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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
What a pleasure to feel warmer temperatures, even if they’re not exactly spring-like. But it appears, even as you read this, that they might be heading down again, with the possibility of more snow. Oh well, it is, after all, only January.

I write today about two things, one spiritual, one material.

First, the spiritual. By now, after mentioning it for so many years, I am sure most of you know that I make my annual retreat at the same time and in the same place every year (the one exception being 2005 when I made it in the Holy Land). I make a hermitage experience with the Hermits of Bethlehem, in Chester, New Jersey, always during the first week of Advent. From the time I make the reservation, I have a picture in my mind of how everything will go, including a well-timed snowstorm, cold, blustery weather and the like (it rarely happens that way, in fact, this year, it was fairly balmy).

And without fail, in the week or so preceding the start, I’m tempted to postpone or cancel until it’s “more convenient.” After all, it’s at the start of the pre-Christmas rush, with planning, shopping, partying, Christmas cards to be sent, etc., etc. Especially this year, with the Advent season so short, the temptation to postpone was very great. So, it’s a harried time, filled with a lot of activity and important “stuff” to do.

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s the same reasoning you were and are using when you heard the witnesses last weekend at Mass or saw the announcements about the up-coming Cornerstone Retreats, for women (1/20) and men (1/26 & 27). So much to do. Just not possible. It’s just what I go through every year.

And it’s precisely the reason to stop everything, take a break and give your mind, heart and spirit a time to rest, reflect and re-connect with your God, and your fellow parishioners. Time wise, it’s an insignificant amount of time. and it’s only right around the corner.

I heard some wonderful witness talks this past weekend, from the men’s and women’s teams. And the reasons they got something out of their own Cornerstone experiences were as varied as they were, renewal of faith, re-connected with God, a chance to meet, or re-connect with other parishioners, knowing that there were others who were experiencing the challenges (and sometimes, pains) of life in our fast-paced world. So many questions, so many paths, so many answers. And it’s not just that our world moves so fast, and we are so caught up in the whirlwind. With everything that’s happening, worldwide threats and local terrorism, political wrangling, the incivility of public discourse, the opioid crisis, it’s enough to dull the mind , to lay a heavy burden on the heart and to wear-down the spirit when we think of our own futures and the future we’re handing on to our children and grandchildren. We not only need a break; we need a pick-me-up.

As varied as the witness talks were last weekend, they also had one thing in common; they all had that temptation to think they were too busy; the same as I do each year. But once I get to Bethlehem, I know I made the right decision, that it was time I needed and that I couldn’t help but come away better. Same with you. Once you get here, to Cornerstone, you’ll know you made the right decision too. Trust me – and sign up now, if you haven’t already. Reservation forms are on the tables in all the lobbies.

On the material side, I put in, once again a plug to invite everyone to use our electronic giving method of supporting the work of the parish. It’s easier than writing a check or filling an envelope every week. You don’t have to remember to bring cash with you, as we live more and more in a cashless society, and the best reason, at least from the point of view of the parish, it’s a steadier and more reliable way of predicting the amount of support the parish will receive as it seeks to carry on the work of the Gospel, especially as we head into the season when we begin to plan our budget for the coming year. Please consider joining the many others who use this system, and with the cards that are now available on the tables, you never have to worry about the usher giving you a cold stare when he passes the basket in front of you. And it’s very simple to get enrolled, simply click on the WE SHARE icon on the homepage of the website, and it will take you right into it. I have mine taken directly from my bank account but you could use a credit card and get those valuable points we’re always hearing about. Thank you for considering this.

God bless,
Fr. Ron

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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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sgbcross 
Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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