I want to thank everyone for their generosity to last week’s Mission Co–op Collection. As usually, the good people of our parish were welcoming and supportive of the missionary who visited us. Fr. Cesar wanted me to express his thanks to all of you, not only for your donations but, most especially for your prayers.
You can see the results of the mission elsewhere in this bulletin, where the weekly collection is listed. Your generosity is a testimony to your embrace of Jesus’ command to ‘teach all nations.’ Thanks!READ MORE
This weekend we welcome Fr. Caesar Santa Cruz to our parish. He is here to make the annual Mission Co–op Appeal. I know we will make him welcome.
As most of you know, the Mission Co–op Appeal happens every year in all the parishes in the United States. Missionaries, like Fr. Santa Cruz, visit and speak at all the Masses about the missions. A second collection is taken for the support of that mission.
Our parish has a long history of strong support for the missions. Several men and women from our parish have served as priests and sisters in the missions over the years. Moreover, the good people of our parish have been generous to the Mission Co–op Appeal and Mission Sunday collections over the years. Add to that all the prayers so many of you offer for the missions and it makes a great tradition of support for the mission in our parish.READ MORE
We all know that, before ascending to Heaven, Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples to spread the Gospel to all people. Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, those disciples made a great start at this mission. Within a generation after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, the Gospel had been preached in most of the Roman Empire, and many people had been converted to Christ.
Today, our Church continues the mission that the apostles began in many ways. One of them is the annual Mission Co–op Plan. As part of this plan every parish in our country, and in many others too, is visited by a missionary who preaches about the missions at Sunday Mass. A second collection is then taken to support the work of that missionary and his or her community.READ MORE
I want to begin by wishing everyone a very happy Independence Day. While most people call it the Fourth of July, I prefer Independence Day because it reminds us of the holiday’s connection to the founding of our nation. Recalling and celebrating our nation’s beginning rightly leads us to give thanks for the many things we have accomplished as a nation over the years.
At the same time, it is good for us to remember how much room we have for improvement. The continued existence of abortion on demand in our country reminds us that we still fall short of realizing the ‘inalienable right to life’ promised by the Declaration of Independence. Incidents of discrimination and prejudice, sometimes truly shocking incidents perpetrated by people who truly should know better, remind us that we still have a way to go to realize the Declaration’s assertion that ‘all men are created equal.’READ MORE
Last Saturday I had the blessed occasion to attend the ordination of four new priests, and one deacon, for our diocese. It was held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (the Blue Army Shrine) in nearby Washington, New Jersey. The Mass was long, but beautiful.
Among those ordained to the priesthood was Fr. Timothy Eck. Many of you undoubtedly remember when, as a seminarian, he served the summer of 2019 in our parish. It was really a pleasure to see him ordained to the holy priesthood and to attend his First Holy Mass at St. Jude’s Church in Blairstown last Sunday afternoon.READ MORE
I want to begin by offering a very Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and spiritual fathers in our parish.
Seeing so many Father’s Day envelopes come in, with the names of fathers both living and deceased on them, tells me that many of us both appreciate and want to pray for our fathers and grandfathers. We will keep those envelopes near the Altar throughout this month, and include the names on them in all the Masses that are offered. Let’s also be sure to keep our fathers and grandfathers, and all those men who have been a blessing to us, in our personal prayers as well.READ MORE
It was wonderful to see so many people at Holy Mass on Corpus Christi. I especially enjoyed celebrating the 11am Mass, with the Procession and Benediction that followed. As I carried the Blessed Sacrament around the Church, I could not help seeing the devotion on the faces of so many people as they gazed at our Blessed Lord. It was moving for me, and I hope for many of you, too.
As I thought about my homily from Corpus Christi, it occurred to me that I made a little mistake! I told you, correctly, that a shrine in Paris called Sacre Coeur has had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for 155 years without interruption! My mistake is that I also said that Sacre Coeur was built some 800 years ago to house the Crown of Thorns.READ MORE
This weekend is Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a day to celebrate and reaffirm our Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. As many of you know, it is also one of my favorite holy days of the year.
It seems appropriate that things have improved so much that our dispensation from attending Holy Mass due to the pandemic has been removed on Corpus Christi. It was a year ago that we began having public Masses again, after several months of just virtual ones. Now we are blessed to be pretty much back to normal, with our bishops reminding us that we need to be at Holy Mass personally each Sunday, unless we are truly sick or have other just cause to be excused.READ MORE
I want to start by wishing everyone, especially the veterans of our parish, a very Happy Memorial Day! We owe the freedom we enjoy, and often take for granted, to those who sacrificed so much to defend it over the years. On Memorial Day, take a moment to say a prayer for those who died defending our country, and to thank the veterans you know.
Holy Mass will be offered in our Church on Memorial Day at 6:45am and 8:00am. The 8:00am Mass will be offered for all those buried in our parish cemetery. Those who were buried there since last Memorial Day will be mentioned by name in the intentions of that Mass. Everyone is welcome to attend.READ MORE
What have you done to spread the Gospel lately? That’s a good question to ask yourself on this Pentecost Sunday.
On Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help the disciples spread the Gospel to many peoples 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 did 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.
I hope that all the mothers and grandmothers of our parish had a lovely Mother’s Day last Sunday. It was nice to be able to visit my mom that day. My sister Natalie and brother-in-law Phil were also there, and it was a very nice time. My sister made a delicious dinner that we enjoyed together, along with each other’s company.
Remember that next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the 50th day after Easter. The day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and our Blessed Mother, Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season. It is a good day to remember that, in Confirmation, each of us was likewise strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that we could follow Christ and spread His Gospel in the world.READ MORE
I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers in our parish! Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and other good works that too often go unnoticed.
Indeed, it is often said that motherhood is the most underappreciated vocation in the world, and I can see why people say this. We love our moms and know we owe them the world, but often take them for granted. Moms – perhaps more than anyone else in our world – tend to ‘fly under the radar.’READ MORE
May is of course the Month of Mary. With that in mind, try to do some little things to honor Mary this month. If you don’t already pray the Rosary daily, this would be a good time to start. If you can’t pray a whole Rosary, why not pray at least a decade of it a day? It is a powerful prayer, one of my favorites, and is recommended by countless saints.
As a parish, we will honor Mary by setting up a special statue of her near the side Altar. It will be left in place throughout the month of May. My hope is that it will inspire us to think of Mary’s good example and strive to follow it in our lives.READ MORE