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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
I want to return to a practice I have used on occasion in the past, namely, a short word on the movement of the Sunday Scriptures. Because there are seven days between our worship, we sometimes miss the movement of where the Scriptures is taking us, but it might be helpful to see this, especially in the Lenten season, so it can refocus our spiritual attention to what we’re doing.

Dear Friends,
Wednesday of this week is ASH WEDNESDAY, the beginning of Lent. As you have heard before, the word Lent derives from a German root which meant – spring – as in the season, but originally meant – long – referring to the time of year during which the days grew longer. While spring is still a couple of weeks away, it will certainly feel more like it when the clocks change next weekend and we get that extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day.

Dear Friends,
On Holy Thursday evening, 2002, with the abuse crisis swirling around us with the news from Boston, I preached a homily which addressed itself to the priesthood in the context of the scandal. After having acknowledged the humanness of all priests, and, therefore, their unworthiness, I went on. “Truly every priest is a sinner. But the sins of which we speak tonight go far beyond what should be tolerated in the ministers of the Church. We must not delude ourselves that the priesthood has never been tarnished before. In the past, it was tarnished when it was bought and sold, like a commodity, for the benefit of family and friends. It was tarnished when it was used to gain political advantage for clans and families and nations. It was tarnished by men who wantonly and publicly lived lifestyles opposed to the charism of celibacy. It was even tarnished by men who used its prestige to lord it over their brothers and sisters. But it has been no more tarnished than today – by those who have committed signs against the church’s own children, your children, Jesus’ little ones…

Dear Friends,
This weekend is Pledge Weekend for us here at Mount Carmel. Throughout the Archdiocese – Pledge Weekend for the Annual Appeal, now called Sharing God’s Blessings was last weekend – Super Bowl Sunday. We didn’t do it last weekend, not because of the Super Bowl, but because we also had a Confirmation Retreat going on and it’s hard for me to be in two places at the same time, or even to run back and forth from here to Kearny.

Dear Friends,
From the Past – Last weekend’s Men’s Cornerstone was a very special moment for the seventy or so (not all first time retreatants) men who attended. There was a great spirit, a lot of fellowship and many deeply moving spiritual moments and ended with a wonderful celebration of the Eucharist – the Church’s thanksgiving for God’s gifts and presence in our lives. And my schedule worked out in such a way that I was able to be present for more of the 26 hours than usual. It was a great experience. If any men of the parish know someone who attended, ask them about it and put it down on your calendar for next year. It’s always that last weekend in January, the one between the AFC/NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. To the retreatants – don’t forget the reunion Monday night (2/4) at the K of C at 7:30 PM.

Dear Friends,
As you can see from the front cover of today’s bulletin, Catholic Schools Week begins today. This is the week throughout the nation when we celebrate the history of, and continuing presence of the Catholic school as part of the American Catholic parish experience. There are a host of activities happening at our school, the Academy of Our Lady, which we support along with St. Catharine’s. At the conclusion of all the masses this weekend, both here and at St. Catharine’s, a student from the Academy, from his/her particular parish, will speak of their experience at the Academy. I know you will be impressed.

Dear Friends,
Last Sunday, at the 9:30 Mass, we celebrated the Rite of Acceptance into the RCIA. Say What? For those who usually attend the 11:00AM Sunday Mass they might have known, because we usually do these rites during that Mass but I couldn’t this past week because I was speaking at “When Families Gather” at 11:00. So what is the RCIA? It is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the journey, the process by which adults become fully participating members of the Catholic community.

Dear Friends,
Varia – a number of unrelated items

- Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, the visit of the Magi to the newborn Christ child and their presentation of their gifts, gold for the Child’s Kingship, frankincense for His divinity (and also His status as High Priest), and myrrh, pre-figuring the anointing of His Body. When we think of Epiphany we commonly, and exclusively, think of this event. But for the first four hundred years of the Church, Epiphany was a wider celebration, and those celebrations differed from place to place. What was celebrated in Tours, in what is now France, was vastly different from what was celebrated in Alexandria. In those first few hundred years, Epiphany was the name given to the celebration of the threefold manifestations of Jesus as the Messiah.

Dear Friends,
As we begin this New Year, it has become my custom to begin by recognizing the blessings God has given us and to say thanks. The 1stReading for the Mass on January 1 is the famous blessing of Aaron on the Israelites: “The Lord bless you and keep you.” We here at OLMC are so blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the people who are so good to us, sharing their time and talents.

Christmas is a tiring time for everyone, in your homes and offices, and ours as well. Putting together all the elements that make for a joyful celebration of God’s great gift to us in Jesus Christ is the work of a great number of people here in the parish and I begin this New Year by expressing my thanks and appreciation to all.

Dear Friends,
Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives, offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the most intimate of all human relationships.

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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