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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
Before returning to the reflections of the Holy Father – an up-date on the question of the deck. I received 29 responses, 28 of which were positive and one was ambivalent. I do want to clarify something. The deck would not be built exactly over the garages. If it happens, it would be built in the area over the retaining wall where the rectory meets the church. It is a smaller area, but sufficient, with more privacy, less visibility. If you remember my column last week, there was a third consideration – usage. Would it really be used? That question is still open, but thanks to all who replied.

Dear friends,
I said a few weeks ago I might interrupt the presentations of Pope Francis’ reflections from his General Audiences once in a while. Today is a once in a while. There are three things I want to bring to your attention.

The first, and most important spiritually, is tomorrow’s Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Patroness of our parish. Mt. Carmel is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast for almost 24 miles. (No—it’s not in Italy). In Old Testament times, it was the place where the prophet Elijah would sometimes reside and it was the place where he challenged the 450 prophets of the pagan god, Baal, and the 400 prophets of Asherah, to a contest to see who was really more powerful, and, thus, which God should be worshipped and obeyed, the God of Israel or the pagan god, Baal. Guess who won? (For the full story, see 1 Kings 18.)

Continuing with Pope Francis in his teachings on the Commandments at his General Audience.

As promised, from the Pope’s words at the General Audience, June 13th, 2018

Dear Friends,
No, I haven’t changed my mind and I’m not breaking my word. Last week was the last regular column for the summer. As you can see, it’s much shorter, and so it’s not regular at all.

In the past weeks, the front of the bulletin has been spotlighting different groups of our children and youth, the second graders who made their First Communion, the ninth graders who made their Confirmation, the eighth graders who graduated from the Academy. Today, we spotlight the Senior members of our Youth Group who graduated last Wednesday, some of whom appear on this week’s cover at Senior Appreciation Night. We don’t honor them just for being in Youth Group, we honor them for all they have been to and done for Youth Group. They accepted the leadership role and they excelled at it.

Dear Friends,
Happy Father’s Day to all our dads.

God bless all our dads on their special day and thank you for who you are. As a gift from the parish, please take a mini flashlight with you (if they've come in) and know how much the light of your faith contributes not only to your family but to the parish family as well.

Dear Friends,
Last weekend was about the busiest a parish can possibly be. Beginning Friday evening, and then twice on Saturday, Bishop Cruz confirmed 199 of our young people. I’ve already written about that but I want to take the time to thank all those involved in the preparation and celebrations themselves, the catechetical leaders (those who led the small groups), the service project leaders, the teenagers who were on the teams that ran the retreat weekends and the musicians who added so much to the confirmation liturgies. And all under the direction of our Director of Youth Ministry, Glen McCall. Thanks to all of you. But special thanks go to all those families, parents who still think it important enough to lead their children to a continued formation in their faith.

Dear Friends,
First, I want to thank all those who made the celebration of Fr. Jakov’s Mass of Thanksgiving such a memorable moment. The music at the Mass was wonderful, the food was great and the spirit was electric. I was a little worried because it was Memorial Day weekend and I was sure that many would be away. And that was true. But many did come, changing the time they usually attended Mass and the church was full. As I said at the Mass, Fr. Jakov was always available to take on additional responsibilities and to assist in any way he could. He has been assigned to Fr. Ivan’s parish, St. Peter’s in Belleville, and with that spirit of service, I know he will do well. Thanks to the servers, the readers, the music ministry and the women and men from the Cornerstone ministry who organized and served the reception downstairs. All the help was greatly appreciated.

As we said good-bye to Fr. Jakov last week, we say hello to Fr. Gino de la Rama, the former parochial vicar here and present Archdiocesan Director of Vocations who joins us this weekend. He will be preaching on vocations at all the Masses and we are certainly glad to see him again. It’s a little strange that when he was first assigned here he arrived on the Feast of Corpus Christi; he left on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and he returns as guest homilist on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Dear Friends,
As we begin this week, several significant spiritual moments lay before us. The first is today’s celebration of Fr. Jakov’s Mass of Thanksgiving. As I have mentioned several times over the last weeks, Fr. Jakov was ordained a priest at the Cathedral Basilica in Newark yesterday. While I understand the special connection of being ordained in the Bishop’s church, sometimes I wish each deacon could be ordained in the parish where they served as a deacon, so people could experience the beautiful rite that is ordination. Two moments always stand out in my mind as special, the prostration after the call and the laying on of hands. The candidates are first called by name, for the service of the Church of Newark. Their response, “Present,” expresses their willingness to offer their lives in service to Christ and His Church, the People of God. After promises to the Bishop, they prostrate themselves, lying on the sanctuary floor, while the people ask God, Mary, all the angels and saints, in a long, sung litany, to intercede for them and those they serve, keeping them faithful to the call they just answered. The prostration is a reminder to the priest-to-be that he gives up his life, offered to Christ and His Church, for the sake of the Kingdom, and that he humbly puts aside all pride and places both strengths and weaknesses in the hands of God to share in the Priesthood of Christ, Who is, Himself, the High Priest.

Dear Friends,
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost, the gift from the Father and the Son of their Spirit to the disciples, gathered again in a room, which officially makes them the Church. And so, as we used to say in times past, today is the Feast of the birthday of the Church. We old timers remember the days when Pentecost would have been highlighted as the birthdate of the Church. And this is something that can’t be denied. As it is with all birthdays, so it is with the Church, born from the side of her crucified Lord, (as many great spiritual writers have reflected down through the ages), and brought to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, Happy Birthday, Church! I repeat below some thoughts from years past because, I believe they help us reflect on the full reality of this great gift the Church receives from her Lord.

Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been a different focus for this Feast, one that helps us get a greater grasp of the reality that we celebrate today, and it is not so much on the Church as it is on the Holy Spirit as the Divine presence that animates the Church. Of all the references to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, more than half are to be found in the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles is often referred to as the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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