Ever since I was a child, I always associated summer with the outdoors. It always seemed like, once the weather got warmer, my family and friends did more outdoor things. I particularly remember things like swimming, picnics and going for long walks in the woods near my home as outdoor things I enjoyed doing with my friends.
As Catholics, we have a tradition of religious ‘long walks’ called pilgrimages. From the time the Church began, Christian people would make pilgrimages, journeying to see and pray at the places where Jesus was born, preached and performed miracles, died, and rose from the dead. They did this in imitation of the Holy Family who used to make pilgrimages of their own, such as journeying to the Temple of Jerusalem to celebrate Holy Days. More than just a holy road trip, a pilgrimage reminds us that our whole life on earth is a journey towards Heaven.READ MORE
I want to start by thanking everyone for their generous support of the Mission Co-op Collection last weekend. As usual, our parish responded generously to the call to "teach all nations" by supporting Franciscan Works in Liberia. Thanks again to one and all.
As I write these words, our historic pipe organ is being dismantled and carried from our Church. It will be transported to the workshop of the Peragallo Pipe Organ Company where it will be completely renovated and returned for service in a few months. Our music ministers will use a keyboard and other instruments in the meantime to support our singing and chanting.READ MORE
Those who know me well know that winter is actually my favorite season of the year. Ever since I was a kid, the heat bothered me a lot more than the cold. Perhaps that’s why I always loved the winter.
But there have always been some things I love about the summer, too. The longer daylight, baseball, summer vacation (a bigger deal when I was a kid than now,) and the generally slower pace of things are a few things I love about summer.
That being said, this summer is not shaping up to be very slow at all. Instead, it’s looking like we will have a very busy summer here at St. Philip and St. James, which is certainly fine with me.READ MORE
Last weekend was one of the most inspiring of my life, and that is truly no exaggeration! I had the privilege of seeing two sons of our parish ordained to the sacred priesthood. As a parish, we have followed Fr. Matthew Marinelli and Fr. Joseph Illes through the years, and now we have the joy of seeing them ordained!
It was great to see so many of our people make the journey to the Cathedral in Metuchen for the Ordination Mass. Even better was the number of people who attended their First Masses in our Church last Sunday. Many people were at all three ceremonies, which speaks volumes about their faith!READ MORE
Today we celebrate Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. This celebration – one of the most solemn of the Church year – honors the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. This, indeed, is the Mystery of Faith – that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is really the Risen Jesus.
Speaking of the Eucharist, Jesus once said, “The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” In other words, receiving the Holy Communion establishes an abiding relationship between us and Jesus. It gives us a special closeness to Him.
In these days of electronic communication, we have many ways to keep in touch. E-mails, text messages, and skyping allow us to speak to friends and family members around the world at almost any time. But, actually sitting down with each other and enjoying each other’s company – simply being with each other – doesn’t happen as much as we’d like.READ MORE
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and special men of our parish. Father’s Day always reminds of a nice thing my father did for me when I was probably only 4 or 5 years old. We were riding through town in our car – a black Rambler, as I recall. As we crossed some railroad tracks, he noticed that a freight train was approaching. We were already across when the flag man (Remember them!) began stopping traffic. But, my dad stopped the car anyway so I could watch the train go by through the rear window!
I’m sure my father had plenty of things to do, but he took those few extra minutes to let me watch the train! It was a little thing, but one I still remember after all these years. Moreover, it is indicative of the sacrifices that fathers – and all parents – make for their children. Today we thank them for it.READ MORE
Today is Pentecost Sunday – the day on which Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help His disciples spread the Gospel to many people and places. In Baptism – and especially Confirmation – Jesus sent that same Holy Spirit to help us spread the Gospel in the world today. Many of you do this by teaching your children about the Faith and sending them to Catholic School or CCD classes. Many also do it by supporting the missions. Still, others do it on a personal, one-to-one basis – sharing their faith with others in conversations and other ways.READ MORE
I had a very relaxing Memorial Day. After celebrating Holy Masses that morning, I enjoyed watching the parade. The rectory’s front porch is the perfect seat for the parade, and it is nice to see it so easily. After that, I had a quiet day at the rectory, which was really very nice.
I am happy to announce that our parish will sponsor a bus trip to the Priesthood Ordinations in St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral on Saturday, June 22nd. The bus will leave the school parking lot on Roseberry Street at 8 AM that day and be back by 1:30 PM. There is no charge, but you must register ahead of time so we can make sure everyone has a seat. Call the parish office (908-454-0112) to reserve a space.READ MORE