Recognizing God’s Blessings

10-30-2016Parish LifeMonika Szmul

For two weeks in mid-June St. Magdalen’s hosts homeless families in the Family Promise program. Each family has a room in the Spiritual Formation Center. Air mattresses,bedding, and towels are provided. Volunteers greet the families upon arrival, others bring a meal. Youth Group members or volunteer's children spend time with the children and two volunteers sleep over each night. My daughter joined me for my first overnight. We slept well until about 6:50 the next morning when we heard the tap-tap of feet above us going to 7 am Mass. My daughter just wanted to sleep in and my comment to her was to thank God that we have a home to go to and that we will sleep in our own beds again the next night. Just imagine what it is like to move from place to place, to spend a week or two here and then move on again.


Keeping ‘Grounded’ in the Lord

10-23-2016Parish LifeJim Barile

It all began when Fr. Henry placed those little stewardship cards in the pews. The Church needed ushers,Eucharistic Ministers, etc. One of the options was for Bingo. I signed up. I began coming on Monday nights from 6-11:30pm. My wife, who was pregnant at the time with our second child, was not thrilled at the prospect of my leaving the house for an entire evening.


Looking to Our Lady as a Model for Life

10-16-2016Parish LifeEva Jane Woodruff

Whenever I pray the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary I am aware, not only of the sacred moments which made up the life of Our Lord, but also of my own 'joyful mysteries' with my three daughters. When I meditate upon the Annunciation, I think about being in the doctor's office hearing, yes, I was indeed pregnant! I felt such joy and gratitude that my husband, Robert, and I would soon be entrusted with new life.


Do You Enjoy Knitting? The Purly Girls ministry does...

10-09-2016Parish Life

Every Wednesday from 1:30 to 4:00 pm the St. Therese's room in the Parish Center is filled with an army of knitters and crocheters called the Purly Girls—laughing, socializing, small time of prayer and making something beautiful for God. Several years ago Barbara Assmann and Hilda Rocchetti ran into one another in Michaels craft store getting yarn and the idea to start a knitting group for the parish began.


Battling Beside Jesus

10-02-2016Parish LifeBruce Debacco

So often I forget that my spiritual life, my whole life really, is a battle. A battle that is fought in the spiritual arena and can only be fought with spiritual weapons. For me it is a battle for my mind, and how easily my mind gets distracted! How quick I am to run off to some "good" and even wholesome thing, while leaving the "best" for another day (which often never comes). How easy it is for me to be a Martha, busy about many things. How easy it is for me to get fooled into thinking I can find peace, joy and happiness, even rest and contentment in "other things" or other places rather than at the feet of Jesus. But God never abandons us and He continually provides means and ways for us to walk with Him one such way, for me, has been through my involvement in the ChristLife initiative.


Part of God’s Family

09-25-2016Parish LifeSr. Faustina

I am a Sister of Christian Charity. In my family of 10 children I was the eighth. I had the example of my two brothers becoming priests and one sister who joined the Sisters of Providence. I was very much influenced by the joy, kindness, and selflessness of their lives.

In 1998 I came to Canada with one of my brothers who was a priest. He supported me in my search for a community of religious sisters to join so I could serve God's people. I began my search on the internet and found the Sisters of Christian Charity, whom I joined in 2011.

Saint Magdalen de Pazzi parish is my second mission. I came for an interview with Father Tim and at the same time I met a number of people in the parish. They were so welcoming that I felt that being here would be like a family. In the Vietnamese culture the family is the center of love and is led by God to serve others, so I feel God led me here. This is now my family.

God’s Anniversary Gift to Me

09-18-2016Parish LifeSr. Josita

Last month I celebrated 50 years of consecrated service to God and God's people as a Sister of Christian Charity. I first met the sisters of this community in grade school. My family lived in Winter Park, FL and I was immediately drawn to them because of their obvious joy in their vocation, their charism of love for God and for each other, and for all of us they were serving in ministry.


Receiving the Gift of God’s Love

09-04-2016Parish LifeJustine Worden

Accepting love has never been easy for me. Perhaps it is a product of wanting to feel self-sufficient. Sometimes this stands in the way of my ability to deepen my relationships, and my relationship with God is no exception. Thankfully, God's love found its way into my heart through people that, out of necessity, knows how to accept love: our sisters and brothers experiencing poverty. Last summer I spent two months in rural Dominican Republic, where I was forced to accept help when I was sick and wasn't sure how to express myself in Spanish. My host community showed me that although they didn't have much, they would give me everything they had and more.


Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy

08-24-2016Parish LifeSue Sabol

This past June, St. Magdalen's parish made concrete steps to practice the corporal works of mercy: providing food, housing, and fellowship for those in need in Hunterdon county, through Family Promise.

In 2005 Sr. Pat Vayda, the former head of St. Magdalen's social ministries, asked me to take over Family Promise, a n initiative which provides temporary housing for individuals experiencing financial hardship. Being part of Family Promise has opened my eyes and my heart. I have been blessed with so much; to meet young people who have absolutely nothing just breaks your heart.


Called to Mission

08-14-2016Parish LifeKenzie Lane

Growing up I attended noon time Mass every Sunday with my dad. I attended high school at North Hunterdon and met some great friends who encouraged me to join and volunteer at the Rescue Squad when I was 16. I've been hooked on helping others ever since.


The Seeds of Faith

07-31-2016Parish LifeEd Fleming

My grandfather first introduced me to Jesus and planted the seeds of faith. When I was younger I went to Sunday School and I heard the stories yet I did not feel any personal attachment to Jesus or to my faith. I learned about God, but I did not have a relationship with Him. So between the ages of 15-30 I was not part of a church. It was not until I met my wife Barbara, that I was re-introduced to church. She always loved the Lord and her faith helped me to come back to Him. I'm analytical and I seek to know why something is the way it is. Once I returned to church, everything I learned as a child made sense. As an older man, I began to realize how much I needed God, and how I couldn't do anything for myself. There was a peace and comfort in learning about Jesus, He is constant and I need that. He takes care of me. When I ask 'How can I pay this bill?' or 'How am I going to work this out?', He always comes through and takes care of my needs.

When I came here to St. Magdalen's in May of 1999, I felt loved, and accepted. Everyone here is an example, extending the love of Christ to others. Everyone here loves the Lord and wants to do His will and they have shown God to me.

Ed faithfully provides the parish with clean side-walks during the winter and heads our maintenance department.

Finding Strength Through Marriage Ministry

07-24-2016Parish LifeMegan & Daniel Carducci

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them (Matt 18:20)." This scripture passage defines why we chose to get involved with ministries in the parish. Working together with other parishioners allows us to see the light of Christ in each person and inspires us to lead holy Christian lives. Our first child, Joseph Robert (Joey), was born in March, and we want him to know God's love and witness the way other families make God the center of their lives.


Celebrating Our Mother of Perpetual Help

07-17-2016Parish LifeLiezl Millian

The Filipino American Association of St. Magdalen's (FASTMAG) celebrated the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, on June 26, 2016. It was attended by 13 priests from the Diocese of Metuchen. A Mass was held, followed by a candlelight procession around the block of the Church and a dinner at the parish center. This year marks the 150th jubilee anniversary of being entrusted with the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help by the Redemptorist fathers. This jubilee year marks a moment of grace for all of God's people.


Having Faith like Our Lady

07-10-2016Parish LifeBetty Calle

I grew up in Peru and the faith was very important in my family. My grand-mother was always sick when I was a kid but she still smiled and was faithful to prayer; she translated this to her children. She taught us how to accept suffering with joy.

As a teenager I attended the youth group in my parish, which was run by Salesian priests. Our meetings consisted of: prayer, singing, and catechesis. This strengthened my faith.


Glorifying God Through Flowers

07-03-2016Parish LifeLorenzo Rojas

I grew up in Mexico in a town called Plan de Las Hayas. The patron saint of both our town and our Church was St. Isidore whose feast day is May 15th. We grew a lot of corn and coffee but it would get very dry so we would take the statue of Saint Isidore from the Church and process it around the town to get rain and after the 4th or 5th time it would always rain. Faith has always been important to me—in the community I grew up in and in my family. When I was a kid my grandmother used to tell me that I had to pray every day for the whole world, but especially for priests and nuns. She was charitable to the poor and she would tell me that to do something good for someone else means that God is smiling at you.