Give People a Chance

09-27-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I write these words on September 21st, the Feast of Saint Matthew. We all know that St. Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called him to be an Apostle. But it’s hard for us to understand just how hated Matthew was because of his profession.

People in Jesus’ time didn’t despise tax collectors simply because they collected taxes. They knew back then as we do today, that taxes are part of life.

Reasonable people, then as now, tolerated reasonable taxation to pay for things like roads and government.

What made Matthew and the other tax collectors in Israel so hated was that the government for which they collected taxes was a foreign one. The Roman Empire had occupied and oppressed Israel for many years. Thus the money Matthew collected from his own people paid foreign soldiers who kept them in line.

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Back up and running!

09-20-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

It’s good to see that some things are getting back up and running in our parish. I have taught a few classes at school, and it’s really great to see the students, both in class and online. Of course, just like at Church, all kinds of precautions are taken for safety, which is simply what has to be done at this time!

By this point, public school children in our parish should be registered for CCD. As you have read here, we are offering a completely online at home option for CCD this year. The other option is to pick up your child’s CCD books to work on at home. Mrs. Scott, our faithful Director of Religious Education, will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. You can reach her through the Parish Office at 908-454-0112.

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St. Peter Claver

09-13-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to begin by congratulating all the children who will be receiving their First Holy Communion in our Church over the next couple of weeks. Some of them received this past Saturday and some will receive on an upcoming Saturday morning. Still others will receive at one of the regular Sunday Masses this or next weekend.

They are all part of ‘last years’ First Communion class. Like so much else, their preparation for this Most Blessed Sacrament was interrupted by the virus. I am so happy that most of them will finally have the joy of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.

I am also happy to announce that Deacon Enock will be restarting the Prayer Group meetings on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM. They will meet in the Church for prayer and praise – being sure to observe all the necessary protocols (masks, distancing, etc.). Deacon Enock will preach a reflection each week on the readings for the upcoming Sunday – to help people prepare prayerfully for next Sunday’s Mass.

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Working for the Lord

09-06-2020From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

I want to start by wishing a Happy Labor Day to all the working people of our parish. Much more than just a holiday marking the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is a time for all of us to reflect on the meaning of human labor. While we often think of work in negative terms-as something we have to do to make a living, the truth is that there is more than that to work.

As Catholics we believe that human work is a way in which God allows us to participate in His work of creation. This is especially apparent in the case of those whose work produces useful things, such as farmers who grow food and those who provide us with clean water-to name just a few. But it is no less true for those whose work helps other people in less obvious ways.

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