Pentecost Sunday

05-31-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

On Memorial Day morning, I offered Mass in our chapel – assisted by our seminarian, Joseph – at 6:45 AM. As I read the list of names of those people buried in our parish this past year, I thought of many of you. Each name brought to mind family members and friends who – if it were possible – would have been at Mass praying for them that morning. Know that I included all of you – as well as our departed loved ones – in my Memorial Day Mass.

I was inspired to see the nice turnout for Communion in the Parking Lot last Sunday. It went well enough that we will continue to do this for at least the immediate future. People were reverent and thankful. The looks on so many faces as people received our Blessed Lord for the first time in months spoke volumes about their faith in His Real Presence in Holy Communion.

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Happy Memorial Day

05-24-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a Happy Memorial Day to all. My wishes go especially to all the veterans in our parish. You – and your fallen comrades – are in my prayers today. Thanks for all you have done to protect our freedom.

As a priest, I am acutely aware of how many people around the globe do not have the freedom to practice their faith that we so often take for granted. The freedom to worship according to one’s conscience was one of the primary reasons many of our ancestors first came to this land. On Memorial Day, take some time to pray for those who died defending that freedom.

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The Ascension

05-17-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

Believe it or not, this Thursday will mark the fortieth day since Easter. As Catholics, we call that day Ascension Thursday, because it is the day on which Jesus ascended into Heaven. After remaining present among the disciples for forty days in His Risen Body, our Lord ascended to Heaven as they looked on.

Ordinarily, Ascension Thursday is a Holy Day of Obligation. But with the current pandemic, we are dispensed from our obligation to attend Holy Mass that day – as we have been every Sunday for the past couple of months.

Moreover, for this year only, the Bishops of New Jersey have decided to transfer the celebration of Ascension Thursday to next Sunday! This means that those of you who watch next Sunday’s Mass on our website will be seeing the Mass for the Feast of the Ascension. The bishops did this to lessen the need for tech people to come out to help us livestream the Mass on that additional day.

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Happy Mother's Day

05-10-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and special women of our parish. Everyone who reads my words in the bulletin knows how much my mother means to me. I’m sure that’s true for all of us. There is a place in our lives that only a mother can fill.

As Catholics, we believe that’s true not only for us as individuals, but as a Church as well. The Acts of the Apostles – the book of the Bible that tells us about the very first days and years of the Church after Jesus ascended to Heaven – makes a point of saying that, when the disciples gathered at prayer, “among them was Mary, the Mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). Mary’s presence was important to the Church from the beginning!

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Good Things Still Happening

05-03-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

One of the things that is helping me get through this current pandemic is noticing all the good things that are still happening. I thought I would spend some time in this week’s article sharing some of those good things with you.

The first is our parish soup kitchen – which is still operating on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. While we cannot host and feed people in Mercy Hall as we usually do, the Soup Kitchen’s dedicated volunteers have been distributing takeout food in the parking lot. As you can imagine, their efforts are very much appreciated by the local poor who rely on their services.

Catholic Charities – Diocese of Metuchen – also asked us to remind everyone that their local food pantry on South Main Street is still open. You can call ahead (908 – 859 – 5447) to check on hours. You can also make donations at their garage on Spruce Alley (#387).

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