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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear Friends,
It’s been almost a month since I last wrote a column for the bulletin, for a number of reasons. It has been hard to sit down and do this, to focus on what’s happening in the parish and I will go into that a little later.

First, I want to thank everyone who helped make the Block Party another success. As the old saying goes, “A good time was had by all.” And the weather could not have been better, especially for a few (or more than a few) “dunks” in the dunk tank. It took a long time for one of the kids to get me in and by that time I was happy to cool off. But, maybe, not so happy the many times after that. But the sun was shining and the air was warm, so it wasn’t that bad, except for an “ole” man trying to get back up on the seat. I want to say a special word of thanks to Jeff Voigt, who coordinated the event and Ellin Carroll who helped in so many ways, and to all those who stood for hours in all of the booths. Thank you – we couldn’t have done it without you.

I want to say a word about the Open Forum which was held two weeks ago. Around 250 answered the invitation, and maybe twenty five or thirty spoke. It was not a debate, but an opportunity for people to express what was on their minds relative to the crisis in the Church today, namely the Pennsylvania report and the actions of, and accusations against, the former Archbishop of Newark. In general I would say there was widespread criticism of the hierarchy, a call for real action and a real desire to see if there could be some follow-up. Several people came forward to try to see how that could be accomplished. While it was a painful time, I truly believe it was needed to allow “the faithful” to express their own pain and disbelief at the failures of church leadership to both acknowledge and address the terrible occasions of child abuse. I am grateful to both Natalie DeCandia and Michael Cesario who took notes of the two-hour long meeting. Those notes have been sent on to Cardinal Tobin to help him understand the reactions of normal parishioners to these events which are now roiling the Church. If you email me, I will send you an electronic copy of the notes. Where an individual identified themselves by name, those names have been redacted.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, the banners will be up on the front of the church announcing the forthcoming Stewardship Renewal. Each year, we spend a couple of weeks in the early fall to renew our commitment to STEWARDSHIP, A DISCIPLE’S RESPONSE. Especially at this time of crisis in the Church, we need to ask ourselves an important question, “Where do we experience Church?” Where is the Church most real for us? For almost all of us, the answer to that question is here, in this parish community we call Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is in this parish we experience the loving presence of God. It is in this parish we experience the tender touch of Jesus, as He consoles the sorrowing, the loving embrace of Jesus as He invites children to come to know Him more, “Let the children come to me;” the healing voice of Jesus, not only in the Anointing of the Sick, but in the visits of our Pastoral Visitors who bring the Eucharist to the Homebound and to the nursing facilities within our parish. It is in the parish our teenagers experience the call to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, where they share their faith and grow together on retreat and reach out in their service projects to the elderly, the lonely cancer victims and all those in need. In short, we do not experience Church in some faraway place or abstract idea of Universal Church, we experience it right here. And we experience it not only with and through the priests. We experience it together, from priests and religious and lay persons. Each using his or her gifts and talents to bring each of us closer to God. If we have been anything over these years, it is because thousands in this parish, over these last twenty years, have answered the call to be the hands of Christ, building this community of His brothers and sisters.

As we enter Stewardship Renewal, remember we are Church, we are disciples, all of us together and it is only when all of us together offer ourselves, our gifts and talents, for the building up of this community that the Church lives. Here.

More, in the next two weeks.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron

PS. Before the crisis began I had occasion to speak with Cardinal Tobin. He has extended my term as pastor until June 30, 2020.

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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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