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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
Random thoughts that run through an idle mind

My column on Easter Sunday began, “As I write this on the Monday of Holy Week, the temperature outside is only 36 but the sun is shining and the sky is a bright blue, and so, I can be hopeful we have actually seen the last of winter.”

How wrong I was. The day after that appeared, on Easter Monday, I was scheduled to leave for my first posthurricane Irma visit to the Missio in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I drove to Newark Airport that morning in a blinding snow storm. None of the roads, including the Turnpike, had been either plowed or salted. I can’t remember the last time I ventured out in a storm like that. And then a three and a half hour delay, but at least my flight got out, unlike many others that day.

And speaking of the Missio – as I mentioned, this was my first visit since the hurricanes of the fall. Basically, much has been repaired on the Islands and much remains to be done. All the resorts have re-opened, some in only a few weeks but all by December. This is a good thing since the major source of income for the Islands is tourism which employs thousands of people. With their jobs back, people have begun to repair their homes and try to return to a normal life. As regards the parishes, the major damage occurred at the school, but with advances from the Archdiocese, the school re-opened in early October and was the first school to re-open on the Islands. 80% of the repairs
have been completed with the remaining due to be finished in the summer. In the meantime, by shifting things around, the school is 100% operational. Repairs have begun on the rectory in Provo and will begin shortly on the chapel in South Caicos. The other buildings, church and rectory on Grand Turk, where the damage has been less, have been fully functional and repairs will begin last on the list. The two houses on Grand Turks (one of which served as the
previous rectory) were a total loss, being deemed “structurally unsafe.” Dialogue is on-going as to the future of those properties. All in all, the Islands are doing a lot better than many other places in the Caribbean.

If you use the Passaic Street entrance to the church, you will have noticed a new look. The benches in that Plaza were in pretty bad condition, deteriorating wood, blackened frames, as well as the assortment of different materials used to construct them. They have now been refurbished/restored thanks to the efforts of Jon Tze and his team. Jon is a candidate for Eagle Scout and he asked/volunteered to take this on as his Eagle project, and did a wonderful job. He planned it and executed it, without interfering with the church schedule. We are so grateful. Thank you, Jon, and you team for a job well done.

Lastly, I just want to mention a word about the Mass we celebrated last Monday evening, for the Solemnity of the Annunciation, with the Blessing of the Child in the Womb. Seven mothers (couples) attended, among others, and came
forward for the blessing and it was a beautiful moment – a moment to celebrate the gift of life – the greatest gift God has given us. I shared a story in my homily which I want to share with you. I was on the plane for my trip to TCI and shared the row, on both sides of the aisle with a family from South Jersey, a mother, father, their two children and the nanny. During the flight, the mother shared the story of her young son – her miracle baby. Born prematurely, and weighing only a pound and a half, the boy spent the next months, five I think, in the hospital. During that whole time, she never had the baby baptized because she believed with all her heart that God was watching over her son. And He was. But what struck me most was the awe in her face and voice as she talked about this new life that God had given her in her son. We need to hold all life in that kind of awe, the child in the womb, the struggling, addicted adolescent, the unemployed, the homeless, the immigrant, the illegal alien, the elderly. All life is sacred in the eyes of the creator and, once and a while – no, always, we need to see life through HIS EYES.

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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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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