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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
In the Christmas Message, sent to all the parish households, Jesus is identified as “new Light rising in the night of the world.” There is still so much darkness in our world. The gun violence in our country, that seems to raise the specter of death or deaths every day. The precautions we face every time we board a plane, reminds us of the potential for terror that lurks just below the surface of our daily lives. There are still thousands who are homeless and jobless in the face of the general prosperity that abounds in our country. Thousands are still dying of starvation and genocide in the Southern Arabian Peninsula, northern Africa and Southeast Asia. And there is the daily anxiety for the safety of the men and women in our Armed Services, our relatives and friends, in far-off Iraq and Afghanistan. And the never ending political divisions of our leaders and of the country as a whole. Yes, there is plenty of darkness around us.

Dear Friends,
I repeat an article I wrote several years ago about “confession” as we approach the great celebrations of Christmas.

Advent is a special time when our hearts are often touched by the gift of believing that God loves us so much He came to share life with us, and the reality of that fills us more with hope than at any other time of the year. It is also the time to “put things right” with that God, a time to acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness and reconciliation. For those who have been away a long time, I guarantee it will make a big difference in your celebration of Christmas. In that light, I repeat a column I wrote several years ago.

At the request of a few parishioners, I have attached the homily I gave at the Thanksgiving Mass.
Blessings for continued grace in Advent,
Fr. Ron

Dear Friends,
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, spent with loved ones, enjoying, not only good food, but good companionship, hopefully without all the stress of everything that’s happening in our world these days. Because I’m writing this before the holiday, it’s what I’m wishing for myself, with the added hope of getting away from all the uncertainties that the parish faces with all the changes that have or are about to happen.

Dear Friends,
Last weekend, I wrote about our annual Stewardship Renewal. Because of everything that’s been happening in the parish, it is reduced this year to this weekend alone. And so my column this week will be a little longer than usual as I remind everyone of the three legs of Stewardship. First, I repeat what I said last week; Stewardship is the disciple’s response to the call of Jesus. It is the way the disciple tries to live his/her acceptance of the call of Jesus to “follow me.” It is a way of looking at the gifts that God has entrusted to us and how we use those gifts to carry out the will of the Master so that we might prove ourselves to be found trustworthy to receive that greatest gift – the gift of eternal life. So, it is not a program that we sign up for; it is a perspective through which we view the whole of our Christian life.

Dear Friends,
Last weekend the world celebrated the 30thanniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event was marked by ceremonies and celebrations in Berlin and remembrances on all the media in our own country. If you were around, do you remember what it was like? This totally unexpected event would mark the beginning of a series of events that would lead to the fall of the Soviet empire, as country after country in the Eastern bloc would shed their communist governments and reclaim their basic human freedoms. These events may not have touched us directly but they did evoke a change in outlook. I can remember thinking that the world was now headed for a new golden age of peace and freedom. The great enemy (the Evil Empire) was no longer. Peace and prosperity would reign. As a country we could turn our attention and resources to solving so many of our problems. Yes, it was a new time of hope and promise.

Dear Friends,
If you had been asked the question during this week – “what do you think the pastor is going to write about in his column this week,” do you think you would guess correctly?
There is no doubt that it would have been Fr. Robert’s appointment as Administrator of Guardian Angel parish in Allendale and the resultant impact on Our Lady of Mount Carmel. First, I want to congratulate Fr. Robert and wish him well. He brings to whatever ministry he is engaged in complete dedication to serving the Lord and the People of God and I hope his experience here at OLMC has helped him to be ready for the new challenges of leading the parish community in Allendale.

Dear Friends,
The past weeks, since the end of September, have seen a variety of special appeals and national collections. There have been collections for the Catholic University and for World Mission Sunday. And then there have been the special appeals and drives, The Academy of Our Lady weekend, with its concurrent Annual Fund appeal. This was followed by the Prayers and Pampers weekend, support a number of residences for women who choose to give birth to their children. Then came the Box of Joy appeal, a program that sends Shoebox size packages of small toys and others gifts to the poorest of the poor children around the world. I’m happy to report that the Jr. High teenagers were able to fill 250 of these boxes to send around the world in the name of the people of Mount Carmel.

Dear Friends,
After the festivities of Halloween (if you can call them that) this Thursday, we enter the month of November, often called the month of the Poor Souls. It is the month the Church encourages us to remember our loved ones who have gone before us and to pray for them, that they may have attained the reward of their goodness and share in the glory of God’s Kingdom. To encourage us in prayer for them, the parish offers a Novena of Masses for anyone we wish to remember, beginning on All Souls’ Day, Saturday, November 2nd. Nine days of Masses are celebrated for those we love who have passed. Envelopes with places for their names we wish to remember were included in the packet from the envelope company, for those who use them. In addition, there are extra envelopes on the tables at the doors of the church.

Dear Friends,
A few important things going on this weekend.

-This is Parish Visitation Weekend. What is that? You all know that Fr. Gino left Mount Carmel to become the Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese. Well this is what his “job” is all about - to recruit students for the seminary for preparation for the priesthood. For a few years now, Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University has been sponsoring a weekend when a number of seminarians and faculty visit one parish in each county to increase exposure and awareness of what the seminary is all about. This weekend, Mount Carmel, was chosen as the parish in Bergen County. A seminarian will speak after the homily at all the masses (except for the 6:30 Sunday evening Mass). I am sure they will briefly share the story of their vocation and a little bit about seminary life.

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