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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
This last month and a half have been extraordinarily painful for Catholics in Northern New Jersey, beginning with the news about the former Archbishop of Newark and then, the horrific report out of Pennsylvania, detailing the sins and crimes against innocent children perpetrated by hundreds of priests whom they trusted to help them find God in their lives. Instead, they found betrayal, abuse and a lifetime of suffering. As with you, it has been a painful time for the priests of this parish and a constant topic of our conversations among each other, expressing the same feelings that you might have had, anger, bitterness, a crushing sorrow and, because of our brother priests, and the bishops who protected them, shame and embarrassment. Especially in light of the revelations from Pennsylvania, we decided it was necessary to speak a word at all the masses last weekend, with each priest expressing his feelings in his own words.

I print below the homily I gave at the 8:00 and 12:30 Masses that I celebrated.

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” Because, as Catholics, we deeply believe these words to be true, that the Eucharistic Jesus lives in us and we have life because of Him, it is all the more shocking to hear the narratives that began almost two months ago about the former Archbishop of Newark and, even more so, this past week.

The vile revelations of the actions of so many priests who held bread in their hands, spoke the words of consecration and defiled their Eucharistic Lord by their abuse of children are beyond comprehension and leave one’s heart and soul devastated.

And so, as I did 16 years ago, but with a new sense of shame and embarrassment, on behalf of the Church I serve and that I love deeply, I ask forgiveness of all victims of these unspeakable crimes, wherever they may be, victims now three times over, when the innocence of their childhood was first violated, in the long years of their silent suffering, in the solitude of their hearts and souls as their memories brought these moments back time and again, and victims 16 years ago when they were given hope that justice would be done, wrongs would be righted and their wounds healed, only to find those hopes left unfulfilled.

And I ask forgiveness of all of you, faithful Catholics, who’s faith is now tested or weakened or destroyed once again by those who lead the church. I truly believed 16 years ago that the horrors of the sins and crimes committed against innocent children were so great that bishops would not hesitate to expose these wounds fully and completely so that healing could begin. We have come to realize in recent days that this has not been the case. And, again, on behalf of the church, I ask forgiveness for that.

But forgiveness always demands, even in sacramental confession, a firm purpose of amendment. Only when the bishops are committed to a radical opening of this wound, to expose it to light and air, as painful as that will be, is true healing possible, for the victims, and for the Church which I hope and pray, we all still love.

Where do we go from here? To be honest, I’m not sure. I know of at least one pastor who said he would hold an open forum with his parishioners and this has also been suggested to me. I don’t know if he did it or not. Please let me know if you think this would help you in this moment of crisis for the Church. Email me your feelings and if it seems helpful we’ll schedule it in the near future, maybe Sunday, September 9th, since I am away until Labor Day.

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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