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Fr. Ron's Blog


Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
I asked the question in last week’s bulletin, “Where do we experience Church?” Where is the Church most real for us? The obvious answer is that it is most real in the parish community to which we belong. It is here that we worship together. It is here that our children are formed as Christians and where we deepen our faith as adults. It is here where we support one another in good times (weddings, baptisms, the Block Party, the Christmas Concert)) and in bad (funerals, sickness, tragedies like 9/11). Here in this parish community we call Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

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.

Thank you to all who responded to my suggestion about an open forum on the present crisis in the Church. While not overwhelming, there was enough positive response to go ahead with it. The forum will be held next Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4:30pm-6:00pm, in the Parish Center.

Dear Friends,
This last month and a half have been extraordinarily painful for Catholics in Northern New Jersey, beginning with the news about the former Archbishop of Newark and then, the horrific report out of Pennsylvania, detailing the sins and crimes against innocent children perpetrated by hundreds of priests whom they trusted to help them find God in their lives. Instead, they found betrayal, abuse and a lifetime of suffering. As with you, it has been a painful time for the priests of this parish and a constant topic of our conversations among each other, expressing the same feelings that you might have had, anger, bitterness, a crushing sorrow and, because of our brother priests, and the bishops who protected them, shame and embarrassment. Especially in light of the revelations from Pennsylvania, we decided it was necessary to speak a word at all the masses last weekend, with each priest expressing his feelings in his own words.

I print below the homily I gave at the 8:00 and 12:30 Masses that I celebrated.

Dear Friends,
Often people send me “stuff” that they think is inspirational. Below is an 8 year old’s explanation of God.

One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

Dear Friends,
We continue with the second part of the talk the Pope gave to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life on June 25, 2018.

Dear Friends,
I take a break from the reflections of Pope Francis at his General Audience to offer this two-part presentation of a talk he gave to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The talk was given on June 25 and will take this space today and next Sunday.

Dear Friends,
Before returning to the reflections of the Holy Father – an up-date on the question of the deck. I received 29 responses, 28 of which were positive and one was ambivalent. I do want to clarify something. The deck would not be built exactly over the garages. If it happens, it would be built in the area over the retaining wall where the rectory meets the church. It is a smaller area, but sufficient, with more privacy, less visibility. If you remember my column last week, there was a third consideration – usage. Would it really be used? That question is still open, but thanks to all who replied.

Dear friends,
I said a few weeks ago I might interrupt the presentations of Pope Francis’ reflections from his General Audiences once in a while. Today is a once in a while. There are three things I want to bring to your attention.

The first, and most important spiritually, is tomorrow’s Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Patroness of our parish. Mt. Carmel is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast for almost 24 miles. (No—it’s not in Italy). In Old Testament times, it was the place where the prophet Elijah would sometimes reside and it was the place where he challenged the 450 prophets of the pagan god, Baal, and the 400 prophets of Asherah, to a contest to see who was really more powerful, and, thus, which God should be worshipped and obeyed, the God of Israel or the pagan god, Baal. Guess who won? (For the full story, see 1 Kings 18.)

Continuing with Pope Francis in his teachings on the Commandments at his General Audience.

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