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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
This is a weekend for two celebrations and an announcement. Yesterday (Saturday), the Archbishop ordained seven new priests for service of the Church of Newark. Ordinations remind me to ask all of you to pray for vocations. The materialistic world is a tremendous lure. Against the noise of this world, the Lord speaks a call to serve in His Church. But that call needs to be recognized and to be heard. Pray for that, that those to whom the Lord is speaking will be able to hear His Voice against the noise of this world. I see generous hearts all around, like the teenagers in our Confirmation program who engage in all manner of service projects. But they need to hear first. Pray that they do. And pray for these seven new priests that God will help them be true servants of Jesus Christ, in love with Him and the people to whom they are sent. And pray for the Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, that it may be ever more holy, ever more conscious of the Lord’s presence and ever more courageous in announcing Jesus as Lord through their ministry.

Dear Friends,
On the front cover of today’s bulletin you will find the names of all the children who came to the altar to receive the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time in our six celebrations over the last three Saturdays. Although you cannot see them, because the print is so faint and the banners are hung so high, they are also on the two banners of host and chalice that hang in the front of the church. I want to congratulate these children and their parents, and to thank their parents for believing this to be an important moment, and an important journey for their children to be on. We often decry the lack of faith in the world. This is a moment to celebrate it.

Dear Friends,
This is, of course, Mother’s Day, and I extend to all our mothers not only our best wishes for this day but our deepest gratitude for being the face of God (spiritually, of course, since we all know God is pure spirit and doesn’t have a face), in, for and to our families. Please accept the carnation as but a small token of recognition of the special place you have in our hearts.

Dear Friends,
Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday. Because the readings always focus on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in all the years of the three-year cycle of readings, this Sunday has also become the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, especially and specifically vocations to the priesthood. As we are encouraged to place our hearts and lives into the hands of the Shepherd Who always loves and cares for us, we are asked to pray for more shepherds today, servant-leaders, priests, who would love us as Jesus did.

Dear Friends,
As I write for this weekend, I am in the midst of signing 170 1st Communion certificates. (FYI, in 1997, there were 149 1st Communions & in 2007, there were 213 1st Communions). We are beginning three weekends of celebrations for one of the happiest moments in the life of a parish, the reception of the Eucharist for the first time for our children. After eight months of preparation, they will come to the altar to receive Jesus’ greatest gift to His Church, HIMSELF, IN HIS REAL PRESENCE, for the life of the believer. And in little more than a month, Bishop Cruz will give the gift of the Holy Spirit to 203 of our 9th graders in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

EASTER HOMILY 2017
In one of the November issues of America, there was, perhaps, the shortest poem about resurrection.  It went like this:

After the agony and humiliation of crucifixion,
would you be willing to

Give up the cold comfort of death
for the pain of rebirth and cell-splitting joy of glory?

Dear Friends,
There are some traditional things that need to be done on certain occasions and the Sunday after Easter is one of those occasions, and the traditional thing is to say, “thank you.”

So, let me express my thanks to all those who helped make the Holy Week and Easter services so moving. I want to especially say thanks to Fr. Robert and the liturgical ministers who planned and carried out some unique Masses/services which really happen only once a year.

Dear Friends,
A brief step backward – to Palm Sunday, most especially the Palm Sunday procession from Veterans’ Field to the church and the celebration of the 12:30 Mass. I’m never good at estimating the number of people in church and I would be even worse to try to estimate the numbers who joined for the procession, but I do know it stretched for several blocks. Someone ventured a number between two and three hundred. Whatever the number, it was a moving experience of faith, this re-enactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. It gave testimony to Jesus and to faith in Him and to a continued commitment to live that faith, publicly, in a world that sometimes seems to have lost its faith.

Dear Friends,
Below is a repeat of an article I wrote a few years ago. The importance of Holy Week hasn’t changed; neither have my thoughts on the subject. With school being closed this week, it is my fear that many will forget that for us, who call ourselves Christians, this is, in fact, the holiest week of the year. May we, who are around, see the significance of these days and observe them accordingly. I wish I could believe that wherever they are, our brothers and sisters in faith would do the same.

Dear Friends,
I have mentioned several times in these Lenten columns that we have been reading from cycle A of the three-year cycle of readings. These readings speak especially to the catechumens, those preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, but to all of us, as well. Three weeks ago, in the Gospel of the Transfiguration, the voice from heaven told Peter, James and John, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” As the catechumens hear this, they might ask, “Listen to Him about what?” And the Church has been answering them for the last two weeks, and this week as well. With the woman at the well (two weeks ago), Jesus has told us that He knows we have a thirst – for meaning, for fulfillment, for love, for life and that HE is the only real, life-giving water that will quench that thirst. With the man born blind (last week), Jesus has told us He can bring light into the darkness of our lives, help us to see the road in front of us, and point us in the right direction.

weeklybulletin1

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 

 

sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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