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (§654) puts it, “The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by

his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life.” In other words, Christ’s Resurrection is the source of our own future resurrection. St. Paul wrote about it to the Romans in the following words (Rom 6:5): “For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.” Eternal life in union with Christ — a hope for a new life beginning now and extending on into heaven — is the result of Jesus’ Resurrection. What greater grounds for thanksgiving can there be than this Easter hope? We should sing with joy about this promise from God! What’s more, Paul also wrote (Col 3:1-2): “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” Jesus’ Resurrection and His promise of a new life for us mean that we need to live in conformity with our status as adopted children of God. And how do we show our joy and our gratitude to God for this amazing gift He has given us? We join in worship and praise God by word and song. We share the Good News of Jesus’ victory over death with our family, friends and neighbors. And we offer back to the Lord a portion of the time, talent and treasure He has entrusted to us. Yes, the Easter message that we share in the benefits of Christ’s Resurrection is the ultimate foundation for all Christian stewardship. The Lord is risen, alleluia. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Fabio Refosco, C.O.



fter 26 years of serving at the St. Malachy Haiti Mission, Sheila Zielinski reflects on how, in many ways, the people in Haiti are not so different from us. “They have the same hopes and dreams that we have,” says Sheila, Haiti Mission Coordinator. “They care deeply about their families and their faith life. They want education and clean food and water. I am struck by the generosity and the beauty of the people of Haiti.” Approximately 700 miles from Florida lies the island of Hispaniola. Two different nations share this island, with the Dominican Republic on the east and Haiti on the west. In the early 1990s, St. Malachy in Brownsburg, Ind., became part of a twinning parish program and paired with Ste. Marguerite in Port Margot, Haiti. “Shortly afterward we began thinking about what it means to be a twinning parish,” Sheila says. “We sent four members from our parish to Haiti to understand what the parish needed and how we can help and support each other.” On this initial trip, the faith community members ascertained that one of the biggest needs of the community was medical help. Sheila became one of the team members on the first medical mission to

Haiti in 1996. “And I have been going every year ever since,” Sheila says. “As a nurse with medical experience, this is something that I can do to contribute. I can use the skills God has given me, and I have really enjoyed doing it.” Every year a team visits the parish and community in Haiti, and how many volunteers go on the trip depends upon the year and the community’s needs at that time. Usually, the trips are approximately a week long and take place in June or in October. “We’ve been visiting Haiti annually until recently because of the coronavirus, and we haven’t been able to travel this past year,” Sheila says. “How often we go changes from year to year. During the cholera epidemic, there was such a need, and we went several times a year.” A typical day at the Haiti mission begins with daily Mass around 6:30 a.m. followed by breakfast. Then the workday starts, and what activities volunteers do during the day varies with the gifts and talents of the individuals on the trip. “What we do depends upon the composition of the team,” Sheila says. “They have a water program, and many people go to work on the water systems. People spend

Ste. Marguerite Church in Port Margot, Haiti

St. Malachy Medical Clinic, managed by the Servants of Mary



Brings Twinning Parishes Together time in the clinic and others spend time in the schools.” There are two separate Catholic schools under the same parish. St. Joseph School has about 1,500 students and St. Theresa has around a thousand students “In Haiti, they have 13 years of education instead of 12 years like we have in the primary and secondary American education system,” Sheila says. “There are always needs in the school.” Sheila herself spends much of her time while in Haiti in the clinic working with patients and assisting with medical care. “Typically, a large part of the group works in the medical clinic,” Sheila says. “A lot of the things they struggle with are basic needs.” St. Philip Neri’s partnership with St. Malachy and the Haiti Mission began through Lynda Curry, the parish’s current Business Manager, who was previously the Business Manager at St. Malachy. When she moved to the area, she brought the connection to St. Malachy

and the mission with her. There are so many ways of supporting the St. Malachy Haiti Mission, including sponsoring students and offerings prayers. People are welcome to participate in mission trips to Haiti. The cost is approximately $1,200 depending upon airfare prices, and once on the ground, volunteers stay at the parish. “Your prayers and support are always welcome,” Sheila says. “If you do go to Haiti, you really get to know your team and the nuns there very well on these trips. The nuns are wonderful!” Hopefully volunteers will be traveling again to Haiti soon to be present with the faith community members of Ste. Marguerite. “We’re so appreciative of your prayers and your involvement, and it is wonderful to partner with you,” Sheila says. “When we go to Haiti next depends upon what happens with international travel, but I am hopeful that by October we’ll be able to travel safely if people have been vaccinated.”

If you would like more information about the St. Malachy Haiti Mission, please reach out to Sheila Zielinski at pzielinski@iquest.net or 317-372-8060.

Young students at Ste. Theresa School

Volunteers at the St. Malachy Haiti Mission


Living Our Mission During These Challenging Times


he Four Pillars of Stewardship are Hospitality, Formation, Prayer, and Service. These pillars offer us guidelines to live a stewardship way of life by providing opportunities to share our time, talent, and treasure. With our current social distancing restraints, we may find it challenging to find opportunities to live a stewardship way of life — but yet, we are still called to fulfill our mission, the work of the Church. We can share our time through hospitality and service. Hospitality can take many forms. In our parish office, Care Coordinator Isa Montes calls those in our parish who are homebound, suffering, and lonely. What can you do in your homes to offer hospitality to your family members, neighbors, and those in need? Service can take many forms in our parish and our community. Many of our service ministries continue to serve. Martha’s Meals continues to provide lunches on Saturday morning to shut-ins in our community. For service opportunities, please contact our parish Volunteer Coordinator Jenny Funk by email at volunteercoordinator@saintphilipneri.org. Our parish website — www.saintphilipneri.org — and parish bulletin are available to provide many opportunities for formation and spiritual prayer. FORMED is an online program providing Catholic content to help parishes, families, and individuals explore their faith anywhere, anytime. Movies, children’s


programs, eBooks, videos, and much more are available to you free of charge. Our need for prayer may be stronger now than ever. We offer Virtual Prayer and Liturgy of the Hours, all accessible via Zoom. If you are unable to attend Mass with us in the Church, access our parish website to join us online for the 9:30 a.m. Mass every weekend, and the daily Mass. Sharing our treasure is challenging for many in our faith family. Just as many of you have had to cut back or do without, we are doing the same. Losing the ability to gather at the church has made it difficult to receive your offerings. Our main source of income is our offertory collections — Sunday, Christmas, and Holy Days. Ending January, our offering deficit totaled over $100,000. Your weekly offerings provide for over 90 percent of our income. With the loss of offerings, we continue to look for ways to cut our expenses to offset our deficit. Through all of our challenges, we know that our Lord rose from the dead to proclaim victory over death. We are also called to rise — rise over our daily challenges and proclaim victory. May this Easter season give you joy, hope, and comfort.

Online Giving at St. Philip Neri

uring these difficult and uncertain times, our efforts to stay connected continue with our online presence. The evangelization work of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church and our outreach to those in need is ongoing. Many of you have asked how you can continue to support our efforts. Here are the variety of ways to give online: Secure Online Giving: St. Philip Neri’s Green Option This environmentally responsible choice can be initiated either by you at https://saintphilipneri.org/ giving/ or by contacting the parish office. Through our online giving service provider, Vanco, options include single or recurring donations to a variety of funds in any amount desired. Vanco allows you to use debit/credit cards as well as checking/savings accounts. Changes are easily accomplished after initial setup. Give a single gift or easily schedule recurring giving using your credit card.

Online Automatic Bill Pay Contributions are initiated by you through your personal banking bill-pay service. Please remember to reference your parishioner number and desired fund on the check. Text Giving Managing your charitable giving straight from your smartphone to facilitate one-time or recurring donations. Please text 803-302-3047 to get started. You may also mail in your donations to: St. Philip Neri Catholic Church 292 Munn Road East Fort Mill, SC 29715 We continue to hold the needs of our parish, country and world in prayer.


The Sacrament of Confirmation: A Call to Evangelization and Carrying out Christ’s Mission


he best is yet to come.” These words are often heard in relation to some of life’s major milestones — the birth of a new baby, the first week of college or a couple’s wedding day. It may come as a surprise, however, that this forward-looking phrase also provides an apt description for the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church. Indeed, far from signaling an “end” to a child’s formation in the faith, Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation encompassing the completion of baptismal promises, the reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of one’s full life in the Church. “Confirmation enriches what we receive at Baptism,” says Tayler Culbertson, St. Philip Neri Youth and Young Adult Coordinator. “When we’re baptized, our parents take baptismal vows and promises, and we are initiated into the Body of Christ. But with Confirmation, we are taking those promises and vows for ourselves. We’re completing those baptismal vows so that we can be better witnesses to Christ in word and deed.” Here at St. Philip Neri, young parishioners begin their Confirmation journey in ninth grade. Following two years of discussion-based classes, retreats and volunteer opportunities, the youth receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of their 10th grade year. Next month, about 100 teenagers will be confirmed right here in our parish! To illustrate the reality of Confirmation as the beginning of a full life in the Church, Tayler uses the analogy of a social or service club. “I always tell the teens that Confirmation is an initiation,” she says. “If there is a club or organization

that you are interested in, what do you do? You check it out, learn more about it, and then you get initiated into that club. Once you’re in that organization, you contribute to it, you attend events, and you invite others to it. After the initiation, you are tasked with participating and contributing to it. With Confirmation, you’re a full member of the Church, so that involves evangelization, living as Christ, and making sure we carry out the mission of love and service.” There are many opportunities at St. Philip Neri for teenagers who want to continue their spiritual growth and participate in parish life. In addition to faith formation offered by the high school youth continued on back cover

“If there is a club or organization that you are interested in, what do you do? You check it out, learn more about it, and then you get initiated into that club. Once you’re in that organization, you contribute to it, you attend events, and you invite others to it. After the initiation, you are tasked with participating and contributing to it. With Confirmation, you’re a full member of the Church, so that involves evangelization, living as Christ, and making sure we carry out the mission of love and service.” — TAYLER CULBERTSON, ST. PHILIP NERI YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT COORDINATOR

St. Philip Neri

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C AT H O L I C C H U R C H 292 Munn Road East Fort Mill, SC 29715 803.548.7282 saintphilipneri.org

The Sacrament of Confirmation group, Lifeteen, there are countless ministries open to teens interested in sharing their artistic talents or practicing Catholic social teaching. No matter how the Confirmandi choose to live their faith moving forward, Tayler hopes they will all stay close to the Lord. “My dream would be that they stay involved and evangelize and go to church,” she says. “My hope is that seeds are planted and come to fruition. That is all I ever hope for — whether it is next year and they become super involved in Youth Group, or if it’s a few years down the line when they’re in a low place — that they remember they have God and a community that is here to welcome them. That the Holy Spirit stays alive in them and that they are true witnesses to Christ’s love. I hope those seeds are planted.”

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Traditionally, our Confirmandi choose a patron saint to help guide and inspire them on their faith journey. This ritual also signifies the young person’s identity as a Christian and their place in the communion of saints. “Confirmation is an initiation into a family that we hope they will stay in,” Tayler says. “Practically, it connects us to a larger community. The Holy Spirit gives us different gifts and fruits. When we decide to receive this Holy Spirit in a fuller way, ideally the Spirit would move us to imitate Christ in a full way.” Let us all rejoice in the Confirmation of so many of our parish youth next month! May the gifts of the Holy Spirit they receive in this sacrament inspire them to a deeper faith, a closer walk with Christ and a full life in the Church.

Are you interested in learning more about preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation or volunteering with our Confirmandi next year? Tayler Culbertson provides all volunteers with preparation, training and curriculum — no need to have anything other than a desire to walk alongside our teens on their faith journey! Please contact Tayler at youthandyoungadultcoordinator@saintphilipneri.org.

Profile for Catholic Stewardship Consultants

The Philipian, A Publication of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church — April 2021