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Fr. Ron's Blog


Fr. Ron's Blog

A week ago we finally celebrated the beginning of summer, with warm temperatures, no school and summer trips and vacations on the horizon. The program year has ended and it’s time to relax and enjoy family life in a deeper way.

Before all that begins, I write to you on behalf of another family—the family of the Archdiocese of Newark and especially that part of the family that needs our help. Sometimes it’s a parish struggling to pass on the faith to the next generation. Sometimes it’s caring for the most vulnerable, the poor, the elderly, the homeless. Sometimes it’s caring for the hurting, the bereaved, the divorced, the lonely. The Annual Appeal, Sharing God’s Blessings, addresses all these needs, and more.

I know that in the past you have been a supporter of the campaign. And I know your hesitation at this time and even perhaps a reluctance to commit to this effort. I ask you to prayerfully reconsider your decision. Cardinal Tobin’s leadership, his commitment to accountability and righting the wrongs of the past gives me great confidence that the Archdiocese is on the right road to a new experience of collaboration, dedication and service. I, myself, held off my own commitment to the campaign until only a month ago but I am convinced the campaign funds are in good hands and will truly lift up all those in need, spiritually, socially and materially. I ask you to join me in this commitment to those of our brothers and sisters who need our help and to renew your pledge/contribution to Sharing God’s Blessing.

You may choose to donate online, by going to www.rcan.org/sharing . Your contribution can be credited to our parish by noting our parish’s name, or by returning the enclosed card to facilitate your contribution through the mail. A side benefit of your participation is the rebate that comes back to the parish when we have surpassed our goal.

Thank you in advance for giving further consideration to this cause and I encourage you to visit www.rcan.org/stories to hear the personal witness of those who have been helped.

Dear Friends,
With people coming and going, and holidays that shortened the week, and preparations for three celebrations of confirmation this weekend, (not to mention conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation, myself, in Nutley, next Sunday), I take the easy way out and repeat a column I have used in the past, as we celebrate this great Feast of Pentecost.

Happy Birthday Church. We old-timers would remember the days when Pentecost would have been highlighted as the birthdate of the Church. And this is something that can’t be denied. As it is with all birthdays, so it is with the Church, born from the side of her crucified Lord, (as many great spiritual writers have reflected down through the ages), and brought to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, Happy Birthday, Church!

Dear Friends,
This is a weekend for two celebrations and an announcement. Yesterday (Saturday), the Archbishop ordained seven new priests for service of the Church of Newark. Ordinations remind me to ask all of you to pray for vocations. The materialistic world is a tremendous lure. Against the noise of this world, the Lord speaks a call to serve in His Church. But that call needs to be recognized and to be heard. Pray for that, that those to whom the Lord is speaking will be able to hear His Voice against the noise of this world. I see generous hearts all around, like the teenagers in our Confirmation program who engage in all manner of service projects. But they need to hear first. Pray that they do. And pray for these seven new priests that God will help them be true servants of Jesus Christ, in love with Him and the people to whom they are sent. And pray for the Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, that it may be ever more holy, ever more conscious of the Lord’s presence and ever more courageous in announcing Jesus as Lord through their ministry.

Dear Friends,
On the front cover of today’s bulletin you will find the names of all the children who came to the altar to receive the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time in our six celebrations over the last three Saturdays. Although you cannot see them, because the print is so faint and the banners are hung so high, they are also on the two banners of host and chalice that hang in the front of the church. I want to congratulate these children and their parents, and to thank their parents for believing this to be an important moment, and an important journey for their children to be on. We often decry the lack of faith in the world. This is a moment to celebrate it.

Dear Friends,
This is, of course, Mother’s Day, and I extend to all our mothers not only our best wishes for this day but our deepest gratitude for being the face of God (spiritually, of course, since we all know God is pure spirit and doesn’t have a face), in, for and to our families. Please accept the carnation as but a small token of recognition of the special place you have in our hearts.

Dear Friends,
Today is the 4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday. Because the readings always focus on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, in all the years of the three-year cycle of readings, this Sunday has also become the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, especially and specifically vocations to the priesthood. As we are encouraged to place our hearts and lives into the hands of the Shepherd Who always loves and cares for us, we are asked to pray for more shepherds today, servant-leaders, priests, who would love us as Jesus did.

Dear Friends,
As I write for this weekend, I am in the midst of signing 170 1st Communion certificates. (FYI, in 1997, there were 149 1st Communions & in 2007, there were 213 1st Communions). We are beginning three weekends of celebrations for one of the happiest moments in the life of a parish, the reception of the Eucharist for the first time for our children. After eight months of preparation, they will come to the altar to receive Jesus’ greatest gift to His Church, HIMSELF, IN HIS REAL PRESENCE, for the life of the believer. And in little more than a month, Bishop Cruz will give the gift of the Holy Spirit to 203 of our 9th graders in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In one of the November issues of America, there was, perhaps, the shortest poem about resurrection.  It went like this:

After the agony and humiliation of crucifixion,
would you be willing to

Give up the cold comfort of death
for the pain of rebirth and cell-splitting joy of glory?

Dear Friends,
There are some traditional things that need to be done on certain occasions and the Sunday after Easter is one of those occasions, and the traditional thing is to say, “thank you.”

So, let me express my thanks to all those who helped make the Holy Week and Easter services so moving. I want to especially say thanks to Fr. Robert and the liturgical ministers who planned and carried out some unique Masses/services which really happen only once a year.

Dear Friends,
A brief step backward – to Palm Sunday, most especially the Palm Sunday procession from Veterans’ Field to the church and the celebration of the 12:30 Mass. I’m never good at estimating the number of people in church and I would be even worse to try to estimate the numbers who joined for the procession, but I do know it stretched for several blocks. Someone ventured a number between two and three hundred. Whatever the number, it was a moving experience of faith, this re-enactment of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. It gave testimony to Jesus and to faith in Him and to a continued commitment to live that faith, publicly, in a world that sometimes seems to have lost its faith.

Dear Friends,
Below is a repeat of an article I wrote a few years ago. The importance of Holy Week hasn’t changed; neither have my thoughts on the subject. With school being closed this week, it is my fear that many will forget that for us, who call ourselves Christians, this is, in fact, the holiest week of the year. May we, who are around, see the significance of these days and observe them accordingly. I wish I could believe that wherever they are, our brothers and sisters in faith would do the same.

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
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 



Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

  Newark Priest stacked 4C
Thinking Priesthood?
Visit Archdiocese of Newark Office of Priestly Vocations