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Academy of Our Lady

Fr. Ron's Blog


Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
Through these Lenten readings, we continue on our journey with Jesus on this, the 5th Sunday of Lent. These closing verses of Chapter 12 mark the end of the so-called Book of Signs, the twelve chapters in the first part of the Gospel of John in which Jesus performs signs which point to Who He is – the Son of God. In today’s excerpted text, the arrival of Greeks is the fulfillment of the prophecy unknowingly uttered by the Pharisees (in verse 19) that the whole world is “going after him.” But their arrival gives Jesus the occasion once again to remind his disciples of his, now imminent, suffering and death for the life of the world. At Cana, He had told His mother that his hour had not yet come; now he announces His hour has come.

Dear Friends,
As I’m writing this column, it’s a Monday when the pages of the sports’ section of the papers are filled with stories from the Combine, that unique NFL weekend when college football players show their “wares” to a whole bunch of NFL coaches, GMs, scouts and other professionals, ahead of the April NFL draft. Interesting to see the pre-predictions of what teams want what player(s) and then compare it to the actual results of the draft.

Though the football season is over, our Gospel reading always brings me back to football because the lead verse is one that can be seen on signs in the end zone at many a game. (Although not as frequently as in the past, it seems to me). And I’ve always wondered why at football games and not basketball games or hockey games? And if anyone can answer that for me, I would appreciate it. Of course, the sign is, John 3:16, and it refers to what has often been called the most popular verse in Scripture. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Dear Friends,
I am continuing these extended reflections on the Sunday’s readings.

For the past two Sundays, the Scripture readings have focused on sin, repentance and change of heart. On the 1st Sunday of Lent we were challenged to come to grips with our personal sins, to understand life as a battle between the power of God in our lives and the power of the Evil One, marked by sin, doubts about God’s love and care for us and His presence in our lives. Following Jesus’ example in the desert, we were called to take on this war against that power in our lives, knowing that God is there to walk with us.

Dear Friends,
We continue on our Lenten journey. Today, our 1st Reading presents us with another covenant. Last week, it was the covenant with Noah, and the entire human race, not to destroy the world by flood. Today’s covenant relationship is the one God established with Abraham and in a very special way it marks the beginning of God’s self-revelation that will continue and find its completion in the revelation of Jesus Christ – Son of God. Back to Abraham – God has put Abraham to the test and Abraham has come through with flying colors. For this, God has designated Abraham, and his descendants as those people through whom He will bless the entire world. We know those people to be the Jewish people. Abraham is their “father in faith,” but he is ours as well, for from him has come Jesus, through whom God’s blessings and grace will flow in abundance. And those people who believe in Him are now the new Chosen people, the new People of God – us.

Dear Friends,
Many families, I am sure, are away for the shortened winter break, to find some renewal and refreshment in their time together, without the usual craziness that marks their lives these days. On this 1st Sunday of Lent, the Church also celebrates a time of renewal, at least as it regards our spiritual life. It is a time to renew our commitment to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, if it’s gone a little cold through all the distractions of everyday living. Because it is a special time of renewal, I thought I would approach my column a little differently. Rather than writing on some topic of interest (at least what I think might be of interest) or something that’s happening in the parish, I want to spend a little more time on the Sunday scriptures, especially the Gospels, as each week we take this Lenten journey together. You know that I do the last page of the bulletin, the brief explanation of the weekly scripture and the reflections for the week. For the next several weeks, I just want to expand that a little.

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.

Lent should be a truly special time of the year for Christians, much the same as Ramadan is for the Muslims. It is a time to take stock of our lives, at the same time performing acts of sacrifice and penance to change those aspects of our lives that turn us away from God. It is a time to allow God to grow Himself more deeply in our hearts and therefore in the ways we live our lives. Couldn’t we all benefit from that?

Dear Friends,
All focus this weekend will be on the Super Bowl. There will be hours of endless coverage, scores of interviews, numerous “in depth analysis.” And pre-game activities that will seem to start at the stroke of midnight. Maybe I could be a little more interested if Big Blue were in it but, then again, if they were, I might not be on the slopes of Killington, enjoying fresh air and maybe even a little fresh powder. I can hope, anyway. Enjoy the game, and the partying, especially those who are Eagles or Patriots fans. Can the game end in a tie? (Of course not – but one can imagine).

Dear friends,
Varia – a number of unrelated subjects.

- Beginning today, we celebrate CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK. In last week’s bulletin, I gave up my column to one of the teachers in our Catholic School, the Academy of Our Lady. She reflected on her present experience of teaching in a Catholic school and the meaning it has for her and for her students, and she invited everyone to experience it themselves by attending one of the two Open Houses and that information can be found on page 4 in today’s bulletin. In the past, I have shared with you the events surrounding my own celebration of the 50th Anniversary reunion of the graduating class of 1959 from Corpus Christi School, Hasbrouck Heights. We relived so many memories. The Committee created a special calendar for 2009, filled with pictures from our class history and even now I occasionally take it out and look at it again, especially when I get notification that yet another of my classmates has passed. But at the time of the reunion, what struck me most was how many of my classmates were still people of faith. Whatever else may be said of our experience, it stood us in good stead in our lives of faith. That’s what Catholic education is all about – faith formation that lasts a lifetime. There really is no other purpose for a Catholic School or for the sacrifices we make, personally for those who pay the tuition and collectively for the parish, which helps support the school in so many ways. But it is well worth it.

By Katharine Clemente, 4th Grade Teacher at Academy of Our Lady


Once again the title of this article shamelessly references our Spring musical, Beauty and the Beast Jr. and of course, I encourage everyone to join us the first weekend of May for our theatrical presentation, but advertising the show is not the purpose of this message.

Last year’s piece focused on the feeling of nostalgia and family that I have experienced since coming back to work at Academy of Our Lady. It focused on how wonderful I think our school is, and has always been. I assured readers that our faculty, staff, and students felt that way too.

Well, Readers, it is time you saw for yourselves.

Dear Friends,
What a pleasure to feel warmer temperatures, even if they’re not exactly spring-like. But it appears, even as you read this, that they might be heading down again, with the possibility of more snow. Oh well, it is, after all, only January.

I write today about two things, one spiritual, one material.

First, the spiritual. By now, after mentioning it for so many years, I am sure most of you know that I make my annual retreat at the same time and in the same place every year (the one exception being 2005 when I made it in the Holy Land). I make a hermitage experience with the Hermits of Bethlehem, in Chester, New Jersey, always during the first week of Advent. From the time I make the reservation, I have a picture in my mind of how everything will go, including a well-timed snowstorm, cold, blustery weather and the like (it rarely happens that way, in fact, this year, it was fairly balmy).

And without fail, in the week or so preceding the start, I’m tempted to postpone or cancel until it’s “more convenient.” After all, it’s at the start of the pre-Christmas rush, with planning, shopping, partying, Christmas cards to be sent, etc., etc. Especially this year, with the Advent season so short, the temptation to postpone was very great. So, it’s a harried time, filled with a lot of activity and important “stuff” to do.


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