Happy Easter! Today we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord with the entire Catholic Church around the world. The salvation of the world promised to us by God from the first fall of man by Adam is achieved by Jesus Christ when He conquered the power of death and rose to new life. At a time when all seemed lost, when evil appeared to triumph, when Innocence hung on cross and was placed in a tomb, God's glory emerged to show that He is Lord of all.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
When Pope Benedict left the Chair of Peter, in one of his last public addresses he said firmly and joyfully "the Church is alive!" As I have been caught up these last days watching and taking part in my own way, I see its' absolutely true; the Church is alive!
The crowds of people waiting for sometimes hours in St. Peters' Square, while waving national flags, singing songs and cheering and praying in the rain all testified to the truth that indeed we have a Church alive.READ MORE
While visiting a group of Catholics, our informal conversation turned into a profound discussion about distractions during Mass. We focused first on two questions: Do you feel distracted during mass? If so, what are your distractions?" The responses included the following summary:READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
In 2011, I was blessed to be able to visit St. Petersburg, Russia. The Hermitage art museum is located there. The museum has over 3,000,000 items and the largest collection of paintings in the world. It was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. One of the six museum buildings was the Winter Palace where Russian emperors lived. It also happens to house the original painting: The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt. The painting is over 8-1/2 ft tall and 6-3/4 ft wide. As I turned a corner, I saw this amazing painting. This small copy does not do it justice. But I mention it because it is the parable we hear today in Luke's Gospel. And the painting itself tells the story that we hear in the Gospel. How can the painting tell the story? Well, there are a few interesting details in the painting that help us understand the story. First, the son is kneeling before his father. He is in a total state of submission and is asking his father's forgiveness (perhaps this reminds you of confession). Secondly, a closer look at the son reveals that his clothes are all torn and tattered. He is missing one of his sandals. He is a wreck. But the father is well dressed; he is slightly stooped over, and he has his hands on his son's shoulder. It is the ultimate expression of mercy. And his hands are very different. The left hand is larger with stronger features- making it look more masculine. The right hand is smaller and smoother, suggesting a female hand. The implication is that there is both a strong guiding hand of a father and a soft nurturing hand of a mother. The older son is standing off to the side with his hands folded – judging this unconditional act of mercy by his father.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
I want to share with you that next weekend we will have our Stewardship Expo after all Masses in the Parish Center. This event was previously scheduled in the Fall but postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. Our Parish Center which is designated by the Red Cross as an emergency facility was very close to being utilized at that time for our community.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family-
"Look, he's wearing green today!" That's how I was greeted by one senior as I entered Independence Manor a few Sunday's ago for a morning Communion Service. She noticed that my stole was green as is the customary color for Ordinary Time, that is, the longest "season" of the church year, between all of the extraordinary seasons like Christmas and Lent.
And speaking of Christmas and Lent, what a trick the calendar played on us this year! In what seemed like a blink of an eye we quickly moved from the Christmas Season, briefly into Ordinary Time, and now into Lent. I wonder, on my next visit to Independence Manor, will that same senior say "look he's wearing purple today!"READ MORE
Dear Fellow Parishioners:
For those of you who do not know me, I chair the Commission for Evangelization and Adult Catechesis at St. Magdalen's. I am also the wife of Deacon Stephen, and we have three wonderful children, Stephanie, Kevin and Kristen. My previous letter for the bulletin was written just before the arrival of Superstorm Sandy and never made it to the printer! I hope you have all recovered from that storm and pray that you weather all the "storms" that life brings your way.READ MORE
My name is Sr. Pat and I've been privileged to minister at St. Magdalen's Parish for 12 years, five years as the Director of Religious Education and 7 years at Our Lady of Hope House.
Thank you for your generous response to the Thanksgiving Dinner and the Giving Tree at Christmas. During my 7 years at Our Lady of Hope House the number of families being served by the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry has greatly increased from 30 families to 75 families. We count on your generous response to the needs of our brothers and sisters as we continue to buy food each week to supplement the donations. Be assured that your intentions are lifted up in prayer each day in gratitude.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family,
My name is Sister Barbara. Many of you know me from teaching your child in Religious Education. For the past several years I have had the privilege of preparing my second grade classes for the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. It is the joy of my heart to help the children to know and love Jesus. At present, they are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Penance on February 4 and 5. They will receive First Holy Communion in May.READ MORE
Dear Parish Family:
Merry Christmas! If you are reading this on the weekend of January 12th and 13th (commemorating the Baptism of the Lord), it is still Christmas time according to the Church calendar. We are the only ones in our neighborhood who still have our house decoration lights on. In fact, I was going to use this edition of In Persona Christy to talk about the Church liturgical calendar. However, having just attended the funeral of Bishop Edward Hughes, the second bishop of our diocese of Metuchen, the Holy Spirit is moving me in a different direction for this letter.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May God bless you and your families on this Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord! I remember growing up that my grandmother, a devout Irish Catholic, refused to take down her Christmas decorations until Epiphany Sunday. When people asked about this, she would respond spiritedly: “It’s still Christmas…so I don’t take them down ‘til Little Christmas and that’s all there is to it!” Grandma wanted to remind everyone that the joy of Jesus’ birth is far too amazing to be limited to one day. May we be filled with the joy of the Christ Child as we continue to celebrate His Nativity!READ MORE