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Fr. Ron's Blog

Fr. Ron's Blog

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.

Dear Friends,
First, on a down to earth level, this is Fr. Felix’s last weekend with us. I want to thank him for the help he’s given us at weekend and daily masses while Fr. Gustavo was away. Fr. Felix will be returning to Nigeria shortly for the funeral services for his mother who passed away recently. Please keep him in your prayers. Fr. Gustavo returns on Monday.

Now to other things. Last week, at meetings held in the four counties of the Archdiocese, Cardinal Tobin presented his vision for the Archdiocese. As he mentioned in the introductory message, the vision comes “after two years of careful listening to the concerns expressed by the people of the Archdiocese, and following consultation with archdiocesan and parish leaders and professionals in a variety of specialized areas (including communications, education, leadership, pastoral planning, stewardship education and fundraising). This vision for the Archdiocese is called Forward in Faith Together: Our Road Ahead, and is supported by six key pillars, each representing an area of action that call for our renewed energy. I want to present here those six key pillars.

Dear Friends,
A couple of clean-up items.

- For those who may have been away for the long weekend last weekend. We celebrated The Academy of Our Lady Weekend. It was a time to remember we have a Catholic School Apostolate here at Mount Carmel. I’m not going to repeat my column but I invite you to go to our parish website, click on About Us and scroll down to Fr. Ron’s blog. There you will find my column and the appeal to help us keep this very important apostolate alive and well here at OLMC, in the best traditions of 200 years of the Catholic experience in America. Pledge envelopes are in the pews and on all the tables at the doors of the church. They may be placed in the boxes at the doors as well.

Dear Friends,
As I have for the past fifteen years, I write once again on the occasion of the celebration of the Academy of Our Lady Weekend. It is a time when we try to highlight one of the most important, but often unrecognized, ministries of our parish – our Catholic School. At all our weekend liturgies, the various ministries, readers, gift bearers, ministers of hospitality, will be filled by students from the Academy, just to remind us about the school’s presence as one of our apostolates.

Dear Friends,
-on 3 practical matters

As the program year continues to fill the calendar, I want to remind everyone again about the parking. With the lease of the parking lot at 106 Prospect, there are about 120 parking spaces in those three lots, the lot next to the rectory, the lot that stretches behind the former convent and the two white houses, and the lot at 106 Prospect. I know there’s a tendency to park in the same place, as there is a tendency to sit in the same pew. But during these challenging parking times, please consider changing habits and head to those three lots first. I’m told by the Village that it is hoped the on-street spaces reserved as “interim permit parking” will be returned to general use by the end of October.


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One Passaic St., Ridgewood, NJ 07450
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